Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.



Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

Arn Hryn 10II/7 — él ‘of the storm’

Ljótu dreif á lypting útan
lauðri — bifðisk goll it rauða —
— fastligr hneigði fúru geystri
fýris garmr — ok skeiðar stýri.
Stirðum helzt umb Stafangr norðan
stôlum — bifðusk fyrir álar —
— uppi glóðu élmars typpi
eldi glík — í Danaveldi.

Ljótu lauðri dreif útan á lypting ok stýri skeiðar; it rauða goll bifðisk; fastligr garmr fýris hneigði geystri fúru. Helzt stirðum stôlum norðan umb Stafangr í Danaveldi; álar bifðusk fyrir; typpi élmars glóðu uppi glík eldi.

Foul surf surged in against the after-deck and the helm of the warship; the red gold shuddered; the powerful hound of the fir-tree [WIND] pitched the rushing ship of fir. You steered sturdy prows from the north past Stavanger to the realm of the Danes; currents shuddered in front; the mast-heads of the storm-steed [SHIP] glowed aloft like fire.


[7-8] typpi élmars glóðu uppi glík eldi ‘the mast-heads of the storm-steed [SHIP] glowed aloft like fire’: Like its cognate toppr, typpi probably means both ‘mast-heads’ and ‘forelocks’ and therefore resonates with both levels of imagery: the actual ship and the metaphorical ship-as-steed. The simile of mast-heads glowing like fire may be inspired by the similar image in Sigv ErfÓl 16I. Reinskou (1922, 34-5) pointed out that both skalds are referring to the ship Visundr, and suggested that gilding on the mast-head, since not mentioned in earlier poetry, may have been an innovation in Óláfr helgi’s time. Hougen (1974, 18-19) doubted whether the skalds’ references to gold and gilded prows on ships out at sea are more than a poetic hyperbole, but cf. Encomium Emmae Reginae (ed. Campbell 1998, 12-13) for another C11th example.




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.