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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Ingadrápa — ESk IngdrII

Einarr Skúlason

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Einarr Skúlason, Ingadrápa’ 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. 561-5.


Frák við Holm at heyja
hildinga* framm gingu
(lind varð grœn) inn grána
geirþing (í tvau springa).
‘I heard the rulers advanced near Holmengrå to hold a spear-assembly [BATTLE]; the green linden-shield had to split in two.
Alls engi þarf Inga
arngrennir þat kenna,
— hverr spyri satt frá snerru
seggr — at gram bitu eggjar.
Bǫð gatat stillir stǫðvat
styrjarmildr, þótt vildi;
fús vas fjǫrspell vísa
fylkis sveit at veita.
‘Not one eagle-feeder [WARRIOR] needs to blame Ingi for the fact that sword-blades bit the prince; let each man hear the truth about the attack. The battle-generous lord was unable to stop the onslaught, although he may have wanted to; the ruler’s retinue was eager to inflict death upon the leader.
Út lét stǫng á Stræti
sterkr dýrligra merkja
— dúðusk dǫrr — af reiði
Dags sonr bera fagra.
Hnigu menn í gný Gunnar
gagls fyr strengjar hagli;
brœðr hafa barzk í miðri
Bjǫrgyn fyr ósynju.
‘The strong son of Dagr [= Grégóríus] let the fair pole of the precious standard be carried out onto Stræti (‘the Street’) with wrath; spears shook. Men sank down before the hail of the bowstring [ARROWS] in the din of Gunnr’s <valkyrie’s> gosling [RAVEN/EAGLE > BATTLE]; brothers have fought in the middle of Bergen without cause.
Myndit seima sendir
svá brátt hafa látit
(spjót flugu langt í ljótri)
líf sitt (boga drífu),
ef alkostigs austan
Eysteins flota þeysti
beinn at Bjǫrgyn sunnan
byrr tveim dǫgum fyrri.
‘The dispenser of gold [GENEROUS MAN] would not have lost his life so suddenly—spears flew far in the hideous storm of bows [BATTLE]—, if a steady wind from the south had speeded the fleet of most splendid Eysteinn from the east towards Bergen two days earlier.

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