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 26aI

Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Erfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar 26a’ 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. 437.

Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld ÓttarssonErfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar

text and translation

Hefk, þanns hverjum jǫfri
heiptfíknum varð ríkri
und niðbyrði Norðra
norðr, goðfǫður orðinn.
Bíða munk, þess’s breiðan
barðmána vann skarðan,
margaukanda mækis
móts aldrigi bótir.

Hefk orðinn goðfǫður, þanns varð ríkri hverjum heiptfíknum jǫfri norðr und {{Norðra nið}byrði}. Munk aldrigi bíða bótir {margaukanda {móts mækis}}, þess’s vann {breiðan barðmána} skarðan.
‘I have lost a godfather who was mightier than every strife-greedy prince in the north under the burden of the kin of Norðri <dwarf> [(lit. ‘kin-burden of Norðri’) DWARFS > SKY]. I will never experience compensation for the much-increaser of the meeting of the sword [BATTLE > WARRIOR] who hacked the broad prow-moon [SHIELD].

notes and context

The fame of the battle of Svǫlðr, which resulted in the defeat of the most famous king in the Nordic lands, will live on.

[1-4]: This helmingr is transmitted not only by the kings’ sagas but also by the sagas of Icelanders, in this case Hallfr (ÍF 8, 155), albeit with a different text of ll. 1-2 (cf. the similar case of Eskál Lv 1-2). The ms. transmission is further complicated by the fact that Hallfr is interpolated into ÓT as well as being preserved separately. The two helmingar are printed as separate entities in Skj and Skald, as ErfÓl 26 and 28/1-4. This edn regards them as variants, but prints them separately in order to reflect their textual differences and their different prose contexts. The version printed here is preserved within the main text of ÓT, while the Hallfr version is printed in SkP V, Poetry from the Sagas of Icelanders, as Hfr ErfÓl 26bV (Hallfr 7). This edn thus adopts the position of Krijn (1931, 121), who argues that the Hallfr version is a variant of ErfÓl 26a/1-4. She points out that orðinn, the p. p. of verða ‘to become’, has a different meaning in each version, meaning ‘lost’ here, but ‘become’ in st. 26/4bV (þanns vas orðinn ‘who had become’). Fidjestøl (1982, 58-9) suggests that misunderstanding of the unusual sense of orðinn in st. 26a/4 might have been the impetus for oral variation. The view of the texts as variants in fact goes back to Árni Magnússon (761bˣ, 175v), who wrote st. 26b/1-2 alongside st. 26a/1-2.



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 28: AI, 165-6, BI, 156, Skald I, 85; SHI 3, 12-13, ÓT 1958-2000, II, 295 (ch. 256).


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.