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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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BjHall Kálffl 6I

Alison Finlay (ed.) 2012, ‘Bjarni gullbrárskáld Hallbjarnarson, Kálfsflokkr 6’ 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. 886.

Bjarni gullbrárskáld HallbjarnarsonKálfsflokkr

text and translation

Hafa lézt unga jǫfra
erfð, sem til réð hverfa;
satts, at sitja knátti
Sveinn at Danmǫrk einni.
Kennduð, Kalfr, til landa
kappfúsum Magnúsi
— olluð ér, þvís stillir
jǫrð of fekk — ór Gǫrðum.

Lézt unga jǫfra hafa erfð, sem réð hverfa til; satts, at Sveinn knátti sitja at Danmǫrk einni. Kalfr, kennduð kappfúsum Magnúsi til landa ór Gǫrðum; ér olluð, þvís stillir of fekk jǫrð.
‘You allowed the young prince [Magnús Óláfsson] to have the inheritance that came his way; it is true that Sveinn was able to rule only in Denmark. Kálfr, you conducted the spirited Magnús to his lands from Russia; you brought it about that the ruler gained the country.

notes and context

In ÓH-Hkr, this stanza is placed after several chapters (in Hkr spanning the end of ÓHHkr and the beginning of MGóð) relating Kálfr’s withdrawal of support from the unpopular king Sveinn Álfífuson, son of Knútr inn ríki, his journey to Novgorod with Einarr þambarskelfir to bring the young Magnús Óláfsson out of exile and offer him the kingdom, their return to Norway, and the withdrawal of Sveinn to Denmark. In Hkr, the stanza follows, and in ÓH it precedes, the report of the death of Knútr in England (13 November 1035) and of Sveinn in Denmark that same winter. Fsk reports how the reluctance of King Jarizleifr (Jaroslav) to hand his foster-son Magnús into the power of his father’s betrayers Kálfr and Einarr is overcome by their swearing oaths of allegiance to Magnús, then cites the stanza.

Lines 1-4 and 5-8 are in reverse order in Fsk.



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 6: AI, 395, BI, 364, Skald I, 182Fms 5, 123-4, Fms 12, 107, ÓH 1941, I, 619 (ch. 255), Flat 1860-8, II, 374; Hkr 1893-1901, III, 13, IV, 181-2, ÍF 28, 12, Hkr 1991, II, 563 (MGóð ch. 5), F 1871, 171, E 1916, 10; Fsk 1902-3, 191-2 (ch. 37), ÍF 29, 208 (ch. 44).


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