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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Blakkr Lv 2II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Blakkr, Lausavísur 2’ 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. 650-1.


text and translation

Ǫld man hitt, at hœldusk
(hvatir guldu þess skatnar)
fyrr (ór flokki þeira)
foraðstungur Kuflunga.
Nú kná bergs í bjǫrgum
— búk reiðir lô sjúkan —
— mettr vas hrafn í Hrotti —
hóts annan veg þjóta.

Ǫld man hitt, at foraðstungur Kuflunga hœldusk fyrr; hvatir skatnar ór flokki þeira guldu þess. Nú kná þjóta hóts annan veg í bjǫrgum bergs; lô reiðir sjúkan búk; hrafn vas mettr í Hrotti.
‘People remember this, that the terrifying tongues of the Kuflungar boasted earlier; bold warriors from their band paid for that. Now it howls quite differently in the stones of the mountain; the sea tosses the wounded torso; the raven was sated in Rott.

notes and context

After the episode described above (Blakkr Lv 1), the fleet of the Kuflungar on their way north to Trondheim is scattered in a storm. The ships, which have been separated into smaller groups, encounter various units of Sverrir’s fleet. Twenty ships which have put into harbour at the island of Rott are attacked by Sverrir’s commander, Úlfr from Laufnes, and his brother, Hiði. The Kuflungar flee, but two ships are captured and the crew is killed. Jón kuflungr finally rejoins the rest of his fleet and sails south to Tønsberg.

For the boasting of the Kuflungar referred to in this st., see Nefari Lv above. The content of Blakkr’s two sts is certainly in the spirit of Sverrir’s own speeches when he addressed his men before and after battles (see Sv 1920, lxvii-lxx; ÍF 30, lxvi-lxx).



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: Blakkr, 2. Lausavísur 2: AI, 538, BI, 519, Skald I, 253, NN §2480E; ÍF 30, 164 (ch. 106), Sv 1920, 113, Flat 1860-8, II, 628, E 1916, 356, Sv 1910-86, 140.


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