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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Krm 7VIII

Rory McTurk (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Poems, Krákumál 7’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 730.

Anonymous PoemsKrákumál

text and translation

Hjuggu vér með hjörvi.
Hátt grenjuðu rottar,
áðr en á Ullarakri
Eysteinn konungr felli.
Gengum gulli fáðir
grundar vals af bröndum
— rækyndill smaug rauðar
rítr — at hjálma móti.
Svíra virtr ór sárum
sveif of hjarna kleifar.

Hjuggu vér með hjörvi. Rottar grenjuðu hátt, áðr en Eysteinn konungr felli á Ullarakri. Gengum, fáðir gulli af {bröndum {grundar vals}}, at {móti hjálma}; {rækyndill} smaug rauðar rítr. {Virtr svíra} sveif ór sárum of {kleifar hjarna}.
‘We hewed with the sword. Swords roared loudly before King Eysteinn fell at Ullarakr. We proceeded to a meeting of helmets [BATTLE], decked with gold from the flames of the landing place of the falcon [ARM > GOLD RINGS]; the corpse-candle [SWORD] penetrated red shields. The wort of the neck [BLOOD] flowed from wounds over the cliffs of the brain [SHOULDERS].

notes and context

In R702ˣ, LR and R693ˣ the present stanza and st. 8 appear in reverse order. — [1]: In most of the stanzas in which the refrain can be discerned in 147 it is clear that it is abbreviated in ways differing slightly from stanza to stanza. The state of 147’s preservation nevertheless makes it impossible to identify with precision the indication of abbreviation in each case. Each instance of abbreviation in the refrains as preserved in 147 is accordingly signalled in the Readings of the present edn by an apostrophe comma enclosed in round brackets, the latter indicating, as elsewhere in the Readings, that the ms. reading is unclear. The relevant stanzas are 7, 8, 13-15, 17, 19-27. — [5-8]: Finnur Jónsson (1905), followed here in Skj B and in Skald, is the first of previous eds to mark off rækyndill smó rauðar rítr ‘the corpse-torch [SWORD] penetrated red shields’ as an intercalary clause. The punctuation of earlier eds indicates that they take the couplets ll. 5-6 and 7-8 as each constituting a separate syntactic unit. As for ll. 7-8, all eds up to and including Finnur Jónsson (1893b), take these lines also as a separate syntactic unit, and appear to understand them as meaning: ‘the corpse-candle [SWORD] penetrated red shields at the meeting of helmets [BATTLE]’.



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: Anonyme digte og vers [XII], H. Krákumál 7: AI, 643, BI, 650, Skald I, 317, NN §1275; Rafn 1826, 6-7, 107-10, Pfeiffer 1860, 124, CPB II, 341, Wisén 1886-9, I, 63, Krm 1891, 226, Finnur Jónsson 1893b, 87, 165 Finnur Jónsson 1905, 153-4, Ragn 1906-8, 187.


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