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 56III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr Þórarinsson, Háttalykill 56’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1065.

Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr ÞórarinssonHáttalykill

text and translation

Morð óx (mildingr sparði)
mjǫk (lítt diguljǫkla);
lét ósa rǫf ræsir
rétt bjúg á her fljúga.
Fira sættir rak flótta
fúss trauðr vita lauðar;
þollr vas geirs, en gulli,
góðr, illr, kyni þjóðar.

Morð óx mjǫk; lítt sparði mildingr {diguljǫkla}; ræsir lét {bjúg rǫf ósa} fljúga rétt á her. {Sættir fira}, trauðr flótta, rak fúss {vita lauðar}; {þollr geirs} vas góðr kyni þjóðar, en illr gulli.
‘The battle intensified much; little did the generous one spare crucible-glaciers [SILVER]; the ruler made bent amber of estuaries [GOLD] fly straight at the army. The reconciler of people [JUST RULER], reluctant to flee, eager, pursued the beacon of the furnace [GOLD]; the tree of the spear [WARRIOR] was good to the kin of men, but bad to gold.

notes and context

As st. 55 above.

The antithesis consists of the following words: mjǫk ‘much’ : lítt ‘little’ (l. 2); rétt ‘straight’ : bjúg ‘bent’ (l. 4); fúss ‘eager’ : trauðr ‘reluctant’ (l. 6); góðr ‘good’ : illr ‘bad’ (l. 8). Again, if the adjectives qualify different nouns and the adverbs modify different verbs, the meaning of the clauses in this stanza is reversed (see Note to st. 55 [All]). — [7-8]: These lines must refer back to the first clause in st. 55, and l. 8 is a verbal repetition of st. 55/2. Here the second poet solves the riddle presented to him by the first poet. See Note to st. 55/1. For the motif ‘good to people, bad to gold’, see also Bragi Frag 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 28b: AI, 523, BI, 501, Skald I, 246; Hl 1941, 28, 80-1.


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.