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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 28 November 2021)

 1   2 

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

SkP info: II, 298-9

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

2 — Grani Har 2II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Grani skáld, Poem about Haraldr harðráði 2’ 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. 298-9.

Dǫglingr fekk at drekka
danskt blóð ara jóði;
hirð hykk hilmi gerðu
Hugins jól við nes Þjólar.
Ætt spornaði arnar
allvítt við valfalli;
hold át vargr, sem vildi,
— vel njóti þess — Jóta.


The lord gave the brood of eagles Danish blood to drink; I believe the ruler prepared a yule-feast {for the retinue of Huginn} [RAVENS] by Þjólarnes. Far and wide the kin of the eagle trod on the fallen carrion; the wolf ate the flesh of the Jótar as it pleased; may it truly enjoy that.

context: In Mork and H-Hr this st. follows st. 1 above. In SnE the first two ll. illustrate that dǫglingr lit. ‘descendant of the legendary king Dagr’ is a heiti for ‘ruler, dignitary’.

notes: For this campaign, see Note to st. 1 [All] above. — [1-4]: Because B is difficult to read, AM 744 4°ˣ (744ˣ), an early C18th copy of B by Jón Ólafsson, has been consulted selectively. — [3]: This l. has significant variants. (a) The present edn follows the Mork version but replaces hríð ‘storm, onslaught’ (l. 3) (so Mork) with hirð (f. dat. sg.) ‘retinue’ (so A, B), which restores the internal rhyme (-irð- : ‑erð-) and retains the imagery from ll. 1-2 of Haraldr preparing a feast of carrion for the beasts of battle. It looks as though <ri> in Mork is a misreading of the original abbreviation for <ir>. The H and Hr versions (hǫrð veitk hilmi gerðu ‘I know that the leader performed harsh’ (so H); hǫrð verk hilmir gerði ‘the leader performed harsh deeds’ (so Hr)) are secondary and must represent attempts to restore the missing internal rhyme (see Louis-Jensen 1977, 153). (b) A and B provide stýrðu lit. ‘controlled, ruled, possessed’ (l. 3) for Mork’s gerðu (past inf.) ‘prepared, made’. The syntax of the resulting cl. is not clear. Faulkes (SnE 1998, I, 222, II, 404-5) suggests that stýra (stýrðu past inf.) here means ‘prepare’ although the verb is otherwise not attested in that meaning (see Fritzner: stýra; LP: stýra). Furthermore, stýra is regularly construed with a dat. object (see NS §102.e), and jól ‘yule-feast’ (l. 4) is n. acc. pl. (c) Skj B (and Skald) emends hilmi (m. dat. or acc. sg.) ‘the leader’ to hilmis (m. gen. sg.) qualifying hirð ‘retinue’ (l. 3), taken as f. acc. sg.: hykk hirð hilmis gerðu hugins jól translated as jeg ved, at kongens hird foranstaltede en fest for ravnen ‘I know that the king’s retinue prepared a feast for the raven’ (ll. 3-4). This reading entails an emendation that goes against all ms. witnesses and shifts the focus from Haraldr to his retinue. (d) Another possible reading would be hykk hirð gerðu hilmi jól Hugins ‘I believe the retinue prepared the yule-feast of Huginn (i.e. ‘carrion’) for the ruler’, but again, this interpretation destroys the otherwise consistently applied imagery of Haraldr preparing a feast for the beasts of battle.

texts: Mork 34, Skm 405 [1-4], H-Hr 131, SnE 407

editions: Skj Grani skáld: Digt om Harald hårdråde 2 (AI, 387; BI, 357); Skald I, 179; Mork 1867, 53, Mork 1928-32, 158-9, Andersson and Gade 2000, 196-7, 476 (MH); Fms 6, 254-5 (HSig ch. 49); SnE 1848-87, I, 524-5, II, 344, 462, 541, 608, SnE 1931, 184, SnE 1998, I, 103.


GKS 1009 fol (Mork) 9r, 8 - 9r, 8 (Mork)  image  image  image  
AM 66 fol (H) 44v - 44v (H-Hr)  image  image  image  image  
GKS 1010 fol (Hr) 32ra - 32ra (H-Hr)  image  
GKS 2367 4° (R) 40r, 7 - 40r, 8 [1-2] (SnE)  image  image  image  
Traj 1374x (Tx) 41v, 20 - 41v, 20 [1-2] (SnE)  image  
DG 11 (U) 37v, 13 - 37v, 13 [1-2] (SnE)  image  
AM 748 I b 4° (A) 15r, 28 - 15r, 30 [1-4] (SnE)  transcr.  image  image  
AM 757 a 4° (B) 6v, 20 - 6v, 21 [1-4] (SnE)  image  image  image  image  
AM 744 4°x (744x) 42r - 42v [1-4] (SnE)  image  
AM 748 II 4° (C) 9r, 26 - 9r, 27 [1-2] (SnE)  image  image  
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