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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þorm Lv 18I

R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Þormóðr Kolbrúnarskáld, Lausavísur 18’ 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. 829.

Þormóðr KolbrúnarskáldLausavísur

text and translation

Brennum ǫll fyr innan
inni, þaus vér finnum,
(land tegask herr með hjǫrvi)
Hverbjǫrg (fyr gram verja).
Ýs (hafi allra húsa
Innþrœndir kol sinna)
angr skal kveykt í klungri,
(kǫld) ef ek má valda.

Brennum ǫll inni fyr innan Hverbjǫrg, þaus vér finnum; herr tegask verja land fyr gram með hjǫrvi. Innþrœndir hafi kǫld kol allra húsa sinna; {angr ýs} skal kveykt í klungri, ef ek má valda.
‘Let’s burn all the dwellings inside Hverbjǫrg that we find; the people show themselves ready to defend the land against the king with the sword. Let the Innþrœndir have the cold coals of all their houses; the sorrow of the yew [FIRE] shall be ignited in the thorns, if I can have my way.

notes and context

In ÓH and Hkr, when the king faces an army of farmers from Veradalr (Verdalen), Finnr Árnason advises that they burn the farmers’ houses in order to get them to break ranks and desert. Þormóðr then recites the stanza. In ÓHLeg and Fbr, the king asks Þormóðr his opinion, and he responds with this stanza.

This is the first of the stanzas dealing with events related to the battle of Stiklastaðir (Stiklestad), which took place on 29 July 1030 near Verdalsøra, about 70 kilometres north-east of Trondheim. For the battle and other skaldic poetry associated with it, see the entry on Óláfr Haraldsson in ‘Ruler biographies’ in Introduction to this volume.



Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: Þórmóðr Bersason Kolbrúnarskáld, 2. Lausavísur 18: AI, 286, BI, 264, Skald I, 136; Fms 5, 54-5, Fms 12, 97-8, ÓH 1941, I, 540 (ch. 201), Flat 1860-8, II, 339; Hkr 1777-1826, II, 343, VI, 107, 12, 97-8, Hkr 1868, 474 (ÓHHkr ch. 217), Hkr 1893-1901, I, 457, IV, 162, ÍF 27, 356, Hkr 1991, II, 512 (ÓHHkr ch. 205); ÓHLeg 1849, 67, 118, ÓHLeg 1922, 81, ÓHLeg 1982, 186-7; Hb 1892-6, 411-12, Fbr 1852, 108, Fbr 1925-7, 206, ÍF 6, 260-1 (ch. 24), Loth 1960a, xl, xlix, 153 (ch. 17), ÍS II, 840 (ch. 24); Finnur Jónsson 1932-3, 70-2.


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