This interface will soon cease to be publicly available. Use the new interface instead. Click here to switch over now.

Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

login: password: stay logged in: help

Innsteinn Gunnlaðarson (Innsteinn)

volume 8; ed. Hubert Seelow;

VIII. Innsteinskviða (Innkv) - 17

not in Skj

Innsteinskviða — Innsteinn InnkvVIII (Hálf)

Not published: do not cite (Innsteinn InnkvVIII (Hálf))

 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17 

SkP info: VIII, 327

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

9 — Innsteinn Innkv 9VIII (Hálf 29)

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Hubert Seelow (ed.) 2017, ‘Hálfs saga ok Hálfsrekka 29 (Innsteinn Gunnlaðarson, Innsteinskviða 9)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 327.

The second part of Innkv (Hálf 29-33) is separated from the first in the saga by a short prose passage describing the events in Ásmundr’s hall where Hálfr and the Hálfsrekkar have been feasting. It takes the form of a monologue spoken by Innsteinn to encourage Hálfr and the other Hálfsrekkar to fight and to leave the burning hall. There are some discrepancies between the prose introduction and the stanzas of this part that are discussed in the Notes below.

Rýkr um hauka
í höll konungs;
ván er at drjúpi
vax af söxum.
Mál er gulli
ok gersimum,
hjálmum skipta
með Hálfsrekkum.


There is smoke around the hawks in the king’s hall; it is to be expected that wax will drip from the swords. It is time to share helmets, gold and treasures with Hálfr’s champions.

context: This stanza is preceded by a prose paragraph. Hálfr attends King Ásmundr’s banquet with half his troops. When the guests have fallen asleep, Ásmundr and his men set fire to the hall. One of Hálfr’s champions wakes up and, realising that the hall is filled with smoke, says: Rjúka mun um hauka vára nú ‘Now there will be smoke around our hawks’. He then goes back to sleep. Another of Hálfr’s men wakes up and, realising that the hall is on fire, says: Drjúpa man nú vax af söxum ‘Now wax will drip from the swords’. He then lies down again. Then King Hálfr awakes. He rises, wakes up his men and orders them to take their arms. They attempt to get out by jumping against the walls. The stanza is introduced by the words: Þá kvað Innsteinn ‘Then Innsteinn said’.

notes: The stanza is spoken by Innsteinn and warns indirectly that the hall is on fire. In the prose text ll. 1-2 are attributed to one of the Hálfsrekkar, and ll. 3-4 to another, while the hortatory remarks of the second helmingr are attributed in the prose to King Hálfr, who in the poem seems not to have yet woken from his postprandial sleep. — [3-4]: Munch (1852-63, I, i, 304 n. 1) suggests that wax, smeared on the warriors’ weapons to prevent corrosion, will melt in the heat of the fire and drip down. It seems that sword blades may have been coated with a thin layer of wax to prevent them rusting.

texts: Hálf 29

editions: Skj Anonyme digte og vers [XIII]: E. 6. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Hálfssaga VII 1 (AII, 261; BII, 282); Skald II, 147-8, NN §2836; Hálf 1864, 22, Hálf 1909, 107-8, FSGJ 2, 115, Hálf 1981, 123-4, 183; Edd. Min. 36.


GKS 2845 4° (2845) 36v, 7 - 36v, 9 (Hálf)  transcr.  image  image  
© Skaldic Project Academic Body, unless otherwise noted. Database structure and interface developed by Tarrin Wills. All users of material on this database are reminded that its content may be either subject to copyright restrictions or is the property of the custodians of linked databases that have given permission for members of the skaldic project to use their material for research purposes. Those users who have been given access to as yet unpublished material are further reminded that they may not use, publish or otherwise manipulate such material except with the express permission of the individual editor of the material in question and the General Editor of the volume in which the material is to be published. Applications for permission to use such material should be made in the first instance to the General Editor of the volume in question. All information that appears in the published volumes has been thoroughly reviewed. If you believe some information here is incorrect please contact Tarrin Wills with full details.