Richard L. Harris (ed.) 2017, ‘Hjálmþés saga ok Ǫlvis 1 (Tóki víkingr, Lausavísa 1)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 493.
In these two stanzas, Tóki the viking and Hjálmþér exchange formulaic insulting greetings before fighting one another. Tóki issues the challenge to fight when he discovers Hjálmþér has killed his brother Kollr.
Hverir eru skálkar, er skipum ráða,
heldr harðsnúnir, happalausir?
Vér skulum lýði lífi ræna
ok með oss öllum auði skipta.
Hverir eru skálkar, er ráða skipum, heldr harðsnúnir, happalausir? Vér skulum ræna lýði lífi ok skipta öllum auði með oss.
Who are the rogues who command the ships, rather stubborn [and] luckless? We will rob the men of life and divide all the wealth among us.
Mss: 109a IIIˣ(262v), papp6ˣ(44r), ÍBR5ˣ(82) (HjǪ)
Readings:  skipum ráða: so papp6ˣ, ÍBR5ˣ, ‘s[…]ip[…]’ 109a IIIˣ  skulum lýði: so papp6ˣ, ÍBR5ˣ, ‘sk[…]’ 109a IIIˣ  öllum: so papp6ˣ, ÍBR5ˣ, vel 109a IIIˣ
Context: The stanza is spoken by Tóki, described as large and of evil appearance, when he catches sight of Hjálmþér’s ships and men.
Notes: [All]: The insulting terms of the challenge are intentionally significant. Skálkr in the sense ‘rogue’ (l. 1) appears in Old Norse texts from c. 1320, possibly influenced by Middle Low German (AEW, ONP, Fritzner: skalkr); its earlier and more common meaning is ‘slave, servant’. Lýðr ‘the men’ (l. 5) is often used of ‘common folk’. — [All]: Gould (1909, 214-15), cites the rhetorical parallels in the exchange between adversaries here and those in an episode of ÞorstVík among a number of similarities between the two texts, the latter of which in his view served as a source for this confrontational episode in HjǪ. —  happalausir ‘luckless’: Both the compounds happalauss and happlauss have been recorded (LP has an entry under both heads) but the trisyllabic form is presumably used here for metrical regularity. The adj. happlauss occurs in another taunting context, when Egill Skallagrímsson challenges Ljótr inn bleiki ‘the Pale’, calling him ironically happlauss kappi ‘the hapless champion’ (Egill Lv 33/4V (Eg 62)).
Use the buttons at the top of the page to navigate between stanzas in a poem.
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.
This is the text of the edition in a similar format to how the edition appears in the printed volumes.
This view is also used for chapters and other text segments. Not all the headings shown are relevant to such sections.