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

Hfr ErfÓl 19I

Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Erfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar 19’ 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. 427.

Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld ÓttarssonErfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar

text and translation

Sagðr vas mér — né meira
muni maðr stríð of bíða —
lýðum firrðr ok láði
landvǫrðr fyr sæ handan.
Væri oss, þótt ærir
elds þeim svikum belldi,
heilalíkn, ef, hauka
hôklifs, jǫfurr lifði.

{Landvǫrðr} vas sagðr mér firrðr lýðum ok láði fyr handan sæ; né muni maðr of bíða meira stríð. Oss væri heilalíkn, ef jǫfurr lifði, þótt {ærir {elds {hôklifs hauka}}} belldi þeim svikum.
‘The land’s guardian [RULER = Óláfr] was said to me to be deprived of people and realm across the sea; a man will not suffer greater grief. It would be healing mercy for us if the lord lived, although envoys of the fire of the high cliff of hawks [ARM > GOLD > GENEROUS MEN] committed that treachery.

notes and context

ÓTOdd: Facing defeat at Svǫlðr, King Óláfr leaps overboard, sheds his armour and swims underwater to the Wends’ ship, escaping the battle alive, as is said to be affirmed by Hallfreðr (and, according to 4-7, the otherwise unknown Sóti). ÓT cites this stanza after its description of the battle, as part of a discussion of various accounts of the battle’s final moments and the fate of Óláfr.

In ms. 4-7, sts 18/1-4 and 19/1-4 form a single stanza while st. 19/5-8 is written as a separate helmingr.



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 21: AI, 164, BI, 155, Skald I, 84, NN §§511, 2218B, 2451; ÓTOdd 1932, 233-4, 256, ÍF 25, 349; SHI 3, 6-7, ÓT 1958-2000, II, 291 (ch. 256), Flat 1860-8, 495.


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.