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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Þorfdr 6II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Þorfinnsdrápa 6’ 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. 236-7.

Arnórr jarlaskáld ÞórðarsonÞorfinnsdrápa

text and translation

Endr hykk Karli kenndu
kyndóm jǫfur brynju
— land vasa lofðungs kundar
laust — fyr Dýrnes austan.
Fimm snekkjum réð frammi
flugstyggr við hug dyggvan
rausnarmannr at ræsis
reiðr ellifu skeiðum.

Hykk jǫfur endr kenndu Karli {kyndóm brynju} fyr austan Dýrnes; land {kundar lofðungs} vasa laust. Flugstyggr rausnarmannr réð reiðr fimm snekkjum við dyggvan hug frammi at ellifu skeiðum ræsis.
‘I believe the prince [Þorfinnr] once taught Karl the monstrous verdict of the mail-coat [BATTLE] east off Deerness; the land of the ruler’s son [RULER = Þorfinnr] was not for the taking. The flight-shunning man of splendour [Þorfinnr] steered, angered, five warships with steadfast heart forth against the eleven longships of the lord [Karl].

notes and context

Þorfinnr, threatened with a two-pronged attack from Karl Hundason and the Scots, sails north across the Pentland Firth (Péttlandsfjǫrðr). He reaches Deerness (Dýrnes), just south of Sandwick (Sandvík), but there Karl catches up with him before his reinforcements arrive, and Þorfinnr chooses to fight rather than abandon his ships and goods.

332ˣ cites the st. explicitly from Arnórr í Þorfinnsdrápu.



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 6: AI, 344-5, BI, 317, Skald I, 160-1; Flat 1860-8, II, 405, Orkn 1913-16, 46, ÍF 34, 46 (ch. 20); Whaley 1998, 230-2.


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