Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞGísl Búdr 4I/2 — Hamðis ‘of Hamðir’

Herr bar hôtt merki;
á Hamðis serki
grimmt kom él eggja;
at gekk lið seggja.
Meiddu fjǫr flotna
— flest varð hlíf brotna —
— glumðu gráir oddar —
grjót ok skotbroddar.

Herr bar merki hôtt; grimmt él eggja kom á serki Hamðis; lið seggja gekk at. Grjót ok skotbroddar meiddu fjǫr flotna; flest hlíf varð brotna; gráir oddar glumðu.

The army carried the standard high; the terrible storm of edges [BATTLE] hit the shirts of Hamðir <legendary hero> [MAIL-SHIRTS]; the troop of men attacked. Stones and missile-points injured the lives of seamen; most shields were shattered; grey points crashed.


[2] Hamðis: ‘handis’ 54, Bb


[2] serki Hamðis ‘the shirts of Hamðir <legendary hero> [MAIL-SHIRTS]’: The kenning refers to the armour which Guðrún Gjúkadóttir prepared for her sons Hamðir and Sǫrli, making it impervious to iron (Vǫlsunga saga ch. 44, Vǫls 1965, 77; SnE 1998, I, 49).




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