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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ESk Geisl 71VII

Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Geisli 71’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 64-5.

Einarr SkúlasonGeisli

text and translation

Bœn hefk, þengill, þína,
þrekrammr, stoðat framla;
iflaust hǫfum jǫfri
unnit mærð, sem kunnum.
Ágætr, segið, ítran,
Eysteinn, hvé brag leystak
— hôs elskið veg vísa
vagnræfrs — en ek þagna.

Þrekrammr þengill, hefk framla stoðat bœn þína; iflaust hǫfum unnit jǫfri mærð, sem kunnum. Ágætr Eysteinn, segið, hvé leystak ítran brag; elskið veg {vísa {hôs vagnræfrs}}; en ek þagna.
‘Courage-strong prince, I have excellently fulfilled your request; without a doubt we [I] have made praise to the king as we are [I am] able. Excellent Eysteinn, say how I have delivered the outstanding poem; love the honour of the king of the high wagon-roof [SKY/HEAVEN > = God]; and I fall silent.

notes and context

[5, 7]: segið ‘say’ and elskið ‘love’ (both 2nd pers. pl. imp.), which are Bb’s readings, are preferred here, and constitute a direct exhortation to Eysteinn. Flat’s ‘elskik’ (l. 7), if taken as elskak ‘I love’ or ‘may I love’, is also possible, if understood as a pious, self-reflexive exclamation by the poet. See Chase 2005, 121 and 169-70 for such a reading. — [5, 6]: The rhyming epithet in Flat (œztan / Eysteinn ‘best / Eysteinn’) is clever, and may be what caused the Flat scribe to omit the name Eysteinn in l. 6: a kind of haplography by aural association. But the rhyme of l. 5 is imperfect and the Bb reading, ítran ‘glorious/outstanding’, is therefore preferable.



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 71: AI, 472-3, BI, 445, Skald I, 219, NN §2056; Flat 1860-8, I, 7, Cederschiöld 1873, 10, Chase 2005, 121, 169-70.


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