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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Grani skáld (Grani)

11th century; volume 2; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

Poem about Haraldr harðráði (Har) - 2

Skj info: Grani skáld, Islandsk skjald, 11. årh. (AI, 387, BI, 357).

Skj poems:
Digt om Harald hårdråde

Grani (Grani) is unknown, and it is uncertain whether he was from Iceland or from Norway. Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 254, 262, 275) lists him among the poets of Haraldr Sigurðarson (‘Grani skáld’).

Poem about Haraldr harðráði — Grani HarII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘ Grani skáld, Poem about Haraldr harðráði’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 296-9. <> (accessed 15 October 2021)

 1   2 

Skj: Grani skáld: Digt om Harald hårdråde (AI, 387, BI, 357); stanzas (if different): 3

SkP info: II, 296-7

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

1 — Grani Har 1II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Grani skáld, Poem about Haraldr harðráði 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 296-7.

Lét aldrigi úti
ósvífr Kraka drífu
Hlǫkk í harða þjokkum
Hornskógi brô þorna.
Fila dróttinn rak flótta
fjanda grams til strandar;
auð varð út at reiða
allskjótt faðir Dóttu.

Ósvífr lét aldrigi brô {Hlǫkk {drífu Kraka}} þorna úti í harða þjokkum Hornskógi. {Dróttinn Fila} rak flótta grams fjanda til strandar; {faðir Dóttu} varð at reiða út auð allskjótt.

The reckless one never let the eyelashes {of the Hlǫkk <valkyrie> {of Kraki’s <legendary king’s> snow-drift}} [GOLD > WOMAN] get dry out in the very dense forest at Hornslet. {The lord of the Filir} [NORWEGIAN KING = Haraldr] chased the fleeing troop of the enemies’ chieftain down to the shore; {Dótta’s father} [= Þorkell geysa] had to pay out riches very quickly.

Mss: Mork(9r) (Mork); Flat(197va) (Flat); FskAˣ(263) (Fsk); Kˣ(541v), 39(23va), F(45vb), E(15v), J2ˣ(270r) (Hkr); H(44v), Hr(32ra) (H-Hr)

Readings: [1] úti: ýta Hr    [2] ósvífr: ‘osuifis’ Flat;    Kraka: ‘crapa’ 39    [3] Hlǫkk: ‘hleck’ Flat;    harða: harðla Hr;    þjokkum: þykkum FskAˣ, F, H, Hr, þjǫkku E    [5] Fila: fjalla Flat    [7] varð: var 39;    reiða: greiða FskAˣ    [8] Dóttu: so FskAˣ, Kˣ, 39, F, E, J2ˣ, H, Hr, dóttur Mork, Flat

Editions: Skj: Grani skáld, Digt om Harald hårdråde 1: AI, 387, BI, 357, Skald I, 179, NN §806; Mork 1867, 53, Mork 1928-32, 158, Andersson and Gade 2000, 196, 475-6 (MH); Flat 1860-8, III, 336-7 (MH); ÍF 29, 252-3 (ch. 55); ÍF 28, 111 (HSig ch. 32), F 1871, 212, E 1916, 55; Fms 6, 254 (HSig ch. 49).

Context: During his campaign in Denmark in the summer of 1048, Haraldr burned the farmstead of the Dan. chieftain Þorkell geysa ‘Big-mouth’. He captured Þorkell’s daughters (one of whom was Dótta), and forced Þorkell to pay a hefty ransom for them.

Notes: [All]: For this campaign, see also Hharð Lv 4, ÞjóðA Lv 2, Bǫlv Hardr 8, Anon (HSig) 1 and Grani Har 2 below. — [1, 4] lét aldrigi brô … þorna ‘never let the eyelashes … get dry’: I.e. Haraldr captured her and her sisters and she never stopped weeping. For the possible mistreatment of females of the conquered population by victorious vikings, see Note to ÞjóðA Magn 7/5, 6, Valg Har 3, 9 and Hskv Útdr 5. — [2] ósvífr (m. nom. sg.) ‘the reckless one’: ÍF 29 takes this adj. as a f. nom. sg. qualifying Hlǫkk and suggests the following reading: ósvífr Kraka drífu Hlǫkk lét aldrigi þorna br ‘the reckless Hlǫkk of Kraki’s snow-drift never let the eyelashes get dry’ (ÍF 29, 252-3; see also ÍF 28, 111 n.), which is possible. However, Hlǫkk is sg. (f. dat. sg.; dat. of possession) and both ÍF 29 and ÍF 28 follow Skj B in translating the woman-kenning as pl. — [2] drífu Kraka ‘Kraki’s <legendary king’s> snow-drift [GOLD]’: Hrólfr kraki ‘Pole-ladder’ was a legendary Dan. king. The kenning refers to the episode in which Hrólfr, pursued by the Swedes, threw gold on the ground to distract his enemies (see SnE 1998, I, 58-9). For a similar ruse employed by Haraldr harðráði, see Þfagr Sveinn 8. Usually kennings with ‘snow’ or ‘ice’ as a base-word denote ‘silver’, but in this particular case the legendary associations establish that ‘gold’ is meant. — [4] Hornskógi ‘forest at Hornslet’: Hornslet is located south-east of Randers in Jylland, Denmark. The p. n. Hornskógr, lit. ‘Horn-forest’, is no longer extant. — [5]: The l. echoes Steinn Óldr 1/5. — [5] dróttinn Fila ‘the lord of the Filir’: Filir were the inhabitants of Fjalir, the south-western part of Sunnfjord and the regions around Dalsfjorden (see Rygh et al. 1897-1936, XII, 284-5). Fjalir is nom. pl. of ON fjǫl ‘board plank’, a f. ō-stem (Gmc *felō) with breaking and u-umlaut. The pl. ending -ir must be secondary (i-stem inflection, see ANG §379 Anm.). The ethnic name Filir (m. nom. pl.) is a m. u-stem formed to the p. n. See also Steinn Óldr 1/5, 8/6 and Anon (Sv) 1/3. — [6] til strandar ‘to the shore’: Skj B connects this prepositional phrase with the next cl. (varð út at reiða … til strandar ‘had to pay out riches … by the beach’). That interpretation creates an awkward w. o. (see NN §806) and entails an unattested meaning of the prep. til ‘to, towards’ (see Fritzner: til). — [8] Dóttu ‘Dótta’: Mork and Flat have the variant dóttur ‘daughter’ for Dóttu (lectio facilior).

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