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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞGísl Búdr 7I

Emily Lethbridge (ed.) 2012, ‘Þorkell Gíslason, Búadrápa 7’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 948.

Þorkell GíslasonBúadrápa

text and translation

Gullu hræs haukar;
hvassir benlaukar
skýfðu liðs leggi;
lamði grjót seggi.
Gnustu gráir malmar
— gengu í sundr hjalmar —
— hauks vasat friðr fjǫllum —
í fjǫrnis stǫllum.

{Haukar hræs} gullu; {hvassir benlaukar} skýfðu leggi liðs; grjót lamði seggi. Gráir malmar gnustu í {stǫllum fjǫrnis}; hjalmar gengu í sundr; friðr vasat {fjǫllum hauks}.
‘The hawks of the corpse [RAVENS/EAGLES] screamed; sharp wound-leeks [SWORDS] slashed the limbs of the troop; stones beat men. Grey metal weapons crashed on the supports of the helmet [HEADS]; helmets burst apart; there was no peace for the mountains of the hawk [ARMS].

notes and context

The battle continues. Although the Jómsvíkingar have bigger ships, both sides fight most boldly. A great number of Hákon jarl’s men are struck down by arrows and stones.

[5-8]: An alternative possibility to the construal here is to read l. 5 as a self-contained clause and ll. 7-8 together, with the sense ‘there was no peace for the mountains of the hawk [ARMS] against the supports of the helmet [HEADS]’, i.e. warriors’ arms were busy in action against enemy heads. Ólafur Halldórsson (2000, 80) presents this alternative in his prose order; the other eds cited take l. 5 together with l. 8 as above.



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: Þórkell Gíslason, Búadrápa 7: AI, 554, BI, 537, Skald I, 261; Fms 1, 173-4, Fms 12, 43, ÓT 1958-2000, I, 190 (ch. 90); Ólafur Halldórsson 2000, 27, 80. 


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