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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, 231

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

12 — Eyv Lv 12I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Lausavísur 12’ 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. 231.

Snýr á Svǫlnis vôru
— svá hǫfum inn sem Finnar
birkihind of bundit
brums — at miðju sumri.


It is snowing on {the spouse of Svǫlnir} [= Jǫrð (jǫrð ‘earth’)] in the middle of summer; we have tied up {the bark-stripping hind of the bud} [GOAT] inside just like the Saami.

context: Fsk places Lv 12 next after Lv 10. The sons of Gunnhildr, having accepted Christian baptism in England, destroy the sacrificial places in Norway on their return there. They go on progresses round the districts with a large entourage, thus oppressing the local people. Meanwhile the herring and other catches decline, the crops are ruined, and there is snow at midsummer. The people attribute the great famine that results to the anger of the gods. Hkr places the stanza differently but gives a broadly similar account of the circumstances.

notes: Hkr treats the lausavísa as applying more closely to Eyvindr’s personal situation than does Fsk and links the mention of snowfall specifically to Hálogaland (Poole 1991, 14; cf. Turville-Petre 1976, 44). On the desolation of the land after Hákon’s death, see also Lv 13-14 below and Eyv Hák 21.

texts: Fsk 61, HGráf 18 (I 102), Hkr 129 (I 102)

editions: Skj Eyvindr Finnsson skáldaspillir: 3. Lausavísur 12 (o. 970 - AI, 74; BI, 65);

Skald I, 40, NN §3049; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 253, IV, 70, ÍF 26, 221, Hkr 1991, I, 147 (HGráf ch. 16), F 1871, 95; Fsk 1902-3, 53 (ch. 13), ÍF 29, 98 (ch. 14); Krause 1990

, 266-9.


AM 761 b 4°x (761bx) 77r, 2 - 77r, 5  image  
AM 35 folx (Kx) 119r, 16 - 119r, 19 (Hkr)  transcr.  image  image  
AM 45 fol (F) 21ra, 1 - 21ra, 3 (Hkr)  transcr.  image  image  image  image  
AM 37 folx (J1x) 72v, 1 - 72v, 3 (Hkr)  image  
AM 38 folx (J2x) 69r, 13 - 69r, 16 (Hkr)  image  
OsloUB 371 folx (FskBx) 14r, 10 - 14r, 13 (Fsk)  image  
AM 51 folx (51x) 12r, 32 - 12v, 2 (Fsk)  transcr.  image  
AM 302 4°x (302x) 19v, 4 - 19v, 7 (Fsk)  transcr.  
AM 303 4°x (FskAx) 62, 5 - 62, 8 (Fsk)  transcr.  image  
AM 301 4°x (301x) 22r, 7 - 22r, 9 (Fsk)  transcr.  image  
Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated