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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ESk Geisl 64VII

Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Geisli 64’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 59.

Einarr SkúlasonGeisli

text and translation

Hverrs svá horskr, at byrjar
hans vegs megi of segja
ljóss í lífi þessu
lofðungs gjafar tunga,
þars hreggsalar hyggjum
heitfastr jǫfurr veitir
— skreytt megu skatnar líta
skrín — dýrðar vin sínum?

Hverrs svá horskr, at hans tunga megi of segja gjafar {lofðungs {ljóss vegs byrjar}} í lífi þessu, þars hyggjum {heitfastr jǫfurr {hreggsalar}} veitir dýrðar vin sínum? Skatnar megu líta skreytt skrín.
‘Who is so wise that his tongue can tell of the gifts of the prince of the bright path of fair wind [SKY/HEAVEN > = God] in this life, where we think [that] the oath-firm king of the storm-hall [SKY/HEAVEN > = God] gives honours to his friend? Men can see the ornamented shrine.

notes and context

[5-8]: The second helmingr differs substantially between Flat and Bb, and neither is fully satisfactory. Here Flat’s version is followed, beginning with a subordinate cl., (‘in this life, where’) and assuming a suppressed at (which is quite irregular), while Bb’s (followed by Skj B and Skald), begins with the rel. pron. þær es (f. pl.), referring directly back to gjafar (l. 4). Following the Bb text (with minor emendation of ‘hims’ to heims in l. 5 and skrín to skríns in l. 8) gives the following sense: þærs heitfastr jǫfurr heims ok himna veitir sínum dýrðarvin – skreytt skríns of dróttin skatna ‘(the gifts) which the oath-firm king of the world and the heavens grants to his honoured friend – an ornamented shrine stands [lit. is] above the lord of men’.



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 64: AI, 471, BI, 443, Skald I, 218, NN §950; Flat 1860-8, I, 7, Cederschiöld 1873, 9, Chase 2005, 114, 164.


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