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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gizsv Lv 1I

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2012, ‘Gizurr svarti (gullbrárskáld), Lausavísa 1’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 818.

Gizurr svarti (gullbrárskáld)Lausavísa1

text and translation

Skala óglaðan æva
— orð fregni þat; borða
búumk við þrǫng á þingi —
þegns dóttir mik fregna,
þótt sigrunnar svinnir
segi vôn Heðins kvánar;
verum í Ála éli
austr bragningi at trausti.

Dóttir þegns skala fregna mik æva óglaðan — fregni þat orð; búumk við þrǫng á {þingi borða} —, þótt {svinnir sigrunnar} segi vôn {kvánar Heðins}; verum austr í {éli Ála} at trausti bragningi.
‘The retainer’s daughter shall not hear that I am ever [lit. never] unhappy — may she hear of that word; we are preparing for a crush in the assembly of shields [BATTLE] —, though prudent battle-trees [WARRIORS] say there is prospect of the woman of Heðinn <legendary hero> [= Hildr (hildr ‘battle’)]; let us be east in the blizzard of Áli <legendary king> [BATTLE] in loyal support of the king.

notes and context

ÓH-Hkr: Drawing up troops before the battle of Stiklastaðir (Stiklestad), Óláfr Haraldsson allocates places in the shield-wall to his skalds, telling them to compose about what they see. Þormóðr Kolbrúnarskáld has a bitter exchange with the king about the absence of Sigvatr Þórðarson, then the skalds decide they are better off composing verse. Gizurr svarti/Gullbrárskáld, Þorfinnr munnr and Þormóðr utter a stanza each (see Þorf Lv; Þorm Lv 19), which men learn straight away. In ÓHLeg too the context is the prelude to Stiklastaðir but otherwise it differs, and the stanza is spoken by Þormóðr.

For the battle of Stiklastaðir and other skaldic poetry associated with it, see the entry on Óláfr Haraldsson’ in ‘Ruler biographies’ in Introduction to this volume.



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.

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