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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Þorfdr 20II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Þorfinnsdrápa 20’ 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. 253-4.

Arnórr jarlaskáld ÞórðarsonÞorfinnsdrápa

text and translation

Óskepna varð uppi
endr, þás mǫrgum kenndi
hôligt róg at hníga,
hǫrð, þars jarlar bǫrðusk.
Nær réðusk ástmenn órir,
eldhríð es varð síðan
— ǫld fekk mein in milda
mǫrg — fyr Rauðabjǫrgum.

Endr varð hǫrð óskepna uppi, þás hôligt róg kenndi mǫrgum at hníga, þars jarlar bǫrðusk. Ástmenn órir réðusk nær, es {eldhríð} varð síðan fyr Rauðabjǫrgum; in milda ǫld fekk mǫrg mein.
‘At that time a harsh, monstrous thing came to pass, as mighty strife taught many to fall where jarls fought. Our [my] dear friends almost destroyed each other, as the sword-blizzard [BATTLE] came about then off Rauðabjǫrg; the gracious men received many injuries.

notes and context

Stanzas 20 and 24 are first quoted at the end of ch. 32, a summary chapter on the life and death of Þorfinnr. They are introduced as witnesses to the battle between the jarls Rǫgnvaldr Brúsason and Þorfinnr. They occur again, together with st. 19 and BjHall Kálffl 8I, at the end of ch. 56, which concerns Páll, son of Þorfinnr. The sts have no connection with the preceding prose, and there are no introductory words to explain their inclusion at this point.



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 20: AI, 347, BI, 320, Skald I, 162, NN §836, 2021; Flat 1860-8, II, 422, 440, Orkn 1913-16, 87-8, 131 n., ÍF 34, 83, 122 n. (chs 32, 56; st. not printed at repeat); Whaley 1998, 257-9.


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