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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hókr Eirfl 3I/5 — Barða ‘Barði (‘Prow’)’

Fjǫrð kom heldr í harða
— hnitu reyr saman dreyra;
tungl skôrusk þá tingla
tangar — Ormr inn langi,
þás borðmikinn Barða
brynflagðs Reginn lagði
— jarl vann hjalms at holmi
hríð — við Fáfnis síðu.

Fjǫrð kom Ormr inn langi í heldr harða — reyr dreyra hnitu saman; tungl tangar tingla skôrusk þá —, þás Reginn brynflagðs lagði borðmikinn Barða við síðu Fáfnis; jarl vann hríð hjalms at holmi.

Last year Ormr inn langi (‘the Long Serpent’) underwent a rather harsh [trial] — reeds of gore [SWORDS] crashed together; moons of the tongs of prow-boards [SHIELDS] were cut then —, when the Reginn <dwarf> of the byrnie-troll-woman [AXE > WARRIOR = Eiríkr] brought the high-sided Barði (‘Prow’) alongside Fáfnir; the jarl fought a storm of the helmet [BATTLE] near the island.


[5] Barða: ‘[…]’ 325VIII 1


[5] borðmikinn Barða ‘the high-sided Barði (“Prow”)’: Barði, a derivative of barð ‘prow, stem’, is also recorded as a ship-heiti in Þul Skipa 3/3III. Eiríkr jarl’s ship was variously called Barði or Járnbarði(nn) ‘(the) Iron-prow’, which could indicate that the stem had been fortified for ramming (so Falk 1912, 43-4; but see Jesch 2001a, 159). Cf. the (probably unhistorical) description of this ship in Flat 1860-8, I, 481: þar var skegg a ofanverdu bardinu huorotueggia en nidr fra skegginu iarnnspaung breid ok þykk sem bardit ok tok allt j sio ofan ‘There was a beak on top of the prow on both sides and down from the beak an iron rod as broad and thick as the prow and it went all the way down into the sea’. See also Note to Þul Skipa 3/3III. The rhyming and alliterating pair borð- and barð- is also found (in identical positions) in Bragi Þórr 4/1III and Eskál Lv 2b/3V (Eg 125).



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