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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Lausavísur — Ólhelg LvI

Óláfr inn helgi Haraldsson

Russell Poole 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Óláfr inn helgi Haraldsson, Lausavísur’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 516.

 

Fyll horn, kona;         fell af hesti
Rannveigar sonr,         þars riðu drengir.
Kunnut Sygnir         á sǫðuldýrum
fullvel fara;         fœr mér ok þér.
 
‘Fill the horn, woman; Rannveig’s son [= Halldórr] fell from his horse where the fine fellows were riding. The Sygnir do not know how to travel very well on saddle-beasts [HORSES]; bring [it] to me and to you.
Bǫls, þats lind í landi
landrifs fyr ver handan
golli merkð við galla
grjótǫlnis skal fǫlna.
Þann myndak við vilja
valklifs, meðan lifðak,
— alin erumk bjǫrk at bǫlvi
bands — algrœnan standa.
 
‘It is a misery that the linden-tree of the land-rib [STONE (steinn ‘jewel’) > WOMAN = Steinvǫr], distinguished with gold, must grow pale in a land across the sea with the affliction of the stone-mackerel [SNAKE > WINTER]. I would wish that tree of the falcon-cliff [ARM > WOMAN] to stand fully green as long as I lived; the birch of the headband [WOMAN] is born to bring me misery.
Segið þat Karla,        es komið þangat,
nýtum þegni        fyr norðan haf,
at fleira skal        í fǫrum vinna
an hylda hval        hvǫssum knífi.
 
‘Say this [lit. that] to Karli, a handy lad, north across the sea, when you get there, that [he] must do more on his travels than butcher whale with a sharp knife.
Vandfœrra es várrar
varrbliks fyr Stað miklu
— þreyk of aldr — til eyjar
aurborðs, an vas forðum.
Nús fyr hǫfn, þás hafna
hlyn* sævar mák æva,
Gunnr hvítinga, grjóti
geirþorps boða orpit.
 
‘It is much harder for the plank [ship] to pass in front of Stad to our [my] island of the wake-glitter [GOLD > WOMAN] than it was formerly; I yearn through my lifetime. Now rock is dumped in front of the harbour against the messenger of the spear-settlement [SHIELD > WARRIOR = Óláfr], when I can never beach the maple of the sea [SHIP], Gunnr <valkyrie> of drinking-horns [WOMAN].
Nærs, sem upp ór eisu
— innar lítk til kvinna —
— snót, hver svá mjǫk láti,
seg mér — loga bregði.
Mik hefr máli sykvinn
mest á skǫmmu fresti
— gekk’k of golf at drekka —
gramr ok brattir hamrar.
 
‘It is almost as if flame shot up from embers; I look further in towards the women; tell me, lady, who puts on airs so much. The king and steep crags [Ingibjǫrg] have cheated me of speech most in a short time; I went across the floor to drink.
Lítt mun herr enn hætta
— hrafn sleit af ná beitu —
— vér unnum gný Gunnar —
glaðr í nótt á Jaðri.
Umstilli hefr illa
(ættgóðr) of rof sætta
(Erlingr beið til árla
andrán) getit hônum.
 
‘Little will the army again take respite, glad tonight in Jæren; the raven tore its meal from the corpse; we made the clamour of Gunnr <valkyrie> [BATTLE]. The machinations over the breach of settlements have brought him a bad outcome; Erlingr, of good kindred, was robbed of life too soon.
Lítt mun halr inn hvíti
— hrafn etr af ná getnum —
— vér unnum gný Gunnar —
glaðr í nótt á Jaðri.
Svá hefr ǫllungis illa
— ek gekk reiðr of skeiðar —
— jǫrð veldr manna morði —
mitt rán getit hônum.
 
‘Little will the pale warrior be glad tonight in Jæren; the raven eats from the corpse it has got; we made the clamour of Gunnr <valkyrie> [BATTLE]. Thus robbing me has brought him an entirely bad outcome; I walked enraged across the warships; land causes the death of men.
Fagr stóðk, meðan bar brúði
blakkr, ok sák á sprakka
— oss lét ynðis missa
augfǫgr kona — af haugi.
Keyrði Gefn ór garði
góðlôt vala slóðar
eyk, en ein glǫp sœkir
jarl hvern, kona snarlig.
 
‘I stood, handsome, as the dark horse bore the bride, and I gazed on the lady from the mound; the handsome-eyed woman caused us [me] to forfeit happiness. The courteous Gefn <= Freyja> of the track of falcons [ARM > WOMAN], quick-witted woman, spurred her mount out of the yard, but one error afflicts every jarl.
Ár stóð eik in dýra
jarladóms með blómi
harðla grœn, sem Hǫrðar
hvert misseri vissu.
Nú hefr bekkjar tré bliknat
brátt Mardallar gráti
(lind hefr) laufi bundit
(línu jǫrð í Gǫrðum).
 
‘Formerly the precious oak of the jarldom [WOMAN] stood intensely green with blossom, as the Hǫrðar knew each season. Now the tree of the bench [WOMAN], wreathed with foliage, has grown pale fast with the weeping of Mardǫll <= Freyja> [GOLD]; the linden-tree of the headdress [WOMAN] has land in Russia.
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