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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hókr Eirfl 8I

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2012, ‘Halldórr ókristni, Eiríksflokkr 8’ 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. 484.

Halldórr ókristniEiríksflokkr

text and translation

Hjalmfaldinn bar hilmi
hrings at miklu þingi
— skeiðr glæstu þá þjóðir —
þangat Ormr inn langi.
En sunnr at gný Gunnar
glaðr tók jarl við Naðri;
áðr varð egg at hrjóða
ættgóðr Hemings bróðir.

Ormr inn langi bar hjalmfaldinn hilmi þangat at {miklu þingi hrings}; þjóðir glæstu þá skeiðr. En glaðr jarl tók við Naðri sunnr at {gný Gunnar}; áðr varð {ættgóðr bróðir Hemings} at hrjóða egg.
‘Ormr inn langi (‘the Long Serpent’) carried the helmet-clad ruler [Óláfr] there to the mighty assembly of the sword [BATTLE]; troops then adorned the ships. But the cheerful jarl received Naðr (‘Adder’) south at the din of Gunnr <valkyrie> [BATTLE]; earlier the high-born brother of Hemingr [= Eiríkr] had to redden the blade.

notes and context

After the battle of Svǫlðr, the victorious Eiríkr jarl takes possession of Ormr inn langi along with much booty. He commands the ship himself as he steers away from the battle (so Hkr and ÓT). Fsk relates that Eiríkr and his brother Sveinn go back to Norway, and Eiríkr takes possession of Ormr inn langi.

The stanza contrasts Óláfr arriving confidently in Ormr, and the exultant Eiríkr departing in command of it. More common in skaldic poetry is a stanza depicting two fleets approaching each other from different directions; see Note to Sigv Tryggfl 1/1-4. — In 54, 325VIII 2 g and Bb the stanza is attributed to Hallfreðr. — [1]: The line recalls Eskál Vell 33/1 hjalmfaldinn bauð hildi. — [5]: The line recalls Eskál Vell 33/3 hinns fór í gný Gunnar. — [6]: The line recalls Hfr ErfÓl 16/4 glaðr ok báða Naðra.



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 8: AI, 204, BI, 194-5, Skald I, 102; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 457, IV, 103, ÍF 26, 370 (ÓTHkr ch. 113), F 1871, 167; ÓT 1958-2000, II, 297-8 (ch. 258), Flat 1860-8, I, 520; Fsk 1902-3, 135 (ch. 23), ÍF 29, 164 (ch. 25).


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