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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Refr Frag 3III

Edith Marold (ed.) 2017, ‘Hofgarða-Refr Gestsson, Fragments 3’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 262.

Hofgarða-Refr GestssonFragments


This helmingr (Refr Frag 3) is preserved in Skm (SnE) and might have been part of a shield poem, because the skald is describing how he received a shield as a gift (de Vries 1964-7, I, 262; Fidjestøl 1982, 179). Guðbrandur Vigfússon’s (CPB II, 167) assumption that the stanza belongs to the poem about Gizurr svarti (Refr Giz) is unfounded.

text and translation

Dagr vas fríðr, sás fǫgru
fleygjendr alinleygjar
í hangferil hringa
hlýrtungli mér þrungu.

Dagr vas fríðr, sás {fleygjendr {alinleygjar}} þrungu {fǫgru hlýrtungli} í {hangferil hringa} mér.
‘The day was fair on which the flingers of the forearm-flame [GOLD > GENEROUS MEN] pushed the beautiful prow-moon [SHIELD] onto my hanging-track of rings [ARM/HAND].

notes and context

The stanza is cited in Skm (SnE) among examples of kennings for ‘weapons’ and ‘armour’ to illustrate a shield-kenning (here, hlýrtungl ‘prow-moon’).



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: Hofgarða-Refr Gestsson, 1. Digt om fyrstegaver 1: AI, 318, BI, 295,  Skald I, 150; SnE 1848-87, I, 424-7, II, 329, 439-40, 589, III, 80, SnE 1931, 151, SnE 1998, I, 69.


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