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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eilífr Goðrúnarson (Eil)

10th century; volume 3; ed. Edith Marold;

1. Þórsdrápa (Þdr) - 23

Skj info: Eilífr Goðrúnarson, Islandsk skjald, omkr. 1000. (AI, 148-52, BI, 139-44).

Skj poems:
1. Et digt om Hakon jarl
2. Þórsdrápa
3. Af et kristeligt digt

Hardly anything is known about the life of Eilífr Goðrúnarson (Eil). According to Skáldatal (SnE 1848-87, III, 256, 266, 280), he was active as a skald at the court of Hákon jarl Sigurðarson in Norway around the end of the tenth century. Some scholars have argued that a word-play in a stanza preserved in Skm (SnE) conceals the name of Hákon jarl, thus confirming the information of Skáldatal, but the present edition, following Lie (1976, 399) is sceptical of that hypothesis (see Þdr 23, Note to [All]). Eilífr’s only surviving works are the long poem Þórsdrápa (Eil Þdr, 23 stanzas) and one fragment of a Christian poem (Eil Frag).

Þórsdrápa — Eil ÞdrIII

Edith Marold with the assistance of Vivian Busch, Jana Krüger, Ann-Dörte Kyas and Katharina Seidel, translated from German by John Foulks 2017, ‘ Eilífr Goðrúnarson, Þórsdrápa’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 68. <> (accessed 30 June 2022)

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Skj: Eilífr Goðrúnarson: 2. Þórsdrápa (AI, 148-52, BI, 139-44); stanzas (if different): 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21

SkP info: III, 115

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

18 — Eil Þdr 18III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Edith Marold (ed.) 2017, ‘Eilífr Goðrúnarson, Þórsdrápa 18’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 115.

svát hraðskyndir handa
hrapmunnum svalg gunnar
lyptisylg á lopti
langvinr síu þrǫngvar,
þás ǫrþrasis eisa
ós Hrímnis fló drósar
til þrámóðnis Þrúðar
þjósts af greipar brjósti.


so that {the swift hastener of battle}, [WARRIOR = Þórr] {the old friend of the tight spot (þjálfi ‘enclosure’ = Þjálfi)}, [= Þórr] swallowed {the raised drink of the spark} [PIECE OF IRON] in the air {with the hurried mouths of his arms}, [HANDS] when the sparking fire of anger {of the passionate lover {of the lady of Hrímnir}} [GIANTESS > GIANT = Geirrøðr] flew from {the breast of the grip} [HAND] at {the one longing for Þrúðr}. [= Þórr]

context: See Context to st. 1.

notes: [5-8]: This helmingr refers to the two opponents, Þórr and Geirrøðr, with kennings containing the analogous base-words ǫrþrasir ‘passionate lover’ and þrámóðnir ‘desirer’. Whereas a giant being called the lover of a giantess follows a common kenning pattern, there are no comparable Þórr-kennings that refer to him as the lover of any goddess. The Þrúðr named in the kenning is Þórr’s daughter, who was allegedly kidnapped by the giant Hrungnir; cf. the Hrungnir-kenning þjófr Þrúðar ‘the thief of Þrúðr’ in Bragi Rdr 1/3, 4 and Note (see also Reichardt 1948, 382; LP: þrámóðnir); hence Þórr can be paraphrased as ‘the one longing for Þrúðr’.

texts: Skm 89, SnE 91

editions: Skj Eilífr Goðrúnarson: 2. Þórsdrápa 17 (AI, 151; BI, 143); Skald I, 78, NN §2252; SnE 1848-87, I, 300-1, III, 36-7, SnE 1931, 109, SnE 1998, I, 29.


GKS 2367 4° (R) 25r, 15 - 25r, 17 (SnE)  image  image  image  
Traj 1374x (Tx) 25v, 31 - 25v, 31 (SnE)  image  
AM 242 fol (W) 53, 28 - 53, 30 (SnE)  image  image  image  
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