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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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HSt Rst 29I

Rolf Stavnem (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallar-Steinn, Rekstefja 29’ 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. 930.


text and translation

Dáðstyrk dýrðar merki
dolgminnigs skalk inna
skýbjóðs skelfihríðar
Skǫglar borðs in fjorðu.
Harðleygs hrinda frôgum
hvatlyndum Þorkatli
styrlund* stirðra branda
storms fyr borð af Ormi.

Skalk inna in fjorðu dáðstyrk merki dýrðar {dolgminnigs {{{Skǫglar borðs} skelfihríðar} ský}bjóðs}. Frôgum {{{{stirðra branda storms} harðleygs} styr}lund*} hrinda hvatlyndum Þorkatli fyr borð af Ormi.
‘I will present the fourth deed-strong sign of glory of the strife-mindful offerer of the cloud of the terrifying storm of the board of Skǫgul <valkyrie> [(lit. ‘cloud-offerer of the terrifying storm of the board of Skǫgul’) SHIELD > BATTLE > SHIELD > WARRIOR]. We [I] have heard that the tree of the tumult of the hard flame of the storm of rigid blades [(lit. ‘tumult-tree of the hard flame of the storm of rigid blades’) BATTLE > SWORD > BATTLE > WARRIOR] threw the bold-minded Þorkell overboard from Ormr (‘the Serpent’).

notes and context

One of Óláfr’s retainers, Þorkell dyðrill ‘Cloak’, is curious about the king’s whereabouts, as he leaves the ship every night. As a good-natured punishment Óláfr throws him overboard but drags him immediately back on board.

[5-8]: There are significant divergences between the versions of the second helmingr (cf. Readings), though the meaning they produce is roughly the same. Finnur Jónsson in Skj B (followed in essentials in Skald) construes the ÓT version as follows: stórlyndr skunduðr [ms. skyndir] storms stirðra branda nam hrinda hart hvatlyndum Þórkatli fyr borð af Ormi ‘the noble hastener of the storm of rigid blades [BATTLE > WARRIOR] sharply threw the quick-minded Þorkell overboard from Ormr’. As in the first helmingr, the kenning structure is simpler because ÓT has an adj., here stórlyndr ‘noble, great-minded’, where Bb(112rb) has a noun cpd (styrlundr, l. 7; see Note).



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: Hallar-Steinn, 1. Rekstefja 29: AI, 550-1, BI, 532, Skald I, 259, NN §§1181, 3239; ÓT 1958-2000, II, 232-3 (ch. 238), Flat 1860-8, I, 466; SHI 3, 262-5, CPB II, 299, Wisén 1886-9, I, 49, Finnur Jónsson 1893b, 164, Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 274-6.


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