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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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RvHbreiðm Hl 58III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr Þórarinsson, Háttalykill 58’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1067.

Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr ÞórarinssonHáttalykill

text and translation

Hilmir rauð ok hjalma
hjalmskóð í dyn malma;
skjǫldungr komat skildi
skjaldfimr í bug sjaldan.
Bǫrr lét vígs at vígi
vígreyr lituð dreyra,
þvít gunnþorinn gunni
gunn-Freyr hvata kunni.

Hilmir rauð {hjalmskóð} ok hjalma í {dyn malma}; skjaldfimr skjǫldungr komat sjaldan í bug skildi. {Bǫrr vígs} lét {vígreyr} lituð dreyra at vígi, þvít {gunnþorinn gunn-Freyr} kunni hvata gunni.
‘The ruler reddened helmet-harmers [SWORDS] and helmets in the din of swords [BATTLE]; the shield-deft lord did not seldom advance in the hollow of the shield. The tree of slaughter [WARRIOR] let slaughter-reeds [WEAPONS] be coloured with blood at the slaughter, because the battle-daring battle-Freyr <god> [WARRIOR] knew how to hasten battle.

notes and context

As st. 57 above.

[3, 4]: The form ‘sciell’ for skjald- ‘shield-’ (l. 4) is likely to have resulted from progressive i-umlaut and assimilation in Norwegian (Hl 1941, 109), and ‘skialldan’ (papp25ˣ; ‘skialdan’ R638ˣ) for sjaldan ‘seldom’ (l. 4) must be Rugman’s own, late Icelandic form of this word (Hl 1941, 80). Koma í bug skjaldar lit. ‘creep into the hollow of the shield’ is usually a sign of cowardice (see Hharð Lv 14/1-4II). In this laudatory context, it appears to mean ‘advance behind the shield’ (so Skj B), or ‘attack sby from the side on which he is not protected by the shield’, i.e. ‘take sby by surprise, blind-side sby’ (see Hl 1941).



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 29b: AI, 522, BI, 501, Skald I, 246; Hl 1941, 28, 81-2.


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