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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Hardr 4II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Haraldsdrápa 4’ 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. 264-5.

Arnórr jarlaskáld ÞórðarsonHaraldsdrápa

text and translation

Gekkat Sveinn af snekkju
saklaust inn forhrausti
— malmr kom harðr við hjalma —
— hugi minn es þat — sinni.
Farskostr hlaut at fljóta
fljótmælts vinar Jóta,
áðr an ǫðlingr flýði,
auðr, frá verðung dauðri.

Inn forhrausti Sveinn gekkat saklaust af snekkju sinni; þat es hugi minn; malmr kom harðr við hjalma. Farskostr {fljótmælts vinar Jóta} hlaut at fljóta auðr, áðr an ǫðlingr flýði frá dauðri verðung.
‘The very brave Sveinn did not go without cause from his warship; that is my thought; steel struck hard on helmets. The choice vessel of the swift-spoken friend of the Jótar [DANISH KING = Sveinn] was fated to float unmanned, before the noble one fled from his dead retinue.

notes and context

In Hkr, the Norwegians board Sveinn’s ship and clear it so thoroughly that only those who leap overboard survive. In Mork, H-Hr and Flat, the st. follows st. 3, preceded by a sentence that calls attention to Arnórr’s opinion that Sveinn Úlfsson only fled when his situation was desperate.



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 4: AI, 349-50, BI, 322, Skald I, 163; Hkr 1893-1901, III, 164, ÍF 28, 150-1, Hkr 1991, 657 (HSig ch. 63), F 1871, 229, E 1916, 75; Mork 1928-32, 212, Andersson and Gade 2000, 231, 478 (MH); Flat 1860-8, III, 363-4 (MH); Fms 6, 319 (HSig ch. 78), Fms 12, 157; Whaley 1998, 273-5.


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