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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eskál Lv 1aI

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2012, ‘Einarr skálaglamm Helgason, Lausavísur 1a’ 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. 331.

Einarr skálaglamm HelgasonLausavísur

text and translation

Gerðak veig of virða
víðis illrar tíðar
(þat vann ek, meðan aðrir)
ǫrr Váfaðar (svôfu).
Komkat þess, þars þótti,
þingsættis, fé betra
— meiðr sparir hodd við hróðri
hverr — en skald it verra.

Illrar tíðar gerðak ǫrr {veig Váfaðar} of {virða víðis}; vann ek þat, meðan aðrir svôfu. Komkat {þess þingsættis}, þars fé þótti betra en skald it verra; hverr meiðr sparir hodd við hróðri.
‘At an unfortunate time I composed, eager, strong drink of Váfuðr <= Óðinn> [POETRY] about men of the ocean [SEAFARERS]; I did that while others slept. I have not come to that assembly-reconciler [RULER] where money seemed better but the poet worse; each tree [man] withholds treasure from praise poetry.

notes and context

In Jvs, Einarr complains that Hákon jarl has shown him little honour (sómi) of late, compared to what he had formerly enjoyed, and threatens to defect to the leader of the Jómsvíkingar, Sigvaldi Strút-Haraldsson. In Eg (A-redaction only), the stanza is precipitated by the jarl’s refusal to listen to Einarr’s drápa Vellekla (Eskál Vell), because he is angry with the poet for unspecified reasons.

There is less divergence between the Jvs mss versus M in ll. 1-4 than in ll. 5-8, where there are some marked differences between the readings of all lines, except for the second part of l. 8. M shows the greatest similarity to 510, but also has readings that seem to be independent of any extant Jvs ms. — [7-8]: These lines in the Jvs A-redaction mss again suggest corruption. Meiðr ‘tree’ as a man-heiti is suspicious, as it usually functions as the base-word of a man-kenning. 



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 Helgason skálaglamm, 4. Lausavísur 1: AI, 131-2, BI, 124, Skald I, 69, NN §2752; Fms 11, 127, Jvs 1879, 72, Jvs 1882, 109, Jvs 1969, 178, 215, Flat 1860-8, I, 188; Eg 1886-8, 290, ÍF 2, 270-1, Eg 2001, 152, Eg 2003, 164.


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