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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ESk Geisl 14VII

Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Geisli 14’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 18-19.

Einarr SkúlasonGeisli

text and translation

Réð um tolf, sás trúði,
tírbráðr, á guð, láði
(þjóð muna þegna* fœða)
þría vetr (konung betra),
áðr fullhugaðr felli
folkvaldr í dyn skjalda
(hann speni oss) fyr innan
Ǫlvishaug (frá bǫlvi).

Tírbráðr, sás trúði á guð, réð láði þría vetr um tolf — þjóð muna fœða betra konung þegna* —, áðr {fullhugaðr folkvaldr} felli í {dyn skjalda} fyr innan Ǫlvishaug; hann speni oss frá bǫlvi.
‘The fame-eager one, who believed in God, ruled the land for three winters beyond twelve — the people will not raise a better king of thanes —, before the very wise army-ruler [= Óláfr] fell in the din of shields [BATTLE] on the inner side of Alstahaugen; may he guide us away from evil.

notes and context

[3]: Flat’s reading þegnar has been emended here to þegna*, as a nom. pl. noun cannot be the subject of the sg. verb muna ‘will not’. Skj B, Skald and NN §932 prefer to adopt Bb’s þengill, thus providing a noun subject for réð ‘ruled’, and emend ‘bidia’ to bíða ‘await, get’ (first proposed by Cederschiöld 1873), giving Tírbráðr þengill … þjóð muna bíða betra konung ‘Eager for fame, the prince … the people will not get a better king’.



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 14: AI, 461, BI, 430, Skald I, 212, NN §§ 932, 1853B; Flat 1860-8, I, 2, Cederschiöld 1873, 3, Chase 2005, 64, 136-7.


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