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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hharð Lv 8II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson, Lausavísur 8’ 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. 49-50.

Haraldr harðráði SigurðarsonLausavísur


This st. (Hharð Lv 8) is recorded only in Hkr (, 39, F, E J2ˣ) and H-Hr (H, Hr). It is not found in Mork, Fsk or Flat, and was likely not part of the ‘Oldest Mork’ (*ÆMork); rather, it was an independent addition to Hkr. is the main ms.

text and translation

Nú emk ellifu allra
— eggjumk vígs — ok tveggja
— þau ’ro enn, svát mank, manna
morð — ráðbani orðinn.
Ginn en gráleik inna,
(golls) es ferr með skolli,
(lýtendr kveða lítit
lauki gæft til auka).

Nú emk orðinn ráðbani allra ellifu ok tveggja; eggjumk vígs; þau morð manna ’ro, svát mank enn. En ginn inna gráleik, es ferr með skolli; {lýtendr golls} kveða lauki lítit gæft til auka.
‘Now I have become the death-instigator of altogether eleven and two; I am stirred to strife; those slayings of men are such that I still remember. But deceits yield ill will, which is accompanied by trickery; spoilers of gold [MEN] say that the leek needs little to grow strong.

notes and context

After the death of Haraldr’s former enemy Kálfr Árnason, Kálfr’s brother, Finnr, accuses Haraldr of having plotted his brother’s death because he had sent him into battle without sufficient backup. Haraldr neither denies nor confirms the allegation, and people feel that, on earlier occasions, he had been eager to avenge smaller transgressions than those which Kálfr had been guilty of.

For Kálfr’s death, see also Arn Hardr 1. — [5-8]: The present edn follows Kock in taking lýtendr golls ‘spoilers of gold’ (ll. 6, 7) as the subject of kveða ‘say’ (l. 7), and ginn ‘deceits’ (l. 5) as the subject (pl.) of inna ‘yield’ (l. 5). Skj B construes lýtendr golls ‘spoilers of gold’ as the subject of inna ‘yield, pay, repay’, ginn (n. acc. sg./pl.) ‘deceit(s)’ as the acc. object, and gráleik ‘enmity’ as a dat. instr.: men mænd gengælder det sind, der farer frem med svig, med fjendskab ‘but men repay that disposition which is engaged in deceit with enmity’. Inna is not otherwise attested with an acc. and a dat. instr. Furthermore, -leikr is a m. a-stem, and the regular dat. ending is -i (-leiki), unless it is either an a-stem without a dat. ending (ANG §358.3), or an earlier i-stem (cf. Goth. laikins m. acc. pl., i-stem). Kock (NN §2025) also points out that ginn ‘deceit(s)’ cannot mean ‘disposition’.



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 13: AI, 359, BI, 330-1, Skald I, 167, NN §2025; ÍF 28, 134 (HSig ch. 53), F 1871, 224, E 1916, 69; Fms 6, 295 (HSig ch. 70).


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