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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Innsteinskviða — Innsteinn InnkvVIII (Hálf)

Innsteinn Gunnlaðarson

Innsteinn Gunnlaðarson, Innsteinskviða — Hubert Seelow

Not published: do not cite (Innsteinn InnkvVIII (Hálf))

 

Upp mundum vér         allir ganga,
skatna beztir,         af skipum várum,
láta brenna         bragninga sveit
ok Ásmundar lið         aldri týna.
 
‘We, the best of warriors, should all go up from our ships, let the band of men burn and [make] the troops of Ásmundr lose [their] lives.
Sér ekki þú allan         Ásmundar hug;
hefir fylkir sá         flærð í brjósti.
Mundir þú, þengill,         ef vér því réðim,
mági þínum         mjök litt trúa.
 
‘You do not see Ásmundr’s whole mind; this prince has falsehood in his breast. You, king, should trust your kinsman very little, if it were up to us [me].
Þér er orðinn         Óðinn til gramr,
er þú Ásmundi         allvel trúir.
Hann mun alla         oss um véla,
nema þú vitrari         viðsjár fáir.
 
‘Óðinn has become too angry with you, since you trust Ásmundr so well. He will betray us all, unless you acquire wiser wariness.
Hálfr, dreymði mik         — hygðu at slíku —,
at logi léki         um liði váru.
Ilt væri þar         ór at leysaz;
hvat kveðr þú, þengill,         þann draum vita?
 
‘Hálfr, I dreamed — be mindful of this — that a flame flickered around our troop. It would be difficult to escape from there; what do you say, king, that dream means?
Enn dreymði mik         öðru sinni;
hugða ek á öxlum         elda brenna.
Gruna tek ek nökkut,         at þat gott viti;
hvat kveðr þú, þengill,         þann draum vita?
 
‘I dreamed again a second time; I thought fires were burning on the shoulders [of our men]. I am becoming rather doubtful that this is a good omen; what do you say, king, that dream means?
Þat dreymði mik         þriðja sinni,
at vér í kaf niðr         komnir værim.
Eiga mun allstórt         um at véla;
hvat kveðr þú, þengill,         þann draum vita?
 
‘The third time I dreamed that we were deeply immersed in water. Something very great will have to be dealt with; what do you say, king, that dream means?
Hlýði Hrókar         í her konungs
orðum mínum,         Útsteinn þriði.
Göngum allir         upp frá ströndu;
kunnum ekki         konungs mál um þat.
 
‘May the Hrókar in the king’s host listen to my words, Útsteinn as the third one. Let us all go up from the shore; let us not hold the king’s words at fault for that.
Hlítt hefir fylkir         í förum úti
mínum ráðum         mörgu sinni.
Nú kveð ek öngu,         er ek mæli,
hlýða vilja,         sízt hingat kómum.
 
‘The prince has many times trusted my advice while on journeys out at sea. Now I declare [him] unwilling to listen to anything I say since we have come here.
Rýkr um hauka         í höll konungs;
ván er at drjúpi         vax af söxum.
Mál er gulli         ok gersimum,
hjálmum skipta         með Hálfsrekkum.
 
‘There is smoke around the hawks in the king’s hall; it is to be expected that wax will drip from the swords. It is time to share helmets, gold and treasures with Hálfr’s champions.
Hins fýsi ek nú,         at Hálfr vaki,
er ekki af eklu         eldar kynd*ir.
Áttu, menbrjótr,         mági þínum
grimmlunduðum         gjafir at launa.
 
‘Now I advise that Hálfr should wake up, the fires are not lit scantily. You, necklace-breaker [GENEROUS RULER], have to reward your cruel-minded kinsman for his gifts.
Hrindum heilir         hallar bjóri;
nú taka súlur         í sundr þoka.
Æ mun uppi,         meðan öld lifir,
Hálfsrekka för         til hertoga.
 
‘May we succeed in pushing [out] the gable wall of the hall; now the pillars begin to move asunder. The journey of Hálfr’s champions to the army-commander will always be remembered, as long as mankind lives.
Hart skulum ganga         ok hliða ekki *;
verðr vísis lið         at vega með söxum.
Þeir skulu sjálfir         á sér bera
blóðgar benjar,         áðr braki létti.
 
‘We shall go [forth] fast and not give way; the prince’s troop has to fight with swords. They themselves shall bear bloody wounds on their bodies before the din ceases.
Snúiz snarliga         snyrtidrengir
út ór eldi         með auðbrota.
Enginn er ýta,         sá er æ lifir;
mun ekki baugbroti         við bana kvíða.
 
‘May the gallant warriors turn quickly out of the fire with the treasure-breaker [GENEROUS RULER = Hálfr]. There is no man who lives forever; the ring-breaker [GENEROUS RULER = Hálfr] will not be apprehensive of death.
Hér sá ek alla         einum fylgja
jafnröskliga,         öðlings syni.
Hittumz heilir,         þá heðan líðum;
er eigi léttara         líf en dauði.
 
‘Here I saw that all followed one man, the son of a prince [PRINCE = Hálfr], with equal bravery. May we meet happily, when we pass from here; life is not easier than death.
Hrókr er fallinn         með hertoga,
frækn at fótum         fólks oddvita.
Eigum Óðni         ilt at gjalda,
er hann slíkan konung         sigri rænti.
 
‘Hrókr has fallen with the army-commander, valiant at the feet of the leader of the army [KING = Hálfr]. We have to repay Óðinn for evil, as he deprived such a king of victory.
Ek hefi úti         átján sumur
fylgt fullhuga         flein at rjóða.
Skal ek ekki annan         eiga dróttin
gunnargjarnan,         né gamall verða.
 
‘I have followed the dauntless man out at sea for eighteen summers in order to redden the spear. I shall not have another battle-eager lord, nor become old.
Hér mun Innsteinn         til jarðar hníga,
hoskr at höfði         hers oddvita.
Þat munu seggir         at sögum gjöra,
at Hálfr konungr         hlæjandi dó.
 
‘Here Innsteinn will sink to the ground, prudent by the head of the leader of the army [KING = Hálfr]. Men will fashion it into tales that king Hálfr died laughing.
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