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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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RvHbreiðm Hl 27III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr Þórarinsson, Háttalykill 27’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1035.

Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr ÞórarinssonHáttalykill

text and translation

… rekja
hygg ek mærð of kon …
… maðr unda sunda
jǫfur …
… herr fyr hjǫrvi fjǫrvi

svan frák blóðs til benja* …
… dyn leggja seggja.

… hygg ek rekja mærð of kon … maðr … {sunda unda} … jǫfur … … herr … fjǫrvi fyr hjǫrvi … frák {svan blóðs} … til benja* … dyn … leggja seggja.
‘… I believe I shall recite praise about the relative … man … of the seas of wounds [BLOOD] … the prince … … the army … life before the sword … I heard the swan of blood [RAVEN/EAGLE] … to wounds … din … of the legs of men.

notes and context

The metre is called kimblabǫnd (‘Kimla bond’) ‘bundle-bonds’. Structurally the lines correspond to dróttkvætt lines with an extra disyllabic cadence added at the end of each line rhyming with the word in positions 5-6.

For this metre, see also SnSt Ht 59-61. The present variant of the metre is similar to Ht 61 (in mestu kimblabǫnd ‘the greatest bundle-bonds’). It is otherwise not attested in Old Norse poetry and may have its antecedents in Latin verse (see Hl 1941, 129-30). — The name of the hero commemorated was contained in the incomplete first line, and Jón Helgason (Hl 1941) believes that he was Haki, a legendary king of Sweden, because of rhyme (-ak-) and alliteration (h-). For Haki, who fought against Hugleikr at the battle of Fýrisvellir, see ÍF 26, 43-5, Saxo 2005, I, 7, 8, 1-6, pp. 476-81, SnSt Ht 94 and Note to st. 23 [All] above, as well as Hálfs saga og Hálfsrekka (Hálf chs 14, 16-17, FSGJ 2, 118, 123-33) and Vǫlsunga saga (Vǫls ch. 26). Haki was a son of Hámundr and the brother of Hagbarðr (see sts 29-30). After he died, he was placed in a ship that was set on fire and sent burning out to sea (see ÍF 26, 45 and Anon (SnE) 16). See also Anon (FoGT) 24 and Note to l. 1, as well as Anon (FoGT) 27. — The stanza is too fragmentary to allow for a reconstruction. — [5]: The line contains no verb, and Skj B supplies týndi ‘lost’ in line-initial position (herr týndi fjǫrvi fyr hjǫrvi ‘the army lost life to the sword’). — [7]: The inf. going with frák ‘I heard’ is missing, and in Skj B Finnur Jónsson adds spenja ‘be enticed to’ at the end of the line (retained by Kock in Skald).



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 14a: AI, 517, BI, 493, Skald I, 242; Hl 1941, 35, 62-3.


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