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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Stúfr inn blindi Þórðarson kattar (Stúfr)

11th century; volume 2; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

Stúfsdrápa (Stúfdr) - 8

Skj info: Stúfr enn blindi Þórðarson kattar, Islandsk skjald, 11. årh. (AI, 404-5, BI, 373-4).

Skj poems:
Stúfsdrápa, Stúfa

Stúfr inn blindi ‘the Blind’ Þórðarson kattar ‘of the Cat’ came from an illustrious family of Icel. poets. He was the great-grandson of the skald Glúmr Geirason (GlúmrI) and the grandson of Guðrún Ósvífrsdóttir (see Laxdœla saga, ÍF 5, 87, 94, 281-90). He was also related to Einarr skálaglamm ‘Tinkle-scales’ (EskálI), Úlfr stallari ‘the Marshal’ Óspaksson (Úlfr) and Steinn Herdísarson (Steinn) (See Genealogy IV, ÍF 5). What we know about his life is detailed in two versions of Stúfs þáttr, which has been transmitted in a longer and a shorter version (see ÍF 5, xcii-xciv, 279-90). Stúfr was born c. 1025 and, as his nickname indicates, he must have been blind or had extremely poor vision (it could be, however, that his eyesight failed him in old age, contributing to his nickname; see ÍF 5, xciii). Around 1060 he travelled to Norway to claim an inheritance, and while he was there he met King Haraldr harðráði Sigurðarson. The following summer Stúfr visited the king in Trondheim, became his retainer and recited a poem which he had composed in Haraldr’s honour. He then apparently returned to Iceland, and nothing more is known about him (see also SnE 1848-87, III, 593-5; LH 1894-1901, I, 633-4). Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 254, 262, 275) lists him among the court poets of Haraldr harðráði.

Stúfsdrápa — Stúfr StúfdrII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Stúfr inn blindi Þórðarson kattar, Stúfsdrápa’ 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. 350-8.

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Skj: Stúfr enn blindi Þórðarson kattar: Stúfsdrápa, Stúfa, o. 1067 (AI, 404-5, BI, 373-4)

in texts: Flat, Fsk, H-Hr, Hkr, HSig, MH, Mork, ÓlKyrr, Skm, SnE

SkP info: II, 350-8

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files

 

1 Vissak hildar hvessi
— hann vas nýztr at kanna —
af góðum byr Gríðar
gagnsælan mér fagna,
þás blóðstara bræðir
baugum grimmr at Haugi
gjarn með gylltu horni
gekk sjalfr á mik drekka.
I knew the victory-blessed inciter of war [WARRIOR] to welcome me with a good wind of Gríðr <giantess> [MIND]—he was the most bountiful to know—, when the feeder of the blood-starling [RAVEN > WARRIOR], ferocious to rings, himself went willingly to toast me with the gilded horn at Haug.
2 Fór ofrhugi inn øfri
eggdjarfr und sik leggja
— fold vas víga valdi
virk — Jórsali ór Girkjum.
Ok með œrnu ríki
óbrunnin kom gunnar
heimil jǫrð und herði.
Hafi ríks, þars vel líkar.
The very reckless one set out, sword-daring, from the Greeks to subjugate Jerusalem; the country was submissive to the controller of combats [WARRIOR]. And because of his abundant force the land was delivered as his due, unburned, to the strengthener of battle [WARRIOR]. May the powerful have, where it is good to be….
3 Stóðu rôð af reiði
(rann þat svikamǫnnum)
Egða grams á ýmsum
(orð) Jórðánar borðum.
Enn fyr afgerð sanna
— illa gat frá stilli —
þjóð fekk vísan váða.
Vist of aldr með Kristi.
The powers of the prince of the Egðir [NORWEGIAN KING = Haraldr] prevailed in wrath on both banks of the River Jordan; that news put an end to the traitors. And people got inevitable punishment for proven crimes; they were in dire straits because of the ruler. …Residence forever with Christ….
4 Mægð gat ǫðlingr eiga
ógnar mildr, þás vildi;
gulls tók gauta spjalli
gnótt ok bragnings dóttur.
The battle-generous monarch got the marriage he desired; the confidant of the people [KING] took plenty of gold and the ruler’s daughter.
5 Autt varð Falstr at fréttum;
fekk drótt mikinn ótta;
gœddr vas hrafn, en hræddir
hvert ár Danir vôru.
Falster was laid waste, according to reports; people were overcome with great fear; the raven was fattened, and the Danes were frightened every year.
6 Flýðu þeir á Þjóðu
þengils fund af stundu;
stórt réð hugprútt hjarta.
Haralds ǫnd ofarr lǫndum.
Those at Thy fled the encounter with the prince at once; the proud heart prevailed completely. …Haraldr’s spirit above the lands….
7 Tíreggjaðr hjó tyggi
tveim hǫndum lið beima;
reifr gekk herr und hlífar
hizig suðr fyr Nizi.
The fame-spurred ruler cut down the troop of warriors with both hands; the cheerful army advanced beneath shields there south of the Nissan.
8 Gekk sem vind, sás vættki,
varðandi, fjǫr sparði,
geira regns í gǫgnum
glaðr orrostu þaðra.
Gramr flýðit sá síðan
— sœm eru þess of dœmi
éls und erkistóli —
eld né jarn it fellda.
The warden of spears’ rain [BATTLE > WARRIOR], who not at all heeded his life, went there, exultant, through battle like the wind. Later that prince fled neither fire nor the pure iron; there are fitting proofs of that under the archiepiscopal seat of the storm [HEAVEN].
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