Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.



Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

ESk Geisl 46VII

Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Geisli 46’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 44-5.

Einarr SkúlasonGeisli

text and translation

Mérs — því mærð skal skýra
mildings, þess’s gaf hringa,
styrjar snjalls — of stilli
styrkjan vant at yrkja,
þvít tôkn, þess’s lið læknar,
lofðungs himintungla
— ljós kemr raun of ræsi —
ranns ferr hvert á annat.

Mérs vant, at yrkja of styrkjan stilli — því skal skýra mærð styrjar snjalls mildings, þess’s gaf hringa — þvít tôkn {lofðungs {ranns himintungla}}, þess’s lið læknar, ferr hvert á annat; ljós raun kemr of ræsi.
‘It is difficult for me to compose [poetry] about the strong ruler — therefore I shall make clear the praise of the clever-in-battle prince who gave rings — because miracles of the prince of the house of heavenly bodies [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)], who heals men, go one after another; clear proof appears about the king.

notes and context

[5-8]: The helmingr works at two levels. The primary meaning is that Óláfr’s miracles are signs given by God as proof of the saint’s holiness. Þesss lið læknar ‘the one who heals men’ (l. 5) and lofðungs ranns himintungla ‘of the prince of the house of heavenly bodies’ (ll. 6, 8) clearly refer to Christ. But they can also refer to Óláfr: although the miracles are ultimately God’s, a point which Einarr emphasizes, they are also Óláfr’s in the sense that he is their efficient cause. The variant reading vinar ‘of the friend’ (vinar lofðungs ranns tungla ‘of the friend of the prince of the house of heavenly bodies [= God > = Óláfr]’), adopted in Skj B and Skald, makes the reference to Óláfr the Saint explicit in the Bb text. The two helmingar of st. 46 juxtapose not only Óláfr and Christ, but also the Óláfr who gave rings and the Óláfr who heals. These eight ll. thus concisely express the theme of the drápa, as is fitting for the st. that begins its slœmr, or concluding section.



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 46: AI, 467, BI, 438, Skald I, 216; Flat 1860-8, I, 5, Cederschiöld 1873, 7, Chase 2005, 96, 154-5.


Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.


Stanza/chapter/text segment

Use the buttons at the top of the page to navigate between stanzas in a poem.

Information tab

Interactive tab

The text and translation are given here, with buttons to toggle whether the text is shown in the verse order or prose word order. Clicking on indiviudal words gives dictionary links, variant readings, kennings and notes, where relevant.

Full text tab

This is the text of the edition in a similar format to how the edition appears in the printed volumes.

Chapter/text segment

This view is also used for chapters and other text segments. Not all the headings shown are relevant to such sections.