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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hharð Lv 13II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson, Lausavísur 13’ 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. 54-5.

Haraldr harðráði SigurðarsonLausavísur


Lv 13-14 (Hharð Lv 13-14) are Haraldr’s last two sts, recited at the battle of Stamford Bridge (25 September 1066), where the Norw. army, led by Haraldr and Tostig Godwineson, faced Tostig’s brother, the Engl. king Harold Godwineson, and his troops. Haraldr, Tostig and the larger part of the Norw. army fell at that battle. Both sts are recorded in Mork (Mork), Fsk (FskAˣ), H-Hr (H, Hr), Flat (Flat), mss , F, E, J2ˣ of Hkr and in Hemings þáttr Áslákssonar (Hem) in Hauksbók (Hb). Mork, which offers the best readings, has been chosen as the main ms. For the battle of Stamford Bridge, see also Arn Hardr 10-16, ÞjóðA Lv 10-11 and Stúfr Stúfdr 8.

text and translation

Framm gǫngum vér        í fylkingu
brynjulausir        und bláar eggjar.
Hjalmar skína;        — hefkat mína —
nú liggr skrúð várt        at skipum niðri.

Vér gǫngum framm í fylkingu, brynjulausir, und bláar eggjar. Hjalmar skína—hefkat mína—; nú liggr skrúð várt niðri at skipum.
‘We go forth in battle ranks, without byrnies, beneath dark sword-blades. Helmets shine—I don’t have mine—; now our armour lies down by the ships.

notes and context

Haraldr recites this st. in fornyrðislag as he marshals his troops before the battle.

Haraldr and his men marched from York to Stamford Bridge to receive hostages from the neighbouring counties. They had left behind most of their equipment in their ships at Riccall, because they did not anticipate any hostilities from the English.



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 18: AI, 360, BI, 332, Skald I, 167; Mork 1867, 117, Mork 1928-32, 276, Andersson and Gade 2000, 271, 481 (MH); Flat 1860-8, III, 394-5 (MH); ÍF 29, 284 (ch. 68); ÍF 28, 187-8 (HSig ch. 91), F 1871, 248, E 1916, 96; Fms 6, 416 (HSig ch. 118); Hb 1892-6, 342, Fellows Jensen 1962, 51 (Hem).


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