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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Haraldsdrápa I — ESk Hardr III

Einarr Skúlason

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Einarr Skúlason, Haraldsdrápa I’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 542-4.


Ótryggum lét eggjar
eljunfrár und hôri
Hveðn á hǫlðum roðnar
hrafns munnlituðr þunnar,
áðr, þars ógnarprúðum
ulfnistanda, missti
hungr, á hǫnd at ganga,
hræskurðr, Danir urðu.
‘The courage-quick mouth-colourer of the raven [WARRIOR] let thin blades be reddened on disloyal freeholders beneath lofty Ven, before the carrion-cleaver [RAVEN/EAGLE] lost its hunger, where the Danes were obliged to surrender to the battle-proud wolf-feeder [WARRIOR].
Átti sókn við sléttan
serkrjóðr Hôolfs, merki,
harðr, þars hregg of virðum,
Hléseyjar þrǫm, blésu.
Hús brann upp, en eisur,
ófátt, séa knátti
— malmr sǫng, en hlóð hilmir
hrækǫst — við ský gnæfa.
‘The harsh colourer of Hálfr’s <legendary king’s> shirt [(lit. ‘shirt-colourer of Hálfr’) BYRNIE > WARRIOR] had a battle by the level shore of Læsø, where the storms made banners billow above the men. Not a few houses burned up, and one could see fires towering against the clouds; steel sang, and the prince stacked up a corpse-pile.

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