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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þorm Lv 23I

R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Þormóðr Kolbrúnarskáld, Lausavísur 23’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 838.

Þormóðr KolbrúnarskáldLausavísur

text and translation

Ǫrt vas Ôleifs hjarta;
óð framm konungr — blóði
rekin bitu stôl — á Stiklar
stǫðum, kvaddi lið bǫðvar.
Élþolla sák alla
Jǫlfuðs nema gram sjalfan
— reyndr vas flestr í fastri
fleindrífu — sér hlífa.

Hjarta Ôleifs vas ǫrt; konungr óð framm á Stiklarstǫðum, kvaddi lið bǫðvar; stôl rekin blóði bitu. Sák {alla {Jǫlfuðs él}þolla} hlífa sér nema gram sjalfan; flestr vas reyndr í {fastri fleindrífu}.
‘Óláfr’s heart was energetic; the king pressed forward at Stiklestad, rallied his host to battle; steel weapons inlaid with blood bit. I saw all the firs of the storm of Jǫlfuðr <= Óðinn> [(lit. ‘storm-firs of Jǫlfuðr’) BATTLE > WARRIORS] shelter themselves except the leader himself; most were tested in the ceaseless missile-blizzard [BATTLE].

notes and context

In ÓH (excluding Flat) and Hkr, the poet listens to the talk around him, and he hears some praise the valour of the king above all, while others rate the prowess of other men no less. He speaks this vísa. In Flat, the stanza follows Lv 21. The woman tending the men asks who bore himself best in battle, and the poet responds. In ÓHLeg and Fbr, the stanza follows Lv 22 (see Context); the same woman asks further how the king bore himself in battle, and Þormóðr replies.

On the differences between the prose contexts of this and the following vísur in Fbr and Hkr, see Wolf (1965, 464-7).



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: Þórmóðr Bersason Kolbrúnarskáld, 2. Lausavísur 23: AI, 287-8, BI, 266, Skald I, 136, NN §§713, 942, 2481H, 2988D; Fms 5, 91, Fms 12, 102-3, ÓH 1941, I, 583 (ch. 233), Flat 1860-8, II, 364; Hkr 1777-1826, II, 375-76, VI, 114-15, Hkr 1868, 497 (ÓHHkr ch. 246), Hkr 1893-1901, I, 501, IV, 171-2, ÍF 27, 390-1, Hkr 1991, II, 538 (ÓHHkr ch. 233); ÓHLeg 1849, 72, 120, ÓHLeg 1922, 87, ÓHLeg 1982, 200-1; Hb 1892-6, 415, Fbr 1852, 111, Fbr 1925-7, 213 (ch. 24), ÍF 6, 271-2 (ch. 24), Loth 1960a, l-li, 156-7 (ch. 17), ÍS II, 842, 848 (ch. 24); Gaertner 1907, 312, 347, Finnur Jónsson 1932-3, 76-7.


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