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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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RvHbreiðm Hl 77III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr Þórarinsson, Háttalykill 77’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1087.

Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr ÞórarinssonHáttalykill

text and translation

Haraldr var (herr skar)
harðráðr sigrs bráðr;
— snart lið sleit frið —
(sverðs egg manns legg).
Bargsk ǫld; beit skjǫld
brandr þuðr; óx guðr;
skaut gramr geðframr;
gnast almr; flaug malmr.

Harðráðr Haraldr var bráðr sigrs; herr skar legg manns egg sverðs; snart lið sleit frið. Ǫld bargsk; þuðr brandr beit skjǫld; guðr óx; geðframr gramr skaut; almr gnast; malmr flaug.
‘Hard-ruling Haraldr was quick [to gain] victory; the army cut a man’s leg with the sword’s edge; the keen company sundered the peace. People saved themselves; a slender blade bit a shield; battle increased; the outstanding-minded lord shot; an elm-bow cracked; an arrow flew.

notes and context

The heading is hálfhnept (‘Halnæfst’ papp25ˣ; ‘Half-næfst’ R683ˣ) ‘half-curtailed’ (cf. SnSt Ht 77 and sts 49-50 above), but the stanza is metrically similar to alhnept ‘completely curtailed’ (SnSt Ht 78), except that the odd lines have aðalhending rather than skothending. Konráð Gíslason (1895-7, II, 88) suggested that Rugman misread alhnept as hálfhnept.

Other than in the claves metricae, this metre is attested in Ótt Óldr 1/4, 2/2, 5/2, 4 and 6/4. — The king is Haraldr harðráði ‘Hard-rule’ Sigurðarson, half-brother of Óláfr Haraldsson (S. Óláfr; see sts 73-4 above) and king of Norway 1046-66. He died at the battle of Stamford Bridge, England (25 September 1066). See Anon Nkt 38-9II and his Biography in SkP II. — [5]: This line is identical to st. 69/5. In the mss, the final -k in m. v. bargsk (‘bargs’) has been lost (cf. ‘rauds’ for hrauzk ‘discharged itself’ (so papp25ˣ) in st. 78/7; see Hl 1941, 114). In st. 69/5 the verb is rendered as ‘barsc’ in both mss.



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 39a: AI, 527, BI, 507, Skald I, 249, NN §§2083, 2540B, 2990F; Hl 1941, 31, 94.


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