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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ESk Frag 3III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Fragments 3’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 154.

Einarr SkúlasonFragments


The half-stanza (ESk Frag 3) commemorates the gift of a precious drinking horn and was likely part of a poem composed for a ruler or magnate in return for his munificence. Jón Sigurðsson (SnE 1848-87, III, 364) assigned it to a no-longer extant poem about the Norwegian chieftain Eindriði ungi ‘the Young’, probably because Einarr is said to have composed poetry in his honour (SnE 1848-87, III, 269, 286, and cf. ESk Geisl 45/3VII). There is, however, nothing in this stanza to warrant such an attribution. The name of the poet is given as Einarr in all mss, but no patronymic is recorded for him (see Note to Frag 2 [All] above). Because Einarr often describes the items he has received as gifts in return for his poetry (see ESk Øxfl above), the attribution of this stanza to him is likely to be correct. The helmingr is recorded in mss R (main ms.), , A, B (and 744ˣ) and C of Skm (SnE).

text and translation

Næst sék orm á jastar
ítrserki vel merkðan
(nemi bjóðr, hvé ferk) flœðar
(fjarðbáls, of þat máli).

Næst sék orm, vel merkðan, á {ítrserki {flœðar jastar}}; nemi {bjóðr {fjarðbáls}}, hvé ferk máli of þat.
‘Next I see a serpent, well engraved, on the splendid shirt of the yeast’s flood [BEER > DRINKING HORN]; may the donor of fjord-fire [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN] learn how I treat that in speech.

notes and context

Fjarð- ‘fjord-’ is given among the heiti for ‘sea’ in Skm.



Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: Einarr Skúlason, 12. Ubestemmelige vers, tilhørende forskellige fyrstedigte eller lausavísur 3: AI, 480, BI, 452, Skald I, 222; SnE 1848-87, I, 504-5, II, 453, 536, 602, III, 106, SnE 1931, 177, SnE 1998, I, 97.


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