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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þul Kálfv 3III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Kálfsvísa 3’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 667.

Anonymous ÞulurKálfsvísa

text and translation

Áli Hrafni,         — til íss riðu —
en annarr austr         und Aðilsi
grár hvarfaði         geiri undaðr.

Áli Hrafni – riðu til íss –, en annarr, grár undaðr geiri, hvarfaði austr und Aðilsi.
‘Áli [rode] Hrafn – they rode to the ice –, and another one, a grey one wounded by a spear, staggered to the east under Aðils.

notes and context

This is the only stanza in Kálfv that contains references to a narrative. The first line has the same format as the other stanzas, but ll. 2-6 (omitted in most mss of LaufE) must refer to the battle between Aðils and Áli on the ice of Lake Vänern in Sweden where Áli fell (see ÍF 26, 57): Þeir áttu orrostu á Vænis ísi. Þar fell Áli konungr, en Aðils hafði sigr … Aðils konungr var mjǫk kærr at góðhestum … Sløngvir hét hestr hans, en annarr Hrafn. Þann tók hann af Ála dauðum ‘They did battle on the ice of Vänern. King Áli fell there, and Aðils was victorious … King Aðils was very fond of good horses … Sløngvir was the name of his horse, and another was called Hrafn. That one he took from the dead Áli’. See also SnE 1998, I, 58 and Beowulf 2008, 297.  — [1]: The line lacks a verb, and some earlier eds (SnE 1848-87; SnE 1998) give this and the previous stanza as one (see Introduction above). — [2-6]: These lines have been omitted in LaufE (ms. papp10ˣ has l. 2), most likely because they do not contain any horse-names.  — [3-6]: Faulkes (SnE 1998, I, 211) speculates whether ll. 3-6 also could contain the names of horses (nom. Annarr l. 3, Hvarfaðr l. 5, Geirr l. 6) and their riders (nom. Aðils l. 4, Grár l. 5, Undaðr l. 6), but that is unlikely (and cf. the omission of these ll. in LaufE and Note to ll. 2-6 above). 



Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XII], I. II. Þulur: Kálfsvísa 3: AI, 651, BI, 657, Skald I, 321; SnE 1848-87, I, 482-5, II, 352, 459, 595, SnE 1931, 170, SnE 1998, I, 89; LaufE 1979, 275, 353, NK 320.


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