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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hfr ErfÓl 18I

Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Erfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar 18’ 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. 425.

Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld ÓttarssonErfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar

text and translation

Veitkat hitt, hvárt Heita
hungrdeyfi skalk leyfa
dynsæðinga dauðan
dýrbliks eða þó kvikvan,
alls sannliga segja
— sárr mun gramr at hvôru —
— hætts til hans at frétta —
hvárrtveggja mér seggir.

Veitkat hitt, hvárt skalk leyfa {{{{{Heita dýr}bliks} dyn}sæðinga} hungrdeyfi} dauðan eða þó kvikvan, alls seggir segja mér hvárrtveggja sannliga; gramr mun sárr at hvôru; hætts at frétta til hans.
‘I do not know whether I am to praise the hunger-soother of the gulls of the din of the gleam of the beast of Heiti <sea-king> [(lit. ‘hunger-soother of the din-gulls of the beast-gleam of Heiti’) SHIP > SHIELD > BATTLE > RAVENS/EAGLES > WARRIOR] dead or, after all, alive, since men tell me both as the truth; the lord must be wounded either way; it is risky to enquire about him.

notes and context

Óláfr is defeated, but accounts of the battle’s last moments are contradictory: some people celebrate his underwater escape to the ship of his allies, the Wends, while some mourn his death.

On the configuration of helmingar in ms. 4-7, see Note to st. 19 [All]. — [5]: The line lacks internal rhyme, and Kock (NN §1959; Skald) tentatively proposed that senna ‘allege’ might have been replaced by segja ‘say’, the reading of all mss, very early in the transmission.



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: Hallfrøðr Óttarsson vandræðaskáld, 3. Óláfsdrápa, erfidrápa 20: AI, 163-4, BI, 154, Skj AI, 163, Skj BI, 154, Skald I, 84, NN §§1085, 1957, 1959; Fsk 1902-3, 132 (ch. 22), ÍF 29, 160 (ch. 24); ÓTOdd 1932, 233, 256, ÍF 25, 348-9; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 455, IV, 101-2, ÍF 26, 368, Hkr 1991, I, 250 (ÓTHkr ch. 112), F 1871, 166; SHI 3, 6, ÓT 1958-2000, II, 290 (ch. 256), Flat 1860-8, I, 494.


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