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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Krm 13VIII

Rory McTurk (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Poems, Krákumál 13’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 743.

Anonymous PoemsKrákumál

text and translation

Hjuggu vér með hjörvi.
Heldum Lakkar tjöldum
hátt at Hildar leiki
fyrir Hjaðningavági.
Sjá knáttu þá seggir,
er sundruðum skjöldu
at hræsíldar hjaldri,
hjálm slitnaðan gotna.
Varat, sem bjarta brúði
í bing hjá sér leggja.

Hjuggu vér með hjörvi. Heldum {tjöldum Lakkar} hátt at {leiki Hildar} fyrir Hjaðningavági. Seggir knáttu þá sjá hjálm gotna slitnaðan, er sundruðum skjöldu at hjaldri {hræsíldar}. Varat, sem leggja bjarta brúði í bing hjá sér.
‘We hewed with the sword. We held high the canopies of Hlǫkk <valkyrie> [SHIELDS] in the game of Hildr <valkyrie> [BATTLE] off Hjaðningavágr. Men could then see [many a] helmet of warriors broken when we sundered shields in the conflict of the corpse-herring [SPEAR]. It was not like placing a fair maiden in a bed beside one.

notes and context

In 147 (108v, l. 1), ll. 9-10 of st. 1 (apart from the final word of l. 10) appear in abbreviated form between the present stanza and st. 14. — [7-8]: In 147 (108r-v), ll. 7-8 of st. 8 appear to be repeated here, as ‘[…](llt uar) eíns at gæta (?) fyri […] pru(n)a solar’ in place of ll. 7-8 of the present stanza as preserved in all other mss. See Note to st. 8/7-8. — [9-10]: These lines, with their contrast of the hardships of warlike activity with the pleasures of women’s company, are echoed in sts 18/5-6 and 20/5-6, 9-10, below. For parallels elsewhere in the skaldic corpus, see Introduction. On the failure by early translators of Krm to recognise the negative particle ‑at in this instance (as well as those in sts 14, 18 and 20), thus presenting the contrast in question as a comparison, see also Introduction.



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: Anonyme digte og vers [XII], H. Krákumál 13: AI, 645, BI, 652, Skald I, 318; Rafn 1826, 12-13, 121-3, Pfeiffer 1860, 125, CPB II, 342, Wisén 1886-9, I, 64, Krm 1891, 226, Finnur Jónsson 1893b, 88, Finnur Jónsson 1905, 154; Ragn 1906-8, 187.


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