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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Þorfdr 19II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Þorfinnsdrápa 19’ 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. 251-2.

Arnórr jarlaskáld ÞórðarsonÞorfinnsdrápa

text and translation

Ek em, síz ýtar hnekkðu
jarla sætt, es vættik,
— jǫfn fengusk hræ hrǫfnum —
hegju trauðr at segja.
Sleit fyr eyjar útan
allvaldr blôu tjaldi;
hafði hreggsvǫl dúfa
hrími fezk of líma.

Ek em trauðr at segja hegju, síz ýtar hnekkðu sætt jarla, es vættik; jǫfn hræ fengusk hrǫfnum. Allvaldr sleit blôu tjaldi fyr útan eyjar; hreggsvǫl dúfa hafði fezk hrími of líma.
‘I am loath to speak of events, since men thwarted the truce between the jarls, as I anticipated; from both sides alike flesh was found for ravens. The mighty ruler wore to shreds the dark awnings out beyond the islands; the snow-cold billow had fastened itself in frost about the mast.

notes and context

The st. is cited at the same curiously unsuitable point as sts 20 and 24 (see Context to st. 20).

The st. seems to open a sequence containing sts 19-22 about the battle off Rauðabjǫrg (probably Roberry) between Þorfinnr and his nephew Rǫgnvaldr; cf. also Arn Lv. — [5-8]: The helmingr is difficult to interpret, and its second couplet is almost certainly corrupt. Its content, detailed seafaring description, contrasts so sharply with that of the first helmingr that one might suspect that the two originally belonged to separate sts.



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: Arnórr Þórðarson jarlaskáld, 5. Þórfinnsdrápa 19: AI, 347, BI, 320, Skald I, 162, NN §§834, 835; Flat 1860-8, II, 439, Orkn 1913-16, 130-1 n., ÍF 34, 122 n. 2 (ch. 56); Whaley 1998, 303-6.


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