Thursday, September 27, 2012

Valkyrjars Sǫng

This poem is intended as a companion piece to a tale told by Mistress Morgana Bro Morganwg of Jarl Haakon and his skald, Haukr. In the tale, the Valkyries, led by Orðtruðr (“word-trust”), spare the Jarl and his men, while destroying their foes. This happens because of the war-song Haukr sings. I've heard and admired the tale; it is one of my favorites. Since neither Hauk´s song nor the Valkyries' song appears in the tale, I have made bold to imagine them.

The form is a variant of togmælt [journey-spoken] with four-to-five syllables per line, alliteration, half-rhymes, and full-rhymes as in dróttkvætt. The shortness of the lines makes the rhythm and rhymes work together more completely. You can find an example from Snorri here.

A careful reader will note that three verses are different from the others in their rhyme scheme. I freely admit to having borrowed them from the Eddaic poem, Darraðarljóð, a poem quoted in Njals Saga, chapter 156. It describes the Valkyries as weavers of man's fate.

Now you can hear it:

video


__________________________________________________________________


Old Norse Verses Poetic Translation
Ríðum stríðum
strjúka á fljúgjask
Sigbragnum þegna
þáttu kvattú.

Gengr hildr vefa
ok hjǫrþrimul
sangríðr svipul
sverðum svipul
skapt mun gnesta
skjöldr mun bresta
mun hjálmgagarr
í hlíf koma.

Orðtruð herjarn
orrust hjǫrtu
til Freyja borit
með blóði gollin.
Rǫgnis valdrǫs
reið um leiðir
á býskips systr
skeiðbrimi fimmtandi

Ríðum stríðum
strjúka á fljúgjask
Sigbragnum þegna
þáttu kvattú.

Geðum heiðrs
Þungra hungrað -
skalt vera berþrek
blóðkorgr bǫðvar.
Hjálmtrjám dómsorð
hæfa hafstrandar.
fara til skera
framast malmrunnum

Reyfarar ríða
rafstráit of hafstrǫnd
veiðifúss at líkar
líflauss ok drífvit.
Haukr heyrðr
hrylling frýja
hildar hjaldr
hinkrask, blindandi.

Ríðum stríðum
strjúka á fljúgjask
Sigbragnum þegna
þáttu kvattú.

Vindum vindum
vef darraðar
þar er vé vaða
vígra manna
látum eigi
líf skalds britast
eigu valkyrjur
vals um kosti.

Svika þær tók
svartast hjartu
bálfjandar til helvítis
blak vatt gata!
Snefga gǫfgað
vítskáld Valmey -
hljómr líðinn
hollr ok gólligr.

Ríðum stríðum
strjúka á fljúgjask
Sigbragnum þegna
þáttu kvattú.
Ride to battle!
Join the blood-song!
Sing of Victory
Chieftain's thegns!

Go they weaving
with swords drawn
Hild and Hjorthrimul,
Sanngrid and Svipul.
Spears will shatter
shields will splinter,
Swords will gnaw
like wolves through armor.

Ortrudr warlike
warriors' hearts
with golden blood
to Freyja carries.
Slaughter goddess
rides the hawks' paths
on bee-ship's surf-steed
summons sisters.

Ride to battle!
Join the blood-song!
Sing of Victory
Chieftain's thegns!

Þungra hungers
for honor's souls -
shall be bear-bold
battle's blood-dregs.
To sea-strands helm-trees
doom-words mete we;
go to mow down
boldest sword-trees.

Above seastrand ambered
Ride the rievers
hunt for bodies
snow white lifeless.
Haukr hears she
horrors cursing
battle's Hildr
halts, she staring.

Ride to battle!
Join the blood-song!
Sing of Victory
Chieftain's thegns!

Wind we now
the web of war
where warrior banners
are forging forward.
Harvest we not
bright skalds' spirit
Valkyries only
choose the slain.

Took they then the
traitors black hearts
pyrefiends to Hel's
black gates hurled.
Blessed then Valmey
wit-skald swiftest
gliding song-voice
true and joyful.

Ride to battle!
Join the blood-song!
Sing of Victory
Chieftain's thegns!
__________________________________________________________________


Kennings:

Rǫgnis valdrǫs > Rǫgnir's [Óðin´s] slaughter woman > Valkyrie
býskips skeiðbrimi > bee-ship's surf-racer > air's horse > Valkyrie's horse
Þungra > Freyja
berþrek > bear-bold > warriors
blóðkorgr bǫðvar > blood-dregs of battle > the dead
Hjálmtrjám > helm-trees > warriors
dómsorð > doom-words > justice
malmrunnum > sword-trees > warriors
rafstráit > rievers > Valkyries
hildar hjaldr > battle's Hildr >Valkyrie
skalds britast > skald brightest > Haukr
bálfjandar > pyrefiends > traitors
vítskáld > wit-skald > Haukr

_________________________________________________________________


Do you like it? Hate it? Have questions? Plase let me know by commenting below or by e-mail

No comments:

Post a Comment