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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Fragments — ÞjóðA FragII

Þjóðólfr Arnórsson

Diana Whaley 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Fragments’ 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. 158-63.


Nús valmeiðum víðis
— veit drótt mikinn ótta —
— skeiðr hefr herr fyr hauðri —
hætt góðs friðar vætta.
Mildr vill Magnús halda
morðs hlunngotum norðan,
ítr en ǫnnur skreytir
unnvigg Haraldr sunnan.
‘Now it’s risky for the beams of the stallion of the ocean [(lit. ‘stallion-beams of the ocean’) SHIP > SEAFARERS] to expect a secure peace; the troop knows great fear; the host takes warships along the coast. Magnús, generous with slaughter, wishes to steer roller-steeds [SHIPS] from the north, while the excellent Haraldr equips other wave-horses [SHIPS] [to sail] from the south.
Jarl lætr odda skúrar
optherðir gǫr verða
hrings, áðr hann of þryngvi,
hǫrð él, und sik jǫrðu.
‘The jarl, frequent hardener of the shower of barbs [BATTLE > WARRIOR], causes harsh storms of the sword [BATTLES] to be made before he forces land under himself.
Ganga él of yngva
Ullar skips með fullu,
þars samnagla siglur
slíðrdúkaðar ríða.
‘The storms of Ullr’s <god’s> ship [SHIELD > BATTLES] come upon the prince at full strength, where sheath-covered masts of the rivet [SWORDS] ride high.
Snart við sæþráð kyrtat
sík; lá blær á díki.
Útan bindr við enda
elgvers glǫðuðr hersa
hreins við húfi rónum
hafs botni far gotna.
‘The gladdener of hersar [RULER] ties up the vessel of men out at the edge of the pure elk-sea [LAND], by the inlet of the ocean, rowed by the hull.

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