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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eyv Lv 14I

Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Lausavísur 14’ 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. 234.

Eyvindr skáldaspillir FinnssonLausavísur

text and translation

Fengum feldarstinga,
fjǫrð- ok galt við -hjǫrðu,
þanns álhimins útan
oss lendingar sendu.
Mest selda ek mínar
við mævǫrum sævar
— hallæri veldr hvôru —
hlaupsildr Egils gaupna.

Fengum feldarstinga, þanns {lendingar {álhimins}} sendu oss útan, ok galt við {fjǫrðhjǫrðu}. Mest selda ek {mínar hlaupsildr gaupna Egils} við {mævǫrum sævar}; hallæri veldr hvôru.
‘We [I] received a cloak-pin, which the landsmen of the channel-sky [ICE > ICELANDERS] sent us [me] from abroad [Iceland], and I spent it on fjord-herds [HERRINGS]. Most of all I sold my leaping herrings of Egill’s <legendary hero’s> palms [ARROWS] for the slender arrows of the sea [HERRINGS]; the famine causes both things.

notes and context

The people of Iceland send Eyvindr a large silver cloak-pin, but he is obliged to break it up in order to purchase livestock. Eventually his means become so attenuated that he is forced to barter his arrows for herrings.

[5-8]: Notable is the interchange of herrings and arrows in the two kennings here, as well as in the literal transaction. See Note to st. 13/5 on the specific sense ‘herrings’ for the kenning mævǫrum sævar ‘slender arrows of the sea’ (l. 6).



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: Eyvindr Finnsson skáldaspillir, 3. Lausavísur 14: AI, 74, BI, 65, Skald I, 40, NN §§1953A, 2905; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 254, IV, 71, ÍF 26, 223-4, Hkr 1991, I 148 (HGráf ch. 16), F 1871, 96; Krause 1990, 274-6.


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