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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hfr ErfÓl 17I

Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Erfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar 17’ 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. 424.

Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld ÓttarssonErfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar
161718

text and translation

Ítrfermðum réð Ormi
orðsæll jǫfurr norðan
— snǫrp varð at þat sverða
snót — Eireki á móti.
En hýjǫfnum hefnir
hlýrs þeim Gota stýrði
— áðr óx of gram góðan
gunnr — Hôkonar sunnan.

Orðsæll jǫfurr réð ítrfermðum Ormi norðan á móti Eireki; {snót sverða} varð snǫrp at þat. En {hefnir Hôkonar} stýrði {þeim hýjǫfnum Gota hlýrs} sunnan; gunnr óx áðr of góðan gram.
 
‘The acclaimed prince [Óláfr] guided splendidly-laden Ormr (‘Serpent’) from the north against Eiríkr; the lady of swords [= Hildr (hildr ‘battle’)] became keen at that. But Hákon’s avenger [= Eiríkr] steered that very straight Goti <legendary horse> of the bow [SHIP] from the south; battle had swelled earlier around the good ruler.

notes and context

Eiríkr claims Ormr inn langi after the battle, and commands it himself.

The helmingar are neatly balanced semantically and syntactically. In the first Óláfr, guiding Ormr south before the battle, is the subject; in the second a ship is steered north by Eiríkr jarl Hákonarson. The stanza could be seen as describing the adversaries sailing towards one another before the battle, as, e.g., in ÞjóðA Lv 9II and Þfagr Sveinn 3II, and may play on this tradition, but the prose context is clearly correct in taking the second helmingr as an account of the victor Eiríkr steering the same ship back north after the battle. This is indicated by þeim ‘that’ in l. 6, and by the fact that the strong stress on áðr in l. 7 (indicated by the skothending with góðan) and the word order suggest it is the adv. ‘earlier’ not the conj. ‘before’. On the placing of the stanza, see Introduction.

readings

sources

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: Hallfrøðr Óttarsson vandræðaskáld, 3. Óláfsdrápa, erfidrápa 18: AI, 163, BI, 154, Skald I, 84, NN §1958; SHI 3, 15-16, ÓT 1958-2000, II, 298 (ch. 258), Flat 1860-8, I, 520.

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