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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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RvHbreiðm Hl 63III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr Þórarinsson, Háttalykill 63’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1071.

Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr ÞórarinssonHáttalykill

text and translation

Hauðr frák Hôkon síðan
harðgeðjaðastan varða;
þjóð sá ræsi rjóða
ráðvandaðastan branda.
Seimskerðir klauf sverði
snarpeggjuðustu leggi;
getk, at gramr fekk vitni
gráleituðustum sveita.

Frák harðgeðjaðastan Hôkon síðan varða hauðr; þjóð sá ráðvandaðastan ræsi rjóða branda. {Seimskerðir} klauf leggi snarpeggjuðustu sverði; getk, at gramr fekk gráleituðustum vitni sveita.
‘I heard that the very hardminded Hákon then guarded the land; people saw the very righteous ruler redden blades. The gold-diminisher [GENEROUS MAN] split legs with the very sharp-edged sword; I believe that the lord gave blood to the very grey-looking wolf.

notes and context

The heading is flagðalag (‘Flagda lag(h)’) ‘ogresses’ metre’ (cf. SnSt Ht 34), which is a dróttkvætt variant with seven syllables in the even lines and a pentasyllabic inflected p. p. in the sup. (or sup. adj. with an inserted extra syllable ‑- or ‑-) occupying positions 1-5.

This verse-form is attested only here, in Ht 34 and in VíglÞ Lv 7/2V (Vígl 10). — Hákon is Hákon Aðalsteinsfóstri ‘Foster-son of Æthelstan’ Haraldsson (also known as Hákon inn góði ‘the Good’), Eiríkr’s half-brother (see sts 61-2), who ruled Norway c. 934-61 (see ÍF 26, 144-5, 150-2, 157-97; ÍF 29, 72-6, 80-95). See also Anon Nkt 10, 12-15II and Eyv HákI as well as his Biography in SkP I. — [2]: As Holtsmark (Hl 1941, 141) points out, this line recalls Rv Lv 3/2II hargeðjuðum varða (that line does not display the feature distinctive of flagðalag, however). — [3, 5]: These lines contain aðalhending rather than the expected skothending.



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 32a: AI, 524, BI, 503, Skald I, 247; Hl 1941, 29, 84-5.


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