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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þfagr Sveinn 2II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Þorleikr fagri, Flokkr about Sveinn Úlfsson 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. 314-15.

Þorleikr fagriFlokkr about Sveinn Úlfsson

text and translation

Vôn erumk vísa kœnum
vígs á Rakna stígu,
ǫrr í odda snerru
Innþrœnda lið finni.
Þó má enn, hvárr annan
ǫndu nemr eða lǫndum,
— lítt hyggr Sveinn á sáttir
sjaldfestar — goð valda.

Erumk vôn vígs kœnum vísa á {stígu Rakna}, ǫrr finni lið Innþrœnda í {snerru odda}. Þó má goð enn valda, hvárr nemr annan ǫndu eða lǫndum; Sveinn hyggr lítt á sjaldfestar sáttir.
‘I believe there is an expectation of battle for the wise ruler on Rakni’s <sea-king’s> paths [SEA], [and that] the brave one will meet the host of Innþrœndir in the onslaught of spear-points [BATTLE]. Yet God can decide again which one will deprive the other of life or lands; Sveinn cares little for shaky agreements.

notes and context

Sveinn Úlfsson sent envoys to Haraldr harðráði of Norway challenging him to a battle by the Götaälv in Sweden. The one who won the battle would have the right to rule Norway and Denmark. Fsk gives sts 2-5 without intervening prose.

[1-4]: The Hkr text of the first helmingr is syntactically simpler: vns, at ǫrt lið Innþrœnda finni vísa, kœnan vígs, í snertu odda á stígu Rakna ‘it is to be expected that the brave host of Innþrœndir will meet the ruler, wise in battle, in the onslaught of spear-points on Rakni’s paths’. The Hkr version has been adopted in Skj B, Skald and ÍF 28.



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: Þórleikr fagri, En flokk om Sven Ulfssön 2: AI, 397, BI, 365, Skald I, 183; Mork 1867, 54, Mork 1928-32, 161, Andersson and Gade 2000, 198, 476 (MH); Flat 1860-8, III, 338 (MH); Fms 6, 256-7 (HSig ch. 50); ÍF 29, 254 (ch. 55); ÍF 28, 113 (HSig ch. 34), F 1871, 212, E 1916, 56.


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