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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Sǫrl 1VIII (Sǫrla 1)

Rory McTurk (ed.) 2017, ‘Sǫrla þáttr 1 (Anonymous Poems, Sǫrlastikki 1)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 788.

Anonymous PoemsSǫrlastikki1

text and translation

Fell inn forsnjalli
fyst, inn víglysti,
ýgr í austrvegi,
allr á Helpalla,
dauðr, um dalreyðar,
dáðkunnr, miskunnir.
Beit at brandmóti
brynstingr víkingum.

Inn forsnjalli, inn víglysti, ýgr í austrvegi, fell fyst, allr á Helpalla, dauðr, dáðkunnr, um {miskunnir {dalreyðar}}. {Brynstingr} beit víkingum at {brandmóti}.
‘The very brave one, the battle-eager one, fearsome in the east, fell first, lifeless onto Hel’s benches, dead, deed-renowned, during the mercies of the valley-char [SNAKE > SUMMER]. The corslet-stabber [SWORD] bit for vikings at the sword-meeting [BATTLE].

notes and context

See Introduction above.

The metre of this stanza has been identified as málaháttr by van Hamel (1935-6, 278), but is metrically mixed. Lines 1-5 and 7 are regular Haðarlag, a variant of málaháttr with hendingar; see General Introduction, Section 4, in SkP I, lxvii, and SnSt Ht 79III, second Note to [All]. Lines 6 and 8, however, in which internal rhyme falls in metrical position 2 rather than 1, do not conform to any known Old Norse metre, and may be an indication of late composition.


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. 4. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Sǫrlaþáttr: AII, 242, BII, 262, Skald II, 136, NN §2596; FSN I, 397 (Sǫrla ch. 4); Flat 1860-8, I, 278 (ÓTC : Sǫrla), Flat 1944-5, I, 307(ÓTC : Sǫrla), FSGJ 1, 372 (Sǫrla ch. 4), Barwell 1976, 84-5 (Sǫrla ch. 4), 128-30.


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