Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hfr ErfÓl 10I/1 — af ‘off’

Sukku niðr af Naðri
naddfárs í bǫð sárir
baugs — gerðut við vægjask —
verkendr meginserkjar.
Vanr mun Ormr, þótt Ormi
alldýrr konungr stýri,
hvars skríðr með lið lýða,
lengi slíkra drengja.

Sárir verkendr meginserkjar baugs naddfárs sukku niðr af Naðri í bǫð; gerðut vægjask við. Ormr mun lengi vanr slíkra drengja, hvars skríðr með lið lýða, þótt alldýrr konungr stýri Ormi.

Wounded workers of the mighty shirt of the ring of point-harm [BATTLE > SHIELD > MAIL-SHIRT > WARRIORS] sank down off Naðr (‘Adder’) in battle; they did not yield. Ormr (‘Serpent’) will long lack such warriors, wherever it glides with a company of men, though a very eminent king may command Ormr.


[1] af Naðri ‘off Naðr (“Adder”)’: A pun on the name of Óláfr’s longship Ormr inn langi ‘the Long Serpent’. Similar puns or ofljóst expressions, referring to the ship by means of other terms for ‘snake’, ‘serpent’ or ‘dragon’, occur in sts 14/2 and 16/4 below and widely elsewhere, e.g. Hókr Eirfl 3/8, 8/6, HSt Rst 18/2, 23/4, Anon Óldr 21/4, Anon Ól 4/6. The witty repetition of the name of this famous ship here and in st. 16 may be one reason why these stanzas were so widely preserved. Ormr is also named directly twice in l. 5 of the present stanza and frequently elsewhere, e.g. sts 17/1, 24/5 below, Hókr Eirfl 3/4, HSt Rst 15/5, Anon Óldr 19/6, Anon Ól 6/2. For the ship, see Note to Hókr Eirfl 3/4.



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