Biorn The Hitdale Champion

Biorn's Saga, like Gretti's Saga, has been adorned with spurious verse, attributed to him and Thorrod Kolbeinsson, but none of them can be supposed genuine, save two satirical staves, one in court-metre, which has been maimed by the copyist, for its coarseness, and one called Gramaga-JUnty the Rock-perch-flyting, which is in a rhyming-ditty metre.

It may here be noted that in Eyrbyggia Saga there is a group of verses of the same type as that in Biorn's Saga, but of rather higher himself into the array. The Host fought by the Ditch [London Dyke]. The Host was near the place where passed with his ships.

The lady that dwells at the Stone will hear how the conquering lord of the Danes [Cnut] attacked the churls of the city [London]. The blades glow aloft over the head of the helm-wont hero, the swords clash on the British mailcoats. Every morning the lady on Thames*bank sees the sword dyed in blood.

It is a pity the lady Steinwara over sea should wither away with Gall [there is a play here on gall, a blemish, and Gall, a man's name]. Would that she might ever stand green. I was bom to sorrow after her. She was wont to stand every season like a linden tree in lull blossom, but now she is like a faded leafless tree. She has

Every day the buckler was stained red with gore when we were out on the foray with our prince [Cnut]; but ever since the hard fight [Assandun] was fought we sit merrily in fair London.

poetic merits, but they are plainly late: such a line as ' Spur^usk var und vor$um verk' settles the whole question, for the other verses are consonant in style, and must all stand and fall together. But, even if we had not the proof, it would be hard for any one that knows the genuine tenth-century verse to allow their authenticity. The first satire deserted comparison with the libel on Harold Gormsson, and with the flytings of the heroes in the Helgi Lays.

(^TANDA st^ri-lundar, staflar es leitafl i mi8jo, glikr es geira scekir gunn-sterkr at J)vi verki (stendr af stafna-lundi styrr) l>6rroe8i inn fyrri.

II. GrAmaga-flim.

1. Fiskr gekk £ land, en fl68 & sand, 5 hrognkelsi glikr, vas £ holdi slikr, dt einaga ylgr grd-maga mein-blandit hrae. Mart es illt i sae.

2. <5x bruflar kvi8r frd bri6sti ni8r sva at ger8o eik gekk heldr keik, 10

ok aum i va>mb, var8 heldr til J>aomb.

3. Sveinn kom i li6s, sagt hafSi dr6s audar-gildi at hon ala vildi:

iafn-sniallr sem geit, es i augo leit. 15

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