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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Lausavísur — Ótt LvI

Óttarr svarti

Matthew Townend and R. D. Fulk 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Óttarr svarti, 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. 783.


Hnøtr sendi mér handan
hrǫnduðr alinbranda
— ár vas, þats mank meiri
mín þing — konungr hingat.
Mær es markar stjóri;
meir sék þar til fleira;
niðrat oss í ǫðru,
íslands mikils vísi.
‘The king, the distributor of arm-flames [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN = Óláfr], sent some nuts across to me here; it was long ago, when I remember my position [to have been] greater. The ruler of the forest [TREE] is slender; later I will look for more there; do not humiliate us again, sovereign of the great ice-land [SEA > RULER].
Svá skal kveðja         konung Dana,
Íra ok Engla         ok Eybúa,
at hans fari         með himinkrǫptum
lǫndum ǫllum         lof víðara.
‘[I] shall so greet the king of the Danes, of the Irish and of the English and of the Island-dwellers [= Knútr], that his praise may travel with heavenly support more widely through all the lands.
Heðan sék reyk, þanns rjúka
rǫnn of fiskimǫnnum
— stór eru skalds of skærur
skellibrǫgð — ór helli.
Nú frýrat mér nýrar
nenningar dag þenna;
hlíti ek fyr hvítan
hornstraums dǫgurð Naumu.
‘From here out of the cave I see smoke, which mansions waft over fishermen; great are the roaring tricks of the poet in the dawn light. Now no-one will be jibing me into a new achievement today; I am content with a Nauma <giantess> of the horn-stream [ALE > WOMAN] instead of a white breakfast.

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