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Runic Dictionary

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Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson (Eyv)

10th century; volume 1; ed. Russell Poole;

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).

Lausavísur — Eyv LvI

Russell Poole 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, 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. 213.

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14 

Skj: Eyvindr Finnsson skáldaspillir: 3. Lausavísur (AI, 71-4, BI, 62-5)

SkP info: I, 230

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

11 — Eyv Lv 11I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Lausavísur 11’ 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. 230.

Skyldak, skerja foldar
skíðrennandi, síðan
þursa týs frá þvísa
þinn góðan byr finna,
es, valjarðar, verðum,
veljandi, þér selja
lyngva mens, þats lengi,
látr, minn faðir átti.

{{{Skerja foldar} skíð}rennandi}, skyldak síðan frá þvísa finna {þinn góðan byr {týs þursa}}, es, {veljandi valjarðar}, verðum selja þér {látr {mens lyngva}}, þats faðir minn átti lengi.

{Runner {of the ski {of the land of skerries}}} [(lit. ‘ski-runner of the land of skerries’) SEA > SHIP > SEAFARER], I should from this time on meet with {your good wind {of the bondwoman of giants}} [GIANTESS > THOUGHT], when, {chooser of the battlefield} [RULER], we [I] have to give you {the resting-place {of the necklace of heathers}} [SNAKE > GOLD] which my father long owned.

Mss: (109r), 39(3ra), F(19ra), J1ˣ(65v), J2ˣ(62v-63r) (Hkr); 61(6vb), Bb(8vb) (ÓT); FskBˣ(14v), FskAˣ(63) (Fsk)

Readings: [2] ‑rennandi: ‘rennðandæ’ J1ˣ, J2ˣ;    síðan: um síðir J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 61, Bb    [3] týs: so J1ˣ, J2ˣ, ‘tøs’ Kˣ, 39, F, bæs 61, bæn Bb, ‘tols’ FskBˣ, kaus FskAˣ;    frá: om. 39, enn F, fyr Bb    [4] þinn: þann Bb;    byr: ‘bur’ Bb    [5] es (‘er’): so 39, F, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 61, Bb, FskAˣ, ef Kˣ;    val‑: vél Bb    [7] lyngva: ‘lynga’ Bb;    þats (‘þat er’): þar er J2ˣ    [8] látr: lattr J1ˣ, J2ˣ

Editions: Skj: Eyvindr Finnsson skáldaspillir, 3. Lausavísur 11: AI, 74, BI, 64-5, Skald I, 40, NN §1041D; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 228, IV, 64-5, ÍF 26, 202-3, Hkr 1991, I, 134 (HGráf ch. 1), F 1871, 87; Fms 1, 51, Fms 12, 31, ÓT 1958-2000, I, 50 (ch. 31); Fsk 1902-3, 55 (ch. 13), ÍF 29, 100-1 (ch. 14); Krause 1990, 260-5.

Context: Fsk places Lv 11 next after Lv 8 and 9. Haraldr pronounces a death sentence on Eyvindr for his composition of Lv 8 and 9 but Eyvindr’s friends again petition for a reconciliation. The king asks that Eyvindr present him with a gold ring called Moldi, which weighed twelve ounces, and Eyvindr complies. The stanza is placed differently in Hkr and ÓT but the account of the circumstances is similar.

Notes: [2, 3] síðan frá þvísa ‘from this time on’: Lit. ‘afterwards from this’. Þvísa is an early dat. or instr. form of sjá ‘this’ (Finnur Jónsson 1901, 78; ANG §470 Anm. 2). — [3, 4] góðan byr týs þursa ‘good wind of the bondwoman of giants [GIANTESS > THOUGHT]’: Eyvindr hopes that he will now stand in the king’s good grace, having given up his gold to him. Although this kenning pattern is well-attested, its rationale and aetiology are not precisely understood (see SnE 1998, I, 108; Meissner 138-9; Frank 1997, and references there). The determinant týs, probably meaning ‘bondwoman’, ‘concubine’ or ‘enslaved sexual partner’, is obscure and clearly caused confusion in transmission (cf. Hkr 1893-1901, IV; LP: tý; NN §1041D; Olsen 1959, 101). — [5, 6] veljandi valjarðar ‘chooser of the battlefield [RULER]’: This kenning has not been conclusively explained. (a) Adopted in this edn is an analysis due to Sveinbjörn Egilsson (LP (1860): velja, followed by ÍF 26; ÍF 29; Hkr 1991), who sees a reference to the warrior’s role of choosing the locality in which to fight a battle. (b) Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B) initially suggested that valjǫrð could be ‘falcon-land [ARM]’, part of an incomplete or corrupted kenning for ‘ring’ , but in LP: valjǫrð favoured explanation (a). — [7] mens lyngva ‘of the necklace of heathers [SNAKE]’: I.e. the coiling reptile that inhabits heather moors; cf. Meissner 115 for this pattern of kenning.

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