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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Frag 2III

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2017, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Fragments 2’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 4.

Arnórr jarlaskáld ÞórðarsonFragments

text and translation

Svalg áttbogi ylgjar
ógóðr, en varð blóði
grœðir grœnn at rauðum,
grandauknum ná, blandinn.

{Ógóðr áttbogi ylgjar} svalg grandauknum ná, en grœnn grœðir, blandinn blóði, varð at rauðum.
‘The evil offspring of the she-wolf [WOLF] swallowed a wound-swollen corpse, and the green surge, mingled with blood, turned to red.

notes and context

The helmingr is quoted in Skm (SnE) within a sequence of skaldic fragments illustrating heiti for ‘wolf’, in this case ylgr.

The B text is so badly damaged that to note the many illegible places would be unhelpful, and it is therefore represented in the Readings by the transcript in 744ˣ. The helmingr is printed as st. 5 of Arnórr’s erfidrápa ‘memorial drápa’ for Haraldr harðráði ‘Hard-rule’ Sigurðarson (Arn HardrII) in SnE 1848-87, III, 572 (where n. 3 appears as though it refers to this stanza, but does not) and Skj. However, the rather lurid description of the aftermath of a sea-battle could have originated in any of several poems by Arnórr, and the helmingr is therefore best treated as a fragment.



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 5: AI, 350, BI, 323, Skald I, 163, NN §2522; SnE 1848-87, I, 478-9, II, 350, 455, 538, 594, III, 99, SnE 1931, 168, SnE 1998, I, 87; Whaley 1998, 312-14.


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