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Runic Dictionary

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Þorleikr fagri (Þfagr)

11th century; volume 2; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

Flokkr about Sveinn Úlfsson (Sveinn) - 10

Þorleikr’s background is unknown. In 1051 he travelled from Iceland via Norway to Denmark to present a poem to Sveinn Úlfsson (ÍF 28, 113; ÍF 29, 253; Mork 1928-32, 161; Flat 1860-8, III, 338; Fms 6, 256). Both his name and his nickname fagri ‘the Fair’ indicate that he may have come from the family of the Laxdœlir (see Genealogy IIIa in ÍF 5; SnE 1848-87, III, 737-9; LH 1894-1901, I, 641-2). Þorleikr was a rather common name among the Laxdœlir (e.g. Þorleikr Hǫskuldsson and Þorleikr Bollason), and members of that family, such as Hǫskuldr Dala-Kollsson, Óláfr pá ‘Peacock’ Hǫskuldsson and Hallgerðr Hǫskuldsdóttir, were admired for their beauty (see ÍF 5, 14, 27; ÍF 12, 6-7). Þorleikr is listed in Skáldatal as one of the poets who eulogised Sveinn Úlfsson, and it is not said that he composed about any other dignitary or ruler (see SnE 1848-87, III, 258, 267, 283).

Flokkr about Sveinn Úlfsson — Þfagr SveinnII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘ Þorleikr fagri, Flokkr about Sveinn Úlfsson’ 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. 313-22. <> (accessed 23 January 2022)

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10 

Skj: Þórleikr fagri: En flokk om Sven Ulfssön, 1051 (AI, 396-9, BI, 365-8); stanzas (if different): 11 | 12 | 13

SkP info: II, 317

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

5 — Þfagr Sveinn 5II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Þorleikr fagri, Flokkr about Sveinn Úlfsson 5’ 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, p. 317.

Stýrir Ulfs til Elfar
óskmǫgr skipum fǫgrum,
sás hrækǫstu hæsta
hleðr í Gunnar veðri.
Skolla vé, þars vǫllu
vápnlauðri drífr rauðu,
(regn drepr Gauts í gǫgnum)
gullmerk*ð (Hôolfs serki).

{Óskmǫgr Ulfs}, sás hleðr hæsta hrækǫstu í {veðri Gunnar}, stýrir fǫgrum skipum til Elfar. Gullmerk*ð vé skolla, þars drífr vǫllu {rauðu vápnlauðri}; {regn Gauts} drepr í gǫgnum {serki Hôolfs}.

{Úlfr’s beloved son} [= Sveinn], who stacks the highest corpse-piles in {the storm of Gunnr <valkyrie>} [BATTLE], steers fair ships to the Götaälv. Gold-embroidered banners flutter where {red weapon-foam} [BLOOD] covers the fields; {the rain of Gautr <= Óðinn>} [ARROWS] hammers through {Hálfr’s <legendary king’s> shirts} [BYRNIES].

Mss: FskBˣ(71r), 51ˣ(64r) (Fsk)

Readings: [5] Skolla: so 51ˣ, ‘skollo’ FskBˣ    [8] gullmerk*ð Hôolfs: ‘gullmarkuð holfs’ FskBˣ, 51ˣ

Editions: Skj: Þórleikr fagri, En flokk om Sven Ulfssön 5: AI, 397-8, BI, 366, Skald I, 183; ÍF 29, 255 (ch. 55).

Context: As sts 2-4 above.

Notes: [6] drífr (3rd pers. sg. pres. indic.) ‘covers’: Drífa ‘fly, drift, cover’ is used impersonally with rauðu vápnlauðri (n. dat. sg.) ‘red weapon-foam’ (l. 6) as a dat. instr. and vǫllu (m. acc. pl.) ‘fields’ (l. 5) as an acc. of place. — [8] gullmerk*ð (n. nom. pl.) ‘gold-embroidered’: Merk- (rather than mark-) is determined by the internal rhyme, and the syllable - in gullmarkuð ‘gold-embroidered’ (so both mss) is secondary. It must have been added to achieve a l. with six syllables. The metre requires a disyllabic word in positions 1-2 with the hiatus word Holfs ‘Hálfr’s’, which had not yet been syncopated (cf. the later ms. form ‘holfs’; so both mss), in positions 3-4. — [8] serki Hôolfs ‘Hálfr’s <legendary king’s> shirts [BYRNIES]’: Hálfr was a legendary warrior king (see Hálfs saga ok Hálfsrekka (Hálf), especially chs 12-13).

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