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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ESk Geisl 67VII

Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Geisli 67’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 61-2.

Einarr SkúlasonGeisli

text and translation

Talðak fátt ór fjǫlða
friðgegns af jartegnum
(ber koma orð frá órum)
Óláfs (bragar stóli).
Bóls fái seggr, hverrs sólar
siklings, þess’s guð miklar,
hilmis ôst ins hæsta,
heiðbjartrar lof reiðir,

Talðak fátt ór fjǫlða af jartegnum friðgegns Óláfs; ber orð koma frá {órum stóli bragar}. Hverr seggr, [e]s reiðir lof {siklings {bóls heiðbjartrar sólar}}, þess’s guð miklar, fái ôst ins hæsta hilmis,
‘I have told little from the multitude of miracles of peace-loving Óláfr; clear words come from our [my] seat of poetry [MOUTH]. May each man who spreads the praise of the lord of the dwelling-place of the cloud-free sun [SKY/HEAVEN > = Óláfr], whom God makes great, receive the love of the highest Lord,

notes and context

[5-8]: There are considerable differences between Flat and Bb in the second helmingr. Neither version is unproblematic, so readings have been taken from both. The sense of ll. 5-8 is continued by the svát-cl. introducing st. 68. The interpretation offered here differs slightly from both Skj B and Kock (Skald and NN §951). Kock reads ll. 6-7 as an intercalary, adopting Flat’s l. 6, though with emendation of siklings to siklingr, and another emendation in l. 8 (heiðbjarts). Skj B takes lof hilmis ‘praise of the prince’ (Óláfr) together and constructs the kenning (st ens hæsta) siklings heiðbjartrar sólar bóls ‘(the highest love) of the king of the dwelling-place of the cloud-free sun [SKY/HEAVEN > = God]’. The cl. þess’s guð miklar ‘whom God makes great’ then depends on gen. sg. hilmis (l. 7), referring to Óláfr, which avoids the difficulty in the interpretation adopted here that the gen. phrase is the kenning siklings bóls heiðbjartrar sólar ‘lord of the dwelling-place of the cloud-free sun’, which must be assumed to refer, unusually, to the saint rather than to God.



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 67: AI, 472, BI, 444, Skald I, 219, NN §§951, 3281; Flat 1860-8, I, 7, Cederschiöld 1873, 10, Chase 2005, 117, 166.


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