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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Blakkr Lv 1II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Blakkr, Lausavísur 1’ 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, p. 649.

BlakkrLausavísur
12

text and translation

Reisum vé fyr vísa!
Verum þungir Kuflungum!
Lǫtum brýndan hjǫr bíta!
Bolum tafn und kló hrafni!
Hnekkjum fjanda flokki!
Friðum land jǫfurs brandi!
Rjóðum dǫrr í dreyra!
Drepum meira hlut þeira!

Reisum vé fyr vísa! Verum þungir Kuflungum! Lǫtum brýndan hjǫr bíta! Bolum tafn und kló hrafni! Hnekkjum flokki fjanda! Friðum land jǫfurs brandi! Rjóðum dǫrr í dreyra! Drepum meira hlut þeira!
 
‘Let’s raise banners before the leader! Let’s be hostile to the Kuflungar! Let’s make the sharpened sword bite! Let’s chop carrion beneath the claw of the raven! Let’s put the flock of enemies to flight! Let’s pacify the prince’s land with the sword! Let’s redden spears in gore! Let’s kill the greater part of them!

notes and context

During the summer of 1187, Jón kuflungr and his men again travel north to Trondheim with a large fleet to attempt to catch Sverrir and the Birkibeinar unawares (for the previous expedition, see Nefari Lv). Sverrir sets sail south to meet them, and Blakkr, who was among Sverrir’s men on this occasion, recites this st.

The metre is áttmælt ‘eight-times spoken’ (see SnSt Ht 10III, SnE 1999, 9), in which a st. contains eight independent clauses, each of which occupies one l. — For a similar cry to battle from the faction of the Kuflungar, see Nefari Lv above. Blakkr clearly imitates the content and style of Nefari’s st., which was composed the year before. — [3] lǫtum ‘let’s’: See Note to Nefari Lv ll. 3, 7.

readings

sources

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: Blakkr, 2. Lausavísur 1: AI, 538, BI, 519, Skald I, 253; ÍF 30, 163 (ch. 106), Sv 1920, 113, Flat 1860-8, II, 627, E 1916, 355, Sv 1910-86, 139.

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