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Einarr Skúlason (ESk)

12th century; volume 2; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

9. Ingadrápa (Ingdr) - 4

We know very little about the life of Einarr Skúlason (ESk). He is called prestr ‘priest’ and is mentioned in a catalogue (c. 1220) of priests of noble birth who were alive in western Iceland in 1143 (Stu 1878, II, 502). It is likely that he came from Borg, belonged to the Mýrar family and was a direct descendant of Þorsteinn Egilsson and a brother of Snorri Sturluson’s maternal grandfather (LH 1894-1901, II, 62-3; ÍF 3, 51 n. 3). He was probably born c. 1090. In 1153, he recited the poem Geisli ‘Light-beam’ (ESk GeislVII) in Kristkirken in Trondheim. He was marshal (stallari) at King Eysteinn Magnússon’s court, and he composed poetry in praise of the Norw. kings Sigurðr jórsalafari ‘Jerusalem-farer’ and Eysteinn Magnússon, Haraldr gilli(-kristr) ‘Servant (of Christ)’, Magnús inn blindi ‘the Blind’ Sigurðarson, Haraldr gilli’s sons, Ingi, Sigurðr munnr ‘Mouth’, and Eysteinn, and about the Norw. chieftain Grégóríus Dagsson (see SnE 1848-87, III, 254-5, 263-4, 269, 276-7, 286). According to Skáldatal, he also honoured the Norw. magnate Eindriði ungi ‘the Young’ Jónsson as well as Sørkvir Kolsson and Jón jarl Sørkvisson of Sweden and King Sveinn Eiríksson of Denmark (SnE 1848-87, III, 252, 258, 260, 268-9, 272, 283, 286). About the latter he recited a poem for which he received no reward (see ESk Lv 3; ÍF 35, 275). The extant portion of his poetic oeuvre consists of the following poems (excluding lvv.): Sigurðardrápa I (Sigdr I, five extant sts about Sigurðr jórsalafari); Haraldsdrápa I (Hardr I, two extant sts about Haraldr gilli); Haraldsdrápa II (Hardr II, five extant sts about Haraldr gilli); Haraldssonakvæði (Harsonkv, two extant sts about the sons of Haraldr gilli); Sigurðardrápa II (Sigdr II, one extant st. about Sigurðr munnr Haraldsson); Runhenda (Run, ten extant sts about Eysteinn Haraldsson); Eysteinsdrápa (Eystdr, two extant sts about Eysteinn Haraldsson); Ingadrápa (Ingdr, four extant sts about Ingi Haraldsson); Elfarvísur (Elfv, two extant sts about Grégóríus Dagsson); Geisli (GeislVII, seventy-one sts about S. Óláfr); Øxarflokkr (ØxflIII, ten extant sts about the gift of an axe).

It must be emphasised that, although the poetry included in the royal panegyrics below clearly belongs to poems of that genre, with two exceptions (Hardr II and Elfv), all the names of the poems are modern constructs (notably by Jón Sigurðsson and Finnur Jónsson). That also holds true for the assignment of sts to the individual poems. In some cases, sts were assigned to a particular poem for metrical reasons (so Run), in other cases because of the content or the named recipients of the praise. For the sake of convenience, the names of the poems and the sts assigned to them as found in Skj have been retained in the present edn. In addition to the royal encomia, a number of fragments and lvv. attributed to Einarr are preserved in SnE, TGT and LaufE (see ESk Frag 1-18III; ESk Lv 7-15III). These have been edited separately in SkP III. Six lvv. are transmitted in the kings’ sagas and edited below.

Ingadrápa (‘Drápa about Ingi’) — ESk IngdrII

Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘(Introduction to) Einarr Skúlason, Ingadrápa’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 561-5.

stanzas:  1   2   3   4 

Skj: Einarr Skúlason: 9. Ingadrápa (AI, 476, BI, 448)

in texts: Fsk, Mork, Skm, SnE

SkP info: II, 561-5

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files

 

1 Frák við Holm at heyja
hildinga* framm gingu
(lind varð grœn) inn grána
geirþing (í tvau springa).
I heard the rulers advanced near Holmengrå to hold a spear-assembly [BATTLE]; the green linden-shield had to split in two.
2 Alls engi þarf Inga
arngrennir þat kenna,
— hverr spyri satt frá snerru
seggr — at gram bitu eggjar.
Bǫð gatat stillir stǫðvat
styrjarmildr, þótt vildi;
fús vas fjǫrspell vísa
fylkis sveit at veita.
Not one eagle-feeder [WARRIOR] needs to blame Ingi for the fact that sword-blades bit the prince; let each man hear the truth about the attack. The battle-generous lord was unable to stop the onslaught, although he may have wanted to; the ruler’s retinue was eager to inflict death upon the leader.
3 Út lét stǫng á Stræti
sterkr dýrligra merkja
— dúðusk dǫrr — af reiði
Dags sonr bera fagra.
Hnigu menn í gný Gunnar
gagls fyr strengjar hagli;
brœðr hafa barzk í miðri
Bjǫrgyn fyr ósynju.
The strong son of Dagr [= Grégóríus] let the fair pole of the precious standard be carried out onto Stræti (‘the Street’) with wrath; spears shook. Men sank down before the hail of the bowstring [ARROWS] in the din of Gunnr’s <valkyrie’s> gosling [RAVEN/EAGLE > BATTLE]; brothers have fought in the middle of Bergen without cause.
4 Myndit seima sendir
svá brátt hafa látit
(spjót flugu langt í ljótri)
líf sitt (boga drífu),
ef alkostigs austan
Eysteins flota þeysti
beinn at Bjǫrgyn sunnan
byrr tveim dǫgum fyrri.
The dispenser of gold [GENEROUS MAN] would not have lost his life so suddenly—spears flew far in the hideous storm of bows [BATTLE]—, if a steady wind from the south had speeded the fleet of most splendid Eysteinn from the east towards Bergen two days earlier.
Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated