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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Bǫlv Hardr 1II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Bǫlverkr Arnórsson, Drápa about Haraldr harðráði 1’ 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. 286-8.

Bǫlverkr ArnórssonDrápa about Haraldr harðráði

text and translation

Mildingr, straukt of mækis
munn, es lézt af gunni;
holds vannt hrafn of fylldan
hrás; þaut vargr í ási.
En, gramr — né frák fremra
friðskerði þér verða —
austr vast ár it næsta,
ǫrðuglyndr, í Gǫrðum.

Mildingr, straukt of munn mækis, es lézt af gunni; vannt of fylldan hrafn hrás holds; vargr þaut í ási. En, ǫrðuglyndr gramr, it næsta ár vast austr í Gǫrðum; né frák {friðskerði} verða fremra þér.
‘Generous one, you wiped the sword’s mouth when you had finished the fight; you filled the raven with raw flesh; the wolf howled on the hill. And, resolute ruler, the following year you were east in Russia; I never heard of a peace-diminisher [WARRIOR] becoming more distinguished than you.

notes and context

After the battle of Stiklestad in 1030, Haraldr escaped to Sweden. The next summer (1031) he sought refuge with Jaroslav of Novgorod in Russia, where he spent some years in Jaroslav’s army.

For Haraldr’s escape from Stiklestad and the ensuing events, see also Hharð Gamv 1, Hharð Lv 1-2a, 2b and ÞjóðA Sex 1. His stay with Jaroslav is documented in ÞjóðA Run 1, 3. See also Sigfús Blöndal 1978, 54-5.



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: Bǫlverkr Arnórsson, Drape om Harald hårdråde 1: AI, 385, BI, 355, Skald I, 178; ÍF 28, 69-70 (HSig ch. 2), F 1871, 193, E 1916, 34; ÓH 1941, I, 581 (ch. 232); ÍF 29, 227 (ch. 51); Fms 6, 131-2 (HSig ch. 2); Flat 1860-8, III, 289, Mork 1928-32, 58, Andersson and Gade 2000, 131, 471 (MH).


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