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 Hardr 16II/5 — øfra ‘high’

Arn Hardr 16II

Haraldr vissi sik hverjum
harðgeðr und Miðgarði
— dǫglingr réð til dauða
dýrð slíkri — gram ríkra.
Hefr afreka in* øfra
(ættstýrǫndum dýrri
hnígrat hilmir frægri)
heilǫg fold (til moldar).

Harðgeðr Haraldr vissi sik ríkra hverjum gram und Miðgarði; dǫglingr réð slíkri dýrð til dauða. Heilǫg fold in* øfra hefr afreka; frægri hilmir, dýrri ættstýrǫndum hnígrat til moldar.

Harsh-minded Haraldr knew himself mightier than any lord under Miðgarðr; the monarch commanded such glory till death. The holy land on high [lit. the holy, higher land] has the hero; no prince more renowned, more precious than that ruler of men, will sink to the soil.


[5] øfra: ǫrva Flat


[5, 8] heilǫg fold in* øfra ‘the holy land on high [lit. the holy, higher land]’: There is no m. or n. noun which ‘ens ofra’ (ins øfra ‘of the higher’) in the mss could qualify. (a) The emendation produces what seems a natural expression for ‘heaven’, and it is supported by the occurrence of fold ‘land, earth’ in later heaven-kennings: fold éls ‘storm’s ground’ (Anon Pl 26/5, 7VII) and skýfold ‘cloud-land’ (Anon Mgr 43/6VII). In øfra is also partially paralleled by ofar lǫndum meaning ‘in heaven’ in a similar context in Hfr ErfÓl 27/8I. (b) Kock retains the ms. reading, taking heilǫg fold ens øfra to mean ‘the holy land of the High One (God)’ (NN §842), but it seems unlikely that a mere comparative would be applied to God, and there is no evidence for this. (c) Finnur Jónsson in Skj B emends to et øfra, which he takes with heilǫg fold in the sense ‘up there’ (deroppe). Adverbial it øfra most usually means ‘by the inland route’ and is accompanied by a verb of motion and some indication of destination, but ‘up there, in the air’ does find some support, albeit slight: see Fritzner: efri 1a.



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.