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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞSkall Valfl 2II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Þorkell Skallason, Valþjófsflokkr 2’ 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. 383-4.

Þorkell SkallasonValþjófsflokkr

text and translation

Víst hefr Valþjóf hraustan
Viljalmr, sás rauð malma,
hinn, es haf skar sunnan
hélt, í tryggð of véltan.
Satts, at síð mun létta,
snarr en minn vas harri,
— deyrat mildingr mærri —
manndráp á Englandi.

Viljalmr, sás rauð malma, hinn, es skar hélt haf sunnan, hefr víst of véltan hraustan Valþjóf í tryggð. Satts, at manndráp mun síð létta á Englandi, en harri minn vas snarr; mærri mildingr deyrat.
‘William, who reddened weapons, the one who cut the rime-flecked sea from the south, has indeed betrayed the bold Waltheof under safe conduct. It is true that killings will be slow to cease in England, but my lord was brave; a more splendid munificent prince will not die.

notes and context

After the incident described in st. 1 above, William, who had been installed on the Engl. throne, summoned Waltheof and promised him safe-conduct. When Waltheof arrived, he was captured by William’s men on the moor north of the unidentified Kastalabryggja, put in chains and then decapitated (so Hkr and H-Hr). According to Fsk (which has a fuller prose account), Waltheof was reconciled with William and the earldom of Northumbria was restored to him. He then left William’s court, but William sent men after him, and they executed him after capturing him on an unnamed moor.

Waltheof participated in yet another uprising against William (see st. 1 Notes to [All] above), and he was decapitated in Winchester on 31 May 1076 (see Scott 1952, 202-8).



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 Skallason, Valþjófsflokkr 2: AI, 414, BI, 384, Skald I, 191; ÍF 28, 196 (HSig ch. 97), F 1871, 251, E 1916, 100; Fms 6, 426-7 (HSig ch. 122);  ÍF 29, 295 (ch. 76).


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