Krakes sista strid

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fornaldarsagor

krakes

 

Krakes final battle : Rolf Krake is a frequent name in the Old Norse poetry and prose. In the end of “the saga of Rolf Krake” (Hrólfr Kraki’s Saga Kraka), Rolf Krake fights his last battle.

After reining his kingdom for many years, his sister and his brother-in-law turn against him and attack his home. In Krakes army there are many other famous fighters such as the famous berserker Bjarki Bjarke who also occurs in Bjarkamál, and together they are preparing for their final battle alongside their oath given king. The battle is surrounded by supernatural elements.

The berserker Bjarkes essence takes its place in the battle as a big ferocious bear, which is one of the most famous descriptions of a shape-shifters ability. However, it is not only Krake that has supernatural help in the battle; Krake’s sister Skuld is half an alf and the brother-in-law Hjörvarðr has “sejdkonor” (sorceresses) in his ranks that are using their magic to awaken the fallen warriors to fight yet again. In the end, Krakes army is overpowered… “

 

Source : Månegarm

Illustration by Kris Verwimp

 

Lyric :

Herre, vakna upp

Eran syster är här, med hat, svek, nid och stål

Räck mig, Sköfnung till min hand

Hennes klinga ska sjunga, låt höra hennes sång

 

Till en sista strid, en sista kamp, kallar på oss

En sista strid, vi ej döden rädes

till en sista kamp, kallar på oss

 

Hämta, det bästa mjödet fram

Hälsa Skuld vi är sorgfri, låt möta hennes grin

Samla, hären vid vår port

Vi är bundna till ödet, till nornornas dom

 

Fallna kämpar, stiger åter upp

De döda reser, lik som går igen

Mot trolldoms krafter, hjälper föga mod

Samman vi kämpar, Krakes sista strid

 

Där de tågade ut, prydda brynjor och spjut.

Vigdjärvt och stålhärdat folk.

Till blodfränkans svek, och till hugstor svärdslek

En fejd mellan syster och bror

 

I den slakt som där stod, flöda man mod och blod

Jämna var härarnas prov

Driven av guld, ondsinnad var Skuld

Vars sinne var fyllt utav rov

Före konungen stred, en slagbjörn så vred

ej pilar, ej svärdseggen bet

Men i fiendens hop, hördes sejdkonors rop

Som runor och dödsgaldrar slet

Med trolldom och nid, vändes strid.

 

Mitt i svärdsleken varm, under fegmärktas larm

Fälldes den hugstore drott

Rolf blev kastad i hög, väl prövad han dög

Sådan var konungens lott

 

Fallna kämpar, stiger åter upp

De döda reser, lik som går igen

Mot trolldoms krafter, hjälper föga mod

Samman vi faller, Krakes sista strid

 

English translation :

Lord, wake up

Your sister is here, with hatred, deceit, ferocity and steel

Hand me Sköfnung

Her blade shall sing, let us hear her song

 

One last battle, one last fight, calling upon us.

One last battle, we do not fear death

A final fight, calling upon us

 

Bring forth our best mead.

Tell Skuld we are carefree, let us see her grin

Gather the army at our gate.

We are bound to our fate, to the judgment of the Norns.

 

Fallen warriors, rising again

The dead rising, corpses living again

Against magic, courage does us no good

Together we will fight, Krake’s final battle

There they marched out, adorned chain mails and spears.

Valiant and war trained folks.

To kinsmen’s betrayal, and great sword dance

A feud between sister and brother

 

In the slaughter that stood, a flood of courage and blood

Even strong the armies fought

Driven by gold, malevolent was Skuld

Whose mind was filled but of prey

 

In front the King, fought a furious bear

No arrows or sword made him harm

But in the enemy’s lead, Sejdkonor screech

As they runes and death-galdr tore

With sorcery and ferocity, the battle turned.

 

In the middle of the fight, among men destined to die.

Our great King fell

Rolf was thrown in great mound, a well-tested man

Such was the King’s share

 

Fallen warriors, rising again

The dead rising, corpses living again

Against magic, courage does no good

Together we fall, in Krake’s final battle