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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gátur — Anon GátIII

Anonymous Poems

Hannah Burrows 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Gátur’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 631.


Ek sá fljúga         fugla marga:
aldrtjón Ellu,         eggdauða menn,
ben bíldskorna,         buðlung Dana,
þjónustumey,         þunga báru.
‘I saw many birds fly: life-loss of Ælla <Northumbrian king>, men killed by the sword, lancet-scored wound, king of Danes, serving-girl, heavy wave.
Enn sá ek fljúga         öðru sinni:
skorinn línskauta         ok skip Þráins,
járn ór afli,         útleidda sál,
konu kjötnefnda         fyr kvið neðan.
‘Again I saw fly a second time: cut linen-square and Þráinn’s ship, iron from the forge, transcended soul, named flesh of a woman below the belly.
Þá sá ek fljúga         þriðja sinni:
silki saumat         ok sænska menn,
Gunnlaugs bana         ok goða brenni,
kú kollótta         ok kvíslatré,
gnúp gildligan;         gettu, hvat þeir heita!
‘Then I saw fly a third time: sewn silk and Swedish men, Gunnlaugr’s slayer and burner of gods, cow without horns and a forked tree, a massive peak; guess what they are called!

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