Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Halldórr skvaldri (Hskv)

12th century; volume 2; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

3. Haraldsdrápa (Hardr) - 5

Skj info: Haldórr skvaldri, Islandsk skjald, 12. årh. (AI, 485-9, BI, 457-61).

Skj poems:
1. Útfararkviða
2. Útfarardrápa
3. Haraldsdrápa

Halldórr skvaldri (Hskv) is otherwise unknown. True to his nickname, skvaldri ‘Prattler’, Halldórr is said to have composed about numerous rulers and noblemen, but little of that poetry has been preserved. According to Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 252, 254-5, 258, 260, 262-3, 267, 272, 276-7, 283), he commemorated the following persons: Sóni Ívarsson, jarl of Götaland (c. 1100), King Magnús berfœttr ‘Barelegs’ Óláfsson of Norway (d. 1103) and his sons, King Sigurðr jórsalafari ‘Jerusalem-farer’ (d. 1130) and King Haraldr gilli(-kristr) ‘Servant (of Christ)’ (d. 1136), King Eiríkr eymuni ‘the Long-remembered’ of Denmark (d. 1137), the Swed. jarl Karl Sónason (c. 1140), King Sørkvir Kolsson of Sweden (c. 1150), King Ingi Haraldsson of Norway (d. 1161) and the Swed. jarl Jón Sørkvisson. See SnE 1848-87, III, 367-70. What survives of Halldórr’s poetic oeuvre are two poems about Sigurðr jórsalafari (Hskv Útkv, 1 st.; Hskv Útdr, 12 sts) one poem about Haraldr gilli (Hskv Hardr, 5 sts), and a fragment of an encomium (Hskv FragIII), which has been edited in SkP III.

Haraldsdrápa (‘Drápa about Haraldr’) — Hskv HardrII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Halldórr skvaldri, Haraldsdrápa’ 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. 493-6.

 1   2   3   4   5 

Skj: Haldórr skvaldri: 3. Haraldsdrápa, O. 1137 (AI, 488-9, BI, 460-1)

SkP info: II, 494-5

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

3 — Hskv Hardr 3II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Halldórr skvaldri, Haraldsdrápa 3’ 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. 494-5.

Ásbjǫrn varð, sás orðum
illa helt of stilli,
— gramr fœðir val víða
vígs — í Sarp at stíga.
Nereið lét gramr á grimman
grandmeið Sigars fjanda
(húsþinga galt) hengja
(hrannbáls glǫtuðr mála).

Ásbjǫrn, sás helt illa orðum of stilli, varð at stíga í Sarp; gramr fœðir {val vígs} víða. Gramr lét hengja Nereið á {grimman grandmeið {fjanda Sigars}}; {glǫtuðr {hrannbáls}} galt mála húsþinga.

Ásbjǫrn, who kept poor control of his words about the ruler, had to plunge into Sarpfossen; the lord feeds {the falcon of slaughter} [RAVEN/EAGLE] far and wide. The lord had Nereiðr hanged on {the grim harm-tree {of Sigarr’s <legendary king’s> enemy}} [= Hagbarðr > GALLOWS]; {the destroyer {of wave-fire}} [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN] paid for his speeches at the assemblies.

Mss: (631r), 39(41vb), F(67va), E(48r), J2ˣ(338r), 42ˣ(33r) (Hkr); H(114r), Hr(75rb) (H-Hr)

Readings: [2] of: so 39, F, E, J2ˣ, 42ˣ, H, við Kˣ, Hr    [4] vígs: víg 39    [6] fjanda: branda F    [7] hengja: hringa 42ˣ    [8] hrannbáls: ‘hrandals’ 42ˣ, hrafnbáls H;    glǫtuðr: so all others, glǫtuð Kˣ

Editions: Skj: Haldórr skvaldri, 3. Haraldsdrápa 3: AI, 489, BI, 461, Skald I, 226; ÍF 28, 283-4 (MbHg ch. 4), Andersson and Gade 2000, 362, F 1871, 312, E 1916, 167; Fms 7, 181 (MbHg ch. 6).

Context: After returning to Norway from Denmark, Haraldr executed two of Magnús’s district chieftains in Sarpsborg.

Notes: [2] of ‘about’: So the majority of the mss. The variant reading við ‘to’ (so , Hr) changes the meaning of the sentence somewhat: sás helt illa orðum við stilli ‘who kept poor control of his words to the ruler’, i.e. he failed to keep his promises (ll. 1-2). The ms. witnesses show that this variant is secondary. — [4] í Sarp ‘into Sarpfossen’: This is a large waterfall in the town of Sarpsborg, south-eastern Norway. According to Hkr, Ásbjǫrn got the choice of being hanged or plunging into the waterfall, and he chose the latter because he found that mode of death more cruel. — [5-6] á grimman grandmeið fjanda Sigars ‘on the grim harm-tree of Sigarr’s <legendary king’s> enemy [= Hagbarðr > GALLOWS]’: For a similar kenning, also employing the adj. grimmr ‘grim’, see Eyv Hál 4/5I. — [6] fjanda Sigars ‘of Sigarr’s enemy [= Hagbarðr]’: King Sigarr hanged Hagbarðr, the lover of his daughter Signý (see Saxo 2005, I, 7, 1-17, pp. 464-77). — [7] mála húsþinga ‘speeches at the assemblies’: Lit. ‘speeches of house-assemblies’. For húsþing, see Note to Gísl Magnkv 4/2.

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