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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Halli stirði (Halli XI)

11th century; volume 2; ed. Russell Poole;

Flokkr (Fl) - 6

Skj info: Halli stirði, Islandsk skjald, 11. årh. (AI, 401-2, BI, 370-1).

Skj poems:
Flokkr

The poet who composed these sts is unidentified in the extant medieval sources. However, Johan Peringskiöld’s edn of Hkr (Hkr 1697, II, 143) contains an ascription to one ‘Halli stríði’ ‘the Stern’. This might have originated in a lost source (cf. Fidjestøl 1982, 145-6) but is more plausibly explained as a result of a misinterpretation of contracted svá sem hér segir ‘as is told here’ in Hkr as svá segir Halli stríði ‘as Halli stríði says’ or similar (ÍF 28, 160). This attribution might have been prompted by mention of an otherwise unknown Halli stirði ‘the Stubborn’, with nearly identical nickname, in Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 254, 262, 275) as one of the skalds of Haraldr harðráði. Possibly Peringskiöld was aware of this attestation. Halli stirði must be a separate identity from Haraldr’s well-known skald, Sneglu-Halli (SnH), since Skáldatal lists both Sneglu-Halli and Halli stirði among the poets who eulogised Haraldr. Also, the present sts indicate that their speaker was with Haraldr in 1064 when the events narrated took place, whereas, according to Sneglu-Halla þáttr (Snegl), Sneglu-Halli returned permanently to Iceland at an earlier date. Sneglu-Halli also composed encomiastic poetry, as indicated in Snegl (see Mork 1928-32, 234-47; ÍF 9, 261-95; Andersson and Gade 2000, 243-52).

Flokkr — Halli XI FlII

Russell Poole 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Halli stirði, Flokkr’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 337-43.

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Skj: Halli stirði: Flokkr, 1064 (AI, 401-2, BI, 370-1)

in texts: H-Hr, Hkr, HSig

SkP info: II, 337-43

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files

 

1 Norðr lykr gramr, sás gerðir
grund, frá Eyrarsundi
— hrafngœlir sparn hæli
hǫfn — langskipa stǫfnum.
Rísta golli glæstir
gjalfr, en hlýður skjalfa,
hvasst und her fyr vestan
Hallandi framm brandar.
The king, who surrounds his territory, locks up [the land] with the stems of the longships north of Øresund; the raven-gladdener [WARRIOR] kicked against the harbour with his keel. The stems, encrusted with gold, cut the ocean-surge keenly forwards under the army to the west of Halland, and the wash-strakes tremble.
2 Gerðir opt fyr jǫrðu
eiðfastr Haraldr skeiðum;
Sveinn skerr ok til annars
eysund konungs fundar.
Út hefra lið lítit
lofsnjallr Dana allra,
hinn, es hvern vág sunnan,
hrafngrennir, lykr stǫfnum.
Oath-firm Haraldr often seals off his land with ships; Sveinn also cuts the island-sound to meet the other king. The praise-keen raven-feeder [WARRIOR = Sveinn], he who blocks every bay from the south with the prows, has no small force of all the Danes out [at sea].
3 Sýstuð suðr, þars æstu,
snjallr gramr, Danir allir
— enn sér eigi minni
efni — mæltrar stefnu.
Sveinn tekr norðr at nenna
nær til landamæris
— varð fyr víðri jǫrðu
vinnsamt — Harald finna.
You set out southwards, brave king, where all the Danes requested an appointed meeting; once again one sees no lesser cause. Sveinn starts to venture north near to the border to meet Haraldr; it became toilsome off the wide land.
4 Telja hátt, es hittask,
hvartveggja mjǫk, seggir,
orð, þaus angra fyrða
allmjǫk, búendr snjallir.
Láta þeir, es þræta,
þegnar, allt í gegnum,
— svellr ofrhugi jǫfrum —
eigi brátt við sôttum.
The brave farmers of both parties, when the men meet, speak very loudly words that offend peoplevery greatly. Those people who wrangle the whole way through accede not at all quickly to terms of settlement; rashness builds up in the kings.
5 Ofreiði verðr jǫfra
allhætt, ef skal sættask;
menn, þeirs miðla kunnu,
môl ǫll vega í skôlum.
Dugir siklingum segja
slíkt allt, es her líkar;
veldr, ef verr skulu hauldar,
vili grandar því, skiljask.
The excessive anger of the kings becomes most dangerous, if there must be a settlement; men, who know how to mediate, weigh all the issues in the balance. It is good to tell princes all such things as please the people; an inclination to evil-doing causes it if the freeholders must part on worse terms.
6 Hitt hefk heyrt, at setti
Haraldr ok Sveinn við meinum
— guð sýslir þat — gísla
glaðr hvárrtveggi ǫðrum.
Þeir haldi svá sœrum
— sôtt lauksk þar með vôttum —
ok ǫllum frið fullum,
ferð at hvôrgi skerði.
I have heard this, that Haraldr and Sveinn assigned hostages against damages, each one gladly with the other; God sees to that. May they keep their oaths and the entire full peace so that neither contingent may violate it; the settlement was concluded there with witnesses.
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