skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sturl Hryn 10II/8 — skógar ‘the wood’

Hæstan kyndu hirðmenn traustir
heitan eld í Danaveldi;
skæriligr gekk húsum hæri
hallar gandr á sviðnu landi.
Víða fór um búkarls búðir
birkisótt, en hræddar dróttir
— bragnar eyddu báli slegnu
brunnit land — til skógar runnu.

Traustir hirðmenn kyndu hæstan heitan eld í Danaveldi; skæriligr gandr hallar gekk hæri húsum á sviðnu landi. Birkisótt fór víða um búðir búkarls, en hræddar dróttir runnu til skógar; bragnar eyddu land brunnit slegnu báli.

The trusty retainers kindled the highest hot fire in the realm of the Danes; the bright wolf of the hall [FIRE] leapt higher than the houses on the scorched land. The sickness of the birch-tree [FIRE] went far and wide through the dwellings of the farmer, but the frightened people fled to the wood; men devastated the land burnt by the kindled fire.

notes

[6-8] en hræddar dróttir runnu til skógar; bragnar eyddu land brunnit slegnu báli ‘but the frightened people fled to the wood; men devastated the land burnt by the kindled fire’: So E, 81a, 8, Flat. There may be a trace of sympathy for the people of Halland here. Sturla himself knew the horrors of fire, his daughter Ingibjörg having narrowly escaped when the farm at Flugumýri was burned down in 1253 (Stu 1988, II, 635-42). The F variant gives the following reading: en hræddar dróttir runnu brunnit land til skógar, margir bragnar slegnir báli ‘but the frightened people fled over the burnt land to the wood, many men struck by fire’. That reading is also possible, but not warranted by the other ms. witnesses.

grammar

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