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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hjþ Lv 14VIII (HjǪ 41)

Richard L. Harris (ed.) 2017, ‘Hjálmþés saga ok Ǫlvis 41 (Hjálmþér Ingason, Lausavísur 14)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 532.

Hjálmþér IngasonLausavísur


In the autumn, following a sea battle in which King Hundingi and his forces are defeated, Hjálmþér, Ǫlvir and Hǫrðr venture to a marvellous land where Hǫrðr seems to die in his sleep. Hjálmþér becomes enraged with Ǫlvir momentarily. He then voices his determination to carry their faithful companion home for burial.

text and translation

Berum á baki okru         brodda framkeyri,
launum svá líf honum,         látum hann eigi eptir.
Heygjum Hörð hvergi,         fyrr en heim komum,
gröfum hann heima         hallar vegg undir.

Berum á baki okru {framkeyri brodda}, launum honum svá líf, látum hann eigi eptir. Heygjum Hörð hvergi, fyrr en komum heim, gröfum hann heima undir vegg hallar.
‘Let us [me] carry the forward-driver of spear-points [WARRIOR = Hǫrðr] on our [my] back, repay him thus for life; let us [me] not leave him behind. Let us [me] bury Hǫrðr nowhere, before we [I] come home, let us [me] bury him at home beneath the wall of the hall.

notes and context

Hjálmþér speaks this stanza after his shock discovery that Hǫrðr is dead.

Hjálmþérsrímur express the substance of this stanza in three much more prolix stanzas (IX, 36-8, Finnur Jónsson 1905-22, II, 61).



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. 16. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Hjálmþérs saga ok Ǫlvis V: AII, 340, BII, 362, Skald II, 196, NN §183; HjǪ 1720, 70, FSN 3, 510, FSGJ 4, 235, HjǪ 1970, 57, 107-8, 174-5.


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