Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

VII. Brúðkaupsvísur (Brúðv) - 33

not in Skj

Brúðkaupsvísur (‘Vísur about a Wedding’) — Anon BrúðvVII

Valgerður Erna Þorvaldsdóttir 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Brúðkaupsvísur’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 527-53.

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SkP info: VII, 527-53

notes: Jǫfur gefi upphaf

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files

 

1 Jöfurr giefi upphaf
óðar, sá er skóp þjóð,
ella verðr orðfall
aldar; er hans traust vald.
Æsta vil eg yðr, Krist
(einn stýrðu gramr hreinn
sólar) um satt mál
(salar, hvað eg kveða skal).
May the prince of men [= God], who created people, provide the beginning of the poem, else there will be a lack of words; his power is firm. I want to ask you, Christ, for true speech; pure king of the sun’s hall [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)], govern alone what I shall compose.
2 Meira veiti oss ör*
ágæt*, en eg beðið fá,
fyrða, sú er fremst er,
fullting dróttning,
því að ljóða lofsmíð
ljóssi — það er skylt oss —
vanda skal eg vita grund
vazta, sem eg kann bazt.
May the splendid, generous queen of men [= Mary], who is the most outstanding, grant us [me] more help than I can ask for, because I will carefully make the praise-work of poetry for the bright land of the beacon of the fishing-grounds [GOLD > WOMAN] as best I can; that is our [my] duty.
3 Út gjörðiz atburðr
einnhverr um framan svein
í heimi — horskr maðr
hölda má sá við fjöld*
þar er mildi mærðvalds
móðir lýsti huggóð
dýra, sú er dýrst er,
drótta við sig*-Þrótt.
A certain event concerning an outstanding youth took place abroad [lit. out in the world] — that wise man can withstand a multitude of men — where the kind-hearted mother of the glory-ruler of mankind [= God (= Christ) > = Mary], who is the most noble one, manifested precious mercy to the battle-Þróttr <= Óðinn> [WARRIOR].
4 Sveinninn óx þar upp einn
— ágætr var maðr sjá
hittir og hans ætt
hringa — með virðing.
Ærir áttu auð fjár
atgeirs mikinn þeir,
er reyðar rannskíðs
rennis váru ættmenn.
The youth grew up alone there with honour; that finder of rings [MAN] was a fine man, as was his family. Those messengers of the halberd [WARRIORS], who were kinsmen of the propeller of the ski of the house of the rorqual [(lit. ‘propeller of the house-ski of the rorqual’) SEA > SHIP > SEAFARER], had great wealth of money.
5 Bríma þýðiz bóknám
brauta með siða skraut
æsir, þá er ungr var,
ögurs og guðs lög.
Bæði gjörðiz bókfróðr
beiðir, er skamt leið,
röðuls — var hann raunsviðr —
rastar og trúfastr.
The flinger of the fire of the roads of the redfish [SEA > GOLD > GENEROUS MAN] embraces book-learning and God’s laws with the ornament of good conduct when he was young. The demander of the sun of the current [GOLD > MAN] became both book-wise and firm of faith after a short while; he was trulywise.
6 Æstri unni meyju mest
Máríu siðknár,
og mætri sig snót
sjálfan gaf, bóka álmr.
Húfa vandiz hreint líf
halda vel skíð-Baldr
(brúða hiet því brandrjóðr
blóma) með sveindóm.
The well-behaved elm-tree of books [MAN] loved most the highest Virgin, Mary, and gave himself to the glorious woman. The Baldr <god> of the plank of hulls [(lit. ‘plank-Baldr of hulls’) SHIPS > SEAFARER] was accustomed to follow fully a chaste life with virginity; the sword-reddener [WARRIOR] promised it to the flower of brides [= Mary].
7 Sviftir framdi saung oft
— svá höfum spurt frá —
linna til lofs enn
Lista við höll Krist,
því að tíðir blikbjóðr
brúði með ástúð
fjarðar, þeirri er fremst er,
fagrar saung hvern dag.
The hurler of the Lista of snakes [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN] still often performed a song in praise of the hall of Christ [= Mary] — so we [I] have heard tell —, because the giver of the gleam of the fjord [(lit. ‘gleam-giver of the fjord’) GOLD > GENEROUS MAN] sang beautiful services with love each day, for the bride who is the most outstanding.
8 Hlakkar gjörðiz hugþekkr
herðir (sem gietið verðr)
snotr fyrir sinn hátt
(síðar í bragsmíð),
því að dýrum dólg-Freyr
dáðum prýddi sitt ráð,
en lasta, vel víst,
vansa firðiz líf hans.
The wise promoter of battle [WARRIOR] became endeared for his conduct, as will be mentioned later in the poem, because the battle-Freyr <god> [WARRIOR] certainly adorned well his way of life with noble deeds, and his life was kept from the disgrace of vices.
9 Lýðir hvöttu lyngbjóð
laungum á kvánfaung,
en súða snarmeiðr
sóta vara þess fljótr.
Faxa játti Freyr loks
fjarðar, er þá varð
frænda, við flein-Þund,
fíkjum um það vili ríkr.
People repeatedly urged the heather-giver [GENEROUS MAN] to marriage, but the bold tree of the horse of planking [SHIP > SEAFARER] was not ready for that. The Freyr <god> of the maned one of the fjord [SHIP > SEAFARER] consented finally to the spear-Þundr <= Óðinn> [WARRIOR], when a very strong wish of [his] kinsmen then was for it.
10 Síðan var fest, fljóð
— færri þótti betr — mær
með auði ilrjóð
ara, því að göfugt var.
Drótt fekk að boði brátt,
— beimum óx gleði þeim —
skata því að skýr snót,
skilið, hugði gott til.
A maiden was then betrothed to the footsole-reddener of the eagle [WARRIOR] with wealth; few [lit. fewer] were thought better, for the woman was noble. People soon parted at the feast; good cheer increased for those men, because the bright woman of the man was well pleased with this.
11 Rekka bjóz fúss flokkr
fara, sá er boðið var,
til brullaups brynsvells
beiðis og kom á leið.
Enn kunni hann saung sinn,
(seima) á degi þeim
tíða var ei greitt gáð
(gætir hafði dvalið mætr).
The eager party of men who were invited prepared to go to the wedding feast of the demander of the mail-coat ice [SWORD > WARRIOR] and set off on their way. He still performed his chanting on that day; the excellent guardian of gold [MAN] had tarried; his devotions were [lit. was] not readily heeded.
12 Kirkju sótti krossmarks
kennir, en brúðmenn
byggvis skyldu byrviggs
bíða, unz hann lyki tíð.
Höfgi rann á segg sýnn;
sofa gjörði stund þá
byrjar, er á bæn var,
blakkþollr gieðrakkr.
The knower of the sign [HOLY MAN] of the cross attended church, but the groomsmen of the inhabitant of the wind-horse [SHIP > SEAFARER] had to wait until he finished his devotions. An evident drowsiness came over the man, who was at prayer; the mind-bold tree of the horse of the wind [(lit. ‘horse-tree of the wind’) SHIP > SEAFARER] then did sleep for a while.
13 Vitraz honum sæl snót
sýnum var hun ófrýn
við keyri kafþjórs
kænum, er hann svaf á bæn.
En heilög hring-Sól
heiðar þótti vera reið
— randa leiz svá róg-Þund —
röðuls og óglöð.
The blessed woman appears to the skilful driver of the ox of the deep [SHIP > SEAFARER] as he slept during prayer; she was seemingly frowning at him. But the holy Sól <goddess> of the ring of the heath of the sun [(lit. ‘ring-Sól of the heath of the sun’) SKY/HEAVEN > SUN > = Mary] seemed to be angry and unhappy; so it appeared to the Þundr <= Óðinn> of the strife of shields [(lit. ‘strife-Þundr of shields’) BATTLE > WARRIOR].
14 Svanna spurði sól-Njörðr
sunda á þá lund:
‘Hví sætir hrygð sjá?
Hnossa, segðu, Skögul oss!’
Vera liet vegskorð
víkelds því oflík
svarað, því er sagt er,
seiða við gulls meið.
The Njörðr <god> of the sun of the straits [(lit. ‘sun-Njörðr of the straits’) GOLD > MAN] asked the woman in this way: ‘What is the reason for this sadness? Tell us [me], Skögul <valkyrie> of costly things [WOMAN]!’ The unique, noble prop of the fire of the bay of coal-fish [(lit. ‘prop of the bay-fire of coal-fish’) SEA > GOLD > WOMAN] let that [question] be answered to the tree of gold [MAN] with that which will be told.
15 ‘Branda, ertu brigðlyndr
beðjar, og lausgeðr,
snyrtir’, kvað snót björt,
‘seiða, em eg þier reið!
Hristir, viltu lag* laust
láta, því em ókát,
mána, við mig, túns
Meita, og hryggleit.
‘Polisher of the fires of the bed of coal-fish [SEA > GOLD > MAN], you are fickle-minded and slack-willed!’ said the splendid woman, ‘I am angry with you! Shaker of the moon of the meadow of Meiti <sea-king> [SEA > GOLD > GENEROUS MAN], you want to forsake my company, therefore I am unhappy and sad-looking.
16 ‘Skuldar máttu, ský-Baldr,
skilja — eru sakir til
sárar — þótt sie mier
sorgir í hugar borg.
Væn hugðumz vera þín
vinmær allkær,
báru, en þú bregðz mier
bálruðr, um það mál.
‘You can understand, Baldr <god> of the cloud of Skuld <valkyrie> [(lit. ‘cloud-Baldr of Skuld’) SHIELD > WARRIOR], seeing that I have cares in the stronghold of the mind [BREAST]; grievous offences are the cause. I thought I was your beautiful, very dear beloved maiden, but you deceive me, bush of the flame of the wave [(lit. ‘flame-bush of the wave’) GOLD > MAN], in that matter.
17 ‘Renna tekr rækt þín,
rauðbliks, við mig,
(hví sætir) hlynr (það)
hranna, en eg þier ann.
Hefjaz liet eg þín þrif;
þú hafnar mier nú;
ástum leiðir auðlistr
aðra; ertu að því saðr.
‘Your affection for me begins to dissolve, maple of the red gleam of the waves [GOLD > MAN], but I love you; what is the reason for that? I caused your prosperity to begin; you reject me now; you, wealth-skilful one, love another; you are convicted of that.
18 ‘Vingun muna vera leingr
— veld eg því eigi að heldr —
og eyðaz ástúð,
okkr svá mun fara loks,
nema eina auð-Rán
aðra látir nú í stað,
hristir þá er hafið fest,
hnossa, en munið oss.
‘The friendship will not last [any] longer and affection will come to nothing; I do not cause it either; in the end it will turn out like that for us, unless you forsake that one other gold-Rán <goddess> [WOMAN] here and now, to whom you have betrothed yourself, shaker of treasures [GENEROUS MAN], and remember us [me].
19 ‘Hvess kunnið *ier oss?
Aldri hefi eg, gunntjalds
snyrtir, við þig sakir gjört
siða nie afbrigð.
Ástum vilda eg allfast,
íðvandr lagar skíðs
hrærir, því að hugað er mier,
að halda við þig um aldr.
‘What do you blame us [me] for? Never have I, polisher of the battle-awning [SHIELD > WARRIOR], committed any offence against you nor a transgression against the faith. I wanted to keep on loving you very firmly for ever, meticulous mover of the ski of the sea [SHIP > SEAFARER], for I am concerned.
20 ‘Biðja vil eg yðr enn
elsku, meðan boðið dvelz,
stýrir, ef stoðar mier,
stagþjórs, og vinlags.
Betri mun eigi falds fit
finnaz þier vinr minn
hæfa nein heldr víf
hittaz, þóttu farir vítt.’
‘I want to ask you in addition for love and friendship, steerer of the ox of the fore-stay [SHIP > SEAFARER], while the feast is delayed, if that is of any use to me. A wife will not suit you, a better meadow of the head-dress [WOMAN] [will not] be found, my friend, on the contrary none will be met, although you travel widely.’
21 Nýtust hvarf burt björg
borða við slík orð,
en augum álmþollr
unda brá þá í sundr.
Skauta hugði álmr að
ára, það er fyrir bar,
og reyni sú sýn
sverða þótti mikils verð.
The most beneficial deliverance of tables [= Mary] disappeared at these words, but the elm-tree of wounds [WARRIOR] then opened his eyes. The elm of the sheets of the oars [SHIPS > SEAFARER] thought about that which had appeared and that vision seemed of great value to the trier of swords [WARRIOR].
22 Hyrjar nam hvata ferð
hranna eftir draum þann
lýtir, en láðbrjótr
linna kvaddi flokk sinn:
‘Brullaups gjöriz brátt fall;
beimar skulu fara heim;
skjótt hefir skipaz mitt
skap; e*mka eg þó dapr’.
The destroyer of the fire of the waves [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN] began to hasten his journey after that dream, and the breaker of the land of snakes [(lit. ‘land-breaker of snakes’) GOLD > GENEROUS MAN] addressed his party: ‘A cancellation of the wedding feast is happening suddenly; men must go home; my mind has changed quickly, yet I am not sad’.
23 ‘Þetta hæfir þier trautt;
þú gjöriz viltr nú,
gjóða, mun svá giefaz yðr
grennir’, kváðu brúðmenn.
‘Virðaz mun sjá fira ferð
fráleit, ef þú gjörir svá,
Gautr, ef þú glepr, mætr
gullstaups, brullaup.’
‘This hardly suits you; now you have gone astray; so it will turn out for you, feeder of ospreys [WARRIOR]’, said the groomsmen. ‘This journey of men will seem very bad, if you do so, excellent Gautr <= Óðinn> of the golden cup [MAN], if you confound the wedding feast.’
24 Byskupsttu fund fljótt
ferðir, sem gietið verðr,
með blíðum brynmeiðs
bjóði, hvie þar fór,
því að væntu vinir brátt
vígtungls boða ungs,
að bætir vel vitr
vansa snyri skapi hans.
The crowds quickly sought a meeting with the bishop along with the kind offerer of the byrnie-stick [SWORD > WARRIOR], as will be told, how that turned out there, because the friends of the young messenger of the battle-moon [SHIELD > WARRIOR] expected that the amply wise amender of disgrace [BISHOP] would soon change his [the young man’s] mind.
25 Byskup frietti brimlogs
að því meginbrátt:
‘Hví ertu, hlynr, svá
hverforðr, góins láðs?’
Seggr liet eigi seinn að
svara, því er spurt var:
‘Einglum er sú drós, dreingr,
dýrri, er eg gat fyrr’.
The bishop asked the surf-flame [GOLD > ?] about it very soon: ‘Why are you so fickle in words, maple of the land of the snake [GOLD > MAN]?’ The man was not slow in answering what was asked: ‘The lady whom I mentioned before, sir, is more precious than angels’.
26 ‘Haltu, sem hefir mælt,
hvert orð, meðan lífs ert,
hirðir’, kvað happ-Njörðr,
‘hringa, við dróttning.
Betri mun þier vera vitr
— víst hyggjum það — Krist
— ástin hennar má mest —
móðir en hvert fljóð.’
‘Keep every word that you have said to the queen while you are alive, keeper of rings [MAN]’ said the luck-Njörðr <god> [MAN]. ‘The wise mother of Christ [= Mary] will be kinder towards you than any woman; her love may achieve the most; we think that for certain.’
27 Síðan náði sverðrjóðr
— sveinninn girntiz vera einn —
— skildiz hann við fira fjöld —
fara, þar er auðn var.
Hæstri unni höll Krists
helga sig lagar elgs
hei…, unz önd liet;
endar þar manns sögu kendr.
Afterwards the sword-reddener [WARRIOR] managed to go where there was wilderness; he parted from the multitude of men; the youth wanted to be alone. The … of the elk of the sea [SHIP > SEAFARER], belonging to the highest hall of Christ [= Mary], loved to make himself holy, until he gave up life; there the man’s story ends.
28 Oftar vil eg yðarn kraft
inna — það er vili minn —
— vita skulu víf kát —
víða í bragsmíð,
ef landa (líf) stund
ljós veitir gramr oss
máttugr (eða málsgnótt
mín tjár sonar þín).
I want to tell more often of your power, far and wide, in a work of poetry — that is my will; cheerful women shall know —, if the mighty king of lands [= God] grants us [me] time, or my clear eloquence relates the life of your son.
29 Traust verðr mær mest
mönnum og líkn sönn,
og ið hæsta hald víst,
hverjum sem þörf er.
Ætti þier öll drótt
unna fyrir miskunn;
þínar hafa þess raun
þjóðir; ertu firum góð.
The maiden will be to men the greatest protection and true comfort and certainly the noblest support, for whoever has a need. All people should love you for your mercy; your peoples have experience of it; you are kind to men.
30 Aldri láttu, mær mild,
mig, ef eg bið þig,
fyrir víti var ljót
verða með svikaferð.
Því æsti eg þig trausts;
þú hjálp mier við nú,
seggja — em eg Drótt dygg,
djarfastr — er eg mjög þarf.
Never let me, gentle maiden, become a shelter for hideous sins with multitudes of deceits, if I petition you. Therefore I ask you for support; help me now, when I need [it] greatly; I am very arrogant, faithful Drótt <queen> of men [= Mary].
31 Máría, styrktu mig, dýr,
— mundu það göfugt sprund —
— mildi lýstu margföld
merki — til góðs verks,
svá að hreinsun hugar míns
hljóti eg með yfirbót
lasta; eru laun mest
ljóða fyrir kveðinn óð.
Precious Mary, assist me to [do] a good deed — remember that, noble woman; reveal the manifold signs of mercy —, so that I may get purification of my mind through atonement for sins; rewards for poems are greatest for a poem [that has been] recited.
32 Guðs æsti menn mest
móður, að hun dugi þjóð,
(fyrir ljóða líkn kær)
liðs (hjálpar mier), við.
Jésús veitir ágætr
alt giengi því ávalt;
heilög er snót sæl
sú; það er vís raun.
Men should ask God’s mother [= Mary] most for aid, that she will lend support to people; the beloved one helps me because of the comfort of poems. Magnificent Jesus therefore always grants all success; that is a certain fact; that blessed lady is holy.
33 Oss bjargi Jésús;
ógnframr himins gramr
dýrðar láti vár orð
endaz, meðan veröld stendr,
svá að heim á degi dóms
dróttinn í unaðs gnótt
ýta laði ágætr
alla; það er bragar fall.
May Jesus save us; may the ruler of heaven, outstanding [= God] in battle, make our words of glory last as long as the world exists, so that the magnificent Lord may invite all men home to abundance of joy on Judgement Day; that is the end of the poem.
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