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

Menu Search

RvHbreiðm Hl 53III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr Þórarinsson, Háttalykill 53’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1060.

Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr ÞórarinssonHáttalykill

text and translation

Ák frá Óláfi
eiðar þrár meiðum
sløngði *á* svanvengi
Selju mens — telja.
Fréttu fleystéttar
— fengu gjǫf drengir —
harðir hyr-Nirðir
hildings fémildi.

Ák telja frá Óláfi; þrár eiðar sløngði {meiðum {mens Selju}} *á* {svanvengi}. {Harðir {{fleystéttar} hyr-}Nirðir} fréttu fémildi hildings; drengir fengu gjǫf.
‘I must tell about Óláfr; the one firm of oath flung trees of Selja’s <island’s> necklace [SEA > SHIPS] onto the swan-meadow [SEA]. Harsh Nirðir <gods> of the fire of the ship-path [(lit. ‘ship-path’s fire-Nirðir’) SEA > GOLD > MEN] heard about the leader’s generosity; the warriors received a gift.

notes and context

The heading is Haddarlag (‘Haddar lag’), a metrical variant that corresponds to SnSt Ht 79 (Haðarlag ‘Hǫðr’s metre’). The metre is pentasyllabic málaháttr with internal rhyme, and the second hending in each line falls in penultimate position as in dróttkvætt.

For a discussion of the metre, see Section 4, General Introduction in SkP I. — The stanza is quite garbled in Rugman’s transcriptions, and in papp25ˣ a curly bracket enclosing ll. 1-4 has been added in the right margin along with the abbreviation ‘NB.’. — The identity of ‘Óláfr’ is unclear. Jón Helgason (Hl 1941) suggests Óláfr Bjarnarson, the brother of Eiríkr (see sts 51-2 and Note to st. 51 [All]; ÍF 26, 130), Óláfr sœnski ‘the Swede’, Eiríkr’s son (ÍF 26, passim), or a sea-king named Óláfr (Gautr ch. 11). — [1-4]: Skj B and Skald construe the first helmingr as follows: Ák frá Óláfi | auðar þrámeiðum | sløngði snákvengi | selju mens telja, i.e. ák telja selju mens frá Óláfi; sløngði snákvengi þrámeiðum auðar ‘I must tell the willow of the necklace [WOMAN] about Óláfr; he flung the snake-land [GOLD] to the longing-trees of wealth [MEN]’. However, as Jón Helgason (Hl 1941) points out, this would be the only stanza in Hl in which the poets mention a woman, and st. 54 shows that the intended audience is male. The eds of Hl 1941 admit that Finnur Jónsson’s interpretation is unsatisfactory, but they have no better version to offer. — [3]: As it stands in the mss, the line is hypermetrical, and most earlier eds delete hann (‘han’) ‘he’. Finnur Jónsson and Kock emend ‘svanvenge’ (so papp25ˣ; ‘-s vanvæingi’ R683ˣ) to snákvengi ‘snake-land’, a kenning for ‘gold’ (see Note to ll. 1-4 above). However, it appears that Rugman misread the line much in the same way as he misread the first line of st. 54 (see the Note to st. 54/1), and svanvengi ‘swan-meadow’ also occurs in st. 54/5.



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: Rǫgnvaldr jarl og Hallr Þórarinsson, Háttalykill 27a: AI, 522-3, BI, 500, Skald I, 245; Hl 1941, 27-8, 75-7.


Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.


Stanza/chapter/text segment

Use the buttons at the top of the page to navigate between stanzas in a poem.

Information tab

Interactive tab

The text and translation are given here, with buttons to toggle whether the text is shown in the verse order or prose word order. Clicking on indiviudal words gives dictionary links, variant readings, kennings and notes, where relevant.

Full text tab

This is the text of the edition in a similar format to how the edition appears in the printed volumes.

Chapter/text segment

This view is also used for chapters and other text segments. Not all the headings shown are relevant to such sections.