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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon (ÓT) 2I/2 — ormr ‘serpent’

Of fjarri stendr errinn
ormr brunar døkkr at nǫkkva —
hôr með hyggju stóra
hlýri minn ok vinnur.
Ef værim hér hárir
Harðráðs synir báðir
— snákr skríðr, þars brim blíkir —
brœðr tveir, né þá flœðim.

Hôr errinn hlýri minn með stóra hyggju ok vinnur stendr of fjarri; døkkr ormr brunar at nǫkkva. Ef værim hér, báðir hárir synir Harðráðs, tveir brœðr, né flœðim þá; snákr skríðr, þars brim blíkir.

My tall, bold brother, with [his] great mind and achievements, stands too far off; the dark serpent rushes towards the boat. If we had been here, both the grey-haired sons of Harðráðr, two brothers, we would not have fled then; the snake glides where the surf glistens.


[2] ormr: orm 53, orms 54, Bb


[2] ormr ‘serpent’: Like snákr ‘snake’ in l. 7, this refers to Óláfr’s ship, perhaps specifically to the famous Ormr inn langi ‘the Long Serpent’, though if so ÓT cites the present stanza out of chronological sequence in ch. 212, as the Long Serpent is not built until ch. 223. These words meaning ‘snake’ may alternatively be ship-heiti, as, e.g., in ÞjóðA Har 1/4, 5II. On Ormr and poetic references to it, see Notes to Hfr ErfÓl 10/1, Hókr Eirfl 3/4.



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