Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson (Eyv)
10th century; volume 1; ed. Russell Poole;
1. Hákonarmál (Hák) - 21
2. Háleygjatal (Hál) - 16
3. Lausavísur (Lv) - 14
Eyvindr (Eyv, c. 915-990) has been called the last important Norwegian skald (Genzmer 1920, 159; also Boyer 1990a, 201). He is listed in Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 253, 256, 261, 265-6) among the poets of Hákon góði ‘the Good’ Haraldsson and Hákon jarl Sigurðarson. His maternal grandmother was a daughter of Haraldr hárfagri ‘Fair-hair’, and he seems to have been close to Haraldr’s son Hákon góði from early on, serving at his court as one of a group of brilliant skalds. After Hákon’s death he resided at the court of Haraldr gráfeldr ‘Grey-cloak’, but relations with Haraldr seem to have soured quickly, as evidenced by his lausavísur. Eyvindr spent the last part of his life with the powerful Hákon jarl Sigurðarson of Hlaðir (Lade), whose family had supported Hákon góði against the sons of Eiríkr blóðøx ‘Blood-axe’. According to Hkr (ÍF 26, 221), in addition to Háleygjatal (Hál), Hákonarmál (Hák) and the lausavísur, Eyvindr composed a poem Íslendingadrápa, but this has not come down to us. The epithet skáldaspillir is usually interpreted to mean ‘Plagiarist’, literally ‘Destroyer (or Despoiler?) of Poets’ in reference to his habit of drawing inspiration from and alluding to earlier compositions, specifically Ynglingatal (Þjóð Yt) for Hál and Eiríksmál (Anon Eirm), along with several eddic poems, for Hák (see Introductions to Hál and Hák). The alternative interpretation ‘Poem-reciter’ proposed by Wadstein (1895a, 88) is unconvincing; see further Olsen (1962a, 28), and Beck (1994a). For further biographical information, see LH I, 447-9, Holm-Olsen (1953) and Marold (1993a).
Háleygjatal (‘Enumeration of the Háleygir (people of Hálogaland)’)
Russell Poole 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Háleygjatal’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 195.
for reference only: 1x
Skj: Eyvindr Finnsson skáldaspillir: 2. Háleygjatal, c. 985 (AI, 68-71, BI, 60-2); stanzas (if different): 2 |
in texts: Flat, Fsk, Gramm, HGráf, HHárf, Hkr, LaufE, ÓT, ÓTC, Skm, SnE, TGT, Yng
SkP info: I, 195
at Hôars líði,
meðan hans ætt
til goða teljum,
hinn es Surts
|I would wish for a hearing for the drink of Hôarr <= Óðinn> [POETRY], while I lift up the payment for Gillingr <giant> [POETRY], while we [I] reckon his lineage back to the gods in the cauldron-liquid [DRINK] of the burden of the gallows [= Óðinn > POETRY], that which the travel-furtherer [= Óðinn] carried flying from the treasure-valleys of Surtr [giant]. |
þás þau mær
ok Skaði byggðu,
ok sunu marga
við Óðni gat.
|The shield-worshipped kinsman of the Æsir <gods> [= Óðinn] begat that tribute-bringer [JARL = Sæmingr] with the female from Járnviðr, when those renowned ones, the friend of warriors [= Óðinn] and Skaði [giantess], lived in the lands of the maiden of the bone of the sea [(lit. ‘maiden-lands of the bone of the sea’) ROCK > GIANTESS > = Jǫtunheimar ‘Giant-lands’], and the ski-goddess [= Skaði] bore many sons with Óðinn.|
|When the adversary of jarls [RULER] wished to settle the outlying tract of the enemy of Beli <giant> [= Freyr].|
es synir Yngva
við meið riðu.
|But Guðlaugr tamed the savage horse of Sigarr <legendary king> [GALLOWS], because of the belligerence of the eastern kings, when the sons of Yngvi fastened the ring-destroyer [GENEROUS MAN] to the tree. |
á nesi drúpir
þars víkr deilir.
of fylkis hrør
|And the corpse-bearing swaying tree droops on the headland, where it separates the bays. There the well-known Straumeyjarnes is marked by a stone over the ruler’s body.|
||Ok sá halr|
at Hôars veðri
|And that man wore the grey shirt of Hrísgrísnir <wolf> [WOLF-SKIN] in the storm of Hôarr <= Óðinn> [BATTLE]. |
es vega skyldi,
ok sinn aldr
í odda gný
á Fjǫlum lagði.
|Hákon, tree of the maiden of Hǫgni <legendary hero> [= Hildr (hildr ‘battle’) > WARRIOR], became weapon-bare when he had to fight, and the kinsman of Freyr <god> [= Hákon] laid down his life in the din of points [BATTLE] at Fjaler.|
||Ok þar varð,|
es vinir fellu
við stóran gný
vágr of blandinn.
|And there where the friends of the son of Hallgarðr [Grjótgarðr] [= Hákon] fell, the bay of Stavenes was mingled with the blood of men in the great din of the friend of Lóðurr <god> [= Óðinn > BATTLE].|
hinns svǫnum veitti
|And the rulers of the land [RULERS] deprived Sigurðr, he who supplied beer of the cormorants of the chosen of the Haddingjar <legendary heroes> [WARRIORS > RAVENS/EAGLES > BLOOD] to the swans of the god of cargoes [= Óðinn > RAVENS], of life at Ǫgló. |
í ǫlun Njarðar
lífs of lattr,
í tryggð sviku.
|And the unflinching prince was deprived of life at the ale-feast of the Njǫrðr <god> of the serpent of the forearm [ARM-RING > MAN], where rulers of the land deceived the kinsman of Týr <god> [= Sigurðr] in the truce.|
||Þar varð minnstr|
es flota þeystu
at liði þeira.
|There the least welcome meeting came about for the workers of the harm of Yngvi-Freyr <god> [(lit. ‘harm-workers of Yngvi-Freyr’) BATTLE > WARRIORS] at the break of day, as the rulers of the land [RULERS] impelled their fleet against the ravagers, when the sword-elf [WARRIOR] drove his stud-horses of the sea [SHIPS] from the south against their army.|
||Þeims allt austr|
til Egða býs
und bœgi liggr.
|Under whose arm the bride of the slaughter-god [= Óðinn > = Jǫrð (jǫrð ‘land’)] lies all the way east to the territory of the Egðir.|
enn vér gôtum
|We [I] have produced once more a feast of the gods [POETRY], praise of the ruler, like a bridge of stones.|