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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Lausavísur from Hákonar saga Hákonarsonar — Anon (Hák)II

Anonymous Lausavísur

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Lausavísur from Hákonar saga Hákonarsonar’ 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. 848-50.


Rekit vas Rǫgnvalds dauða,
þás randviðir brendu,
— þurru hús fyr harra —
harða, austan fjarðar.
Vasa tál, at skaut Skúli
skjalþrungnum Foldungum
— eldr lék hús fyr hauldum —
hingat skelk í bringu.
‘Rǫgnvaldr’s death was avenged severely when shield-rim trees [WARRIORS] set fires east of the fjord; houses crumbled because of the lord. It was no lie that Skúli inspired fear in the hearts of the garrulous Foldungar here; fire destroyed houses for the freeholders.
Eina kannk vísu:         ari sat á steini;
ok ina aðra:         ari sat á steini;
ǫlls, sem ein sé:         ari sat á steini.
‘I know one verse: an eagle sat on a rock; and this second one: an eagle sat on a rock; everything is, as if it were one: an eagle sat on a rock.
Hóli gœddusk hirðmenn Skúla;
hrukku lítt, meðan full vas skrukka;
drukku þeir af Danmǫrk rekkar;
drógusk lítt of fjǫll ok skóga.
Síðan varð, es slósk í ferðir,
sangran ill ok þunt of stangir;
eiðar rufusk við Inga bróður;
engi vildi fylgja lengra.
‘Skúli’s retainers were bloated from boasting; they hardly retreated while the belly was full; those heroes from Denmark drank; they hardly dragged themselves through mountains and forests. Then it happened, when campaigns began, that there were bad complaints and few around the standard poles; oaths were broken to Ingi’s brother [= Skúli]; no one wished to follow further.

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