Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Halli XI Fl 1II/6 — hlýður ‘the wash-strakes’

Norðr lykr gramr, sás gerðir
grund, frá Eyrarsundi
— hrafngœlir sparn hæli
hǫfn — langskipa stǫfnum.
Rísta golli glæstir
gjalfr, en hlýður skjalfa,
hvasst und her fyr vestan
Hallandi framm brandar.

Gramr, sás gerðir grund, lykr stǫfnum langskipa norðr frá Eyrarsundi; hrafngœlir sparn hǫfn hæli. Brandar, glæstir golli, rísta gjalfr hvasst framm und her fyr vestan Hallandi, en hlýður skjalfa.

The king, who surrounds his territory, locks up [the land] with the stems of the longships north of Øresund; the raven-gladdener [WARRIOR] kicked against the harbour with his keel. The stems, encrusted with gold, cut the ocean-surge keenly forwards under the army to the west of Halland, and the wash-strakes tremble.


[6] hlýður: súðir H, Hr


[6] hlýður skjalfa ‘the wash-strakes tremble’: The hlýða appears to have been a light plank (or strake) that when necessary could be mounted above the main planks of the hull to hinder heavy seas from spilling into the vessel (Jesch 2001a, 141-3). The reported trembling of the wash-strakes could reflect the lightness of their calibre and construction, as equally the sheer impetus of the ship on its course. Interspersed commentary on the sometimes tempestuous voyage that brings the leader or the skald to battle can be inferred to have been a standard ingredient in praise-poetry. Further examples are seen in later sts of this flokkr.



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