Spjutbädden

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Spjutbädden

 

“”Bed of Spears” is based on the death of Ragnar Lodbroks son Erik, in the “Saga om konung Ragnar Lodbrok och hans söner” (þáttr af Ragnars sonum). 

Erik travels together with his brother Agnar and their army to fight against the king of Uppsala, Eysten.

Even though Erik and Agnar were capable fighters, they lost the battle against Eysten. Agnar is slain on the battlefield while Erik is captured.

Erik may then choose his destiny – to be executed in any way he wants or to marry Eystens daughter. Erik chooses to be executed by getting thrown over spears stuck in a pit – death by being pierced by spears is however a typical way to reach Valhalla.

Before Erik is thrown over the spears he mentions that “no king has ever seen a bed so valuable” and that he will give his eyes as food for the ravens.”

 

Source : Månegarm

Illustration by Kris Verwimp

 

Lyric :

Se valplatsen dränkt ut i blod

Vår här har mättat Uppsalas jord

Vi stred mot en obetvinglig kraft

Min broder föll, dräp i svärddans svår.

 

I bojor förd, i Eysten våld, mina sista ord

 

Vägrar taga mö, som bot för broders blod

Ej bliva måg till vår fiendekung

Ingen moders sorg, låt gravöl skålas stort

Giv mig denna död

 

Res, res spjut i marken, höj dess järn till skyn

Ej har en konung skådat, skådat bädd så dyr

Låt, låt mig falla, över uddjärns egg.

Giv mig till ramnen, till spjutherrens djur

 

Tag min ring och för den fram

Till min fostermor

Bär sorg, men ingen/utan skam

Förkunna om mig och bror

I bojor förd, i Eysten våld, mina sista ord

 

Res, res spjut i marken, höj dess järn till skyn

Ej har en konung skådat, skådat bädd så dyr

Låt, låt mig falla, över uddjärns egg.

Giv mig till ramnen, till spjutherrens djur

Hör, hör korpen glädjas, hör örnens sång

Dem skall jag göda med mina ögon, bli till korpaföda

Låt, låt mig falla, över uddjärns egg.

Giv mig till ramnen, till spjutherrens djur.

 

English translation :

Behold the battlefield drenched in blood

Our army has saturated the soil of Uppsala

We fought against an overpowering force

My brother fell, slain in the dance of the swords.

 

In shackles brought forth, Eysten’s captive, my last words.

 

I refuse to accept the maiden, as payment for my Brother’s blood

I will not be son-in-law to our enemy King

No mother’s grief, toast instead at my funeral feast

Give me this death :

 

Rise, rise, spear in the ground, rise up to the sky

Never had any kings laid eyes on a bed so precious

Let me, let me fall over the spearheads.

Give me to the raven, to the feathered friends of the Spear Lord

 

Take my ring and hand it

to my foster mother

Bear the grief/ but without shame

Tell her what happened to us.

In shackles brought forth, Eysten’s captive, my last words.

 

Rise, rise, spear in the ground, rise up to the sky

Never had any kings laid eyes on a bed so precious

Let me, let me fall over the spearheads.

Give me to the raven, to the feathered friends of the Spear Lord

Hear, hear the raven rejoice, hear the song of the eagle,

I will fatten them with my eyes, let the raven feed

Let, let me fall, over the spearheads.

Give me to the raven, to the feathered friends of the Spear Lord.