Kormákr Ögmundarson

Kormákr Ögmundarson was a 10th-century Icelandic skald. He is the protagonist of Kormáks saga which preserves a significant amount of poetry attributed to him. According to Skáldatal he was also the court poet of Sigurðr Hlaðajarl and fragments of a drápa to the jarl are preserved in Skáldskaparmál.

The following stanzas represent some of Kormákr's love poetry. He tells of the first time he met Steingerðr, the love of his life. Read aloud.

Brunnu beggja kinna The bright lights of both Brightly beamed the lights-of-
bjǫrt ljós á mik drósar,   her cheeks burned onto me both-her-cheeks upon me
oss hlœgir þat eigi, from the fire-hall's felled wood; e'er will I recall it
eldhúss of við felldan; no cause of mirth for me in that. o'er the heaped-up wood-pile;
enn til ǫkkla svanna By the threshold I gained a glance and the instep saw I
ítrvaxins gatk líta, at the ankles of this girl of the shapely woman
þrǫ́ muna oss of ævi of glorious shape; yet while I live no laughing matter, lo! my
eldask, hjá þreskeldi. that longing will never leave me. longingby the threshold.
Brámáni skein brúna The moon of her eyelashthat valkyrie Brightly shone the beaming
brims und ljósum himni adorned with linen, server of herb-surf   brow-moons of the goodly
Hristar hǫrvi glæstrar shone hawk-sharp upon me lady linen-dight, how
haukfránn á mik lauka; beneath her brows' bright sky; like a hawk's, upon me;
en sá geisli sýslir but that beam from the eyelid-moon but that beam from forehead's-
síðan gullmens Fríðar of the goddess of the golden torque bright-hued-orbs, I fear me,
hvarmatungls ok hringa will later bring trouble to me of the Eir-of-gold doth
Hlínar óþurft mína. and to the ring goddess herself. ill spell for us later.
Einar Ól. Sveinsson's edition   Rory McTurk's translation Lee M. Hollander's adaptation


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