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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Bǫlv Hardr 4II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Bǫlverkr Arnórsson, Drápa about Haraldr harðráði 4’ 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. 289-90.

Bǫlverkr ArnórssonDrápa about Haraldr harðráði
345

Súð varð, þars blés blóði,
— bǫrð renndusk at jǫrðu —
— vátt drengliga, dróttinn —
dreyrafull við eyri.
Vann und sik fyr sunnan
Sikiley liði miklu
sand, þars sveiti skyndi,
sokkit lík, of skokka.

Súð varð dreyrafull við eyri, þars blés blóði; bǫrð renndusk at jǫrðu; dróttinn, vátt drengliga. Sokkit lík vann und sik sand miklu liði fyr sunnan Sikiley, þars sveiti skyndi of skokka.

The ship became gore-filled by the sandbank where blood gushed; bows glided toward land; lord, you fought valiantly. The sunken corpse conquered sand with a great host south of Sicily where blood rushed over bottom-boards.

Mss: H(22v), Hr(17ra-b) (H-Hr)

Readings: [2] renndusk: reyndusk Hr    [3] drengliga: drengiliga Hr    [8] skokka: stokka Hr

Editions: Skj AI, 386, Skj BI, 355-6, Skald I, 178, NN §1793, 1793B; Fms 6, 140 (HSig ch. 5).

Context: Haraldr campaigned in North Africa.

Notes: [All]: For this campaign, see also ÞjóðA Sex 2-3, Ill Har 4, Sigfús Blöndal 1978, 60-3 and Jesch 2001a, 88-9. — [1] súð ‘the ship’: See Note to Hharð Gamv 2/2. — [1] blés blóði ‘blood gushed’: Lit. ‘it gushed with blood’. Blása ‘gush, spout’ is used impersonally with blóði (n. dat. sg.) ‘blood’ as the object. — [6] miklu liði (n. dat. sg.) ‘with a great host’: Skj B connects this phrase with the next cl. (translated as hvor blodet strömmedeud af mange mænds legemer ‘where blood rushed … out of many men’s bodies’), which complicates the w. o. unnecessarily (see NN §1793B). For the dat. in this expression, see NS §110.b. The image of defeat and slaughter worded as if this were a glorious conquest (‘the sunken corpse conquered sand with a great host [of corpses]’) is clearly meant to be ironic. — [8] of skokka ‘over bottom-boards’: Skokkr can mean ‘coffin, shrine’, ‘sheath for a knife’ and ‘bottom-boards’ (see Heggstad, Hødnebø and Simensen 1997: skokkr 1-3). See also sts 5/8 and 8/5 below, Arn Þorfdr 21/8, Kolli Ingdr 4/7, NN §1793 and Lindquist 1928.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  4. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  6. Jesch, Judith. 2001a. Ships and Men in the Late Viking Age: The Vocabulary of Runic Inscriptions and Skaldic Verse. Woodbridge: Boydell.
  7. NS = Nygaard, Marius. 1906. Norrøn syntax. Kristiania (Oslo): Aschehoug. Rpt. 1966.
  8. Lindquist, Ivar. 1928. ‘En fornisländsk sjöterm skokkr’. In Brøndum-Nielsen et al. 1928, 385-94.
  9. Sigfús Blöndal. 1978. The Varangians of Byzantium: An Aspect of Byzantine Military History. Trans. and rev. Benedikt S. Benedikz. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. First published 1954 as Væringja saga. Reykjavík: Ísafoldarprentsmiðja.
  10. Internal references
  11. Not published: do not cite (HSigII)
  12. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Þorfinnsdrápa 21’ 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. 254-5.
  13. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson, Gamanvísur 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. 36-7.
  14. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Illugi bryndœlaskáld, Poem about Haraldr harðráði 4’ 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, p. 285.
  15. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Kolli inn prúði, Ingadrápa 4’ 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, p. 531.
  16. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Sexstefja 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. 113-14.
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