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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ESk Geisl 28VII

Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Geisli 28’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 29-30.

Einarr SkúlasonGeisli

text and translation

Gekk sínum bur søkkvir
sólar straums í drauma,
— vald lézk fylgja foldar
framlyndum gram myndu —
áðr á Hlýrskógsheiði
harðgeðr konungr barðisk
— góðs eldis naut gyldir
gnótt — við heiðnar dróttir.

{Søkkvir {sólar straums}} gekk bur sínum í drauma — {vald foldar} lézk myndu fylgja framlyndum gram —, áðr harðgeðr konungr barðisk við heiðnar dróttir á Hlýrskógsheiði; gyldir naut gnótt góðs eldis.
‘The enemy of the sun of the stream [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN] appeared to his son in a dream — the strength of the land [= Óláfr] said he would help the forward-striving prince — before the hard-minded king fought against the heathen hosts at Lyrskovshede; the wolf enjoyed an abundance of good food.

notes and context

H and Hr quote this st. in their account of the battle of Lyrskovshede. It is introduced as follows: Þess getr Einar Skúlason í Óláfsdrápu, at Óláfr konungr sýndisk Magnúsi konúngi í svefni fyrir þenna bardaga, ok hꜵt at veita honum lið. Hann segir svá ... ‘Einarr Skúlason tells of this in Óláfsdrápa: that King Óláfr showed himself to King Magnús in a dream before this battle, and promised to give him assistance. He says...’.

The miracle of Óláfr’s appearance to his son Magnús in a dream the night before the battle of Hlýrskógsheiðr (Lyrskovshede) is also recounted in C12th historical writings, including Theodoricus’s Historia de Antiquitate Regum Norwagiensium (MHN 48-50), Saxo Grammaticus’s Gesta Danorum (Olrik & Ræder 1931-57, I, 302-3) and Ágr 1929, 37-8; for discussion see Chase 2005, 38-9.



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 28: AI, 464, BI, 434, Skald I, 214; Flat 1860-8, I, 3-4, Cederschiöld 1873, 4-5, Chase 2005, 78, 146; Fms 6, 66.


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