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Torf-Einarr Rǫgnvaldsson (TorfE)

9th century; volume 1; ed. Russell Poole;

Lausavísur (Lv) - 5

Einarr jarl Rǫgnvaldsson (TorfE) ruled over the Orkneys at some time in the early tenth century. Our knowledge of him derives largely from Orkn, Fsk, and HHárf in Hkr; the relevant part of ÓT essentially derives from Hkr. All three principal compilations incorporate lausavísur ascribed to Einarr which are printed below as his five lausavísur. Additionally, Orkn and Hkr give a brief account of his life and of the events that the lausavísur relate to. Parts of the story are also told in Ldn (ÍF 1, 314, 316) but without the lausavísur (Mundal 1993, 248). His more familiar name, Torf-Einarr ‘Turf-Einarr’, is explained as due to his adoption of peat as a fuel in Orkney (ÍF 34, 11; ÍF 26, 129).

Einarr was a son of Rǫgnvaldr Mœrajarl ‘Jarl of Møre’, his mother being a concubine (see Note to Lv 1 [All] on Rǫgnvaldr’s sons). When King Haraldr hárfagri ‘Fair-hair’ awarded Rǫgnvaldr the rule of Orkney and Shetland in compensation for the killing of his son Ívarr, Rǫgnvaldr initially delegated it to his brother Sigurðr, then to Sigurðr’s son Guttormr, and after their deaths to his own son Hallaðr. Only after Hallaðr failed in the task did Rǫgnvaldr grudgingly assent to Einarr’s offer to take it on (ÍF 34, 10-11). Torf-Einarr established himself as lord of the islands, having first defeated two viking leaders; see Anon (Hhárf). The killing of Rǫgnvaldr, possibly at Haraldr’s instigation, precipitated the vengeance on Einarr’s part recounted in the lausavísur.

Lausavísur — TorfE LvI

Russell Poole 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Torf-Einarr Rǫgnvaldsson, Lausavísur’ 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. 129.

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5 

Skj: Torf-Einarr jarl: Lausavísur (AI, 31-2, BI, 27-8); stanzas (if different): 2 | 4 | 5

in texts: Flat, Fsk, HHárf, Hkr, Orkn, ÓT

SkP info: I, 129

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files

 

1 Sékat Hrolfs ór hendi
né Hrollaugi fljúga
dǫrr á dolga mengi;
dugir oss fǫður hefna.
En í kveld, meðan knýjum,
of kerstraumi, rómu,
þegjandi sitr þetta
Þórir jarl á Mœri.
I do not see spears flying from Hrólfr’s hand nor from Hrollaugr’s in the throng of enemies; it is right for us to avenge our father. Yet this evening, while we [I] press our [my] attack, Þórir jarl ignores this in silence over his cup-stream [DRINK] in Møre.
2 Margr verðr sekr at sauðum
seggr með fǫgru skeggi,
en ek at ungs í Eyjum
allvalds sonar falli.
Hætt segja mér hǫlðar
við hugfullan stilli;
Haralds hefk skarð í skildi
— skala ugga þat — hǫggvit.
Many a man with a handsome beard is convicted for sheep, but I [am convicted] for the death of the young son of the mighty ruler [= Hálfdan] in the Islands [Orkney]. Freeholders say there is danger for me from the resolute ruler; I have cut a notch in Haraldr’s shield; I shall not fear that.
3 Ey munk glaðr, síz geirar
— gótts vinna þrek manni —
bǫðfíkinna bragna
bitu þengils son ungan.
Þeygi dylk, nema þykki
— þar fló grár af sôrum
hræva nagr of holma —
hól undvala gœli.
I will be forever glad now that spears of battle-keen men pierced the young son of the king [= Hálfdan]; it is good for a man to do a heroic deed. Not at all do I conceal the fact that it seems like vaunting to the comforter of wound-falcons [RAVENS/EAGLES > WARRIOR = Haraldr]; there the grey bird of corpses [EAGLE] flew from the wounded over the islands.
4 Rekit hefk Rǫgnvalds dauða
— rétt skiptu því nornir —
— nús folkstuðill fallinn —
at fjórðungi mínum.
Verpið, snarpir sveinar,
þvít sigri vér rôðum,
(skatt velk hônum harðan)
at Háfœtu grjóti.
I have avenged Rǫgnvaldr’s death for my quarter-share; the norns arranged that rightly; now the people’s support [RULER] is fallen. Throw stones at Háfœta (‘Long-legs’), brave lads, because we hold the victory; I choose hard tribute for him.
5 Eru til míns fjǫrs margir
menn of sannar deilðir
ór ýmissum ôttum
ósmábornir gjarnir.
En þó vitu þeygi
þeir, áðr mik hafi felldan,
hverr ilþorna arnar
undir hlýtr at standa.
Many high-born men of various families are eager for my life because of justified conflicts. And yet they do not know, before they have killed me, who gets to stand under the sole-thorns [CLAWS] of the eagle.
Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated