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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Erlingsdrápa — Þskakk ErldrII

Þorbjǫrn skakkaskáld

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Þorbjǫrn skakkaskáld, Erlingsdrápa’ 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. 631-5.

 

Hjoggu øxar eggjum
ugglaust hvatir glugga
— því vas nennt — á nýju
Norðmenn í kaf borði.
Eyðendr sôu yðrar
arnar hungrs á jǫrnum
vágfýl*ingi vélar;
vígskǫrð ofan bǫrðuð.
 
‘The brave Norwegians fearlessly struck openings in the new ship-side under the water with the edges of the axe; that was accomplished with vigour. The destroyers of the eagle’s hunger [WARRIORS] saw your cunning [standing] on the irons of the sea-fulmar [SHIP]; you struck embrasures in the upper part.
Greitt frák, gumna dróttinn,
(Gríðar fáks) í víðu
(trauðr esa tenn at rjóða)
Túnsbergi þér snúna.
Hræddusk bjartra brodda
býjarmenn við rennu;
uggðu eld ok sveigðan
alm dynviðir malma.
 
‘Lord of men [= Erlingr], I heard it turned out smoothly for you in spacious Tønsberg; you are not reluctant to redden the teeth of Gríðr’s <troll-woman’s> steed [WOLF]. The townspeople were terrified by the rush of bright arrow-points; the trees of the clash of weapons [(lit. ‘clash-trees of weapons’) BATTLE > WARRIORS] feared the fire and the bent elm-bow.
Urð dró austan fjarðar
Erlingr at víkingum,
— mein fekk margr af Kœnu
maðr — es hann fór þaðra.
Fœrðr vas fleinn meðal herða
Fríreks; ofarr nekkvi
skolldi óþarfr ǫldum
illgjarn við tré Bjarni.
 
‘Erlingr brought death to the vikings east of the fjord when he went there; many a man got grief from Kœna (‘Little-boat’). The anchor-fluke was placed between Frírekr’s shoulders; somewhat higher up, evil-eager Bjarni, harmful to people, swung from a tree.
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