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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ESk Geisl 69VII

Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Geisli 69’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 63-4.

Einarr SkúlasonGeisli

text and translation

Óláfs hǫfum jǫfra
orðhags kyni sagðar
(fylgir hugr) ins helga
happsdáðir (því ráði).
Laun fôm holl, ef hônum
(hræsíks þrimu) líkar,
gǫfugs óðar (hjalp gœðum
guðs blessan) lofs þessa.

Hǫfum sagðar kyni jǫfra happsdáðir orðhags Óláfs ins helga; fylgir hugr því ráði. Fôm holl laun gǫfugs óðar, þessa lofs, ef hônum líkar; guðs blessan, hjalp {gœðum {þrimu {hræsíks}}}.
‘We [I] have told the family of the kings the blessed deeds of eloquent Óláfr the holy; the mind supports that undertaking. We [I] shall receive a kind reward for the splendid poem, this praise, if it pleases him [Óláfr]; God’s blessing, help the increasers of the storm of the corpse-fish [SWORD > BATTLE > WARRIORS].

notes and context

The order of this st. and the following one is reversed in Bb. — [5-8]: The second helmingr is difficult to understand. Both Skj B and Skald adopt Bb’s hreinum (l. 5), ef (l. 5) and ‘let’ (l. 7), which Finnur Jónsson interprets as létt ‘easily’ and Kock emends to lát ‘sound’. Chase 2005, 119 adopts hjǫlp ‘help’, based on Flat’s ‘hialp’. Line 7 is problematic for metrical reasons, as eds have long recognised, but the cause has not previously been adequately addressed, viz. that the word in position 4 cannot be either a noun or an adv., but must be a verb. Both Flat’s and Bb’s readings point in that direction. The present interpretation takes Flat’s text in all instances except for ef (l. 5) instead of af.



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 69: AI, 472, BI, 444-5, Skald I, 219, NN §953; Flat 1860-8, I, 7, Cederschiöld 1873, 10, Chase 2005, 119, 168.


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