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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þhorn Gldr 5I

Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Þorbjǫrn hornklofi, Glymdrápa 5’ 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. 84.

Þorbjǫrn hornklofiGlymdrápa
456

text and translation

Háði gramr, þars gnúðu,
geira hregg við seggi,
— rauð fnýsti ben blóði —
bryngǫgl í dyn Skǫglar,
þás á rausn fyr ræsi
(réð egglituðr) seggir
— æfr gall hjǫrr við hlífar —
hnigu fjǫrvanir (sigri).

Gramr háði {hregg geira} við seggi, þars {bryngǫgl} gnúðu í {dyn Skǫglar}; rauð ben fnýsti blóði, þás seggir hnigu fjǫrvanir fyr ræsi á rausn; æfr hjǫrr gall við hlífar; {egglituðr} réð sigri.
 
‘The king fought a storm of spears [BATTLE] against men where mail-shirt-goslings [ARROWS] roared in the din of Skǫgul <valkyrie> [BATTLE]; the red wound spurted blood as men sank down lifeless before the ruler on the forecastle; the furious sword resounded against shields; the blade-stainer [WARRIOR = Haraldr] gained victory.

notes and context

Fsk cites this stanza in connection with the battle of Hafrsfjǫrðr (Hafrsfjorden; see Context to st. 3). In Hkr, it follows a narrative about a further sea-battle near Sólskel (Solskjel), against a force led by the kinsmen Arnviðr and Sǫlvi and their ally King Auðbjǫrn. Arnviðr and Auðbjǫrn fall, and Sǫlvi flees. In SnE, the first helmingr is among citations illustrating terms for ‘battle’.

Several commentators note this stanza’s artfully convoluted sentence structure. It is composed of a main clause in the first helmingr and a subordinate clause in the second, each of which contains an intercalary clause located in the third line of the helmingr (ll. 3 and 7 respectively). Further, each helmingr contains an additional syntactic unit: another subordinate clause in ll. 1 and 4, and a separate main clause in ll. 6 and 8 (Engster 1983, 189-90; Kuhn 1969b, 68). Reichardt (1928, 226) sees in this the poet’s attempt to convey the turmoil of battle, and Holtsmark (1927, 34-5) perceives a representation of the battle in the rhythm of the short sentences. These trace the battle’s development from engagement to victory, with sigri ‘victory’ as the last word of the stanza.

readings

sources

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.

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