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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Bǫlverkr Arnórsson (Bǫlv)

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

Drápa about Haraldr harðráði (Hardr) - 8

Skj info: Bǫlverkr Arnórsson, Islandsk skjald, 11. årh. (AI, 385-7, BI, 355-7).

Skj poems:
Drape om Harald hårdråde

Nothing is known about Bǫlverkr except that, according to Fsk (ÍF 29, 245) and Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 254, 262, 275), he was the brother of the skald Þjóðólfr Arnórsson (ÞjóðA). See also Finnur Jónsson in SnE 1848-87, III, 590-1.

Drápa about Haraldr harðráði — Bǫlv HardrII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Bǫlverkr Arnórsson, Drápa about Haraldr harðráði’ 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. 286-93.

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Skj: Bǫlverkr Arnórsson: Drape om Harald hårdråde (AI, 385-7, BI, 355-7)

SkP info: II, 293

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

8 — Bǫlv Hardr 8II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Bǫlverkr Arnórsson, Drápa about Haraldr harðráði 8’ 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, p. 293.

Leiðangr bjótt af láði
— lǫgr gekk of skip — fǫgru
— gjalfrstóðum reist grœði
glæstum — ár it næsta.
Skokkr lá dýrr á døkkri
(Danir vôru þá) bôru
— skeiðr sá herr fyr hauðri
hlaðnar — (illa staðnir).

Bjótt leiðangr af fǫgru láði it næsta ár; lǫgr gekk of skip; reist grœði {glæstum gjalfrstóðum}. Dýrr skokkr lá á døkkri bôru; herr sá hlaðnar skeiðr fyr hauðri; þá vôru Danir illa staðnir.

You fitted out a fleet from the fair land the next year; the sea went over the ships; you carved the ocean {with the splendid surge-steeds} [SHIPS]. The precious bottom-board rested on the dark wave; people saw loaded warships off the shore; then the Danes were in a bad situation.

Mss: Kˣ(541r), 39(23rb), F(45va), E(15v), J2ˣ(269v) (Hkr); FskAˣ(261-262) (Fsk); Mork(8v) (Mork); Flat(197va) (Flat); H(44r), Hr(31vb) (H-Hr); R(38r), Tˣ(40r), A(13r), C(7v) (SnE, ll. 1-4)

Readings: [3] gjalfr‑: ‘gialf‑’ Mork, gjalfrs H;    ‑stóðum: so 39, F, E, Mork, Flat, Hr, R, Tˣ, A, ‑stǫðum Kˣ, J2ˣ, H, ‘stoð er’ FskAˣ, stórum C;    reist (‘reistu’): ‘reztu’ R, C, ‘reuto’ Tˣ    [4] glæstum ár: glæstu mar FskAˣ;    glæstum: glæst um J2ˣ, glæstr um Hr, flestum Tˣ    [6] þá: om. Hr;    bôru: bára F    [8] staðnir: staðnar Hr

Editions: Skj: Bǫlverkr Arnórsson, Drape om Harald hårdråde 8: AI, 386-7, BI, 356-7, Skald I, 179, NN §§1793, 1793C, 3396Q; ÍF 28, 109-10 (HSig ch. 32), F 1871, 211, E 1916, 54; ÍF 29, 251 (ch. 55); Mork 1867, 51, Mork 1928-32, 156, Andersson and Gade 2000, 195, 475 (MH); Flat 1860-8, III, 335 (MH); Fms 6, 252 (HSig ch. 47); SnE 1848-87, I, 498-9, II, 450, 599, SnE 1931, 175, SnE 1998, I, 94.

Context: The summer after the death of Magnús Óláfsson, Haraldr set out for Denmark with his fleet (1048). In SnE, grœði is given as a heiti for ‘sea’.

Notes: [All]: For this campaign, see also Hharð Lv 4, ÞjóðA Lv 2, Grani Har 1-2 and Anon (HSig) 1. — [1] leiðangr ‘a fleet’: In the later Norw. laws, there are detailed provisions for the equipment and maintenance of the standing fleet or levy (see NGL I, 96-104, 197-204). See also Falk 1912, 98-9, Jesch 2001a, 195-8, and Note to ÞjóðA Har 5/3, 5. — [5] skokkr ‘bottom-board’: For this translation, see NN §§1793, 1793C and Note to st. 4/8 above. Lindquist (1928, 392) suggests the emendation dýr skokks ‘the animal of the bottom board’, i.e. ‘ship’. — [7] skeiðr ‘warships’: See Note to Valg Har 1/2. — [7] herr ‘people’: Herr can mean ‘army’ or ‘people, inhabitants’ (LP: herr 2). The latter meaning is adopted here because the word refers to the inhabitants of Denmark and not to the Dan. army.

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