Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

Hfr Óldr 2I/6 — laust ‘less’

Hættr vas hersa dróttinn
hjǫrdjarfr Gota fjǫrvi;
gollskerði frák gerðu
geirþey á Skáneyju.
Bǫðserkjar hjó birki
barklaust í Danmǫrku
hleypimeiðr fyr Heiða-
hlunnviggja -bý sunnan.

Hjǫrdjarfr dróttinn hersa vas hættr fjǫrvi Gota; frák gollskerði gerðu geirþey á Skáneyju. Hleypimeiðr hlunnviggja hjó barklaust birki bǫðserkjar í Danmǫrku fyr sunnan Heiðabý.

The sword-bold lord of hersar [RULER] was dangerous to the life of the Gotar; I have learned that the gold-diminisher [GENEROUS MAN] made spear-breeze [BATTLE] in Skåne. The impelling tree of the roller-steeds [SHIPS > SEAFARER] cut down the barkless birches of the battle-shirt [MAIL-SHIRT > WARRIORS] in Denmark south of Hedeby.


[6] ‑laust: ‑rjóðr J1ˣ


[5, 6] barklaust birki bǫðserkjar ‘the barkless birches of the battle-shirt [MAIL-SHIRT > WARRIORS]’: Birki n. is a collective noun, hence the sg. refers in this kenning to several warriors. The epithet barklaust ‘barkless’ helps to clarify the referent: not trees but men, but it may also imply that the victorious Óláfr strips the enemy of their armour like a tree of its bark (so ÍF 26; ÍF 29; Hkr 1991). 




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.


Word in text

This view shows information about an instance of a word in a text.