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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon (ÓT) 2I/6 — Harð ‘of Harð’

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.


[6] Harð‑: her‑ 62


[6] Harðráðs ‘of Harðráðr’: Attested elsewhere both as a nickname meaning ‘Hard-rule’, most famously of King Haraldr Sigurðarson, r. 1045-66, and as a proper name (Unger 1877, I, 661, though it is Latinized as Harderadus and the context is a translation of the vita of S. Maurus). Previous eds, with the exception of Fms, prefer 62’s Herráðs ‘of Herráðr’, but there is no reason to discard the majority reading. It is uncertain whether Harðráðr is a man or a giant, but the name resembles the giant-names Harðgreipr (Þul Jǫtna II 1/7III) and Harðverkr (Þul Jǫtna I 2/1III), and other circumstances might indicate a giant (see Introduction).



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