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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mhkv 7III

Roberta Frank (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Poems, Málsháttakvæði 7’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1221.

Anonymous PoemsMálsháttakvæði

text and translation

Bjarki átti hugarkorn hart;
herlið feldi Stǫrkuðr mart;
ekki var hann í hvíldum hœgr;
Hrómundr þótti garpr ok slœgr.
Ókat þeim né einn á bug;
Eljárnir var trúr at hug;
fílinn gat hann í fylking sótt;
fullstrǫng hefr sú mannraun þótt.

Bjarki átti {hart hugarkorn}; Stǫrkuðr feldi mart herlið; hann var ekki hœgr í hvíldum; Hrómundr þótti garpr ok slœgr. Né einn ókat þeim á bug; Eljárnir var trúr at hug; hann gat fílinn sótt í fylking; sú mannraun hefr þótt fullstrǫng.
‘Bjarki had a firm kernel of courage [HEART]; Starkaðr felled a great troop; he was not gentle in repose; Hrómundr seemed bold and cunning. No one made him give way; Eljárnir was loyal at heart; he conquered the elephant in the phalanx; that test of manhood seemed very tough.

notes and context

[3]: Skj B associates this parenthesis with the hero of the next line, Möbius (1874) and Skald, with the previous line. The praise of both heroes is litotic: for ‘not gentle’, read ‘homicidal maniac’.


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: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], A. [1]. Málsháttakvæði 7: AII, 132, BII, 139-40, Skald II, 74, NN §2581B; Möbius 1874, 5, Wisén 1886-9, I, 74.


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