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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hharð Lv 2aII

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson, Lausavísur 2a’ 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. 43-4.

Haraldr harðráði SigurðarsonLausavísur


Lv 2a (Hharð Lv 2a) is recorded in 972ˣ and it is also printed in vol. II of Peringskiöld’s 1697 edn of Hkr. The half-st. is of unknown provenance, but it apparently derives from the lost Uppsala ms. (*U) of ÓH. In 972ˣ and Hkr 1697 II, the helmingr directly precedes Lv 2b (Hharð Lv 2b) (written as one st.). Lv 2b is preserved in Hkr (, 39, F, E), ÓH (Holm2, J2ˣ, 972ˣ, 321ˣ, 73aˣ, Holm4, 325VII (ll. 1-2), 325V, 61, Flat, Tóm, Bb), in H-Hr (H, Hr) and Flat (Flat; Mork redaction) as well in Orkn (332ˣ, 325III β, Flat). Because the variant readings belong to different ms. traditions, the two half-sts have been printed separately here (they are given as one st. in Skj and Skald).

text and translation

Réðk, en benjar blœða,
— búþegna sák megna
lið; fekk lindar váði
lífs grand — í bǫð standa.

Réðk standa í bǫð, en benjar blœða; sák búþegna megna lið; {váði lindar} fekk grand lífs.
‘I stood in battle, and the wounds bled; I saw farmers strengthen their host; the distress of the linden-shield [SWORD] dealt death.

notes and context

With the help of Jarl Rǫgnvaldr Brúsason of Orkney, Haraldr escapes wounded from the battle of Stiklestad, and takes shelter with a farmer who heals him. The farmer’s son accompanies Haraldr on his way from Norway to Sweden, when Haraldr recites this and the following helmingr (Lv 2b).



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 2/1-4: AI, 356, BI, 328, Skald I, 166, NN §§1137, 3227; Hkr 1697, II, 55, ÓH 1941, II, 1086-7.


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