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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Lausavísur — Hharð LvII

Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson, Lausavísur’ 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. 42-6.

 

Þora munk þann arm verja,
— þats ekkju munr nekkvat —
— rjóðum vér af reiði
rǫnd — es í hlýtk standa.
Gengra greppr inn ungi
gunnblíðr, þars slǫg ríða,
— herða menn at morði
mót — á hæl fyr spjótum.
 
‘I shall dare to defend that rank in which I am placed; that seems to be the wish of the widow; let us redden the shield-rim with rage. The young poet shall not take to his heels, battle-cheered, before spears where weapons swing; men will intensify hostile encounters in the battle.
Réðk, en benjar blœða,
— búþegna sák megna
lið; fekk lindar váði
lífs grand — í bǫð standa.
 
‘I stood in battle, and the wounds bled; I saw farmers strengthen their host; the distress of the linden-shield [SWORD] dealt death.
Nú lætk skóg af skógi
skreiðask lítils heiðar;
hverr veit, nema verðak
víða frægr of síðir?
 
‘Now I’m slinking from wood to wood with little honour; who knows if I won’t become famous far and wide in the end?
Þegi þú, Þórir!        Þegn est ógegn;
heyrðak, at héti        Hvinngestr faðir þinn.
 
‘Be quiet, Þórir! You’re an unreliable man; I heard that your father was called Hvinngestr (‘Thief-guest’).
Lôtum vér, meðan lirlar
líneik veri sínum
Gerðr, í Goðnarfirði,
galdrs, akkeri halda.
 
‘We shall let the anchor hold [us] in Randersfjord while the linen-oak [WOMAN], the Gerðr <goddess> of incantation [WOMAN], lulls her husband to sleep.
Logit hefr Baldr at Baldri.
 
‘Baldr has lied to Baldr.
Hér sék upp inn ǫrva
Einar, þanns kann skeina
þjalfa, þambarskelfi,
þangs, fjǫlmennan ganga.
Fullafli bíðr fyllar
(finnk opt at drífr minna)
hilmis stóls (á hæla
húskarla lið jarli).
 
‘Here I see the bold Einarr þambarskelfir (‘Paunch-shaker’ (?)), who knows how to furrow the enclosure of sea-weed [SEA], disembark with many men. The powerful one awaits the occupancy of the king’s throne; I often find that a lesser host of housecarls trails at the heels of a jarl.
Rjóðandi mun ráða
randabliks ór landi
oss, nema Einarr kyssi
øxar munn inn þunna.
 
‘The reddener of the rim-flash [SWORD > WARRIOR = Einarr] will expel us [me] from the land, unless Einarr kisses the thin mouth of the axe.
Nú emk ellifu allra
— eggjumk vígs — ok tveggja
— þau ’ro enn, svát mank, manna
morð — ráðbani orðinn.
Ginn en gráleik inna,
(golls) es ferr með skolli,
(lýtendr kveða lítit
lauki gæft til auka).
 
‘Now I have become the death-instigator of altogether eleven and two; I am stirred to strife; those slayings of men are such that I still remember. But deceits yield ill will, which is accompanied by trickery; spoilers of gold [MEN] say that the leek needs little to grow strong.
‘Hvert stillir þú, Halli?’
‘Hleypk framm at skyrkaupi.’
‘Graut munt gørva láta?’
‘Gǫrr matr es þat — smjǫrvan.’
 
‘‘Where are you headed, Halli?’ ‘I’m hurrying ahead to buy curds.’ ‘You’ll probably want to make porridge?’ ‘Perfect food is that—buttered.’
Hjoggu harða dyggvir
hirðmenn Dani stirða;
sótti ferð á flótta
framm; en þat vas skǫmmu.
Hitt vas fyrr, es fjarri
fóstrlandi rauðk branda;
sverð í Serkja garði
sǫng; en þat vas lǫngu.
 
‘The most loyal retainers cut down relentless Danes; the troop rushed forth in flight; and that was recently. It was earlier when I reddened the blades far from my native land; the sword sang in the stronghold of the Saracens; but that was long ago.
Hlautk af hrauðung skjóta
hlýri, mær in skýra;
súð gekk feld á flœði
framm; vas þat fyr skǫmmu.
Enn fyr England sunnan
óð borð und mér norðan;
ristin skalf í rǫstum
rǫng; en þat vas lǫngu.
 
‘I got to push the prow away from the empty fleet, bright lady; the jointed ship went forth on the ocean; that was recently. And, south of England, the planking advanced beneath me from the north; the carved frame shook in the currents; but that was long ago.
Kennir kyrtil þenna?
Kú átt skjǫldungi gjalda,
ok alvaxinn oxa
átt skjǫldungi gjalda.
Bǫrn ok allt, þats árnar,
átt skjǫldungi gjalda;
svín ok aligás eina
átt skjǫldungi at gjalda.
Margar eru manna vélar:
mosa átt ok skjǫldungi at gjalda.
 
‘Do you recognise this tunic? You must yield a cow to the king, and a full-grown ox you must yield to the king. Your children and all that you acquire, you must yield to the king; a pig and one tame goose you must yield to the king. Many are the deceits of men: moss you must also yield to the king.
Framm gǫngum vér        í fylkingu
brynjulausir        und bláar eggjar.
Hjalmar skína;        — hefkat mína —
nú liggr skrúð várt        at skipum niðri.
 
‘We go forth in battle ranks, without byrnies, beneath dark sword-blades. Helmets shine—I don’t have mine—; now our armour lies down by the ships.
Krjúpum vér fyr vápna
(valteigs) brǫkun eigi
(svá bauð Hildr) at hjaldri
(haldorð) í bug skjaldar.
Hôtt bað mik, þars mœttusk,
menskorð bera forðum,
Hlakkar íss ok hausar,
hjalmstall í gný malma.
 
‘We [I] do not creep into the hollow of the shield in battle because of the crash of weapons; thus the faithful Hildr <valkyrie> of the falcon-field [ARM > WOMAN] commanded. The necklace-pole [WOMAN] told me earlier to hold the helmet-support [HEAD] high in the clamour of swords [BATTLE] where Hlǫkk’s <valkyrie’s> ice [SWORD] and skulls met.
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