Steinn Herdísarson (Steinn)
11th century; volume 2; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;
1. Nizarvísur (Nizv) - 7
2. Úlfsflokkr (Úlffl) - 1
3. Óláfsdrápa (Óldr) - 16
III. Fragment (Frag) - 1
Skj info: Steinn Herdísarson, Islandsk skjald, 11. årh. (AI, 407-13, BI, 376-83).
Steinn was the great-grandson of the Icel. poet Einarr skálaglamm ‘Tinkle-scales’ Helgason (EskálI) and a kinsman of Stúfr inn blindi ‘the Blind’ Þórðarson (Stúfr; see the genealogy in SnE 1848-87, III, 607 and Genealogy IV in ÍF 5). At the battle of the river Nissan in 1062 he was on board the ship of his kinsman, Úlfr stallari ‘the Marshal’ Óspaksson (Úlfr). Steinn was a court poet of Haraldr harðráði ‘Hardrule’ Sigurðarson and his son Óláfr kyrri ‘the Quiet’ Haraldsson (SnE 1848-87, III, 254, 262, 275). Two poems, Nizarvísur ‘Vísur about the Nissan’ (Steinn Nizv), and Óláfsdrápa ‘Drápa about Óláfr’ (Steinn Óldr) survive of his poetic oeuvre, and another st., Úlfsflokkr ‘Flokkr about Úlfr’ (Steinn Úlffl), is usually assigned to a poem about Úlfr Óspaksson.
Nizarvísur (‘Vísur about the Nissan’)
Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Steinn Herdísarson, Nizarvísur’ 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. 359-66.
Skj: Steinn Herdísarson: 1. Nizarvísur, 1062 (AI, 407-9, BI, 376-8)
SkP info: II, 360-1
1 — Steinn Nizv 1II
Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Steinn Herdísarson, Nizarvísur 1’ 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. 360-1.
|Sagði hitt, es hugði,
hauklyndr, vesa myndu;
þar kvað þengill eirar
þrotna vôn frá hônum.
|Heldr kvað hvern várn skyldu |
hilmir frægr an vægja
(menn brutu upp) of annan
(ǫll vôpn) þveran falla.
Hauklyndr sagði hitt, es hugði vesa myndu; þengill kvað þrotna vôn eirar frá hônum þar. Frægr hilmir kvað hvern várn skyldu falla þveran of annan heldr an vægja; menn brutu upp ǫll vôpn.
The hawk-minded one said what he thought might happen; the lord declared there was scant hope of mercy from him there. The famous ruler said each of us must fall crosswise on top of one another rather than yield; men readied all weapons.
Mss: Kˣ(559v), F(48va-b), E(21r), J2ˣ(282r) (Hkr); FskBˣ(74v), FskAˣ(277) (Fsk); Mork(12v) (Mork); Flat(200rb) (Flat); H(55v), Hr(40vb) (H-Hr); 570a(24v)
Readings:  hitt: hinn 570a  ‑lyndr: ‑lundr Flat; myndu: so F, E, FskBˣ, FskAˣ, Mork, H, mundu Kˣ, J2ˣ, Flat, Hr, 570a  þar: so F, J2ˣ, FskBˣ, Flat, H, Hr, 570a, þess Kˣ, þat E, þá FskAˣ, þér Mork; kvað: kvað at FskAˣ; þengill: þengils FskBˣ; eirar: so F, E, J2ˣ, FskBˣ, Mork, Flat, H, Hr, 570a, ‘errar’ Kˣ, herjar FskAˣ  þrotna: þraut Hr; vôn: vann Flat, 570a; frá: so F, E, J2ˣ, FskBˣ, FskAˣ, Mork, H, Hr, fyr Kˣ, 570a, af Flat  skyldu: skuldu FskAˣ  menn brutu: brutu menn Hr; of: om. E; annan: anna Hr  vôpn: vn H
Editions: Skj: Steinn Herdísarson, 1. Nizarvísur 1: AI, 407, BI, 376, Skald I, 187, NN §§886, 2247D, 3262A; ÍF 28, 145-6 (HSig ch. 61), F 1871, 227, E 1916, 73; ÍF 29, 264-5 (ch. 57); Mork 1867, 77, Mork 1928-32, 208, Andersson and Gade 2000, 228, 477 (MH); Flat 1860-8, III, 361 (MH); Fms 6, 313 (HSig ch. 77); HÍ 1873, 254, HÍ 1952, 26-7 (HÍ).
Context: Before the battle, Haraldr incited his troops saying that,
even though the Danes had twice as many men, the Norwegians must fall crosswise
on top of one another rather than flee.
Notes:  hauklyndr; myndu (past inf.) ‘hawk-minded; might’: For the past inf. myndu, see ANG §529. Skj B and Skald adopt the Flat variant hauklundr ‘hawk-minded’ to form aðalhending with mundu (past inf.) ‘might’, while ÍF 28 and ÍF 29 give hauklyndr and mundu. Skj B connects hauklyndr with þengill ‘lord’ (l. 3) as the subject of the first cl., which results in an awkward tripartite l. and leaves the following cl. without a subject (see NN §§886, 2247D). —  þrotna vôn (f. acc. sg.) ‘scant hope’: Lit. ‘ended, diminished hope’. Taken as the p. p. (f. acc. sg.) of þrjóta ‘end, lack, diminish’. It could also be the inf. of the weak verb þrotna ‘come to an end’ (see NN §3262A): kvað vn eirar frá hnum þrotna ‘said that the expectation of mercy from him was coming to an end’ (ll. 3, 4), but the p. p. is attested with ván ‘hope’ in other contexts (see the examples given in Fritzner: þrjóta 1). — [7, 8] falla þveran of annan ‘fall crosswise on top of one another’: This phrase became (or was) a commonplace, and it is also found in Sverris saga (Sv) and used by King Sverrir Sigurðarson: hverr fell um þveran annan ‘each fell crosswise on top of the other’ (ÍF 30, 252-3); Liggr hverr yðvar um þveran annan ‘Each of you lie crosswise on top of one another’ (ÍF 30, 253).