skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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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
12

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.

readings

sources

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.

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