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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Hardr 11II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Haraldsdrápa 11’ 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. 272-3.

Arnórr jarlaskáld ÞórðarsonHaraldsdrápa

text and translation

Hafðit brjóst, né bifðisk
bǫðsnart konungs hjarta
í hjalmþrimu, hilmir
hlítstyggr fyr sér lítit,
þars til þengils hersa
þat sá herr, at skatna
blóðugr hjǫrr ins barra
beit dǫglinga hneitis.

Hlítstyggr hilmir hafðit lítit brjóst fyr sér, né bifðisk bǫðsnart hjarta konungs í {hjalmþrimu}, þars herr sá þat til {þengils hersa}, at blóðugr hjǫrr {ins barra hneitis dǫglinga} beit skatna.
‘The prince, shunning mediocrity, had no small courage in himself, and the battle-swift heart of the king did not tremble in the helmet-din [BATTLE], where the army saw, watching the lord of hersar [RULER], that the bloody sword of the zealous subduer of princes [RULER] bit men.

notes and context

In Hkr and H-Hr, the Norwegians are deceived by the apparent flight of the English into breaking their shield-wall. Seeing what straits his men are in, Haraldr plunges into the thick of the fighting with such vigour that the English (in Hkr) are on the point of fleeing. In Fsk, Mork and Flat, the Engl. cavalry gain the upper hand by sheer force of numbers, so that the Norwegians break ranks.

The st. is attributed in Mork and Flat to Arnórr ‘in his poem’ (í sínu kvæði).



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: Arnórr Þórðarson jarlaskáld, 6. Erfidrápa om kong Harald hårdråde 14: AI, 352, BI, 324-5, Skald I, 164; Hkr 1893-1901, III, 209, ÍF 28, 189-90, Hkr 1991, 685 (HSig ch. 92), F 1871, 249, E 1916, 97; Fsk 1902-3, 292 (ch. 59), ÍF 29, 286-7 (ch. 69); Mork 1928-32, 277-8, Andersson and Gade 2000, 272, 481-2 (MH); Flat 1860-8, III, 395 (MH); Fms 6, 418 (HSig ch. 119), Fms 12, 165-6; Whaley 1998, 287-9.


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