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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Lausavísur — Marm LvVIII (Hálf)


Marmennill, Lausavísur — Hubert Seelow

Not published: do not cite (Marm LvVIII (Hálf))


Ek sé lýsa         langt suðr í haf;
vill danskr konungr         dóttur hefna.
Hann hefir úti         ótal skipa;
býðr hann Hjörleifi         hólmstefnu til.
‘I see a glitter a long way south in the sea; a Danish king wants to avenge his daughter. He sails with countless ships; he challenges Hjǫrleifr to a duel.
Varaztu víti,         ef þú vilt;
vil ek aptr í sjó.
‘Beware of disaster, if you want; I want to go back into the sea.
Sögu kann ek segja         sonum Háleygja
vilgi góða,         ef þér vilið heyra.
Hér ferr sunnan         Svarðar dóttir,
um drifin dreyra,         frá Danmörku.
‘I can tell the sons of the Háleygir a story [which is] by no means good, if you want to hear it. Here Svǫrðr’s daughter, drenched with blood, moves from the south from Denmark.
Hefir sér á höfði         hjálm upp spenntan,
herkuml harðligt         Heðins af létta.
Skammt mun sveinum         — sé þat, sem er —
hildar at bíða         hér á ferli.
‘On her head she has clasped with ease a helmet, the hard war token of Heðinn <legendary hero> [HELMET]. The lads will have to wait a short time for war to be on its way here. I see it as it is.
Bresta mun baugröst,
brá mær augum
um heruð hingat
hegna til þegna.
Hafa skal hverr drengr
hjörnjóts mörg spjót,
áðr komi mikil fram
málmahríð síðan.
‘The ring-path [SHIELD] will break, the girl flashed her eyes around the district hither to the men of the defenders. Each brave fellow of the sword-user [WARRIOR] must have many spears, before a great weapon-storm [BATTLE] will then ensue.
Þó munu — ef þat er satt,         þá ferr illa —
hafa allir alkeypt         ár, þá er kemr vár.
‘Still all will have paid very dearly for the year when spring comes; if that is true, then things will turn out badly.
Kalt vatn augum         en kvett tönnum,
lérept líki,         lát mik aptr í sjó.
Dregr mik engi         í degi síðan
maðr upp í skip         af marabotnum.
‘Cold water for the eyes and a piece of meat for the teeth, linen for the body, put me back into the sea. No man will pull me then by daylight from the depths of the ocean up into a ship.

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