Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Arn Hryn 3II/4 — fljótu ‘a swift’

Magnús, hlýð til máttigs óðar;
manngi veit ek fremra annan;
yppa rôðumk yðru kappi,
Jóta gramr, í kvæði fljótu.
Haukr réttr estu, Hǫrða dróttinn,
hverr gramr es þér stóru verri;
meiri verði þinn an þeira
þrifnuðr allr, unz himinn rifnar.

Magnús, hlýð til máttigs óðar; ek veit manngi annan fremra; rôðumk yppa kappi yðru, gramr Jóta, í fljótu kvæði. Estu réttr haukr, dróttinn Hǫrða; hverr gramr es stóru verri þér; allr þrifnuðr þinn verði meiri an þeira, unz himinn rifnar.

Magnús, hear a mighty poem; I know no other [to be] more outstanding; I mean to raise up your prowess, prince of the Jótar [DANISH KING = Magnús], in a swift poem. You are a just hawk, lord of the Hǫrðar [NORWEGIAN KING = Magnús]; every prince is far below you [lit. worse by much than you]; may your whole success be greater than theirs, until the sky tears apart.


[4] fljótu: fljóta Flat


[4] í fljótu kvæði ‘in a swift poem’: Kreutzer (1977, 58-9) notes that Arnórr is the first skald to use the word kvæði (here and in st. 14 below), older skalds having preferred the more elevated, specifically poetic, bragr and óðr. The epithet fljótr ‘swift’ would be apt if hrynhent poetry had a faster tempo than dróttkvætt (Heusler 1925-9, I, 304), or it could refer to its tendency to fall into a regular trochaic pulse. Kreutzer (1977, 206) seems instead to link this with the comments of other (mainly later) skalds on their swiftness in composing, e.g. Egill in Arkv 1V.



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