Óláfr svartaskáld Leggsson (Ólsv)
13th century; volume 3; ed. R. D. Fulk;
1. Hákonardrápa (Hákdr) - 2
2. Skúladrápa (Skúldr) - 1
3. Kristsdrápa (Kristdr) - 2
4. Love poem (Love) - 3
IV. 5. Lausavísa (Lv) - 1
It is possible that Óláfr (Ólsv) was a nephew of the poet Játgeirr Torfason (SnE 1848-87, III, 681; SkP II, 652). In Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 279) he is identified as a poet attached to the court of King Hákon Hákonarson (r. 1217-63; see SkP II, lxxxi-lxxxii). His nickname svartaskáld ‘Black Skald’ no doubt was employed to distinguish him from his contemporary at Hákon’s court, Óláfr hvítaskáld ‘White Skald’ Þórðarson (Ólhv; see SkP II, 656), and presumably it indicates that he had dark hair. He plays a role in a narrative in Sturlunga saga (ch. 228) set in the period 1230-1 (see Stu 1988, I, 329-30). According to that saga, he was a poor man who was in the company of Snorri Sturluson’s son, Jón murtr ‘Roach’, in Bergen in 1231. During a drunken brawl he dealt Jón an axe-blow that led to Jón’s death. Óláfr managed to escape the scene of the crime under the cover of darkness and he was not punished. He is not mentioned again in any literary source. The remains of his poetry are almost all fragmentary: these include what appear to be drápur dedicated to King Hákon (Hákdr), to Christ (Kristdr), and to the Norwegian Skúli jarl Bárðarson (1189-1240) (Skúldr), as well as a love poem (Love); the one complete work is a lone lausavísa.
Love poem —
Kari Ellen Gade 2017, ‘ Óláfr svartaskáld Leggsson, Love poem’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 316. <https://skaldic.org/m.php?p=text&i=1332> (accessed 25 May 2022)
Skj: Óláfr Leggsson, svartaskáld: 4. Af et kærlighedsdigt (?) (AII, 85, BII, 97)
SkP info: III, 318
3 — Ólsv Love 3III
Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Óláfr svartaskáld Leggsson, Love poem 3’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 318.
|Kœnn njóti vel vænnar |
vinr minn konu sinnar
— víst esat dapr of drósir
drengr — ok eigi lengi.
Njóti kœnn vinr minn vænnar konu sinnar vel ok eigi lengi; víst esat drengr dapr of drósir.
May my wise friend enjoy his fair wife well and keep [her] for a long time; indeed, the man is not downcast on account of women.
texts: ‹TGT 49›,
editions: Skj Óláfr Þórðarson hvítaskáld: 5. Lausavísur 3 (AII, 98; BII, 110); Skald II, 58; SnE 1848-87, II, 130-1, 414, III, 145, TGT 1884, 20, 84, 198, TGT 1927, 60, 100.