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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Þorfdr 18II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Þorfinnsdrápa 18’ 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, p. 250.

Arnórr jarlaskáld ÞórðarsonÞorfinnsdrápa

text and translation

Margr vas millum borga
— mildingr þrǫng at hildi —
horna blôstr, þars hristisk
hugsterks jǫfurs merki.
Vætr brá, ’s vígljóst þótti,
vargsteypis her greypum,
(skulfu jôrn, en ulfar)
uggs (morginhræ tuggu).

Margr blôstr horna vas millum borga, þars merki hugsterks jǫfurs hristisk; mildingr þrǫng at hildi. Vætr uggs brá greypum her {vargsteypis}, [e]s þótti vígljóst; jôrn skulfu, en ulfar tuggu morginhræ.
‘Many a blast of horns sounded between the defences, where the banner of the stout-hearted hero waved; the bountiful one stormed into battle. Not a trace of fear seized the grim troop of the thief-feller [JUST RULER = Þorfinnr], once it seemed light enough for battle; iron blades quivered, and wolves chewed morning-carrion.

notes and context

The st. follows sts 16 and 17 directly.



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, 5. Þórfinnsdrápa 17: AI, 347, BI, 319-20, Skald I, 162, NN §833; Orkn 1913-16, 65 n., ÍF 34, 62 n. 1 (ch. 24); Whaley 1998, 255-7.


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