This interface will soon cease to be publicly available. Use the new interface instead. Click here to switch over now.

Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

login: password: stay logged in: help

Hallar-Steinn (HSt)

12th century; volume 1; ed. Rolf Stavnem;

1. Rekstefja (Rst) - 35

Skj info: Hallar-Steinn, Islandsk skjald, 12. årh. (AI, 543-53, BI, 525-35).

Skj poems:
1. Rekstefja
2. a. Af et digt om en kvinde
2. b. Af et digt om Skáldhelgi(?)

Nothing is known about this skald (HSt) except what can be deduced from his nickname, which has been identified with the farm-name Höll, in Þverárhlíð, Mýrasýsla, western Iceland (Finnur Jónsson 1907, 185), and from the poetry attributed to him. His main extant work is the drápa Rekstefja (HSt Rst), whose ambitious praise of Óláfr Tryggvason might well point to Iceland at the end of the twelfth century or somewhat later (see Skj, and Introduction to the poem below). Hallar-Steinn has been identified (e.g. by Wisén 1886-9, I, 143) with the eleventh-century poet Steinn Herdísarson (SteinnII), but this is implausible. HSt Frag 1, of uncertain origin but probably attributable to this poet, may also commemorate Óláfr Tryggvason, while HSt Frag 2-5III represent a love-lorn poet. These fragments are preserved only in treatises on poetics and grammar, and are therefore edited in SkP III, as are two further fragments, HSt Frag 6-7III.

Rekstefja (‘Split-refrain’) — HSt RstI

Rolf Stavnem 2012, ‘ Hallar-Steinn, Rekstefja’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 893. <> (accessed 28 January 2022)

 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33   34   35 

Skj: Hallar-Steinn: 1. Rekstefja (AI, 543-52, BI, 525-34); stanzas (if different): 3 | 4 | 5

SkP info: I, 930

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

29 — HSt Rst 29I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Rolf Stavnem (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallar-Steinn, Rekstefja 29’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 930.

Dáðstyrk dýrðar merki
dolgminnigs skalk inna
skýbjóðs skelfihríðar
Skǫglar borðs in fjorðu.
Harðleygs hrinda frôgum
hvatlyndum Þorkatli
styrlund* stirðra branda
storms fyr borð af Ormi.

Skalk inna in fjorðu dáðstyrk merki dýrðar {dolgminnigs {{{Skǫglar borðs} skelfihríðar} ský}bjóðs}. Frôgum {{{{stirðra branda storms} harðleygs} styr}lund*} hrinda hvatlyndum Þorkatli fyr borð af Ormi.

I will present the fourth deed-strong sign of glory {of the strife-mindful offerer {of the cloud {of the terrifying storm {of the board of Skǫgul <valkyrie>}}}} [(lit. ‘cloud-offerer of the terrifying storm of the board of Skǫgul’) SHIELD > BATTLE > SHIELD > WARRIOR]. We [I] have heard that {the tree {of the tumult {of the hard flame {of the storm of rigid blades}}}} [(lit. ‘tumult-tree of the hard flame of the storm of rigid blades’) BATTLE > SWORD > BATTLE > WARRIOR] threw the bold-minded Þorkell overboard from Ormr (‘the Serpent’).

Mss: Bb(112rb); 61(64rb), 53(61vb), 54(59ra), Bb(94vb), Flat(62rb) (ÓT)

Readings: [1] Dáðstyrk: so 61, 53, 54, Flat, dreyrserks Bb(112rb), ‘daðstvrk’ Bb(94vb)    [2] dolg‑: so all others, dáð‑ Bb(112rb);    ‑minnigs: ‑mennings 54, Bb(94vb), ‘‑mennis’ Flat;    skalk: fetk all others    [3] skelfi‑: skjalfa 53, skelfur Flat;    ‑hríðar: so all others, ‘ridar’ Bb(112rb)    [5] Harðleygs hrinda frôgum: hart skyndir nam hrinda 61, 53, 54, Bb(94vb), hoddskyndi frá hrinda Flat    [6] ‑lyndum: skyndum 54, lyndr Flat    [7] styrlund*: styrlundr all;    stirðra: so 61, 53, ‘stidra’ Bb(112rb), stríðra 54, Bb(94vb), Flat    [8] storms: storm 53;    af: á 61, 53, Bb(94vb)

Editions: Skj: Hallar-Steinn, 1. Rekstefja 29: AI, 550-1, BI, 532, Skald I, 259, NN §§1181, 3239; ÓT 1958-2000, II, 232-3 (ch. 238), Flat 1860-8, I, 466; SHI 3, 262-5, CPB II, 299, Wisén 1886-9, I, 49, Finnur Jónsson 1893b, 164, Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 274-6.

Context: One of Óláfr’s retainers, Þorkell dyðrill ‘Cloak’, is curious about the king’s whereabouts, as he leaves the ship every night. As a good-natured punishment Óláfr throws him overboard but drags him immediately back on board.

Notes: [All]: The tale about Óláfr and Þorkell dyðrill is narrated in Anon Ól as well as in ÓT 1958-2000, II, 231-6 and ÓTOdd (ÍF 25, 267-70); see Introduction to Anon Ól for a summary. — [All]: Each helmingr contains an extended warrior-kenning which duplicates a referent (‘shield’ in the first and ‘battle’ in the second). — [1, 2] dáðstyrk ... dolgminnigs ‘deed-strong ... strife-mindful’: (a) The ÓT reading adj. dáðstyrk ‘deed-strong’ in l. 1 qualifies merki ‘sign(s)’, and styrk : merki produce a regular skothending. The ÓT reading adj. dolgminnigs ‘strife-mindful’ in l. 2 qualifies the warrior-kenning. (b) The readings of the continuous Bb text, dreyrserks ‘of the blood-shirt, mail-shirt’ and dáðminnigs ‘deed-mindful’, could possibly make sense if taken together as ‘deed-mindful of the blood-shirt’, i.e. intent on great deeds in battle, with ‘mail-shirt’ as a metonym for battle. However, this is stylistically improbable. The reading ‑serks produces an aðalhending on merki, which is less regular in an odd line, though also possible. — [1, 4] in fjorðu merki ‘the fourth sign’: In st. 25 we hear of Óláfr performing two feats simultaneously, and in sts 26-8 of how he saved a man. These are possibly counted by the skald as three signs or miracles, to which a fourth is now added. The phrase is grammatically pl. — [2] skalk ‘I will’: The ÓT reading, preferred in Skj B and Skald, is fetk ‘I make my way, manage’, which can also function as an auxiliary verb. — [5-8]: There are significant divergences between the versions of the second helmingr (cf. Readings), though the meaning they produce is roughly the same. Finnur Jónsson in Skj B (followed in essentials in Skald) construes the ÓT version as follows: stórlyndr skunduðr [ms. skyndir] storms stirðra branda nam hrinda hart hvatlyndum Þórkatli fyr borð af Ormi ‘the noble hastener of the storm of rigid blades [BATTLE > WARRIOR] sharply threw the quick-minded Þorkell overboard from Ormr’. As in the first helmingr, the kenning structure is simpler because ÓT has an adj., here stórlyndr ‘noble, great-minded’, where Bb(112rb) has a noun cpd (styrlundr, l. 7; see Note). — [6] Þorkatli ‘Þorkell’: See Context and Note to [All] above. — [7] styrlund* ‘the tree of the tumult (lit. ‘tumult-tree’)’: This edn follows Konráð Gíslason (1895-7) in emending the Bb(112rb) reading styrlundr to the acc. sg. form -lund which is necessary to produce an inf. with acc. construction with (frôgum) hrinda, lit. ‘(we [I] have heard) to throw’. — [8] Ormi ‘Ormr (“the Serpent”)’: See Note to st. 18/2.

© Skaldic Project Academic Body, unless otherwise noted. Database structure and interface developed by Tarrin Wills. All users of material on this database are reminded that its content may be either subject to copyright restrictions or is the property of the custodians of linked databases that have given permission for members of the skaldic project to use their material for research purposes. Those users who have been given access to as yet unpublished material are further reminded that they may not use, publish or otherwise manipulate such material except with the express permission of the individual editor of the material in question and the General Editor of the volume in which the material is to be published. Applications for permission to use such material should be made in the first instance to the General Editor of the volume in question. All information that appears in the published volumes has been thoroughly reviewed. If you believe some information here is incorrect please contact Tarrin Wills with full details.