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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Ótt Knútdr 6I/2 — Thesu ‘the Tees’

Ungr fylkir, lézt Engla
allnær Thesu falla;
flóði djúpt of dauðra
dík Norðimbra líkum.
Svefn braut svǫrtum hrafni
sunnarr hvǫtuðr gunnar;
olli sókn inn snjalli
Sveins mǫgr at Skorsteini.

Ungr fylkir, lézt Engla falla allnær Thesu; djúpt dík flóði of líkum dauðra Norðimbra. Hvǫtuðr gunnar braut svǫrtum hrafni svefn sunnarr; inn snjalli mǫgr Sveins olli sókn at Skorsteini.

Young ruler, you caused the English to fall very near the Tees; the deep ditch flowed over the bodies of dead Northumbrians. The urger of battle [WARRIOR] broke the sleep of the dark raven further south; the bold son of Sveinn [= Knútr] made an attack at Sherston.


[2] Thesu: corrected from Tesu 20dˣ, Tesu 41ˣ


[2] Thesu ‘the Tees’: A river in northern England. The initial <Th> spelling in most mss is curious (and not matched in English sources), and is possibly attributable to Latin influence (see Townend 1998, 85). A battle by the Tees is not mentioned in the ASC (s.a. 1016), though it is plausible (see Poole 1987, 273).



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