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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Bǫlv Hardr 5II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Bǫlverkr Arnórsson, Drápa about Haraldr harðráði 5’ 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. 290-1.

Bǫlverkr ArnórssonDrápa about Haraldr harðráði
456

Rétt ‘you risked’

ráða (verb): advise, rule, interpret, decide

[1] Rétt: Ríttu Hr

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hætta ‘with splendour’

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skeiðum ‘the warships’

1. skeið (noun f.; °-ar; -r/-ar/-ir): ship

notes

[2] skeiðum ‘the warships’: See Note to Valg Har 1/2.

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prýddr ‘Splendid’

prýða (verb): adorn

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‘pressed’

liggja (verb): lie

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at ‘against’

3. at (prep.): at, to

[3] at: á Hr

notes

[3, 4] at breiddu stáli ‘against the spread-out prow’: The ‘spread-out prow’ must refer to the frontal view of the ship’s broad bow (see Falk 1912, 36; Jesch 2001a, 150). Kock (NN §3090) suggested the emendation to brætt ‘tarred’.

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breiddu ‘the spread-out’

breiðr (adj.; °compar. -ari, superl. -astr): broad, wide

notes

[3, 4] at breiddu stáli ‘against the spread-out prow’: The ‘spread-out prow’ must refer to the frontal view of the ship’s broad bow (see Falk 1912, 36; Jesch 2001a, 150). Kock (NN §3090) suggested the emendation to brætt ‘tarred’.

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Blálands ‘North Africa’

Bláland (noun n.): North Africa, Africa

notes

[4] Bláland ‘North Africa’: Lit. ‘land of the dark people’. Usually denotes North Africa (or Ethiopia; see Fritzner: Bláland; Simek 1990a, 156-8, 202-3). In Heimslýsing ok helgifrœði (Hb 1892-6, 165), Bláland is used synonymously with ancient Mauretania (which comprised modern western Algeria and northern Morocco), and it would be more likely that Haraldr proceeded west along the coast of Africa rather than embarking on an expedition to the Red Sea (Ethiopia). See also Þfisk Lv 2/6, Sjórs Lv 3 and Hskv Útkv 1/7.

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á ‘to’

3. á (prep.): on, at

[4] á: at Hr

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vit ‘’

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stáli ‘prow’

1. stál (noun n.; °-s; -): steel, weapon, prow

notes

[3, 4] at breiddu stáli ‘against the spread-out prow’: The ‘spread-out prow’ must refer to the frontal view of the ship’s broad bow (see Falk 1912, 36; Jesch 2001a, 150). Kock (NN §3090) suggested the emendation to brætt ‘tarred’.

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Laust ‘struck’

2. ljósta (verb): strike

notes

[5] laust (3rd pers. sg. pret. indic.) ‘struck’: The second helmingr is unusual in that the verb laust ‘struck’ functions as the predicate in two parallel constructions (skúr laustmjǫll skokks [laust] ‘the rain-shower struck … the snow of the bottom-board [struck]’; see NN §1142). Skj B suggests the reading skúr laust á dýra skjaldrim á þrǫm skokks stokkinn mjǫll ‘the wind struck against the precious shields, against the ship-side, splattered with foam’ which is impossible because mjǫll (f. ō-stem) cannot be a dat. form (mjǫllu; see ANG §376).

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lauka ‘the masts’

laukr (noun m.; °-s; -ar): leek, mast

[5] lauka: lokka Hr

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þungan ‘heavy’

þungr (adj.): heavy

[6] þungan: þunga Hr

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skúr ‘The rain-shower’

1. skúr (noun f.; °; -ir): shower

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skjaldrim ‘shield-rail’

skjaldrim (noun f.): [shield-rail]

[7] skjaldrim: skjǫldum Hr

notes

[7] skjaldrim ‘shield-rail’: A board mounted outside the top edge of the uppermost strake to hold the shields (see Falk 1912, 53-5; Jesch 2001a, 141).

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skokks ‘of the bottom-board’

skokkr (noun m.): bottom-board

kennings

mjǫll skokks
‘the snow of the bottom-board ’
   = SEA-SPRAY

the snow of the bottom-board → SEA-SPRAY

notes

[8] skokks ‘of the bottom-board’: For this translation, see Note to st. 4/8 above.

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mjǫll ‘the snow’

mjǫll (noun f.; °dat. -/-u): fresh snow

kennings

mjǫll skokks
‘the snow of the bottom-board ’
   = SEA-SPRAY

the snow of the bottom-board → SEA-SPRAY
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After the campaign described in st. 4 above, Haraldr sailed on with his army in a great storm with heavy sea.

H-Hr is the only version to mention that Haraldr went on another campaign after having fought in North Africa. See also Þfisk Lv 2/6.

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