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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hókr Eirfl 4I

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2012, ‘Halldórr ókristni, Eiríksflokkr 4’ 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. 477.

Halldórr ókristniEiríksflokkr

text and translation

Gerðisk snarpra sverða
— slitu drengir frið lengi,
þars gollin spjǫr gullu —
gangr of Orm inn langa.
Dolgs kvôðu framm fylgja
fráns leggbita hônum
sœnska menn at sennu
sunnr ok danska runna.

Gangr snarpra sverða gerðisk of Orm inn langa; drengir slitu frið lengi, þars gollin spjǫr gullu. Kvôðu sœnska menn ok {danska runna dolgs} fylgja hônum framm sunnr at {sennu {fráns leggbita}}.
‘A tumult of sharp swords took place on Ormr inn langi (‘the Long Serpent’); warriors demolished the peace for a long time where golden spears resounded. They said that Swedish men and Danish bushes of battle [WARRIORS] followed him [Eiríkr] forward in the south at the flyting of the glittering leg-biter [SWORD > BATTLE].

notes and context

In Fsk and ÓTOdd this stanza follows immediately after st. 3, whereas in Hkr and ÓT it describes the preamble to the final battle on Ormr inn langi and precedes st. 3 (see Introduction above). According to that version, the Swedish and Danish troops attack Óláfr’s ships, while Eiríkr is always fighting alongside the ships, engaging in hand to hand battle. When men fall on his ship, they are immediately replaced by Swedish and Danish warriors.

[1]: With this line, compare Bjbp Jóms 28/5 grimmr var snarpra sverða and Hfr ErfÓl 17/3 snǫrp varð at þat sverða. — [2]: The rhyme words dreng- and leng- also occur in Hfr ErfÓl 10/8. — [7]: The rhyme words menn and sennu are also used in Hfr ErfÓl 10/8. — [8]: The line is reminiscent of Eskál Vell 25/4 sunnr Danmarkar runnu; see Introduction on the relationship of Eirfl to Vell.



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: Haldórr ókristni, Eiríksflokkr 4: AI, 203, BI, 193-4, Skald I, 102, NN §2988A; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 445, IV, 97-8, ÍF 26, 360 (ÓTHkr ch. 106), F 1871, 163; ÓT 1958-2000, II, 272 (ch. 251), Flat 1860-8, I, 485 ; Fsk 1902-3, 127-8 (ch. 22), ÍF 29, 156 (ch. 24); ÓTOdd 1932, 222-3, ÍF 25, 338.


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