Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.



Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

HSt Rst 1I

Rolf Stavnem (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallar-Steinn, Rekstefja 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. 897.


Hǫrs gnótt hrunda sléttum
hljóðs kveðk mér at óði
randhvéls rennu Þundi;
Rekstefju tekk hefja.
Skýrunn* skjaldar linna
skalk fríðum lof smíða
þing-Baldr Þróttar mildum,
þeims fremstr varð beima.

Kveðk mér hljóðs gnótt {hrunda hǫrs} at sléttum óði {Þundi {rennu {randhvéls}}}; tekk hefja Rekstefju. Skalk smíða lof {fríðum {{skjaldar linna} ský}runn*}, {mildum {Þróttar þing-}Baldr}, þeims varð fremstr beima.

I ask silence for myself from the great number {of valkyries of linen} [WOMEN] for the smooth poem {about the Þundr <= Óðinn> {of the rush {of the rim-wheel}}} [SHIELD > BATTLE > WARRIOR = Óláfr Tryggvason]; I commence Rekstefja (‘Split-refrain’ (?)). I will forge a praise-poem {for the handsome tree {of the cloud {of the snakes of the shield}}} [(lit. ‘cloud-tree of the snakes of the shield’) SWORDS > SHIELD > WARRIOR = Óláfr], {for the generous Baldr <god> {of the assembly of Þróttr <= Óðinn>}} [(lit. ‘assembly-Baldr of Þróttr’) BATTLE > WARRIOR = Óláfr], who was the best of men.

Mss: Bb(111va)

Readings: [1] Hǫrs: hers Bb    [5] Skýrunn*: ‘skvrvnzst’ Bb    [7] þing‑: ‘þig‑’ Bb

Editions: Skj AI, 543, Skj BI, 525, Skald I, 255, NN §§1167, 1853H, 2543A; SHI 3, 244-5, 271, CPB II, 295, Wisén 1886-9, I, 46, Finnur Jónsson 1893b, 164, Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 185-9.

Context: This stanza and sts 7-8, 10-11, 24 and 32-5 are not preserved in a narrative context.

Notes: [1] hǫrs ‘of linen’: (a) Ms. hers ‘of the troop’ is emended here, as in previous eds (Konráð Gíslason 1895-7; Skj B; Skald) to hǫrs, which combines with hrunda, gen. pl. of the valkyrie-name Hrund, to form a standard woman-kenning; cf. Meissner 407, 415, and cf. herr prúðr hǫrvi ‘troop adorned with linen’ referring to women in st. 35/7. (b) The ms. reading hers could be retained, giving gnótt hers hrunda ‘the great number of the army of valkyries’, which would presumably be a kenning or informal genitival expression meaning ‘women’. However, this would be without parallel, and gnótt ‘great number’ with hers ‘of the army’ would be somewhat tautological. Emendation to hǫrs therefore seems preferable, especially given that Bb is the only ms. for the stanza. — [1, 2] kveðk mér hljóðs gnótt hrunda hǫrs ‘I ask silence for myself from the great number of valkyries of linen [WOMEN]’: The skald’s request for silence is surprisingly directed towards women, who are addressed again at the close of the poem, st. 35/7-8, though a male audience seems to be indicated by st. 24/1, 3. There is no obvious explanation for this. — [3] Þundi rennu randhvéls ‘about the Þundr <= Oðinn> of the rush of the rim-wheel [SHIELD > BATTLE > WARRIOR = Óláfr Tryggvason]’: (a) This kenning can be construed with óði ‘poem’ as in the interpretation above (and in Skj B and Skald). (b) It could alternatively be construed with Rekstefju, thus, ‘I commence Rekstefja about the warrior’. Either case involves the use of the dat. case to mean ‘about’, which is unusual, but cf. lof ‘praise-poem’ with a kenning in the dat. in the second helmingr. — [4] RekstefjuRekstefja (“Split-refrain” (?))’: On the meaning of the title, see Introduction. — [5] skýrunn* ‘tree of the cloud (lit. ‘cloud-tree’)’: (a) Finnur Jónsson in Skj B, partly following SHI 3, 271, emends the incomprehensible ms. reading ‘skurunzst’ to skýrunns (gen. sg.) ‘cloud-tree’, and assumes that the warrior-kenning of which runn- ‘tree’ is base-word forms a gen. with lof, hence ‘praise-poem about the warrior’. (b) The present edn, with Konráð Gíslason (1895-7) and Kock (NN §1167), prefers to take skýrunn as a dat. sg. with lof and to assume that two kennings stand in apposition. Both Konráð and Kock point to a parallel for endingless dat. sg. -runn rather than the more usual -runni. — [7] þing- ‘assembly’: An unavoidable emendation introduced by Sveinbjörn Egilsson (SHI 3, 244). — [7] Þróttar þing-Baldr ‘Baldr <god> of the assembly of Þróttr <= Óðinn> [(lit. ‘assembly-Baldr of Þróttr’) BATTLE > WARRIOR = Óláfr]’: Konráð Gíslason (1895-7) interprets this as the skald addressing a man, possibly the one who commissioned the poem, whereas Kock and this edn prefer to construe it as a parallel phrase to the warrior-kenning based on runn ‘tree’. On the form Baldr as dat., cf. Finnur Jónsson (1901, 7-8).


  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. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. Meissner = Meissner, Rudolf. 1921. Die Kenningar der Skalden: Ein Beitrag zur skaldischen Poetik. Rheinische Beiträge und Hülfsbücher zur germanischen Philologie und Volkskunde 1. Bonn and Leipzig: Schroeder. Rpt. 1984. Hildesheim etc.: Olms.
  6. CPB = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and F. York Powell, eds. 1883. Corpus poeticum boreale: The Poetry of the Old Northern Tongue from the Earliest Times to the Thirteenth Century. 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon. Rpt. 1965, New York: Russell & Russell.
  7. Wisén, Theodor, ed. 1886-9. Carmina Norrœnæ: Ex reliquiis vetustioris norrœnæ poësis selecta, recognita, commentariis et glossario instructa. 2 vols. Lund: Ohlsson.
  8. Finnur Jónsson. 1893b. Carmina Norrœna: Rettet Tekst. Copenhagen: Nielsen & Lydiche.
  9. Finnur Jónsson. 1901. Det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog omtr. 800-1300. SUGNL 28. Copenhagen: Møller.
  10. Konráð Gíslason. 1895-7. Efterladte skrifter. 2 vols. I: Forelæsninger over oldnordiske skjaldekvad. II: Forelæsninger og videnskablige afhandlinger. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  11. SHI = Sveinbjörn Egilsson, ed. 1828-46. Scripta historica islandorum de rebus gestis veterum borealium, latine reddita et apparatu critico instructa, curante Societate regia antiquariorum septentrionalium. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp etc. and London: John & Arthur Arch.

Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.


Stanza/chapter/text segment

Use the buttons at the top of the page to navigate between stanzas in a poem.

Information tab

Interactive tab

The text and translation are given here, with buttons to toggle whether the text is shown in the verse order or prose word order. Clicking on indiviudal words gives dictionary links, variant readings, kennings and notes, where relevant.

Full text tab

This is the text of the edition in a similar format to how the edition appears in the printed volumes.

Chapter/text segment

This view is also used for chapters and other text segments. Not all the headings shown are relevant to such sections.