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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Innsteinn Innkv 4VIII (Hálf 20)

Hubert Seelow (ed.) 2017, ‘Hálfs saga ok Hálfsrekka 20 (Innsteinn Gunnlaðarson, Innsteinskviða 4)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 321.

Innsteinn GunnlaðarsonInnsteinskviða

text and translation

Hálfr, dreymði mik         — hygðu at slíku —,
at logi léki         um liði váru.
Ilt væri þar         ór at leysaz;
hvat kveðr þú, þengill,         þann draum vita?

Hálfr, mik dreymði — hygðu at slíku —, at logi léki um liði váru. Þar væri ilt at leysaz ór; hvat kveðr þú, þengill, þann draum vita?
‘Hálfr, I dreamed — be mindful of this — that a flame flickered around our troop. It would be difficult to escape from there; what do you say, king, that dream means?

notes and context

This stanza is introduced by the words: Innsteinn kvað ‘Innsteinn said’.

Here and in two further stanzas (Hálf 22 and 24), Innsteinn tries to persuade Hálfr to abandon his proposed visit to Ásmundr by telling him of three foreboding dreams he has had. Their cumulative effect is underlined by the verbal repetition of Innsteinn’s question to Hálfr about the meaning of these dreams in ll. 7-8 of each stanza.



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: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], E. 6. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Hálfssaga VI 7: AII, 259-60, BII, 280, Skald II, 146; Hálf 1864, 18, Hálf 1909, 102, FSGJ 2, 111, Hálf 1981, 118, 180; Edd. Min. 34.


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