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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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RvHbreiðm Hl 32III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr Þórarinsson, Háttalykill 32’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1041.

Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr ÞórarinssonHáttalykill

text and translation

Bragningr réð í branda regni
benja linn* til sára spenja;
allvaldr rauð, þars ýtar fellu,
unda naðr í hræva sundi.
Bitran spurðak bǫðvar Njǫrðum
brynju snák í hausum dynja;
reiða tóku ríkar þjóðir
randar orm at svarðar strǫndu.

Bragningr réð spenja {linn* benja} til sára í {regni branda}; allvaldr rauð {naðr unda} í {sundi hræva}, þars ýtar fellu. Spurðak {bitran snák brynju} dynja í hausum {Njǫrðum bǫðvar}; ríkar þjóðir tóku reiða {orm randar} at {strǫndu svarðar}.
‘The lord enticed the serpent of wounds [SWORD] to injuries in the rain of blades [BATTLE]; the mighty ruler reddened the adder of wounds [SWORD] in the sea of carrion [BLOOD] where men fell. I heard that the bitter snake of the byrnie [SWORD] crashed against the skulls of the Nirðir <gods> of battle [WARRIORS]; powerful people began to swing the reptile of the shield-rim [SWORD] towards the beach of the scalp [HEAD].

notes and context

As st. 31 above.

All of the words for ‘reptile’ that are used as base-words in the sword-kennings in this stanza are also found in the same function in SnSt Ht 6.



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 16b: AI, 518, BI, 495, Skald I, 243; Hl 1941, 24, 65.


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