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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þorf Lv 2I

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2012, ‘Þorfinnr munnr, Lausavísur 2’ 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. 847.

Þorfinnr munnrLausavísur


This is one of an unusual cluster of three powerful stanzas spoken in anticipation of the battle of Stiklastaðir (Stiklestad, 1030), and it is preserved in the same texts: see Introduction to Gizsv Lv.

text and translation

Røkkr at regni miklu
randar garðs ins harða;
vill við vísa snjallan
Verdœla lið berjask.
Verjum allvald ǫrvan;
ǫlum teitan mô sveita;
fellum Þrœndr í Þundar
— þess eggjumk vér — hreggi.

Røkkr at {miklu regni {ins harða garðs randar}}; lið Verdœla vill berjask við snjallan vísa. Verjum ǫrvan allvald; ǫlum {teitan mô sveita}; fellum Þrœndr í {hreggi Þundar}; vér eggjumk þess.
‘It grows dim approaching the great downpour of the tough enclosure of the shield-rim [SHIELD > BATTLE]; the force of the Verdœlir wants to fight against the valiant prince [Óláfr]. Let us defend the generous mighty ruler; let us feed the cheerful gull of gore [RAVEN/EAGLE]; let us fell the Þrœndr in the storm of Þundr <= Óðinn> [BATTLE]; we are urging this.

notes and context

In ÓH-Hkr, as for Gizsv Lv. In the less polished context of ÓHLeg, Þorfinnr skald is with the king and speaks the stanza as his troops advance.

For the battle of Stiklastaðir (Stiklestad) and other skaldic poetry associated with it, see the entry on Óláfr Haraldsson in ‘Ruler biographies’ in Introduction to this volume. — [5-8]: The 1st pers. pl. imperatives in this helmingr (verjum ‘let us defend’, l. 5, ǫlum ‘let us feed’, l. 6, and fellum ‘let us fell’, l. 7) are typical of skaldic exhortations to battle; cf. Anon Liðs 1, Rv Lv 31II, Nefari LvII, Blakkr Lv 1II



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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