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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Magnússdrápa — Þham MagndrII

Þorkell hamarskáld

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Þorkell hamarskáld, Magnússdrápa’ 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. 409-14.

 

Vítt dró sínar sveitir
saman stórhugaðr Þórir
— heldr vôrut þau hauldum
haglig rôð — með Agli.
Snǫrp frák á, þvís urpu,
endr Skjalgs vinum, lendir
menn við morðvals brynni,
mein, of afl sér steini.
 
‘Great-spirited Þórir gathered his companies far and wide with Egill; those ventures were not very convenient for the freeholders. I heard that great harm formerly befell Skjálgr’s friends because the district chieftains threw a stone beyond their strength against the thirst-quencher of the strife-falcon [RAVEN/EAGLE > WARRIOR].
Vestr lét varga nistir
— vann hilmir frið bannat —
— hrǫnn brutu hlýr in stinnu —
hugprúðr fǫru snúðat.
 
‘The staunch-hearted feeder of wolves [WARRIOR] set out on a swift journey to the west; the prince prohibited peace; the stiff prows broke the wave.
Dunði broddr á brynju;
bragningr skaut af magni;
sveigði allvaldr Egða
alm; stǫkk blóð á hjalma.
Strengs fló hagl í hringa;
hné ferð, en lét verða
Hǫrða gramr í harðri
hjarlsókn banat jarli.
 
‘The arrow-point resounded against the byrnie; the sovereign shot with strength; the mighty ruler of the Egðir [NORWEGIAN KING = Magnús] bent the elm-bow; blood spurted onto helmets. The hail of the bow-string [ARROWS] flew into chain-mail; the company fell, and the lord of the Hǫrðar [NORWEGIAN KING = Magnús] caused the earl to be killed in the hard battle for land.
Hraustr lét Elfi austarr
allvaldr saman gjalla
— vitr stillir rauð vǫllu —
valskan brand ok randir.
Varð á víg, þars ferðir,
vellmildr konungr, fellu,
— bolr lá gauzkr und gulri
grás arnar kló — þrási.
 
‘The brave mighty ruler let the Frankish sword and shields crash together east of the Götaälv; the wise leader reddened the fields. The gold-generous king persisted in battle where troops fell; the Gautish torso lay beneath the yellow claw of the grey eagle.
Uppgǫngu réð yngvi
ítr með helming lítinn;
áræði hykk áðan
Eysteins fǫður treystask.
Hôtt gall hjǫrr, en sótti
— hneit egg við fjǫr seggja —
— malmsœkir rauð mæki —
Magnús í lið gǫgnum.
 
‘The splendid king advanced ashore with a small unit; I believe Eysteinn’s father [= Magnús] earlier put faith in his courage. The sword resounded loudly, and Magnús advanced through the troop; the blade thrust at the lives of men; the weapon-attacker [WARRIOR] reddened the sword.
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