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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hharð Lv 1II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson, Lausavísur 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. 42-3.

Haraldr harðráði SigurðarsonLausavísur


Lv 1 (Hharð Lv 1) is transmitted in Hkr (), in ÓH (see the mss below), in ÓHLeg (DG8), Fsk (FskBˣ, FskAˣ) and H-Hr (H, Hr). The st. is also found in AM 75e fol 4 (75e 4) of ÓH at the top of fol. 1rb, but the text is now illegible. Because Finnur Jónsson could read some of the st. in that ms., Skj A (75e 4FJ) has also been considered in the present edn. is the main ms.

text and translation

Þora munk þann arm verja,
— þats ekkju munr nekkvat —
— rjóðum vér af reiði
rǫnd — es í hlýtk standa.
Gengra greppr inn ungi
gunnblíðr, þars slǫg ríða,
— herða menn at morði
mót — á hæl fyr spjótum.

Munk þora verja þann arm, es hlýtk standa í; þats nekkvat munr ekkju; rjóðum vér rǫnd af reiði. Inn ungi greppr gengra gunnblíðr á hæl fyr spjótum, þars slǫg ríða; menn herða mót at morði.
‘I shall dare to defend that rank in which I am placed; that seems to be the wish of the widow; let us redden the shield-rim with rage. The young poet shall not take to his heels, battle-cheered, before spears where weapons swing; men will intensify hostile encounters in the battle.

notes and context

Before the battle of Stiklestad (29 July 1030), King Óláfr commands his half-brother, the fifteen-year-old Haraldr, not to engage in the fighting because of his youth. Haraldr responds with this st. In ÓHLeg, the st. is attributed to Þormóðr Kolbrúnarskáld (ÞormI).

For this battle, see also Hharð Lv 2a-b, ÞjóðA Sex 1 and Bǫlv Hardr 1/1-4, as well as a great deal of poetry in SkP I.



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: Haraldr Sigurðarson harðráði, Lausavísur 1: AI, 356, BI, 328, Skald I, 165-6, NN §806, 1902; ÍF 27, 364-5 (ÓH ch. 209); ÓH 1941, I, 550 (ch. 206), Flat 1860-8, II, 344-5 (ÓH); ÓHLeg 1922, 82-1 (ch. 79), ÓHLeg 1982, 188-9 (ch. 79); ÍF 29, 200 (ch. 34); Fms 6, 129 (HSig ch. 1).


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