Helgakvia Hjǫrvarssonar (with Hrmgerarml)

Fr Hjrvari ok Sigrlinn.

Hjrvarr ht konungr. Hann tti fjrar konur. Ein ht lfhildr. Son eira ht Heinn. nnur ht Sreir. eira son ht Humlungr. In rija ht Sinrj. eira son ht Hymlingr.

   Hjrvarr konungr hafi ess heit strengt at eiga konu, er hann vissi vnsta. Hann spuri, at Svfnir konungr tti dttur allra fegrsta. S ht Sigrlinn. Imundr ht jarl hans. Atli var hans son, er fr at bija Sigrlinnar til handa konungi. Hann dvalist vetrlangt me Svfni konungi. Frnmarr ht ar jarl, fstri Sigrlinnar. Dttir hans ht lof. Jarlinn r, at meyjar var synjat, ok fr Atli heim.

   Atli jarls son st einn dag vi lund nkkurn, en fugl sat limunum uppi yfir hnum ok hafi heyrt til, at hans menn klluu vnstar konur r, er Hjrvarr tti. Fuglinn kvakai, en Atli hlddi, hvat hann sagi. Hann kva:


About Hjǫrvarr and Sigrlinn

There was a king called Hjǫrvarr. He had four wives. One was called lfhildr. Their son was called Heinn. The second was called Sreir. Their son was called Humlungr. The third was called Sinrj. Their son was called Hymlingr.

King Hjǫrvarr had sworn this oath, to marry the woman who he knew to be the most lovely. He heard that King Svfnir had the most beautiful daughter of all. She was called Sigrlinn. A jarl of his was called Imundr. Atli was his son, who travelled to ask for Sigrlinn on behalf of the king. He stayed with King Svfnir over the winter. There was a jarl there called Frnmarr, Sigrlinn's foster-father. His daughter was called lof. The jarl advised that it was denied by the maiden, and Atli journeyed home.

Atli the jarl's son was standing in a certain grove one day, and a bird was sitting in the branches up above him and had heard when his men called the wives that Hjǫrvarr had the most lovely. The bird sang, and Atli listened to what it said. It said:

1. 1.

"Sttu Sigrlinn "Did you see Sigrlinn,

Svfnis dttur, Svfnir's daughter,

mey ina fegrstu the most beautiful maid

munarheimi? in the world of wishes?

hagligar Even though fine

Hjrvars konur Hjǫrvar's wives

gumnum ykkja seem to men

at Glasislundi." at Glasislund."


Atli kva: Atli said:

2. 2.

"Mundu vi Atla "Will you with Atli

Imundar son, Imund's son,

fugl frhugar, knowledgeable-minded bird,

fleira mla?" speak further?"


Fuglinn kva: The bird said:

"Mun ek, ef mik bulungr "I will, if to me the king(1)

blta vildi will blt

ok ks ek ats vil and I [can] choose what I want

r konungs gari." out of the king's garth."


Atli kva: Atli said:

3. 3.

"Kjs-at-tu Hjrvar "Do not choose Hjǫrvarr

n hans sonu or his sons,

n inar fgru or the beautiful

fylkis brir, wives of the [shire-]ruler,

eigi brir r, not the wives

er bulungr ; the king has;

kaupum vel saman, let us bargain well together,

at er vina kynni." that is the way of friends."


Fuglinn kva: The bird said:

4. 4.

"Hof mun ek kjsa, "I will choose hofs,

hrga marga, many hǫrgs,(2)

gullhyrnar kr gold-horned cattle

fr grams bi, from the king's estate,

ef hnum Sigrlinn Sigrlinn in his

sefr armi arms sleeps

ok nauig and willingly

jfri fylgir." follows the king."

etta var, r Atli fri, en er hann kom heim ok konungr spuri hann tenda, hann kva:


That was before Atli left, and when he came home and the king asked him for news, he said:

5. 5.

"Hfum erfii "We had trouble

ok ekki rindi, and not success,

mara raut ra our horses failed us

meginfjalli, on the great fells,

urum san later we were forced

Smorn vaa, to wade Smorn,

var oss synjat then was denied to us

Svfnis dttur, Svfnir's daughter,

hringum gddrar, endowed with rings,

er vr hafa vildum." whom we wanted to have."

Konungr ba, at eir skyldu fara annat sinn. Fr hann sjlfr. En er eir kmu upp fjall, ok s Svfaland landsbruna ok jreyki stra. Rei konungr af fjallinu fram landit ok tk nttbl vi eina. Atli helt vr ok fr yfir na. Hann fann eitt hs. Fugl mikill sat hsinu ok gtti, ok var sofnar. Atli skaut spjti fuglinn til bana, en hsinu fann hann Sigrlinn konungs dttur ok lofu jarls dttur ok hafi r bar braut me sr. Frnmarr jarl hafi hamazt arnar lki ok varit r fyrir hernum me fjlkynngi. Hrmarr ht konungr, biill Sigrlinnar. Hann drap Svfakonung ok hafi rnt ok brent landit. Hjrvarr konungr fekk Sigrlinnar, en Atli lofar.

   Hjrvarr ok Sigrlinn ttu son mikinn ok vnan. Hann var gull. Ekki nafn festist vi hann. Hann sat haugi. Hann s ra valkyrjur nu ok var ein gfugligust. Hon kva:


The king commanded that they make the journey a second time. He went himself. But when they came up on the fell, [and] they saw in Svfaland the land burning and a big cloud of dust from horsemen. The king rode down from the mountain into the land and took up quarters for the night near a river. Atli kept watch and crossed the river. He found a house. A large bird was perched on the house and watching over it, and had fallen asleep. Atli speared the bird to death, and in the house he found Sigrlinn the king's daughter and lof the jarl's daughter, and he carried off both with him. Jarl Frnmarr had shapeshifted to an eagle's form and guarded them from the army using magic. There was a king called Hrmarr, a suitor of Sigrlinn. He killed the Svfa king and had plundered and burnt his country. King Hjǫrvarr married Sigrlinn, and Atli, lof.

Hjǫrvarr and Sigrlinn had a big, promising-looking son. He was silent. No name stuck to him. He was sitting on a barrow. He saw nine valkyries riding, and one was the most magnificent. She said:



"S muntu, Helgi, "Late, Helgi, you will

hringum ra, rule rings,

rkr rgapaldr, a mighty war-appletree(3),

n Rulsvllum, or Rǫullsvellir(4)

- rn gl rla, - - the eagle shrieked early(5) -

ef egir, if you always keep silent,

tt haran hug, even though you hard thoughts

hilmir, gjaldir." offer, ruler."


Helgi kva: Helgi said:

7. 7.

"Hvat ltr fylgja "With what will you accompany

Helga nafni, the name Helgi,(6)

brr bjartlitu, bright-faced maid,

alls bja rr? since you decide to advise?

Hygg fyr llum Think well on all

atkvum vel. decisions.

igg ek eigi at, I do not accept it,

nema ek ik hafa." unless I have you [also]."


Valkyrja kva: The valkyrie said:

8. 8.

"Sver veit ek liggja I know swords lie

Sigarsholmi in Sigarsholm,

fjrum fri(7) four fewer

en fimm tgu; than fifty;

eitt er eira one of them is

llum betra better than all,

vgnesta bl bale of war-nest(8)

ok varit gulli. and wrapped with gold.


9. 9.

Hringr er hjalti, There is a ring in the hilt,

hugr er miju, there is courage in the middle,

gn er oddi there is terror in the point

eim er eiga getr; for him who gets to own [it];

liggr me eggju there lies at the edge

ormr dreyrfir, a blood-coloured dragon,

en valbstu and on the sword-knot(9)

verpr nar hala." a snake throws its tail."

Eylimi ht konungr. Dttir hans var Svfa. Hon var valkyrja ok rei loft ok lg. Hon gaf Helga nafn etta ok hlfi hnum oft san orrostum. Helgi kva:

There was a king called Eylimi. His daughter was Svfa. She was a valkyrie and rode through air and over sea. She gave Helgi that name and afterwards often shielded him in battles. Helgi said:


10. 10.

"Ert-at-tu, Hjrvarr "Hjǫrvarr, you are not

heilrr konungr, a king of good counsel,

folks oddviti, leader of the people,

tt frgr sir; although you be famous;

lztu eld eta you let fire consume

jfra byggir, the buildings of kings

en eir angr vi ik and they to you grief

ekki geru. have not done.


11. 11.

En Hrmarr skal But Hrmarr shall

hringum ra, rule rings,

eim er ttu those that were owned

rir nijar; by our kinsmen;

s ssk fylkir so the king fears

fst at lfi, least(10) for his life,

hyggsk aldaua he thinks that of [a family] died out

arfi at ra." he rules the inheritance."(11)

Hjrvarr svarar, at hann mundi f li Helga, ef hann vill hefna murfur sns. stti Helgi sverit, er Svfa vsai hnum til. fr hann ok Atli ok felldu Hrmar ok unnu mrg rekvirki. Hann drap Hata jtun, er hann sat bergi nkkuru. Helgi ok Atli lgu skipum Hatafiri. Atli helt vr inn fyrra hluta ntrinnar. Hrmgerr Hatadttir kva:


Hjǫrvarr answered that he would give Helgi troops if he wanted to avenge his mother's father. Then Helgi went in search of the sword that Svfa had pointed out to him. Then he and Atli went and slew Hrmarr and achieved many heroic deeds. He killed the jǫtunn Hati when he was sitting on a certain mountain. Helgi and Atli moored their ships in Hatafjord. Atli kept watch the first part of the night. Hrmgerr, Hati's daughter, said:


12. 12.

"Hverir ro hlar "Who are the warriors(12)

Hatafiri? in Hatafjord?

Skjldum er tjaldat skipum; On the ships it is tented with shields;

frknliga lti, boldly you sail,

ftt hygg ek yr sask, little, I think, you fear,

kenni mr nafn konungs." tell me the name of [your] king."


Atli kva: Atli said:

13. 13.

"Helgi hann heitir, Helgi he is called,

en hvergi mtt but you cannot achieve

vinna grand grami; any harm to the chieftain;

jrnborgir ro there are iron fortresses

of lings flota; around the prince's fleet;(13)

knegu-t oss flur fara." giantesses cannot take us."


Hrmgerr kva: Hrmgerr said:

14. 14.

"Hv ik heitir, "What do they call you,

halr inn mttki, savage man,

hv ik kalla konir? how do gentlemen refer to you?

Fylkir r trir, Your prince trusts you,

er ik fgrum ltr since he lets you

beits stafni ba." stay in the bow of [his] beautiful ship."


Atli kva: Atli said:

15. 15.

"Atli ek heiti, "My name is Atli,

atall skal ek r vera, fierce(14) I will be to you,

mjk em ek gfrum gramastr; I am by far the harshest to ogresses;

rgan stafn in a wet bow

ek hefi oft bit I have often spent time

ok kvalar kveldriur. and slain night-riders.


16. 16.

Hv heitir, What is your name,

hla ngrug? corpse-greedy hag?

Nefndu inn, fla, fur; Name your father, giantess;

nu rstum by nine leagues(15)

er skyldi near vera [it is] you should be under

ok vaxi r bami barr." and foliage grow from your bosom."


Hrmgerr kva: Hrmgerr said:

17. 17.

"Hrmgerr ek heiti, "My name is Hrmgerr,

Hati ht minn fair, my father's name is Hati,

ann vissa ek mttkastan jtun; him I know [to have been] the most

savage jǫtunn,

margar brir many brides

hann lt fr bi teknar, he had taken from their homes,

unz hann Helgi hj." until Helgi cut him down."


Atli kva: Atli said:

18. 18.

" vart, hla, "You, hag, were

fyr hildings skipum [in the water] in front of the king's ships

ok ltt fjarar mynni fyrir; and lay in the fjord at its mouth;

rsis rekka the chief's crews

er vildir Rn gefa, it is you wanted to give to Rn,

ef r kmi-t verst vari." if a bolt had not come athwart you."(16)


Hrmgerr kva: Hrmgerr said:

19. 19.

"Dulir ertu n, Atli, "Now you're deluded, Atli,

draums kve ek r vera, I declare you are in a dream,

sga ltr brnn fyr brar; you are letting your eyebrows sink over

your eyelids;

mir mn my mother

l fyrir mildings skipum; lay in front of the prince's ships;

ek drekka Hlvars sonum hafi. I drowned Hlǫvar's sons in the sea.


20. 20.

Gneggja myndir , Atli, You would neigh, Atli,

ef geldr n vrir, if you were not gelded,

brettir sinn Hrmgerr hala; Hrmgerr tosses her tail;

aftarla hjarta, a far behind(17) heart

hygg ek, at itt, Atli, s, I think yours is, Atli,

tt hafir reina rdd." though you have a stallion's voice."


Atli kva: Atli said:

21. 21.

"Reini mun r ek ykkja "A stallion I will seem to you

ef reyna kntt, if you can test [me],

ok stga ek land af legi, and [if] I step from water to land,

ll muntu lemjask, you will be all beaten up

ef mr er alhugat, if I am serious about it,

ok sveigja inn, Hrmgerr, hala." your tail, Hrmgerr, [will] sink."


Hrmgerr kva: Hrmgerr said:

22. 22.

"Atli, gakk land, "Atli, come on land

ef afli treystisk, if you trust your mettle,

ok hittumk vk Varins; and let us meet in Varinn's bay;

rifja rtti a rib-stretching

er munt, rekkr, fa, it is you will get, guy(18),

ef mr krummur kemr." if you come into my clutches(19)."


Atli kva: Atli said:

23. 23.

"Munk-a ek ganga, "I won't go,(20)

r gumnar vakna before the men wake up

ok halda of vsa vr; and keep watch over the chief;

er-a mr rvnt, it's not beyond my imagination

nr ru kemr that there should come

skass upp undir skipi." up a monster under our ship."


Hrmgerr kva: Hrmgerr said:

24. 24.

"Vaki , Helgi, "Wake up, Helgi,

ok bt vi Hrmgeri, and pay wergild to Hrmgerr,

er lzt hggvinn Hata; for having Hati cut down;

eina ntt [if] for one night

kn hon hj jfri sofa, she can sleep with the king,

hefr hon blva btr." then she [will] have wergild for the



Helgi kva: Helgi said:

25. 25.

"Loinn heitir, er ik skal eiga, Loinn(21) is his name who will marry


lei ertu mannkyni, you are loathsome to mankind,

s br olleyju urs, that urs(22) that lives on olley,

hundvss jtunn, a hugely wise(23) jǫtunn,

hraunba verstr, worst of the wasteland dwellers,

s er r makligr mar." that is a man suited to you."


Hrmgerr kva: Hrmgerr said:

26. 26.

"Hina vildu heldr, Helgi, "You would rather have her, Helgi,

er r hafnir skoa who planned to watch the harbour

fyrri ntt me firum; over night with the men;

marggullin mr the much-golden maid

mr tti afli bera; seemed to me to have strength;

hr st hon land af legi here she stepped on land from the sea

ok festi sv yvarn flota; and so made fast your fleet;

hon ein v veldr, her rule alone makes it so(24)

er ek eigi mk that I cannot [be]

bulungs mnnum bana." the death of the king's men."


Helgi kva: Helgi said:

27. 27.

"Heyr n, Hrmgerr, "Hear now, Hrmgerr,

ef ek bti harma r, if I give wergild for your hurts,

segu grr grami: tell the king the fact:

Var s ein vttr, Was it one wight(25)

er barg lings skipum, who protected the prince's ships,

ea fru r fleiri saman?" or did many travel together there?"


Hrmgerr kva: Hrmgerr said:

28. 28.

"rennar nundir meyja, "Three nines of maidens;

rei ein fyrir however one rode ahead,

hvt und hjalmi mr; white maid under helmet;

marir hristusk, the steeds shook themselves,

st af mnum eira [and] from their manes fell

dgg djpa dali, dew into deep dales,

hagl hva viu; hail into high woods;

aan kemr me ldum r, from this to humans comes good harvest;

allt var mr at leitt, er ek leitk." everything I saw was loathsome to me."


Helgi kva: Helgi said:

29. 29.

"Austr lttu n, Hrmgerr, "See now to the east, Hrmgerr,

ef ik lostna hefr whether Helgi has struck you

Helgi helstfum; with the staff of Hel;(26)

landi ok vatni on land and on water

borgit er lofungs flota the prince's fleet is saved

ok siklings mnnum it sama." and the king's men the same."


Atli kva: Atli said:

30. 30.

"Dagr er n, Hrmgerr, "It is now day, Hrmgerr,

en ik dvala hefr and Atli has delayed you

Atli til aldrlaga; fatally;(27)

hafnarmark a harbour marker

ykkir hlgligt vera, laughable it seems [to me] to be,

ars steins lki stendr." where you stand in the form of a


Helgi konungr var allmikill hermar. Hann kom til Eylima konungs ok ba Svfu dttur hans. au Helgi ok Svfa veittust vrar ok unnust furu mikit. Svfa var heima me fer snum, en Helgi hernai. Var Svfa valkyrja enn sem fyrr.
  Heinn var heima me fur snum, Hjrvari konungi, Nregi.
   Heinn fr einn saman heim r skgi jlaaftan ok fann trollkonu. S rei vargi ok hafi orma at taumum ok bau fylg sna Heni.
   "Nei," sagi hann.
   Hon sagi: "ess skaltu gjalda at bragarfulli."
   Um kveldit ru heitstrengingar. Var fram leiddr snargltr. Lgu menn ar hendr snar ok strengu menn heit at bragarfulli. Heinn strengi heit til Svfu Eylimadttur, unnustu Helga, brur sns, ok iraisk sv mjk, at hann gekk braut villistgu sur lnd ok fann Helga brur sinn. Helgi kva:


King Helgi was a very great warrior. He came to King Eylimi and asked for his daughter Svfa. Helgi and Svfa [had] plighted their troth to each other and loved each other wondrously much. Svfa was at home with her father, but Helgi was waging war. Svfa was still a valkyrie, as before.

Heinn was at home with his father, King Hjǫrvarr, in Norway.

On Yule Eve, Heinn was coming home from the forest alone and found a troll-woman. She was riding a wolf and had snakes as reins and offered Heinn her company.

"No", he said.

She said, "You will pay for this at the bragarfull."

The swearing of oaths took place in the evening. The snargǫltr was led out. People laid their hands on it and then people swore oaths at the bragarfull.(28) Heinn swore an oath to [possess] Svfa daughter of Eylimi, the beloved of Helgi, his brother, and was so greatly upset at himself that he went away on wild paths into the south of the country and found his brother Helgi. Helgi said:


31. 31.

"Kom heill, Heinn, "Welcome Heinn,

hvat kanntu segja what can you tell

nra spjalla of new news

r Nregi? from Norway?

Hv er r, stillir, Why are you, ruler,(29)

stkkt r landi thrown out of the country

ok ert einn kominn and have come alone

oss at finna?" to find us?"


Heinn kva: Heinn said:

32. 32.

"[Erumk-a, stillir, "[I am not, ruler,

stkkt r landi], thrown out of the country,]

mik hefr miklu glpr a bad action far

meiri sttan: greater has come upon me:

Ek hefi krna I have chosen

ina konungbornu your bride,

bri na the king-born,(30)

at bragarfulli."(31) at the bragarfull."


Helgi kva: Helgi said:

33. 33.

"Sakask eigi , "Do not blame yourself,

snn munu vera true will be

lml, Heinn, the ale-talk, Heinn,

okkur beggja. of us both.

Mr hefir stillir A ruler has

stefnt til eyrar, summoned me to a gravel bank,(32)

riggja ntta in three nights

skylak ar koma; I must arrive there;

if er mr v, I have doubt

at ek aftr koma; that I [will] come back;

m at gu yet it may to the good

gerask slkt, ef skal." happen thus, if [it] must [be]."


Heinn kva: Heinn said:

34. 34.

"Sagir , Helgi, "You said, Helgi,

at Heinn vri that Heinn was

gs verr fr r worthy of goodwill from you

ok gjafa strra; and of great gifts;

r er smra it is more becoming to you

sver at rja, to redden the sword

en fri gefa than to give frith

fjndum num." to your enemy."(33)

at kva Helgi, v at hann grunai um feig sna ok at, at fylgjur hans hfu vitjat Heins, er hann s konuna ra varginum.
   lfr ht konungr, son Hrmars, er Helga hafi vll haslaan Sigarsvelli riggja ntta fresti. kva Helgi:


Helgi said that because he suspected his state was "fey"(34) and that his fylgjur(35) had visited Heinn when he saw the woman riding the wolf.

There was a king called lfr, Hrmar's son, who had challenged Helgi to the hazel-field(36) at Sigarsvǫllr in three days' time. Then Helgi said:

35. 35.

"Rei vargi, "She rode on a wolf,

er rkvit var, when it was twilight,

flj eitt, er Heinn a woman who

fylgju beiddi; bade Heinn follow;

hn vissi at, she knew

at veginn myndi that would be slain

Sigrlinnar sonr the son of Sigrlinn

Sigarsvllum." at Sigarsvǫllr.

ar var orrosta mikil, ok fekk ar Helgi banasr.


There was a great battle, and Helgi got a fatal wound there.


36. 36.

Sendi Helgi Helgi sent

Sigar at ra Sigarr riding

eftir Eylima to Eylimi's

eingadttur; only daughter;(37)

"Bi brliga "Tell [her] hastily

bna vera, to get ready

ef hon vill finna if she wants to find

fylki kvikvan." the lord alive."


Sigarr kva: Sigarr said:

37. 37.

"Mik hefr Helgi "Helgi sent

hingat sendan me here

vi ik, Svfa, to speak to you

sjalfa at mla; yourself, Svfa;(38)

ik kvask hilmir the ruler said he

hitta vilja, wanted to meet with you

r trborinn before the high-born one

ndu tndi." breathed his last."(39)


Svfa kva: Svfa said:

38. 38.

"Hvat var Helga "What happened to Helgi

Hjrvars syni? son of Hjǫrvarr?

Mr er harliga To me has hard

harma leitat, harm come,

ef hann sr of lk if a sea swamped him

ea sver of beit, or a sword cut him down,

eim skal ek gumna to that person of persons I will

grand of vinna." bring ruin."


Sigarr kva: Sigarr said:

39. 39.

"Fell hr morgun "This morning there fell here(40)

at Frekasteini, at Frekasteinn

bulungr, s er var, the king who was

baztr und slu; best under the sun;

lfr(41) mun sigri lfr will enjoy

llum ra, all the victory,

tt etta sinn although of that

rfgi vri." he have no need."(42)


Helgi kva: Helgi said:

40. 40.

"Heil vertu, Svfa, "Hail to you Svfa,

hug skaltu deila, you must have heartbreak,

sj mun hemi this will be in the world

hinztr fundr vera; [our] last meeting;

ta bulungi in the king wounds

bla undir, show bleeding,

mr hefir hjrr komit the blow came in me

hjarta it nsta. right to the heart.


41. 41.

Bi ek ik, Svfa, I ask you, Svfa,

- brr grt-at-tu -, - bride, do not cry -

ef vill mnu if you will

mli hla, listen to my words,

at Heni that you for Heinn

hvlu gervir prepare a bed

ok jfur ungan and to the young king

stum leiir." lead [your] love."


Svfa kva: Svfa said:

42. 42.

"Mlt hafa ek at "I have said

munarheimi, in the world of wishes,

er mr Helgi when Helgi

hringa vali, chose me with rings,

myndig-a ek lostig I would not willingly

at liinn fylki after the lord's death

jfur kunnan a king unknown(43)

armi verja." fold in my arms."


Heinn kva: Heinn said:

43. 43.

"Kysstu mik, Svfa, "Kiss me, Svfa,

kem ek eigi r I [will] never come back

Rogheims vit towards Rogheimr

n Rulsfjalla, or Rǫullsvellir,

r ek hefnt hefik until I have avenged

Hjrvars sonar, the son of Hjǫrvarr,

ess er bulungr var he who was the king

beztr und slu." best under the sun."

Helgi ok Svfa, er sagt, at vri endrborin.


[Of] Helgi and Svfa it is said that they were born again.





1. Bulungr, here and in the next verse, and gramr and jǫfurr in Verse 4, are all more or less poetic words for "king", whereas fylkir in Verse 3 technically means the ruler of a fylki, a county or shire.

2. A hǫrgr is a (usually outdoor) stone altar, while a hof is a temple. They may or may not be being equated here.

3. Kenning: warrior, ruler (tree = man)

4. translates to Sunfields

5. a sign of the birth of a hero

6. It was traditional to give a naming gift with a name.

7. Misprint by the editor, Guni Jnsson? The manuscript has fra.

8. Kenning: mail(shirts)

9. Which part of the sword is the valbǫst is not known: boss? guard?

10. i.e., not at all

11. i.e., he thinks King Svfnir's line extinct, not realising that Sigrlinn survived and has a child.

12. Properly a hǫldr is a member of a yeoman class; in poetry it often means simply "man".

13. Probably this means merely that the ships are in defensive formation and bristling with iron.

14. Wordplay on his name

15. Properly a rǫst was the distance between stops on a journey; its length differed according to the terrain but it was often about a mile.

16. Possibly just metaphorical for "if you had not been thwarted".

17. i.e, very downcast or cowardly

18. Rekkr is one of several words that indicate some sort of respectable freeman used in poetry to mean vaguely "man" or "warrior".

19. Krummr (the manuscript spells the word krymmor here) refers to a crooked hand or an animal's clawed paw.

20. Here and in several lines in following verses, the poet has both the word ek and the enclitic -k, giving a surplus "I".

21. Hairy, Shaggy

22. A kind of giant, more likely to be viewed as an ogre than is a jǫtunn; however, from the following line they are equated here.

23. lit. "hundred-[times-]wise".

24. more literally: "she alone rules such".

25. In Norse, unlike Anglo-Saxon, vttr is usually used of supernatural beings rather than humans.

26. i.e., struck you a death blow

27. lit. "to life-law".

28. The swearing of formal oaths at the bragarfull, with or without mention of laying hands on the snargǫltr or sonargǫltr (sacrificial boar), is a heathen Yule tradition that also occurs as a plot point in sagas.

29. yet another word for "king"

30. Translation of these two lines reversed for clarity

31. correcting a typo by the editor.

32. i.e, a duel; islands and gravelly river-banks were the usual location of "holmgangs".

33. To make "enemy" make sense here, Gubrandur Vigfsson changed "Heinn" in the verse to "Hrmarr".

34. More literally, "suspected about his feyness". "Fey" here means "doomed to die soon".

35. plural of fylgja, or "fetch". It's unusual to have more than one.

36. More literally, "hazelled a field": the reference is to the duelling ground marked off with hazel poles.

37. Svfa

38. Rearrangement between lines for clarity in English

39. More literally: lost breath.

40. The "here" seems to make little sense; in his edition Sophus Bugge suggested it derives from "Helgakvia Hundingsbana I".

41. I've made the name consistent; the editor left off the length mark in the verse.

42. i.e., it was wrong.

43. sometimes taken to mean "of no repute" rather than "strange to me".