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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Steinn Nizv 4II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Steinn Herdísarson, Nizarvísur 4’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 362-3.

Steinn HerdísarsonNizarvísur

text and translation

Nýtr bað skjǫldungr skjóta
— skammt vas liðs á miðli —
hlífar styggr ok hǫggva
hvárrtveggi lið seggja.
Bæði fló, þás blóði
brandr hrauð af sér rauðu,
— þat brá feigra flotna
fjǫrvi — grjót ok ǫrvar.

Hvárrtveggi nýtr skjǫldungr, styggr hlífar, bað lið seggja skjóta ok hǫggva; vas skammt á miðli liðs. Bæði grjót ok ǫrvar fló, þás brandr hrauð af sér rauðu blóði; þat brá fjǫrvi feigra flotna.
‘Each bountiful prince, shunning protection, told the troop of warriors to shoot and strike; there was a short distance between the troops. Both rocks and arrows flew when the blade shed red blood; that put an end to the life of doomed sailors.

notes and context

The battle began, and both rulers urged their men on.

[5-8]: The H-Hr variant of this helmingr, which is clearly secondary, can be construed as follows:

Benja flóð í blóði
brandr hrauð af sér rauðu;
fljótt brá feigra/frægra gotna
fjǫrvi grjót ok ǫrvar.

Prose order: Brandr hrauð af sér flóð benja í rauðu blóði; grjót ok ǫrvar brá fljótt fjǫrvi feigra/frægra gotna. Translation: The blade shed a flood of wounds [BLOOD] in the red blood; rocks and arrows quickly put an end to the life of doomed/famous men.



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: Steinn Herdísarson, 1. Nizarvísur 4: AI, 408, BI, 377, Skald I, 188; ÍF 28, 149 (HSig ch. 63), F 1871, 228, E 1916, 75; Fms 6, 316 (HSig ch. 78).


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