Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.



Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

RvHbreiðm Hl 19III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr Þórarinsson, Háttalykill 19’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1027.

Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr ÞórarinssonHáttalykill

text and translation

Sigurð frák seðja
sára skára;
verð skóp vísi
vǫrgum mǫrgum.
Ruðr nam rjóða
randa branda;
sókn gerði sá
snarpa skarpa.

Frák Sigurð seðja {skára sára}; vísi skóp mǫrgum vǫrgum verð. {Ruðr randa} nam rjóða branda; sá gerði snarpa, skarpa sókn.
‘I heard that Sigurðr sated the sea-gull of wounds [RAVEN/EAGLE]; the leader created a meal for many wolves. The shrub of shield-rims [WARRIOR] began to redden blades; that one made a swift, sharp attack.

notes and context

The heading is inn grænlenzki háttr (‘hin Grænlanske hottr’) ‘the verse-form from Greenland’ (cf. SnSt Ht 71). Structurally this metre is like fornyrðislag, but the even lines have internal rhymes (aðalhending in positions 1 and 3) on two disyllabic words that end in the same syllable. The metre is otherwise attested only in Anon (TGT) 14, 23.

In Ht 71, the odd lines also have internal rhymes (skothending; see l. 5 above). — The stanza eulogises Sigurðr ormr-í-auga ‘Snake-in-the-Eyes’, another of Ragnarr loðbrók’s sons (see sts 11-18 above). Sigurðr had spots in his eyes, which caused them to resemble the eyes of a snake (see Saxo 2005, I, 9, 4, 12, pp. 592-3; ÍF 35, 85-6 n. 8). On Sigurðr, see also Rloð Lv 4VIII (Ragn 8). — [7-8]: The meaning of ‘girdr (or ‘girdur’) en’ in l. 7 is unclear (gyrðr, en ‘girdled, but’ (?)). In papp25ˣ the words are given with dots beneath each letter, which indicates that Rugman was uncertain about the transcription. As it stands in the mss, the line is unmetrical with one syllable too many, and there is no alliteration between ll. 7 and 8. (a) In the present edn, these words have been emended to sókn (f. acc. sg.) ‘attack’, qualified by skarpa, snarpa (f. acc. sg.) ‘swift, sharp’ (l. 8) as the object of gerði ‘made’ in a Type E-line. (b) Skj B and Skald render ll. 7-8 as follows: gumi gœddi sá | garpa snarpa ‘that man advanced the swift warriors’. That reading retains only two of the original words in the lines. (c) As Jón Helgason (Hl 1941) points out, this mistranscribed part of l. 7 most likely contained a word meaning ‘battle’. However, his suggestions sverðhríð ‘sword-storm’ or snerru ‘battle’ are incompatible with the metre, which requires only one metrical position.



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: Rǫgnvaldr jarl og Hallr Þórarinsson, Háttalykill 10a: AI, 516, BI, 491-2, Skald I, 241; Hl 1941, 33, 55-6.


Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.


Stanza/chapter/text segment

Use the buttons at the top of the page to navigate between stanzas in a poem.

Information tab

Interactive tab

The text and translation are given here, with buttons to toggle whether the text is shown in the verse order or prose word order. Clicking on indiviudal words gives dictionary links, variant readings, kennings and notes, where relevant.

Full text tab

This is the text of the edition in a similar format to how the edition appears in the printed volumes.

Chapter/text segment

This view is also used for chapters and other text segments. Not all the headings shown are relevant to such sections.