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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Þorfdr 5II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Þorfinnsdrápa 5’ 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. 235-6.

Arnórr jarlaskáld ÞórðarsonÞorfinnsdrápa

text and translation

Hilmir rauð í hjalma
hreggi skelkings eggjar;
fór, áðr fimmtán væri,
fetrjóðr Hugins, vetra.
Gǫrr lézk grund at verja
geðfrœkn ok til sœkja
œri Einars hlýra
engr mannr und skýranni.

Hilmir rauð eggjar skelkings í {hreggi hjalma}; {fetrjóðr Hugins} fór, áðr væri fimmtán vetra. Engr mannr und {skýranni} œri {hlýra Einars} lézk gǫrr at verja grund, geðfrœkn, ok sœkja til.
‘The ruler reddened the sword’s edges in the storm of helmets [BATTLE]; the foot-reddener of Huginn <raven> [WARRIOR] set forth before he was fifteen winters. No man under the cloud-hall [SKY/HEAVEN] younger than Einarr’s brother [= Þorfinnr] has declared himself ready to guard his realm, mind-bold, and to mount attacks.

notes and context

In the sagas, the st. follows a sketch of Þorfinnr’s appearance and character, and a statement that at the age of five he received Caithness (Katanes, and Sutherland according to a variant) and the title jarl from his grandfather Malcolm (Melkólmr), King of the Scots. In SnE, ll. 1-2 are quoted to illustrate the use of hilmir within a section on terms for rulers.



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 5: AI, 344, BI, 316-17, Skald I, 160; Flat 1860-8, II, 404, Orkn 1913-16, 43, ÍF 34, 43 (ch. 20); Hkr 1893-1901, II, 199, ÍF 27, 160, Hkr 1991, 364 (ÓH ch. 96); ÓH 1941, I, 232 (ch. 81); SnE 1848-87, II, 540; Whaley 1998, 228-30.


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