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Einarr Skúlason (ESk)

12th century; volume 2; ed. Kari Ellen Gade;

III. 3. Lausavísur (Lv) - 9

We know very little about the life of Einarr Skúlason (ESk). He is called prestr ‘priest’ and is mentioned in a catalogue (c. 1220) of priests of noble birth who were alive in western Iceland in 1143 (Stu 1878, II, 502). It is likely that he came from Borg, belonged to the Mýrar family and was a direct descendant of Þorsteinn Egilsson and a brother of Snorri Sturluson’s maternal grandfather (LH 1894-1901, II, 62-3; ÍF 3, 51 n. 3). He was probably born c. 1090. In 1153, he recited the poem Geisli ‘Light-beam’ (ESk GeislVII) in Kristkirken in Trondheim. He was marshal (stallari) at King Eysteinn Magnússon’s court, and he composed poetry in praise of the Norw. kings Sigurðr jórsalafari ‘Jerusalem-farer’ and Eysteinn Magnússon, Haraldr gilli(-kristr) ‘Servant (of Christ)’, Magnús inn blindi ‘the Blind’ Sigurðarson, Haraldr gilli’s sons, Ingi, Sigurðr munnr ‘Mouth’, and Eysteinn, and about the Norw. chieftain Grégóríus Dagsson (see SnE 1848-87, III, 254-5, 263-4, 269, 276-7, 286). According to Skáldatal, he also honoured the Norw. magnate Eindriði ungi ‘the Young’ Jónsson as well as Sørkvir Kolsson and Jón jarl Sørkvisson of Sweden and King Sveinn Eiríksson of Denmark (SnE 1848-87, III, 252, 258, 260, 268-9, 272, 283, 286). About the latter he recited a poem for which he received no reward (see ESk Lv 3; ÍF 35, 275). The extant portion of his poetic oeuvre consists of the following poems (excluding lvv.): Sigurðardrápa I (Sigdr I, five extant sts about Sigurðr jórsalafari); Haraldsdrápa I (Hardr I, two extant sts about Haraldr gilli); Haraldsdrápa II (Hardr II, five extant sts about Haraldr gilli); Haraldssonakvæði (Harsonkv, two extant sts about the sons of Haraldr gilli); Sigurðardrápa II (Sigdr II, one extant st. about Sigurðr munnr Haraldsson); Runhenda (Run, ten extant sts about Eysteinn Haraldsson); Eysteinsdrápa (Eystdr, two extant sts about Eysteinn Haraldsson); Ingadrápa (Ingdr, four extant sts about Ingi Haraldsson); Elfarvísur (Elfv, two extant sts about Grégóríus Dagsson); Geisli (GeislVII, seventy-one sts about S. Óláfr); Øxarflokkr (ØxflIII, ten extant sts about the gift of an axe).

It must be emphasised that, although the poetry included in the royal panegyrics below clearly belongs to poems of that genre, with two exceptions (Hardr II and Elfv), all the names of the poems are modern constructs (notably by Jón Sigurðsson and Finnur Jónsson). That also holds true for the assignment of sts to the individual poems. In some cases, sts were assigned to a particular poem for metrical reasons (so Run), in other cases because of the content or the named recipients of the praise. For the sake of convenience, the names of the poems and the sts assigned to them as found in Skj have been retained in the present edn. In addition to the royal encomia, a number of fragments and lvv. attributed to Einarr are preserved in SnE, TGT and LaufE (see ESk Frag 1-18III; ESk Lv 7-15III). These have been edited separately in SkP III. Six lvv. are transmitted in the kings’ sagas and edited below.

Lausavísur — ESk LvIII

Kari Ellen Gade 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Einarr Skúlason, Lausavísur’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 169.

stanzas:  7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15 

Skj: Einarr Skúlason: 11. Lausavísur (AI, 482-5, BI, 454-7)

in texts: FoGT, Gramm, LaufE, LaufE, Skm, SnE, SnEA, SnEW, TGT

SkP info: III, 169

notes: 1-2, 5-7 A2; 4, 8-14 B

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files

 

7 Baugs, getr með þér þeygi,
þýðr, drengr vesa lengi,
(elg búum flóðs, nema fylgi)
friðstøkkvir (því nøkkvat).
The man certainly cannot remain long with you, kind truce-banisher of the ring [GENEROUS MAN]; we’ll ready the elk of the flood [SHIP] unless something follows [in return] for that.
8 Brattrs baldrekr Þjóttu;
berr vindr Raðar linda;
víðgyrðill þýtr Vǫrðu;
veltr Fenhringar belti.
Yglisk umbgerð Huglar;
olmrs grásili Stolmar;
fleygir Bóknar baugi;
brakar Lygru men nǫkkvat.
Steep is the baldric of Tjøtta <island> [SEA]; the wind lifts the band of Radøy <island> [SEA]; the wide girdle of Varða <island> [SEA] roars; the belt of Askøy <island> [SEA] rolls. The sheath of Huglo <island> [SEA] becomes fierce; grim is the grey harness-strap of Stolmen <island> [SEA]; the ring of Bokn <island> [SEA] is flung out; the necklace of Lygra <island> [SEA] thunders somewhat.
9 Blárs baldrekr Síra;
Brú gyrðill þvær fyrðum;
sundr springr Lygru lindi;
Leku veltr af þrǫm belti.
Kjǫl skolar Karmtar helsi;
klýfr stjórn sila Þjórnar;
bǫrð skera Gizka girði;
grafask borð í men Storðar.
Blue is the baldric of Sira <island> [SEA]; the girdle of Bru <island> [SEA] washes men; the band of Lygra <island> [SEA] bursts asunder; the belt of Leka <island> [SEA] rolls from the railing. The necklace of Karmøy <island> [SEA] rinses the keel; the rudder cleaves the harness-strap of Tjörn <island> [SEA]; prows cut the girdle of Giske <island> [SEA]; plankings dig themselves into the necklace of Stord <island> [SEA].
10 Víst erumk hermð á hesti;
hefr fljóð, ef vill, góðan.
I truly have anger at the horse; the woman has, if she wants, a good one.
11 Harðan þrýtr á hvítum
harm Sólborgar armi.
The strong grief disappears in the white arms of Sólborg.
12 Hrynja lét in hvíta
hausmjǫll ofan lausa
strind aurriða strandar
stalls af svarðar fjalli.
The white land of the resting-place of the trout of the beach [SERPENT > GOLD > WOMAN] let the skull’s powder-snow [HAIR] fall loose down from the mountain of the scalp [HEAD].
13 Máni skínn af mœni
moldar hofs of foldir
alla stund, meðan endisk
ævi lands ok sævar.
Veitk félaga fljótum
fróns prýði vel þjóna;
þeim vitu eigi ýtar
auðit lífs né dauða.
The moon shines from the roof-ridge of the temple of the ground [SKY > ZENITH] throughout the countries all the time while the life of land and sea endures. I know that the adorner of the earth [SUN] serves its swift companion well; people do not know that one has been allotted neither life nor death.
14 Stórt fellr gyrðill Garta;
grefr vindr Þrumu linda;
þýtr svalfjǫturr Selju;
svellr undrum men Hrundar.
Allt skelfr Brimlar belti;
brestr ern sili Hernar;
œst ferr umbgerð Hristar;
óðrs hringrinn Þrymlinga.
The girdle of Garten <island> [SEA] crashes mightily; the wind carves the band of Tromøy <island> [SEA]; the cool fetter of Selja <island> [SEA] roars; the necklace of Runde <island> [SEA] swells terribly. The entire belt of Briml <island> [SEA] trembles; the vigorous harness-strap of Hernar <island> [SEA] bursts; the sheath of Riste <island> [SEA] moves madly; furious is the ring of Tromlingene <island> [SEA].
15 Barð rístr Gælu girði;
grefr saumr fjǫtur Tauma;
geist ferr umbgerð Óstrar;
opts men klofit Senju.
Brand þvær Bolgu lindi;
bifask stinnr sili Kinnar;
hringr þýtr Hveðru lǫngum;
hart veltr Glanar belti.
The prow carves the girdle of Gæla <island> [SEA]; nails incise the fetter of Taumar <island> [SEA]; the sheath of Osterøy <island> [SEA] moves violently; often is the necklace of Senja <island> [SEA] cloven. The band of Bolga <island> [SEA] washes the bow; the stiff harness-strap of Kinn <island> [SEA] quivers; the ring of Hveðra <island> [SEA] roars for a long time; the belt of Glǫn <island> [SEA] rolls hard.
Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated