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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Valgarðr á Velli (Valg)

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

Poem about Haraldr harðráði (Har) - 11

Skj info: Valgarðr á Velli, Islandsk skjald, 11. årh. (AI, 390-3, BI, 360-3).

Skj poems:
Et digt om Harald hårdråde

Nothing is known about Valgarðr (Valg), but his nickname (á Velli ‘at Völlur’) indicates that he could have belonged to the family of Mǫrðr Valgarðsson from Völlur (Rangársýsla) in southern Iceland (see Brennu-Njáls saga, ÍF 12, passim; SnE 1848-87, III, 605-6; LH 1894-1901, I, 637-8). Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 254, 262, 275) lists him among Haraldr Sigurðarson’s court poets.

Poem about Haraldr harðráði — Valg HarII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Valgarðr á Velli, Poem about Haraldr harðráði’ 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. 300-10.

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Skj: Valgarðr á Velli: Et digt om Harald hårdråde (AI, 390-3, BI, 360-3)

SkP info: II, 305-6

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

6 — Valg Har 6II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Valgarðr á Velli, Poem about Haraldr harðráði 6’ 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. 305-6.

Eik slǫng und þér, yngvi
ógnblíðr, í haf síðan
— rétt vas yðr of ætlat
óðal — frá Svíþjóðu.
Hýnd bar rif, þars rennduð
rétt á stag fyr slétta,
skeið, en skelkðuð brúðir,
Skáney, Dǫnum nánar.

Síðan slǫng eik und þér í haf frá Svíþjóðu, ógnblíðr yngvi; rétt óðal vas of ætlat yðr. Skeið bar hýnd rif, þars rennduð rétt á stag fyr slétta Skáney, en skelkðuð brúðir nánar Dǫnum.

Then the oak-ship sped beneath you into the ocean away from Sweden, battle-rejoicing lord; lawful inheritance awaited you. The warship carried a sail hoisted high where you scudded straight ahead past flat Skåne, and you scared women closely related to the Danes.

Mss: (532r-v), 39(21rb), F(44ra), E(13r), J2ˣ(264r) (Hkr); FskBˣ(64v), FskAˣ(244) (Fsk); Mork(3r) (Mork); Flat(194rb) (Flat); H(29r), Hr(21rb) (H-Hr)

Readings: [2] í haf: so 39, F, E, FskBˣ, FskAˣ, Mork, Flat, H, Hr, undir þér Kˣ, J2ˣ    [3] vas (‘var’): varð FskBˣ;    ætlat: so all others, ‘ætloð’ Kˣ    [5] Hýnd bar rif þars: ‘h[…]’ Mork;    Hýnd: hund Flat;    rif: ríks Hr;    þars (‘þar er’): þá er Flat, þar Hr;    rennduð: reynduð 39, E, renndu FskBˣ, FskAˣ, renndi Mork, H, Hr, ‘reyðí’ Flat    [6] stag: slag 39, stig E;    slétta: sléttu FskAˣ    [7] skeið en skelkðuð brúðir: ‘skelkur en | skeidr | brudir’ Hr;    skeið: skeiðr FskBˣ, Mork, Flat, H;    skelkðuð: so FskBˣ, Mork, H, skelkðu Kˣ, 39, F, E, J2ˣ, FskAˣ, ‘skeldud’ Flat;    brúðir: ‘[…]’ Mork    [8] Skáney Dǫnum nánar: ‘[…]’ Mork;    nánar: vánir F, ‘vanar’ H

Editions: Skj: Valgarðr á Velli, Et digt om Harald hårdråde 6: AI, 391-2, BI, 361, Skald I, 181; ÍF 28, 92-3 (HSig ch. 19), F 1871, 203, E 1916, 45; ÍF 29, 239 (ch. 51); Mork 1867, 17, Mork 1928-32, 88, Andersson and Gade 2000, 150-1, 473 (MH); Flat 1860-8, III, 306 (MH); Fms 6, 174 (HSig ch. 17).

Context: According to Mork, Fsk and Flat, Haraldr travelled from Sweden to Denmark to meet his nephew, Magnús Óláfsson. Hkr and H-Hr state that Haraldr joined forces with Magnús’s enemy, Sveinn Úlfsson, and accompanied him on an expedition to Denmark (see sts 7-9 below).

Notes: [1] slǫng ‘sped’: The verb is part of an impersonal construction with eik ‘oak-ship’ as an instr. dat. — [3] rétt (n. nom. sg.) ‘lawful’: Taken here as an adj. qualifying óðal (n. nom. sg.) ‘inheritance’ (l. 4). It could also be an adv. (‘justly’) qualifying ætlat ‘awaiting, intended for’ (l. 3). — [5] hýnd rif ‘sail hoisted high’: Rif (lit. ‘reef’) is the portion of a sail that can be rolled up, and the adj. hýnd refers to the reefs being hoisted all the way to the mast-top (húnn). See Jesch 2001a, 161, 163 and Note to ÞjóðA Magnfl 4/6. — [5] rennduð (2nd pers. pl. pret. indic.) ‘you scudded’: The FskBˣ variant renndu (3rd pers. pl. pret. indic.) takes skeiðr (f. nom. pl.) ‘warships’ (l. 7) as the subject (‘where the warships scudded’), which leaves bar hýnd rif ‘(it) carried a sail hoisted high’ (l. 5) as an awkward impersonal construction. Renndi (3rd pers. sg. pret. indic.) (so Mork, H, Hr) is ungrammatical unless skeiðr (f. nom. pl.) is emended to the sg. skeið: skeið bar hýnd rif, þars renndi ‘the warship carried a sail hoisted high where it scudded’. — [6] rétt á stag ‘straight ahead’: Lit. ‘straight on the stay’. Implies that the ship was sailing straight forwards in the direction of the forestay (the rope running from the mast to the prow). See Falk 1912, 59, Jesch 2001a, 165, ÞjóðA Magnfl 4/6 and Gísl Magnkv 15/2-3. — [7] skeið ‘the warship’: See Note to st. 1/2 above. — [7] skelkðuð (2nd pers. pl. pret. indic.) ‘you scared’: The Hkr variant skelkðu (3rd pers. pl. pret. indic.) ‘they scared’ makes little sense. — [8] Skáney ‘Skåne’: District (Scania) in southern Sweden, then a part of Denmark.

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