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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Magnússdrápa — Bkrepp MagndrII

Bjǫrn krepphendi

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Bjǫrn krepphendi, Magnússdrápa’ 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. 395-405.

 

Vítt lét Vǫrsa dróttinn
— varð skjótt rekinn flótti —
— hús sveið Hǫrða ræsir —
Halland farit brandi.
Brenndi buðlungr Þrœnda
— blés kastar hel fasta —
— vakði viskdœlsk ekkja —
víðs mǫrg herǫð síðan.
 
‘The lord of the Vǫrsar [NORWEGIAN KING = Magnús] advanced far and wide in Halland with the sword; the fleeing ones were pursued with haste; the ruler of the Hǫrðar [NORWEGIAN KING = Magnús] scorched houses. Later the lord of the Þrœndir [NORWEGIAN KING = Magnús] burned a great many herǫð; the death of the wood pile [FIRE] breathed life into the blaze; the widow from Viskedal lay awake.
Snarr rauð Sygna harri
sverð á úthlaupsferðum
— vítt nam vargr at slíta
varma brôð — á Harmi.
Frátt, hvé fylkir mátti
— fór, svát hengðr vas Þórir —
— fǫr vas gunnar gǫrvis
greið — dróttinssvik leiða.
 
‘The swift lord of the Sygnir [NORWEGIAN KING = Magnús] reddened the sword on the rebels in Velfjorden; far and wide the wolf began to tear warm meat. You have heard how the leader countered high treason; it happened that Þórir was hanged; the campaign of the wager of battle [WARRIOR] went smoothly.
Hrafngreddir vann hrædda
hlífar styggr í byggðum
þrœnzka drótt, es þótti
þeim markar bǫl sveima.
Hygg, at hersa tveggja
her-Baldr lyki aldri
sinn; jór vasa svôru
svangr; fló ǫrn til hanga.
 
‘The raven-feeder [WARRIOR], shy of protection, frightened the host from Trøndelag in the settlements, when it seemed to them that the harm of the forest [FIRE] was raging. I believe that the army-Baldr <god> [WARRIOR] ended simultaneously the lives of two hersar; the horse of the troll-woman [WOLF] was not hungry; the eagle flew to the hanged ones.
Víkinga lætr vengis
vallbaugs hati falla;
vítt rýðr jǫrn á ýtum
Óláfs mǫgr in fǫgru.
 
‘The hater of the meadow of the field-ring [SNAKE > GOLD > GENEROUS MAN] makes the vikings fall; far and wide Óláfr’s son [= Magnús] reddens the fair weapons on men.
Lék of Ljóðhús fíkjum
limsorg náar himni;
vítt vas ferð á flótta
fús; gaus eldr ór húsum.
 
‘The branch-sorrow [FIRE] played fiercely near the sky throughout Lewis; far and wide the crowds were eager for flight; fire gushed from houses.
Hungrþverrir lét herjat
hríðar gagls á Skíði;
tǫnn rauð Tyrvist innan
teitr vargr í ben margri.
 
‘The hunger-diminisher [FEEDER] of the gosling of battle [RAVEN/EAGLE > WARRIOR] harried in Skye; the cheerful wolf reddened its tooth in many a wound inside Tiree.
Ǫrr skjǫldungr fór eldi
Ívist; búendr misstu
— róggeisla vann ræsir
rauðan — lífs ok auðar.
 
‘The generous leader advanced in North Uist with fire; farmers lost life and wealth; the ruler reddened the battle-beam [SWORD].
Vítt bar snarr á slétta
Sandey konungr randir;
rauk of Íl, þás jóku
allvalds menn á brennur.
Grœtti Grenlands dróttinn
— gekk hôtt Skota støkkvir —
— þjóð rann mýlsk til mœði —
meyjar suðr í eyjum.
 
‘The swift king carried shields far and wide on level Sanda; smoke drifted throughout Islay when the mighty ruler’s men fuelled the fires. The lord of Grenland [NORWEGIAN KING = Magnús] grieved women south in the isles; the banisher of the Scots [= Magnús] was superior; the people of Mull fled until exhaustion.
Sanntíri laut sunnar
seggja kind und eggjar;
sigrgœðir réð síðan
snjallr Manverja falli.
 
‘The progeny of people bent beneath sword-blades south of Kintyre; the courageous victory-increaser [WARRIOR] then caused the fall of the Manxmen.
Hætt vas hvert, þats átti,
hvarf, Guðrøðar arfi;
lǫnd vann lofðungr Þrœnda
Lǫgmanni þar bannat.
Nýtr fekk nesjum útarr
naðrbings tǫpuð finginn
Egða gramr, þars umðu,
ungr, véttrima tungur.
 
‘Every hiding place that Guðrøðr’s heir [= Lǫgmaðr] had was hazardous; the ruler of the Þrœndir [NORWEGIAN KING = Magnús] refused Lǫgmaðr lands there. The bountiful young lord of the Egðir [NORWEGIAN KING = Magnús] captured the destroyer of the snake-lair [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN] off the headlands, where tongues of hilts [SWORDS] were wailing.
Lífspelli réð Laufa
lundr í Ǫngulssundi
— broddr fló, þars slǫg snuddu
snúðigt — Huga ins prúða.
Ǫll hefr Jóta fellir
eylǫnd farit brandi
— vítt liggr dyggs und dróttum
dǫglings grund — of stundir.
 
‘The tree of Laufi <sword> [WARRIOR] caused the death of Hugh inn prúði (‘the Proud’) in the Menai Strait; the arrow-point flew fast where weapons soared. The slayer of the Jótar [= Magnús] has advanced throughout all the islands with the sword for some time; far and wide the earth is controlled by the retainers of the worthy ruler.
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