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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hókr Eirfl 7I

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2012, ‘Halldórr ókristni, Eiríksflokkr 7’ 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. 482.

Halldórr ókristniEiríksflokkr

text and translation

Drógusk vítt at vígi
Vinða skeiðr, ok ginðu
Þriðja hauðrs á þjóðir
þunn gǫlkn éarnmunnum.
Gnýr varð á sæ sverða;
sleit ǫrn Gera beitu;
dýrr vá drengja stjóri;
drótt kom mǫrg á flótta.

Skeiðr Vinða drógusk vítt at vígi, ok {þunn gǫlkn {hauðrs Þriðja}} ginðu éarnmunnum á þjóðir. {Gnýr sverða} varð á sæ; ǫrn sleit {beitu Gera}; {dýrr stjóri drengja} vá; mǫrg drótt kom á flótta.
‘The warships of Wends came from afar to the fight, and slender monsters of the land of Þriði <= Óðinn> [SHIELD > AXES] yawned with iron-mouths at people. There was a din of swords [BATTLE] at sea; an eagle tore the food of Geri <wolf> [CORPSES]; the worthy leader of warriors [RULER = Eiríkr] fought; many a company took to flight.

notes and context

During the battle, the ships with Sigvaldi jarl and his Wendish troops wait at a distance and do not engage in the fighting. When Óláfr Tryggvason jumps overboard from Ormr inn langi, there is a shout of victory from the enemy army, and at that Sigvaldi and his men row towards the battle.

Ms. 61 attributes this stanza to Hallfreðr, and 54, 325VIII 2 g and Bb give Hallar-Steinn as the poet. — [5-8]: This helmingr is composed in the dróttkvætt variant áttmælt ‘eight-times spoken’ (SnSt Ht 10III), in which each line forms an independent clause. — [6]: The identical line is found in ESk Frag 8/2III. Geri was one of Óðinn’s wolves (see Note to ÞKolb Eirdr 17/2, 3). The variant geira ‘of spears’ (54, 325VIII 2 g, Bb) is unmetrical since the metre requires a short first syllable. — [7]: This line recalls Hfr ErfÓl 23/3 dýrr hné dróttar stjóri. — [8]: Cf. Hfr ErfÓl 1/2 mǫrg kom drótt á flótta.



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 7: AI, 204, BI, 194, Skald I, 102; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 454, IV, 101, ÍF 26, 367 (ÓTHkr ch. 112), F 1871, 166; ÓT 1958-2000, II, 289 (ch. 256), Flat 1860-8, I, 494.


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