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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sturl Hryn 5II/4 — streng ‘anchor rope’

Eigi sátuð, jöfra hneitir
ættumgóðr, at rofnar sættir
— stirðan bjoggu hirðmenn harðir
herskips streng — í kyrðum lengi.
Mætum helt fyrir Elfi útan
— auðit léztu flotnum dauða —
— nauða vissu nýjar súðir —
Norðmanna gramr fýriborðum.

Eigi sátuð lengi í kyrðum, ættumgóðr hneitir jöfra, at rofnar sættir; harðir hirðmenn bjoggu stirðan streng herskips. Gramr Norðmanna helt mætum fýriborðum fyrir útan Elfi; léztu flotnum auðit dauða; nýjar súðir vissu nauða.

You did not sit long in quiet, high-born striker of princes [RULER], with the truces broken; the tough retainers readied the hard anchor rope of the warship. The ruler of the Norwegians [= Hákon] directed the splendid fir-planks off the Götaälv; you decreed death for the men; the new plankings experienced hardship.


[4] streng: stengr E, 81a, Flat


[3-4] harðir hirðmenn bjoggu stirðan streng herskips ‘the tough retainers readied the stiff anchor rope of the warship’: Ms. E has the variant readings stirðir (adj. m. nom. pl.) ‘stiff’ (which can qualify harðir hirðmenn m. nom. pl. ‘tough retainers’ (l. 3)) and stengr (f. acc. pl.; nom. stǫng) ‘poles’. Flat and 304ˣ have the readings stirðar (adj. f. acc. pl.) ‘stiff’ (81a has stríðar f. acc. pl. ‘tough’) and stengr (304ˣ has streng). Harðir hirðmenn bjoggu stirðar stengr ‘the tough retainers readied the stiff poles’ (so Skj B; Skald) also makes good sense, because poles bearing the banners of the king must have been on board the ships.



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