Þorbjǫrn hornklofi (Þhorn)
9th century; volume 1; ed. R. D. Fulk;
1. Glymdrápa (Gldr) - 10
2. Haraldskvæði (Hrafnsmál) (Harkv) - 23
3. Lausavísa (Lv) - 1
Little is known about the Norwegian Þorbjǫrn hornklofi ‘Horn-cleaver (?)’. Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 253, 261, 273) names him as a poet of Haraldr hárfagri ‘Fair-hair’ (r. c. 860-c. 932). Judging from Fsk (ÍF 29, 59), he seems to have spent his whole life at the court of this king. Þorbjǫrn is the composer of two poems about Haraldr, Glymdrápa (Þhorn Gldr) and Haraldskvæði (Þhorn Harkv). Skálda saga, an anecdote about skalds preserved in Hb, and hardly likely to be historical, depicts him as one of three skalds, the other two being Auðunn illskælda ‘Bad-poet’ and Ǫlvir hnúfa ‘Snub-nose (?)’, each of whom attempts a romantic encounter with the same rich widow and then bemoans his failure in a lausavísa (see Auðunn Lv 2, Þhorn Lv, Ǫlv Lv 2). The three skalds are also named in Egils saga (ÍF 2, 19) as Haraldr’s favourites. They occupy places of honour in his hall, with Þorbjǫrn between the other two.
In the prose sources Þorbjǫrn is predominantly referred to only by his nickname Hornklofi. To date there is no satisfying explanation of this word. It is attested in the Þulur as a raven-heiti (see Þul Hrafns 1/5III and Note), but it does not occur in that sense in the surviving body of skaldic poetry. Scholars have claimed that the nickname refers to Þorbjǫrn’s device, in Þhorn Harkv, of having a raven speak in his stead (SnE 1848-87, III, 408; ÍF 26, 101 n. 1). Fidjestøl (1991, 126) is, however, justified in doubting this interpretation. An alternative possibility would be to link the nickname to Egill Hfl 16/6-7V (Eg 49): en jǫfurr heldr lǫndum hornklofi ‘and the ruler holds his lands by a hornklof’. But hornklofi here must be the dative of neuter hornklof, whereas Þorbjǫrn’s nickname is a masculine n-stem, and unfortunately the meaning of this passage is obscure, though hornklof seems to be some kind of tool.
Haraldskvæði (Hrafnsmál) —
R. D. Fulk 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Þorbjǫrn hornklofi, Haraldskvæði (Hrafnsmál)’ 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. 91.
Skj: Þórbjǫrn hornklofi: 2. Haraldskvæði (Hrafnsmál), Flere af de herhenhørende vers tillægges i forskellige håndskrifter Tjodolf hvinverske. (AI, 24-9, BI, 22-5)
SkP info: I, 113
19 — Þhorn Harkv 19I
Cite as: R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Þorbjǫrn hornklofi, Haraldskvæði (Hrafnsmál) 19’ 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. 113.
|‘Á gerðum sér þeira ok á gollbaugum,
at þeir eru í kunnleikum við konung:
feldum ráða þeir rauðum,
| fôðum rǫndum, |
sverðum silfrvǫfðum, serkjum hringofnum,
gyltum andfetlum ok grǫfnum hjǫlmum,
hringum handbærum, es þeim Haraldr valði.’
‘Sér á gerðum þeira ok á gollbaugum, at þeir eru í kunnleikum við konung: þeir ráða rauðum feldum, fôðum rǫndum, sverðum silfrvǫfðum, serkjum hringofnum, gyltum andfetlum ok grǫfnum hjǫlmum, hringum handbærum, es Haraldr valði þeim.’
‘One sees from their gear, and from their gold rings, that they are on friendly terms with the king: they possess red cloaks, painted shields, swords wrapped with silver [wires], mail-shirts woven with rings, gilded sword-straps and engraved helmets, rings, which Haraldr chose for them’.
Mss: 51ˣ(2v-3r), FskBˣ(3v), 302ˣ(5r), FskAˣ(9-10), 52ˣ(4v), 301ˣ(4r) (Fsk)
Readings:  gerðum: ‘georðum’ FskAˣ, 52ˣ, 301ˣ  feldum: ‘Oskioldum’ FskAˣ, 52ˣ, ok skjǫldum 301ˣ  fôðum rǫndum: vðum rǫndum 51ˣ, FskBˣ, 302ˣ, ok vel fagrrenduðum FskAˣ, 52ˣ, 301ˣ  and‑: ann‑ 51ˣ, 302ˣ, FskAˣ, 52ˣ, 301ˣ, an‑ FskBˣ  grǫfnum: so FskAˣ, 52ˣ, 301ˣ, grœnum 51ˣ, FskBˣ, 302ˣ  ‑bærum: ‑berum 302ˣ
Editions: Skj: Þórbjǫrn hornklofi, 2. Haraldskvæði (Hrafnsmál) 19: AI, 28, BI, 24-5, Skald I, 15-16, NN §3206; Fsk 1902-3, 10-11, ÍF 29, 63 (ch. 2); Möbius 1860, 230, Jón Helgason 1946, 139, Jón Helgason 1968, 20.
Context: As for st. 15.
Notes: [All]: The raven replies. — [4-11]: Here the metre changes from ljóðaháttr
to málaháttr. —  fôðum rǫndum ‘painted shields’: This is the emended reading proposed by von Friesen (1902, 69-71) and Kock (NN) on the basis of the FskB transcripts. It provides the necessary alliteration and good sense. Skj B, in accordance with the FskA transcripts, reads ok vel fagrrenduðum ‘and most beautifully striped’, in reference to the cloaks, as do Möbius (1860) and Fsk 1902-3 (the latter without ok). —  handbærum ‘worn on the arm’: Or perhaps ‘ready at hand’ (so CVC: handbærr).