Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Run 1II/7 — Læsum ‘on the Læsir’

Eitt hǫfðusk at,
Eilífr þars sat,
hǫfðingjar tveir;
hamalt fylkðu þeir.
Austr-Vinðum ók
í ǫngvan krók;
vasa Læsum léttr
liðsmanna réttr.

Tveir hǫfðingjar hǫfðusk at eitt, þars Eilífr sat; þeir fylkðu hamalt. Austr-Vinðum ók í ǫngvan krók; réttr liðsmanna vasa léttr Læsum.

Two chieftains engaged in a single action, where Eilífr held sway; they lined up their troops in wedge formation. The East Wends were driven into a tight corner; the terms of the liegemen were not easy on the Læsir.


[7] Læsum: om. Hr, lesum Flat


[7] Læsum ‘Læsir’: LP cites only this instance of the ethnic name, and translates ‘Ljacherne’. ÍF 28 explains that this is a version of an ancient name of the Poles, and cites the Nestorian Chronicle, which records a punitive raid on the Læsir undertaken by Jaroslav and Mstislav in 1031. Hkr 1991 explains the Læsir as a Polish tribe by the Visla (Wisla) river, here standing for Poles in general.



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