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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, 219

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

4 — Eyv Lv 4I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Lausavísur 4’ 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. 219.

Baðat valgrindar vinda
veðrheyjandi Skreyju
gumnum hollr golli
Gefnar sinni stefnu:
‘Ef søkkspenni svinnan,
sigrminnigr, vilt finna,
framm halt, njótr, at nýtum
Norðmanna gram, hranna.’

 

{The enacter {of the storm {of the Gefn {of the slaughter-gate}}}}, [(lit. ‘storm-enacter of the Gefn of the slaughter-gate’) SHIELD > VALKYRIE > BATTLE > WARRIOR = Hákon] loyal to men, not to gold, did not bid [Eyvindr] Skreyja (‘Wretch’) to alter his course: ‘If, mindful of victory, you wish to meet {a wise treasure-grasper}, [RULER] keep straight ahead to {the capable king of the Norwegians}, [= Hákon] {user of the waves}.’ [SWIMMER = Eyvindr skreyja]

context: As the two sides engage at Fitjar, Hákon and his opponents exchange taunts. Eyvindr skreyja asks where the king is, wondering if he has hidden or fled, to which Hákon replies loudly, ‘Haltu svá fram stefnunni, ef þú vill finna Norðmanna konung’, ‘Keep coming in this direction, if you want to meet the king of the Norwegians’ (Hkr, cf. the somewhat more elaborate account in Fsk). Eyvindr skáldaspillir’s stanza is cited in corroboration.

notes: Direct speech within a skaldic stanza is rare, and Eyvindr may here be building upon memories of an actual exchange of taunts in the battle (cf. Note to Lv 1 [All]). The wording of the speech in the stanza and the prose narrative (Context above) is closely similar: see Fidjestøl (1993c, 89-90) for discussion.

texts: Fsk 48, HákGóð 22 (I 81), Hkr 91 (I 81)

editions: Skj Eyvindr Finnsson skáldaspillir: 3. Lausavísur 4 (961 - AI, 72; BI, 63);

Skald I, 39, NN §§1057, 1783; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 215, IV, 56-7, ÍF 26, 189, Hkr 1991, I, 121-2 (HákGóð ch. 31), F 1871, 82; Fsk 1902-3, 43-4 (ch. 12), ÍF 29, 90 (ch. 13); Krause 1990, 220-4.

sources

AM 761 b 4°x (761bx) 73r, 2 - 73r, 9  image  
AM 35 folx (Kx) 103v, 8 - 103v, 15 (Hkr)  transcr.  image  image  
AM 45 fol (F) 18rb, 4 - 18rb, 7 (Hkr)  image  image  image  image  
OsloUB 371 folx (FskBx) 11r, 16 - 11r, 23 (Fsk)  image  
AM 51 folx (51x) 9v, 19 - 9v, 26 (Fsk)  transcr.  image  
AM 302 4°x (302x) 15v, 2 - 15v, 9 (Fsk)  transcr.  
AM 303 4°x (FskAx) 53, 16 - 54, 1 (Fsk)  transcr.  image  
AM 52 folx (52x) 21r, 20 - 21r, 27 (Fsk)  transcr.  image  
AM 301 4°x (301x) 19r, 17 - 19r, 21 (Fsk)  transcr.  
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