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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Ótt Hfl 14I

Matthew Townend (ed.) 2012, ‘Óttarr svarti, Hǫfuðlausn 14’ 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. 759.

Óttarr svartiHǫfuðlausn

text and translation

Valfasta, bjótt vestan,
veðrǫrr, tváa knǫrru;
hætt hafið ér í ótta
opt, skjǫldunga þopti.
Næði straumr, ef stœði,
strangr kaupskipum angra,
innanborðs, á unnum,
erringar lið verra.

{{Valfasta} veðr}ǫrr, bjótt tváa knǫrru vestan; {þopti skjǫldunga}, ér hafið opt hætt í ótta. Strangr straumr næði angra kaupskipum á unnum, ef verra lið erringar stœði innanborðs.
‘Brisk in the weather of the fire of the slain [(lit. ‘weather-brisk of the slain-fire’) SWORD > BATTLE], you prepared two cargo-ships from the west; benchmate of kings [RULER], you have often ventured into danger. The strong current would have been able to trouble the merchant-ships on the waves if a crew poorer in vigour had stood on board.

notes and context

Óláfr returns to Norway from England. His two ships survive a dangerous storm through the excellence of the men and the king’s luck.



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: Óttarr svarti, 2. Hǫfuðlausn 13: AI, 293-4, BI, 270-1, Skald I, 139, NN §721A; Hkr 1893-1901, II, 36, IV, 116, ÍF 27, 35 (ÓHHkr ch. 29); ÓH 1941, I, 57 (ÓH ch. 29), Flat 1860-8, II, 31.


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