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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Bjark 2III

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Poems, Bjarkamál in fornu 2’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 498.

Anonymous PoemsBjarkamál in fornu

text and translation

Hár inn harðgreipi,         Hrólfr skjótandi,
ættum góðir menn,         þeirs ekki flýja,
vekka yðr at víni         né at vífs rúnum,
heldr vekk yðr at hǫrðum         Hildar leiki.

Hár inn harðgreipi, Hrólfr skjótandi, ættum góðir menn, þeirs flýja ekki, vekka yðr at víni né at rúnum vífs, heldr vekk yðr at {hǫrðum leiki Hildar}.
‘Hár the Hard-gripper, Hrólfr the Shooter, men of good lineage, who do not flee, I do not wake you for wine nor for a woman’s private conversation, rather I wake you for the hard play of Hildr <valkyrie> [BATTLE].

notes and context

As for st. 1.

[5-8]: The second helmingr of st. 2 can be compared with the somewhat longer version of Saxo, which is almost certainly based upon it. Friis-Jensen (1987, 152-3) offers an excellent close analysis of the literary parallels and differences between the two texts. The contrast between the pleasures of eating and drinking and associating with women, on the one hand, and the ‘hard play’ of battle, on the other, are conventional in Old Norse poetry; cf. Þhorn Harkv 6I.



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: Anonyme digte og vers [X], II. A. Bjarkamál en fornu 2: AI, 180, BI, 170, Skald I, 91, FF §24; Hkr 1893-1901, II, 463, ÍF 27, 361-2 (ÓHHkr ch. 208); ÓH 1941, I, 547, Flat 1860-8, II, 34; ÍF 6, 263 (Fbr ch. 24).


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