Hrafnsmal

Hrafnsmal

(Haraldskvæði)

attributed to Thorbjǫrn hornklofi, ca. 900

Old Norse (Jonsson) Hollander translation
1. Hlýði hringberendr,
meðan frá Haraldi
segik odda íþróttir
enum afarauðga;
frá mǫ́lum munk segja,
þeims ek mey heyrða,
hvíta, haddbjarta,
es við hrafn dœmði.
Hearken, ye ring-bearers,
while of Harold I tell you,
the mightily wealthy,
and his manful war-deeds;
words I o’erheard a maiden
high-minded speaking,
golden-haired, white-armed,
with a glossy-beaked raven.
2. Vitr þóttisk valkyrja,
verar né óru
þekkir svá enni fránleitu,
es foglsrǫdd kunni;
kvaddi en glæhvarma
ok en kverkhvíta
Hymis hausrofa,
es sat á horni vinbjarga.
Wise thought her the valkyrie;
were welcome never
men to the bright-eyed one,
her who birds’ speech knew well.
Greeted the light-lashed maiden,
the lily-throated woman,
the Hymir’s-skull-cleaver
as on cliff he was perching.
3. Hvat es yðr hrafnar?
Hvaðan eruð ér komnir
með dreyrgu nefi
at degi ǫndverðum?
hold loðir yðr í klóm,
hræs þefr gengr ór munni,
nær hykk í nǫ́tt bjogguð
því’s vissuð nái liggja.
“How is it, ye ravens—
whence are ye come now
with beaks all gory,
at break of morning?
Carrion-reek ye carry,
and your claws are bloody.
Were ye near, at night-time,
where ye knew of corpses?”
4. Hreyfðisk enn hǫsfjaðri
ok of hyrnu þerði,
arnar eiðbróðir,
ok at andsvǫrum hugði:
Haraldi vér fylgðum
syni Halfdanar,
ungum ynglingi,
síðan ór eggi kómum.
Shook himself the dun-hued one,
and dried his beak,
the eagle’s oath-brother,
and of answer bethought him:
“Harold we follow,
Halfdan’s first-born,
I the young Yngling,
since out of egg we crept.
5. Kunna hugðak þik konung,
þanns á Kvinnum býr,
dróttin Norðmanna,
djúpum ræðr kjólum,
roðnum rǫngum
ok rauðum skjǫldum,
tjǫrguðum ǫ́rum
ok tjǫldum drifnum.
That king thou knowest,
him who at Kvinnar dwelleth,
the hoard-warder of North men,
who has hollow war-ships
with reddish ribs
and with reddened war-shields,
with tarred oar-blades
and with tents foam-besprinkled
6. Úti vill jól drekka,
ef skal einn ráða,
fylkir enn framlyndi,
ok Freys leik heyja;
ungr leiddisk eldvelli
ok inni at sitja,
varma dyngju
eða vǫttu dúns fulla.
Fain outside would he
drink the ale at Yule-tide,
the fight-loving folk-warder,
and Frey’s-game play there.
Even half-grown, he hated
the hearthfire cozy,
the warm women’s room,
and the wadded down-mittens.
7. Heyrði í Hafrsfirði,
hvé hizug barðisk
konungr enn kynstóri
við Kjǫtva enn auðlagða;
knerrir kómu austan,
kapps of lystir,
með gínǫndum hǫfðum
ok grǫfnum tinglum.
Hearken how the high-born one
in the Hafrs-firth fought there,
the keen-eyed king’s son,
against Kiotvithe wealthy:
came the fleet from the eastward,
eager for fighting,
with gaping figureheads
and graven ship-prows.
8. Hlaðnir óru hǫlða
ok hvítra skjalda,
vigra vestrœnna
ok valskra sverða;
grenjuðu berserkir,
guðr vas þeim á sinnum,
emjuðu ulfheðnar
ok ísǫrn dúðu.
They were laden with franklins
and lindenshields gleaming,
with Westland spearshafts
and with Welsh broadswords.
The berserkers bellowed
as the battle opened,
the wolf-coats shrieked loud
and shook their weapons.
9. Freistuðu ens framráða,
es þeim flœja kendi,
allvalds austmanna,
es býr at Útsteini;
stóðum Nǫkkva brá,
es vas styrjar væni,
hlǫmmun vas á hlífum,
áðr Haklangr felli.
Their strength would they try,
but he taught them to flee,
the lord of the Eastmen
who at Útstein dwelleth.
The steeds-of-Nokkvi he steered out
when started the battle.
Then boomed the bucklers
ere a blow felled Haklang.
10. Leiddisk þá fyr Lúfu
landi at halda
hilmi enum halsdigra,
holm lézk at skildi;
slógusk und sessþiljur,
es sárir óru,
létu upp stjǫlu stúpa,
stungu í kjǫl hǫfðum.
The thick-necked atheling
behind the isle took shelter:
he grew loath, against Lúfa
to hold the land of his fathers.
Then hid under benches,
and let their buttocks stick up,
they who were wounded,
but thrust their heads keelward.
11. Á baki létu blíkja,
barðir óru grjóti,
Sváfnis salnæfrar
seggir hyggjandi;
œstusk austkylfur
ok of Jaðar hljópu
heim ór Hafrsfirði
ok hugðu á mjǫðdrykkju.
Their shoulders shielded
the shifty heroes—
were they showered with slung-shot—
with the shingles-of-Gladhome.
Home from Hafrs-firth
hastened they eastward,
fled by way of Iathar,
of ale-cups thinking.
12. Valr lá þar á sandi
vitinn enum eineygja
Friggjar faðmbyggvi;
fǫgnuðum dǫ́ð slíkri.
On the gravel lay the fallen,
given to the one-eyed
husband of Fulla;
were we fain of such doing.
13. Annat skulu þær eiga
ambáttir Ragnhildar
dísir dramblátar
at drykkjumǫ́lum,
an ér séð hergaupur,
es Haraldr hafi
sveltar valdreyra
en verar þeira bræði.
Of more and other things
shall the maids of Ragnhild,
the haughty women-folk,
now have to gabble
than of the heath-dwellers
which Harold not ever
feasted on the fallen,
as their friends had done oft.
14. Hafnaði Holmrygjum
ok Hǫrða meyjum,
hverri enni heinversku
ok Hǫlga ættar,
konungr enn kynstóri,
es tók konu ena dǫnsku.
The high-born liege-lord
took the lady from Denmark—
broke with his Rogaland sweethearts
and their sisters from Horthaland,
with those from Heithmork and Hálogaland eke.”
15. Hversu es fégjafall,
þeim es fold verja,
ítra ógnflýtir
við íþróttarmenn sína?
“Whether is open-handed
he-who-hastens-the-battle,
to those who fend faithfully
foemen from his homeland?”
16. Mjǫk eru reifðir
rógbirtingar,
þeirs í Haralds túni
húnum verpa;
féi eru þeir gœddir
ok fǫgrum mækum,
malmi húnlenzkum
ok mani austrœnu.
“With much goods are gladdened
the gallant warriors,
who in the hall of Harold
while the time with chess-play:
with much wealth he rewards them,
and with well-forged broadswords,
with gold from Hunland
and with girls from the Eastfolks
17. Þá eru þeir reifir,
es vitu rómu væni,
ǫrvir upp at hlaupa
ok árar at sveigja,
hǫmlur at slíta
en hái at brjóta;
ríkula hykk þá vǫrru
þeysa at vísa ráði.
Most happy are they
when there is hope for battle,
all ready to rouse them
and to row strongly,
so as to snap the thongs
and to sunder the thole-pins,
to churn the brine briskly
at the beck of their liege-lord.”
18. At skalda reiðu vilk spyrja,
alls þykkisk skil vita;
greppa ferðir,
þú munt gǫrla kunna,
þeira ‘s með Haraldi hafask.
“Of the skalds’ lot would I ask thee,
since thou skill of that boastest:
how the bards fare there
thou full well knowest—
they who are in Harold’s hall.”
19. Á gerðum sér þeira
ok á gollbaugum
at eru í kunnleikum við konung,
feldum ráða rauðum
ok vel fagrrenduðum,
sverðum silfrvǫfðum,
serkjum hringofnum,
gyltum andfetlum
ok grǫfnum hjǫlmum,
hringum handbærum,
es þeim Haraldr valði.
“Is seen from their raiment
and their red-gold finger-rings
that a kind king they have.
Red fur-cloaks own they,
most fairly bordered,
swords wound with silver,
and sarks ring-woven,
gilded baldricks
and graven helmets,
heavy gold bracelets
which Harold bestowed on them.”
20. At berserkja reiðu vilk spyrja,
bergir hræsævar,
hversu es fengit
þeims í folk vaða
vígdjǫrfum verum?
“Of the berserkers’ lot would I ask thee,
thou who batten’st on corpses:
how fare the fighters
who rush forth to battle,
and stout-hearted stand ’gainst the foe?”
21. Ulfheðnar heita,
þeirs í orrostum
blóðgar randir bera;
vigrar rjóða,
es til vígs koma;
þeim’s þar sýst saman;
áræðismǫnnum einum
hykk þar undir felisk
skyli sá enn skilvísi,
þeim’s í skjǫld hǫggva.
“Wolf-coats are they called,
the warriors unfleeing,
who bear bloody shields in battle;
the darts redden
where they dash into battle
and shoulder to shoulder stand.
’Tis men tried and true only,
who can targes shatter,
whom the wise war-lord
wants in battle.”
22. At leikurum ok trúðum
hefk þik lítt fregit,
hverr es ǫrgáti
þeira Andaðar
at húsum Haralds?
“Of Andath and all his ilk, too,
have I asked thee but little:
how fare the fiddlers,
how fare the jugglers
in the halls of Harold?”
23. At hundi elskar Andaðr
ok heimsku drýgir
eyrnalausum
ok jǫfur hlœgir;
hinir eru ok aðrir,
es of eld skulu
brinnanda spǫ́n bera;
logǫndum húfum
hafask und linda drepit
hældræpir halir.
“His earless dog does
your Andath fondle;
the churl with his fool-tricks
makes the folk-warder chuckle.
Yet be there others
who about the fire
bowls of hot wine bear;
their flapping fools’-caps
they tuck fast in their belts—
fellows you’re free to kick.”

Old Norse accessed June 2014 from http://www.heimskringla.no/wiki/Haraldskv%C3%A6%C3%B0i_%28Hrafnsm%C3%A1l%29_%28B1%29

Hollander accessed June 2014 from http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/onp/onp11.htm

 

 

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