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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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BjHall Kálffl 4I

Alison Finlay (ed.) 2012, ‘Bjarni gullbrárskáld Hallbjarnarson, Kálfsflokkr 4’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 883.

Bjarni gullbrárskáld HallbjarnarsonKálfsflokkr

text and translation

Áttu Engla dróttni,
ógnrakkr, gjafar þakka,
jarls niðr; komtu yðru
ótála vel máli.
Þér lét fold, áðr fœrir
— frest urðu þess — vestan,
— líf þitt esa lítit —
Lundúna gramr fundna.

Áttu þakka {dróttni Engla} gjafar, {ógnrakkr niðr jarls}; komtu ótála máli yðru vel. {Gramr Lundúna} lét fold fundna þér, áðr fœrir vestan; frest urðu þess; líf þitt esa lítit.
‘You have the lord of the English [= Knútr] to thank for gifts, battle-bold descendant of a jarl [= Kálfr]; you undoubtedly advanced your case well. The lord of London [= Knútr] said that land was found for you before you travelled from the west; there was delay in this; your life is not insignificant.

notes and context

ÓH-Hkr relates that, on arrival at Knútr’s court, Kálfr is offered a future jarldom on his return to Norway and overall rule of the country in exchange for opposition to King Óláfr. The king gives him fine gifts when they part. For Fsk see Context to st. 3 and Note to [All] below.

Stanzas 3/5-8 and 4/5-8 form a unitary stanza in Fsk.  — [1, 3] áttu; komtu yðru ‘you have; you advanced your’: Unusually, the enclitic pron. -tu ‘you’ is syllabic, occupying a metrical position, in both these lines; átt and komt would have been expected. Also unusual is the switch from the grammatically sg., familiar 2nd pers. form komtu to the grammatically pl., formal form yðru ‘your’, since this occurs in consecutive words here, although such mixing of forms is not generally uncommon (cf. Note to st. 1/5).



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: Bjarni Hallbjarnarson gullbrárskáld, Kalfsflokkr 4: AI, 394-5, BI, 364, Skald I, 182Fms 5, 32, Fms 12, 97, ÓH 1941, I, 508 (ch. 179), Flat 1860-8, II, 318-19; Hkr 1893-1901, II, 427, IV, 161-2, ÍF 27, 334-5, Hkr 1991, II, 497 (ÓHHkr ch. 183); Fsk 1902-3, 180 (ch. 28), ÍF 29, 199 (ch. 34). 


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