Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hharð Lv 14II/2 — val ‘of the falcon’

Krjúpum vér fyr vápna
(valteigs) brǫkun eigi
(svá bauð Hildr) at hjaldri
(haldorð) í bug skjaldar.
Hôtt bað mik, þars mœttusk,
menskorð bera forðum,
Hlakkar íss ok hausar,
hjalmstall í gný malma.

Vér krjúpum eigi í bug skjaldar at hjaldri fyr brǫkun vápna; svá bauð haldorð Hildr valteigs. Menskorð bað mik forðum bera hjalmstall hôtt í gný malma, þars íss Hlakkar ok hausar mœttusk.

We [I] do not creep into the hollow of the shield in battle because of the crash of weapons; thus the faithful Hildr <valkyrie> of the falcon-field [ARM > WOMAN] commanded. The necklace-pole [WOMAN] told me earlier to hold the helmet-support [HEAD] high in the clamour of swords [BATTLE] where Hlǫkk’s <valkyrie’s> ice [SWORD] and skulls met.


[2, 3] Hildr valteigs ‘Hildr <valkyrie> of the falcon-field [ARM > WOMAN]’: This could refer to Haraldr’s mother, Ásta (see Hharð Lv 1 above). If that is the case, Haraldr, during his last stand at Stamford Bridge, fittingly recalls his first battle, the battle of Stiklestad in 1030 (see also Hharð Gamv 5/1). The earlier allusions to ‘the widow’ (Hharð Lv 1/2 and Hharð Gamv 5/1) and to ‘the woman’ in the present st. differ from the apostrophe to the fictitious women in Hharð Lv 11/2 and Hharð Gamv 3/1 above, because the former seems to refer to a specific woman giving advice to Haraldr prior to the battle of Stiklestad.




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