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

SnSt Ht 49III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 49’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1158.

Snorri SturlusonHáttatal

text and translation

Hjaldrremmir tekr Hildi
— hringr brestr at gjǫf — festa;
hnígr und Hǫgna meyjar
hers valdandi tjald.
Heðins mála býr hvílu
hjálmlestanda flestum;
morðaukinn þiggr mæki
mund Hjaðninga sprund.

{Hjaldrremmir} tekr festa Hildi; hringr brestr at gjǫf; valdandi hers hnígr und {tjald {meyjar Hǫgna}}. {Mála Heðins} býr {flestum hjálmlestanda} hvílu; {sprund Hjaðninga} þiggr mund, morðaukinn mæki.
‘The battle-strengthener [WARRIOR] begins to betroth himself to Hildr; the ring breaks as bride-payment; the ruler of the army bends down beneath the tent of Hǫgni’s <legendary hero’s> daughter [= Hildr (hildr ‘battle’) > SHIELD]. Heðinn’s <legendary hero’s> beloved [= Hildr (hildr ‘battle’)] prepares a bed for most helmet-damagers [WARRIORS]; the woman of the Hjaðningar <Heðinn’s followers> [= Hildr (hildr ‘battle’)] receives a bride-payment, a battle-renowned sword.

notes and context

The dróttkvætt variant is stýft ‘apocopated’. The last syllable in ll. 4 and 8 is left off, creating catalectic, pentasyllabic lines.

The heading in is 41. This particular variant is not attested elsewhere. — The imagery in this stanza is taken from the story of Hildr Hǫgnadóttir and Heðinn Hjarrandason as told in Skm (SnE 1998, I, 72-3; see also Bragi Rdr 8-11 and RvHbreiðm Hl 45-6). Hildr means ‘battle’, and Snorri plays on the double entendre throughout the stanza in a series of ofljóst ‘too transparent’ constructions. On Snorri’s use of valkyrie imagery in this and other stanzas of Ht, see Quinn 2007. — [3-4]: The last clause in this helmingr plays on the imagery of warriors bending down beneath a woman’s tent, where the tent is a part of a kenning for ‘shield’. — [5-8]: The word-play (and sexual imagery) from the first helmingr continues in the second, where the woman, Hildr (‘battle’), prepares a bed for warriors, i.e. causes their death on the battlefield (ll. 5-6), and receives a sword as a bride-payment (a weapon left as a part of spoils of war) (ll. 7-8), or in less innocuous sense, she is being deflowered.



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: Snorri Sturluson, 2. Háttatal 49: AII, 65, BII, 74, Skald II, 42; SnE 1848-87, I, 662-3, II, 393, III, 123, SnE 1879-81, I, 8, 80, II, 20, SnE 1931, 236, SnE 2007, 23; Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 29.


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.