Sverðið (English translation)

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English translation
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The Sword

Legs shake, unrest descends, danger builds
Legs shake, tragedy is resisted, a time of war
 
I swing my sword fearlessly about
In sweat and blood I cut and stab them
Danger mounts around me
They want to enslave my children and wife
They want my country, treasures, and life
 
The time is one of much conflict
 
Legs shake (hopes rise), children wait
Legs shake (he strives on), a sword swings
Legs shake, bodies leak [blood], a night of disgrace
Legs shake, flies cover [the bodies]
The time is one of much conflict
 
Sword drawn, I am suited to this
The best-made weapon is expensive
I stabbed them three times, flayed them
I push them up into a narrow passage
I will slay and slaughter them
Then the blade brakes, in Draugagil1
Spring rains, a weapon of power
A viking is beaten, helplessly
 
Life ends in ugliness
I look over their ranks
I stare frozen at the path ahead
I point out the tip of my sword
There is everything I once knew
Thorns are strewn across my path
I was once able to do good deeds
Now I die alone and humiliated
 
Sword drawn, I am suited to this
The best-made weapon is expensive
I stabbed them three times, flayed them
I push them up into a narrow passage
I will slay and slaughter them
Then the blade brakes, in Draugagil
Spring rains, a weapon of power
A viking is beaten, helplessly
 
Sword drawn, I am suited to this
The best-made weapon is expensive
I stabbed them three times, flayed them
I push them up into a narrow passage
I will slay and slaughter them
Then the blade brakes, in Draugagil
Spring rains, a weapon of power
A viking is beaten, helplessly
 
  • 1. This seems to be the location where the battle takes place in northwestern Iceland.
Submitted by david.winlodavid.winlo on Sun, 30/12/2018 - 20:35
Added in reply to request by Em ZwemEm Zwem
Last edited by david.winlodavid.winlo on Tue, 01/01/2019 - 23:27
Author's comments:

To best understand the context of these, I recommend looking up the story of this in the video by bassist/ lyricist Snæbjörn Ragnarsson on facebook, in which he explains the story behind this and its counterpart on the second half of the album, Gangári. Some of the translations here are very approximate, but should capture the idea if not the exact meaning.

As usual, comments from natives and more experienced learners of Icelandic are most welcome!

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Sverðið

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