Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Hrynhenda, Magnússdrápa 13’ 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. 198-200.
Skjǫldungr, lézt við skíra valdit
Skotborgarô Venða sorgum;
yngvi, vas sá frægr, es fenguð,
fǫrnuðr þinn, við helming minna.
Vári, lá þar valkǫstr hæri,
— vas þér sigr skapaðr grams ins digra —
virðum kunnr, an víða runnin
varga ætt of klífa mætti.
Skjǫldungr, lézt valdit sorgum Venða við skíra Skotborgarô; yngvi, sá fǫrnuðr þinn, es fenguð við minna helming, vas frægr. Vári kunnr virðum, valkǫstr lá þar hæri an ætt varga, runnin víða, mætti of klífa; sigr ins digra grams vas skapaðr þér.
King, you caused griefs for the Wends by the gleaming Kongeå; sovereign, that success of yours, which you won with a smaller troop, was famed. Defender, renowned to men, a corpse-pile lay there higher than the clan of wolves, run from far and wide, could climb over; victory of the stout lord was granted you.
Mss: H(9r), Hr(9rb) (H-Hr); Flat(191va) (Flat)
Readings:  lézt: lét Hr; valdit: valdi Flat  fǫrnuðr: fǫrnuð Hr, ‘for naudr’ Flat  Vári (‘vare’): vaxi Hr, ‘vorru’ Flat  skapaðr: skaptr Hr  kunnr: kunn all; runnin: so Hr, Flat, runninn H  ætt of: ætt ef Hr, ættum Flat
Context: In H-Hr, the defeated Wends flee as far as the Kongeå (Skotborgará) where, caught up by Magnús’s men, they surge into the water. So many are slain that their bodies make a causeway. In Flat, the st. follows Arn Magndr 10, with a brief link.
Notes: [All]: H-Hr cites the st. from Arnórr’s ‘i hrynhendu’ (H) or ‘i hrunhendu’ (Hr). —  Venða (m. gen. pl.) ‘for the Wends’: Lit. ‘of the Wends’. On the spelling, see Note to st. 11/6. —  vári ‘defender’: A point of difficulty. The reading ‘vare’ is partially secured by the versification, as [v] is required by the alliterative pattern and [r] by the internal rhyme. The vowel is almost certain to be long, since of all Arnórr’s hrynhent ll. only st. 2/2 fails to begin with a long syllable, and hnika there is doubtless corrupt, so that if no emendation is made the word is vári. (a) Vári may be related to the verb verja and hence have the sense ‘defender’ (so AEW: vári 1). It appears in ÚlfrU Húsdr 2/4III, where it is probably to be construed with ragna ‘of the gods’ or ragna rein- ‘gods’ land’ to form an appellation for Heimdallr, who figures elsewhere as guardian of the gods (e.g. Grí 13, Lok 48). In the present st. vári ‘defender’ would be an apostrophe addressed to Magnús and would be qualified by virðum kunnr ‘renowned to men’. In meaning it would be similar to other heiti for ‘prince’ such as skyli ‘defender’ and vísi ‘leader’. This has been adopted here as the most satisfactory interpretation of vári, but there are alternatives, of which the following are the most plausible. (b) Konráð Gíslason suggested that the original text had a word meaning ‘son’ or ‘descendant’ which would be defined by the gen. grams ins digra hence ‘son of the stout lord [of Óláfr]’ (l. 6) (Nj 1875-8, II, 352 n.), and Björn Magnússon Ólsen (1903, 108-9) took up this suggestion, proposing that vári ‘relative’, etymologically linked with várar fem. pl. ‘faith, compact’, was the word in question; cf. also Vár, goddess of truces. Finnur Jónsson, in Skj B, postulated verja as the word meaning ‘son’. (c) Kock also proposed emending to verja, but read valkǫstr verja ‘corpse-heap of men’ (NN §816). This expression, however, would be tautologous and it has no parallel in ON, except for the still more unlikely construction proposed by Kock for Arn Magndr 11/4 (see Note below). —  sigr ins digra grams ‘victory of the stout lord’: This phrase may allude to the legend that Óláfr helgi posthumously helped his son Magnús to victory at the battle of Lyrskovshede (Hlýrskógsheiðr). According to Flat (1860-8, III, 279), Magnús spurred on his men with the words, ver sko᷎lum sigr fꜳ þuiat hinn helgi Olafr konungr fer med oss ‘We shall win victory, for the holy king Óláfr goes with us’. Compare also the words of Einarr Skúlason who, composing a century after the event, says that Óláfr sigr gaf sínum ... frǫmum arfa ‘gave his distinguished heir victory’ (ESk Geisl 30/1, 4VII). If interpretation (b) of l. 5 vári (above) were adopted, sigr and grams ins digra could not be construed together and interpreted thus. —  kunnr virðum ‘renowned to men’: Emendation is necessary since the ms. reading kunn could only qualify ætt varga ‘clan of wolves’ (l. 8), and it seems unlikely that wolves should be described as ‘renowned to men’, especially when the synonymous kunnr ǫldum and kunnr þjóðum are applied to the hero in sts 5 and 15.
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