Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Bjbp Jóms 31I

Emily Lethbridge (ed.) 2012, ‘Bjarni byskup Kolbeinsson, Jómsvíkingadrápa 31’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 986.

Bjarni byskup KolbeinssonJómsvíkingadrápa

text and translation

Ein drepr fyr mér allri
— ylgr gekk á ná bólginn —
— þar stóð úlfr í átu —
ítrmanns kona teiti.
Góð ætt of kemr grimmu
— gein vargr of sal mergjar —
— gráðr þvarr gylðis jóða —
gœðings at mér stríði.

Ein kona ítrmanns drepr allri teiti fyr mér; ylgr gekk á bólginn ná; úlfr stóð þar í átu. Góð ætt gœðings of kemr grimmu stríði at mér; vargr gein of {sal mergjar}; gráðr {jóða gylðis} þvarr.
‘A certain nobleman’s wife kills all joy for me; the she-wolf stepped on the swollen corpse; the wolf stood there on the food. The good kinswoman of a chieftain brings cruel torment upon me; a wolf gaped over the hall of marrow [BONE]; the greed of the progeny of the wolf [WOLVES] diminished.

notes and context

Lines 1, 4, 5 and 8 form the fifth appearance of the stef ‘refrain’; see Introduction. Some words are abbreviated in the ms. The gruesome, if conventional, images of wolves gorging on the slain in the inner lines (ll. 2-3, 6-7) contrast with the stef lines lamenting the poet’s unhappiness in love. 



Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: Bjarni Kolbeinsson, Jómsvíkingadrápa 31: AII, 7, BII, 7, Skald II, 4; Fms 11, 171-2, Fms 12, 245, Jvs 1879, 114-15.


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