Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hfr ErfÓl 25I/2 — stóðk ‘I stood’

Illt vas, þats ulfa sultar
optþverri stóðk ferri,
mest þars malmar brustu,
mein, þótt smátt sé und einum.
Skiliðr em ek við skylja;
skalmǫld hefr því valdit;
vættik virða dróttins;
vils mest ok dul flestum.

Illt mein vas, þats stóðk ferri optþverri sultar ulfa, þars malmar brustu mest, þótt smátt sé und einum. Skiliðr em ek við skylja; skalmǫld hefr valdit því; vættik dróttins virða; flestum [e]s mest vil ok dul.

It was an evil, harmful thing that I stood far from the frequent diminisher of the famine of wolves [WARRIOR], where metal weapons clashed most, though little may depend on one man. I am separated from the ruler; a sword-age [BATTLE] has caused that; I hope for the lord of men [RULER]; to most it [that hope] is the greatest wilfulness and delusion.


[2] stóðk ferri ‘I stood far from’: As opposed to standa nær ‘stand by, support, back’. Hallfreðr missed the battle of Svǫlðr, having gone to Iceland. According to Hallfr (ÍF 8, 169), his bitter regret was predicted by Óláfr.



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