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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hálfr Innkv 6VIII (Hálf 25)

Hubert Seelow (ed.) 2017, ‘Hálfs saga ok Hálfsrekka 25 (Hálfr Hjǫrleifsson, Innsteinskviða 6)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 324.

Hálfr HjǫrleifssonInnsteinskviða

text and translation

Fulllangt er sjá         fíflskapr talaðr;
vera kveð ek ekki         undir slíku.
Seg þú öngva,         svá at heyri,
drauma þína         í degi síðan.

Sjá fíflskapr er fulllangt talaðr; ek kveð ekki vera undir slíku. Seg þú öngva drauma þína síðan í degi, svá at heyri.
‘This foolish talk has been going on for too long; I say there is nothing in such talk. Do not tell any of your dreams in an audible manner later this day.

notes and context

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

Hálfr’s mistrust and dismissal of Innsteinn’s foreboding dreams must surely make him appear reckless in an Old Norse tradition in which prophetic dreams were regarded as important indicators of events to come (see, among others, Turville-Petre 1972b). This inference is confirmed correct by Innsteinn’s generous suggestion below, (Hálf 26/7-8), that the warriors should absolve Hálfr from any blame for his words.


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 12: AII, 260, BII, 281, Skald II, 147, NN §3188; Hálf 1864, 20, Hálf 1909, 105, FSGJ 2, 113, Hálf 1981, 118, 182; Edd. Min. 35­.


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