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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ESk Geisl 15VII

Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Geisli 15’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 19-20.

Einarr SkúlasonGeisli
141516

Fregit hefk satt, at sagði
snjallri ferð, áðr berðisk
— drótt nýtr dǫglings máttar —
draum sinn konungr Rauma.
Stiga sá standa fagran
stjórnar fimr til himna
— rausn dugir hans at hrósa —
Hǫrða gramr af jǫrðu.

Hefk fregit satt, at {konungr Rauma} sagði snjallri ferð draum sinn, áðr berðisk; drótt nýtr dǫglings máttar. {Gramr Hǫrða}, fimr stjórnar, sá fagran stiga standa af jǫrðu til himna; dugir at hrósa rausn hans.

I have heard truly that {the king of the Raumar} [= Óláfr] told the clever band his dream before they fought; the court enjoys the prince’s might. {The king of the Hǫrðar} [= Óláfr], adept at leadership, saw a beautiful ladder ascending from earth to the heavens; it is fitting to praise his greatness.

Mss: Flat(2ra), Bb(117rb)

Readings: [1] sagði: segði Bb    [2] berðisk: ‘bardizt’ Bb    [5] sá: kvað Bb    [6] stjórnar: styrjar Bb

Editions: Skj AI, 461-2, Skj BI, 430-1, Skald I, 212-13; Flat 1860-8, I, 2, Cederschiöld 1873, 3, Chase 2005, 65, 137.

Notes: [2] berðisk ‘they fought’: Flat’s form must be preferred here to give a subj. after áðr. — [5-6]: Óláfr’s vision of the ladder ascending to heaven is said to have occurred on the eve of the battle of Stiklestad (see Chase 2005, 30-4, where there is a discussion of the typological significance of the ladder as a means of entry to heaven). On the parallel between Christ’s Cross and a ladder, see also Anon Líkn 34 and Note. Óláfr’s vision is not found in the early vernacular accounts of his miracles, and is likely to have been a learned borrowing rather than a popular addition to the legend. — [6] fimr stjórnar ‘adept at leadership’: Skj B and Skald adopt Bb’s reading fimr styrjar ‘adept at fighting’.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Cederschiöld, Gustaf J. Chr., ed. 1873b. ‘Bandamanna saga’. Acta Universitatis Lundensis 10.
  4. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. Cederschiöld, Gustaf J. Chr., ed. 1873a. Geisli eða Óláfs Drápa ens Helga er Einarr orti Skúlason: efter ‘Bergsboken’ utgifven. Acta Universitatis Lundensis 10. Lund: Berling.
  6. Chase, Martin, ed. 2005. Einarr Skúlason’s Geisli. A Critical Edition. Toronto Old Norse and Icelandic Studies 1. Toronto, Buffalo and London: Toronto University Press.
  7. Flat 1860-8 = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and C. R. Unger, eds. 1860-8. Flateyjarbók. En samling af norske konge-sagaer med indskudte mindre fortællinger om begivenheder i og udenfor Norge samt annaler. 3 vols. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  8. Internal references
  9. George S. Tate (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Líknarbraut 34’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 266-8.
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