Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson (Eyv)
10th century; volume 1; ed. Russell Poole;
1. Hákonarmál (Hák) - 21
2. Háleygjatal (Hál) - 16
3. Lausavísur (Lv) - 14
Skj info: Eyvindr Finnsson skáldaspillir, Norsk skjald, 10. årh. (d. omkr. 990). (AI, 64-74, BI, 57-65).
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).
Hákonarmál (‘Words about Hákon’)
R. D. Fulk 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Hákonarmál’ 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. 171.
Skj: Eyvindr Finnsson skáldaspillir: 1. Hákonarmál, 961 (AI, 64-8, BI, 57-60)
SkP info: I, 190
17 — Eyv Hák 17I
Cite as: R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Hákonarmál 17’ 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. 190.
|‘Gerðar órar,’ kvað inn góði konungr,
‘viljum vér sjalfir hafa;
hjalm ok brynju
| skal hirða vel; |
gótt es til gǫrs at taka.’
‘Vér viljum sjalfir hafa gerðar órar,’ kvað inn góði konungr; ‘skal hirða vel hjalm ok brynju; gótt es at taka til gǫrs.’
‘We ourselves [I myself] wish to keep our [my] armour,’ said the good king; ‘one should take good care of one’s helmet and mail-shirt; it is good to have recourse to ready gear.’
Mss: Kˣ(106v), F(18va-b), J1ˣ(64r), J2ˣ(61r) (Hkr); 761bˣ(100v-101v)
Readings:  órar (‘várar’): voru J1ˣ  sjalfir: sjalfr J1ˣ  gǫrs: ‘geyrs’ F, J1ˣ, J2ˣ
Editions: Skj: Eyvindr Finnsson skáldaspillir, 1. Hákonarmál 17: AI, 67, BI, 59, Skald I, 37, NN §1055; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 221, IV, 60, ÍF 26, 196, Hkr 1991, I, 128 (HákGóð ch. 31/32), F 1871, 84-5; Möbius 1860, 234, Jón Helgason 1968, 28, Krause 1990, 121-2.
Context: As for st. 1.
Notes: [All]: Hákon’s desire to keep his weapons (which recalls the image of slain princes sitting fully armed in st. 9) has been variously explained. Olsen (1916a) explains it as a sign that he wishes to be prepared at all times for the great final battle of the einherjar, and Paasche (1916) as a necessary precaution in the presence of Eiríkr and his allies (rendering ironic Bragi’s reassurance in the preceding stanza that Hákon has eight brothers in Valhǫll). See also Holm-Olsen (1953, 161). —  inn góði ‘the good’: This may be meant as characterisation, though it is also
Hákon’s nickname. —  gótt es at taka til gǫrs ‘it is good to have recourse to ready gear’: Two main possibilities are to hand here. (a) ‘Geyrs’ in F, J1ˣ, J2ˣ is a common spelling of gǫrs: see Jón Þorkelsson (1884, 45). Gǫrs gives satisfactory sense, and the expression in l. 6 may be proverbial, with the sense ‘it’s good to use what is to hand’ (see Heggstad et al. 1997: gerr I. 2). This would harmonise with the impersonal skal ‘one should’ in l. 5. (b) Several eds read geirs ‘spear’ for gǫrs (from Bartholin 1689, 526 to Kock, Skald and NN §1055, comparing Beowulf ll. 1245-6a), and this would complement the reference to helmet and mail-shirt in l. 4.