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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ESk Geisl 10VII

Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Geisli 10’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 15-16.

Einarr SkúlasonGeisli

text and translation

Ǫld samir Óláfs gilda
— orðgnóttar biðk dróttin —
oss at óðgerð þessi
ítrgeðs lofi kveðja.
Fannk aldri val vildra
— vallrjóðanda allra
raun samir — rétt í einu
ranni fremðarmanna.

Samir oss kveðja gilda ǫld at þessi óðgerð, lofi ítrgeðs Óláfs; biðk dróttin orðgnóttar. Fannk aldri vildra val fremðarmanna rétt í einu ranni; samir raun {allra vallrjóðanda}.
‘It is fitting for us [me] to summon able men to this poetry-making, to the praise of high-minded Óláfr; I ask the Lord for word-wealth. I never found a more agreeable selection of men of accomplishment right in one house; it befits the experience of all field-reddeners [WARRIORS].

notes and context

[1-4]: There is a discrepancy between the two ms. versions of the first helmingr. Bb reads: Oss samir enn at þessu –, | orðgnóttar biðk dróttin | aldar – Óláfs gilda | ítrgeðs lofi kveðja. This may be translated: ‘It is fitting for us [me] further to summon [people] to this praise of the able, high-minded Óláfr; I ask the Lord of men [= God] for word-wealth’. There are no metrical or grammatical flaws in the Bb version, but the syntax is awkward: both the weak adj. gilda and the strong adj. ítrgeðs must be construed with Óláfs. In the Flat version, ǫld can be construed with gilda, providing a link with the second helmingr that is schematic as well as thematic: ll. 1 and 5 have the same triple-rhyme scheme (ǫld : Ól- : gild-; ald : vál : vild-). Line 2 is a complete parenthetic phrase, preferable to Bb’s biðk aldar dróttin orðgnóttar. Flat probably represents the original text: at some point in the transmission of the Bb version ll. 1 and 3 were transposed, and then later emended by a scribe attempting to make sense of the helmingr.



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, 6. Geisli 10: AI, 460-1, BI, 429, Skald I, 212, NN §§929, 930, 1204D; Flat 1860-8, I, 2, Cederschiöld 1873, 2, Chase 2005, 60, 133-4.


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