skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

BjHall Kálffl 7I

Alison Finlay (ed.) 2012, ‘Bjarni gullbrárskáld Hallbjarnarson, Kálfsflokkr 7’ 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. 887.

Bjarni gullbrárskáld HallbjarnarsonKálfsflokkr
678

Þér frák, Þorbergs hlýri,
— þess gerðusk ér verðir —
— helt, unz hann of spillti —
Haralds bróðurson góðan.
Vǫkðu ǫfundmenn ykkar
iðula róg á miðli
(óþǫrf lízk mér) arfa
Ôleifs (í þeim môlum).

Frák {bróðurson Haralds} góðan þér, {hlýri Þorbergs}; ér gerðusk þess verðir; helt, unz hann of spillti. Ǫfundmenn vǫkðu iðula róg á miðli ykkar {arfa Ôleifs}; lízk mér óþǫrf í þeim môlum.

I have heard that {the son of Haraldr’s brother} [= Magnús] was good to you, {brother of Þorbergr} [= Kálfr]; you made yourself worthy of that; that lasted until he damaged [it]. Envious men constantly stirred up strife between you and {Óláfr’s heir} [= Magnús]; that seems to me an unnecessary thing in those matters.

Mss: Holm2(74r), 321ˣ(281), 73aˣ(215v), Holm4(69vb), 61(130rb), 325V(89rb), 325VI(42ra), 325VII(41v), Bb(206r), Tóm(161r) (ÓH); Kˣ(503r-v), 39(14rb), F(38vb), J2ˣ(244v), E(5r-v) (Hkr)

Readings: [1] Þér: þat 325VI, þik Bb;    frák (‘fra ec’): brá ek 61, 325V, 325VII, Tóm    [2] þess gerðusk ér: þér gjǫrðusk þess 325VI;    ér: þat 321ˣ, ‘i[…]’ Holm4, om. Bb    [3] helt: helt því Holm2, 73aˣ, Holm4, 61, 325V, 325VI, 325VII, Tóm, Kˣ, 39, F, J2ˣ, E, helt þar 321ˣ, hest Bb;    unz: at 325VII, F;    hann of spillti: ‘[…]’ 325VII;    hann: herr Kˣ    [4] Haralds bróðurson góðan: ‘haral[…] sun[…]’ 325VII    [5] Vǫkðu ǫfundmenn: ‘[...]ofund[…]’ 325VII;    ykkar: so 73aˣ, Holm4, Bb, Tóm, 39, F, J2ˣ, E, ykkrir Holm2, 61, 325V, 325VI, ykkir 321ˣ, ‘[…]ar’ 325VII, ykkra Kˣ    [6] á miðli: í miðli 73aˣ, Holm4, 61, 325VI, Tóm, F, í milli 325V, milli 325VII, Bb, á miðlum Kˣ    [7] óþǫrf: ok óþǫrf Bb, eigi þǫrf Kˣ

Editions: Skj AI, 395-6, Skj BI, 364-5, Skald I, 182, NN §2039Fms 5, 127Fms 12, 107ÓH 1941, I, 624 (ch. 259); Hkr 1893-1901, III, 28, IV, 187-8, ÍF 28, 25, Hkr 1991, II, 572 (MGóð ch. 14), F 1871, 176, E 1916, 16 .

Context: Magnús, reminded by followers of the role played by Kálfr in the downfall of his father Óláfr, forces Kálfr to accompany him to the battle-site of Stiklastaðir (Stiklestad). Kálfr denies having dealt Óláfr his death blow, but has his belongings in readiness and flees the kingdom for the British Isles. 

Notes: [All]: In Hkr the stanza is identified as belonging to Kálffl. — [1] hlýri Þorbergs ‘brother of Þorbergr [= Kálfr]’: Þorbergr is named as one of seven sons of Árni Armóðsson in Hkr (ÍF 27, 181), and is said to have fought on King Óláfr’s side at the battle of Stiklastaðir (Stiklestad, 1030). — [3] helt ‘that lasted’: All mss except Bb (‘hest’) read helt því, in which helt ‘lasted, held’ is used impersonally with því as its dat. object. Því, however, is hypermetrical. — [3] hann ‘he’: Other eds adopt the reading herr ‘the army, men’ of , emphasizing the agency of others in creating strife between Magnús and Kálfr; but all other mss, representing both ÓH and Hkr, favour the reading hann, which attributes the responsibility to Magnús; see also Note to ll. 5-8. — [3] of spillti ‘damaged [it]’: Good relations between Kálfr and the king were damaged by Magnús’s harsh treatment of the former opponents of his father, as censured by Sigvatr Þórðarson in Sigv BervII; see also Context above. Of is the expletive particle. — [4] Haralds bróðurson ‘the son of Haraldr’s brother [= Magnús]’: This epithet for Magnús may suggest a date of composition of the poem within the reign of Haraldr harðráði (cf. st. 3/4 and Note). — [5-8]: This is construed here as in Skj B. Kock (NN §2039, followed by ÍF 28) argues that arfa Ôleifs ‘heir of Óláfr’, rather than being construed in apposition to ykkar ‘you (two)’, should be taken together with óþǫrf, here ‘an unnecessary thing’, which he interprets as ‘harm’ (cf. Fritzner: úþurft ‘(unnecessary) harm’), hence ‘it seems to me there was harm for the heir of Óláfr in these dealings’. While this gives a more natural word order, the implication of harm inflicted on Magnús seems to contradict the suggestion of his agency in hann of spillti ‘he damaged [it]’ (l. 3). — [5]: The line has resolution of the syllables ǫfund- in the second lift, and represents a type that became popular in the C11th among Haraldr harðráði and his poets; see Kuhn (1983, 68) and Note to Hharð Gamv 2/1II. — [5] ykkar ‘you’: The m. nom. pl. reading ykkrir ‘your’ of Holm2 and other mss agrees with ǫfundmenn ‘envious men’ and was probably adopted because of the proximity of the words; but the form ykkar, gen. object in the phrase á miðli ykkar ‘between you (two)’, clearly makes better sense. — [6] iðula ‘constantly’: A trisyllabic short-stemmed word with resolution on the first syllable. Words of this structure are unusual in skaldic poetry; see Kuhn (1939, 184). — [6] á miðli ‘between’: The variants á miðlum, í miðli are synonymous and also possible. Milli is a later form. — [8] í þeim môlum ‘in those matters’: The phrase is taken here with the intercalary, but it could alternatively modify the main clause. Its exact reference is not clear.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  4. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  6. Fritzner = Fritzner, Johan. 1883-96. Ordbog over det gamle norske sprog. 3 vols. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske forlagsforening. 4th edn. Rpt. 1973. Oslo etc.: Universitetsforlaget.
  7. ÓH 1941 = Johnsen, Oscar Albert and Jón Helgason, eds. 1941. Saga Óláfs konungs hins helga: Den store saga om Olav den hellige efter pergamenthåndskrift i Kungliga biblioteket i Stockholm nr. 2 4to med varianter fra andre håndskrifter. 2 vols. Det norske historiske kildeskriftfond skrifter 53. Oslo: Dybwad.
  8. Kuhn, Hans (1899). 1983. Das Dróttkvætt. Heidelberg: Winter.
  9. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  10. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  11. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  12. F 1871 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1871. Fríssbók: Codex Frisianus. En samling af norske konge-sagaer. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  13. E 1916 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1916. Eirspennill: AM 47 fol. Nóregs konunga sǫgur: Magnús góði – Hákon gamli. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske historiske kildeskriftskommission.
  14. Kuhn, Hans (1899). 1939. ‘Westgermanisches in der altnordischen Verskunst’. BGDSL 63, 178-236. Rpt. in Kuhn (1899) 1969-78, I, 485-527.
  15. Internal references
  16. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Heimskringla (Hkr)’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols [check printed volume for citation].
  17. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘The Separate Saga of S. Óláfr / Óláfs saga helga in sérstaka (ÓH)’ 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, pp. clxxvi-clxxix.
  18. Not published: do not cite (MGóðII)
  19. Judith Jesch 2017, ‘(Biography of) Sigvatr Þórðarson’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 347.
  20. Alison Finlay 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Bjarni gullbrárskáld Hallbjarnarson, Kálfsflokkr’ 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. 877.
  21. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Sigvatr Þórðarson, Bersǫglisvísur’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 11-30.
  22. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson, Gamanvísur 2’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 36-7.
Close

Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.

Close

Stanza/chapter/text segment

Use the buttons at the top of the page to navigate between stanzas in a poem.

Information tab

Interactive tab

The text and translation are given here, with buttons to toggle whether the text is shown in the verse order or prose word order. Clicking on indiviudal words gives dictionary links, variant readings, kennings and notes, where relevant.

Full text tab

This is the text of the edition in a similar format to how the edition appears in the printed volumes.

Chapter/text segment

This view is also used for chapters and other text segments. Not all the headings shown are relevant to such sections.