Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.



Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

ESk Elfv 1II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Elfarvísur 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 566-7.

Einarr SkúlasonElfarvísur

text and translation

Margr fell maðr af dreyrgu
marblakks á kaf saxi;
gnógt elði fekksk gýgjar
Glaum; rak ná fyr straumi.
Elfr varð unda gjalfri
eitrkǫld roðin heitu;
vitnis fell með vatni
varmt ǫlðr í men Karmtar.

Margr maðr fell af dreyrgu saxi {marblakks} á kaf; gnógt elði fekksk {Glaum gýgjar}; ná rak fyr straumi. Eitrkǫld Elfr varð roðin {heitu gjalfri unda}; {varmt ǫlðr vitnis} fell með vatni í {men Karmtar}.
‘Many a man fell from the bloody prow of the sea-steed [SHIP] into the deep; abundant nourishment was given to the Glaumr <horse> of the troll-woman [WOLF]; carrion drifted before the current. The bitter-cold Götaälv was reddened by the hot surge of wounds [BLOOD]; the warm ale of the wolf [BLOOD] flowed with the water into the necklace of Karmøy <island> [SEA].

notes and context

In Hkr and H-Hr sts 1-2 commemorate the battle of the Götaälv. In SnE (Skm) the second helmingr illustrates that vitnir is a heiti for ‘wolf’, and in GrammSkáld the consonant clusters -lfr- and -rmt- are given as examples of features that enhance the aesthetic quality of poetry.

Grégóríus, Ingi and Erlingr had the upper hand in this battle. After Hákon’s ship had been cleared, his men leaped from the other ships into the water. Many were killed but the main contingent was able to swim ashore.



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, 10. Elfarvísur 1: AI, 477, BI, 449, Skald I, 221; ÍF 28, 358-9 (Hákherð ch. 11), F 1871, 354, E 1916, 216; Fms 7, 266 (Hákherð ch. 11); SnE 1848-87, I, 476-9, II, 350, 455, 538, 594, SnE 1931, 168, SnE 1998, I, 87; SnE 1848-87, II, 397, GrammSkáld 1884, 159.


Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.


Stanza/chapter/text segment

Use the buttons at the top of the page to navigate between stanzas in a poem.

Information tab

Interactive tab

The text and translation are given here, with buttons to toggle whether the text is shown in the verse order or prose word order. Clicking on indiviudal words gives dictionary links, variant readings, kennings and notes, where relevant.

Full text tab

This is the text of the edition in a similar format to how the edition appears in the printed volumes.

Chapter/text segment

This view is also used for chapters and other text segments. Not all the headings shown are relevant to such sections.