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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hbreiðm Lv 1II

Judith Jesch (ed.) 2009, ‘Hallr Þórarinsson breiðmaga, Lausavísa 1’ 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. 610-11.

Hallr Þórarinsson breiðmagaLausavísa1

text and translation

Sendak son þinn, Ragna,
— sǫnn koma môl fyr bragna —
— hans vas hôlig iðja —
hirðvistar mér biðja.
Hafa kvezk hodda rýrir,
hinns mestum veg stýrir,
— neitti grúpans granna —
gnótt vígligri manna.

Sendak son þinn, Ragna, biðja mér hirðvistar; sǫnn môl koma fyr bragna; iðja hans vas hôlig. {Rýrir hodda}, hinns stýrir mestum veg, kvezk hafa gnótt vígligri manna; neitti granna grúpans.
‘I sent your son, Ragna, to request residence at court for me; true tales come before men; his attempt was noble. The diminisher of hoards [GENEROUS MAN = Rǫgnvaldr], who possesses very great honour, said that he had plenty of men more warlike; he refused the neighbour of the sausage [= Icelander].

notes and context

Arrived in Orkney, Hallr stayed on North Ronaldsay at first, but not enjoying himself there he asked his host Þorsteinn Rǫgnuson to help get him a place at Rǫgnvaldr’s court. The st. is spoken by Hallr on their return to North Ronaldsay in response to a question from Þorsteinn’s mother Ragna about their journey.

Ragna subsequently persuaded Rǫgnvaldr to accept Hallr by wearing an extraordinary headdress (see Rv Lv 6), and later Rǫgnvaldr and Hallr composed Háttalykill (RvHbreiðm HlIII) together. — Like the otherwise unrelated Árm Lv 3, this st. is in the hexasyllabic variant of in minzta runhenda (SnSt Ht 88III, SnE 1999, 35-6). RvHbreiðm Hl 21III appears to be in the same metre; there are several other examples of runhent metre in that poem, though not all composed in hexasyllabic ll.



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: Hallr Þórarinsson breiðmaga, Lausavísa: AI, 528, BI, 508-9, Skald I, 249; Flat 1860-8, II, 468, Orkn 1887, 139-40, Orkn 1913-16, 204, ÍF 34, 183-4 (ch. 81), Bibire 1988, 228.


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