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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þjsk Jarl 1I

Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Þorleifr jarlsskáld Rauðfeldarson, Jarlsníð 1’ 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. 372.

Þorleifr jarlsskáld RauðfeldarsonJarlsníð1

text and translation

Þoku dregr upp it ýtra;
él festisk it vestra
(mǫkkr mun náms) af nøkkvi
(naðrbings kominn hingat).

Þoku dregr upp it ýtra; él festisk it vestra af nøkkvi; mǫkkr náms {naðrbings} mun kominn hingat.
‘Fog rises up on the outer side; a storm gathers in the west for some reason; the cloud from the taking of the adder-bed [GOLD] must have come this way.

notes and context

Þorleifr travels to Hákon jarl’s court disguised as a beggar, in order to perform a composition called KonuvísurVísur about a woman’ (‘konur visur’, Flat(27vb)), but see Noreen 1922a, 45; Almqvist 1965-74, I, 194-5). In these, Hákon is spoken of as a woman in poetic terms (kona kenndr í skáldskap), as revenge for Hákon’s attack on his ship (see Biography above). At first Hákon hears praise of himself and his son Eiríkr jarl (see Introduction to Þjsk Hák), but he is soon assailed by unbearable itching between his thighs. He commands Þorleifr to recite something better, but when Þorleifr starts the Þokuvísur ‘Fog Vísur’, said to be the middle part of the poem, darkness falls. The third and last part of the poem causes weapons to fight by themselves and Hákon to fall unconscious. He awakes to find Þorleifr magically escaped and his own beard and half his hair rotted away, never to return. 



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: Þórleifr jarlsskáld Rauðfeldarson, 3. Jarlsníð: AI, 142, BI, 133, Skald I, 73, NN §§318, 2443A; SHI 3, 101-2, Flat 1860-8, I, 212, ÞorlJ 1883, 125, 158, ÍF 9, 223, ÍS III, 2271 (ÞorlJ).


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