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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ESk Øxfl 8III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Øxarflokkr 8’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 148.

Einarr SkúlasonØxarflokkr

text and translation

Dœgr þrymr hvert, en hjarta
hlýrskildir ræðr mildu
Heita blakks, of hvítum
hafleygr digulskafli.
Aldri má fyr eldi
áls hrynbrautar skála
— ǫll viðr folka fellir
framræði — snæ bræða.

Hvert dœgr þrymr {hafleygr} of {hvítum digulskafli}, en {{Heita blakks hlýr}skildir} ræðr mildu hjarta. Aldri má bræða {snæ skála} fyr {eldi {hrynbrautar áls}}; {fellir folka} viðr ǫll framræði.
‘Every day the sea-flame [GOLD] rests on the white crucible-snowdrift [SILVER], and the shield-provider of the prow of Heiti’s <sea-king’s> horse [(lit. ‘prow-shield-provider of Heiti’s horse’) SHIP > SEA-WARRIOR] has a generous heart. Never can snow of scales [SILVER] be melted by fire of the eel’s resounding road [SEA > GOLD]; the feller of armies [WARRIOR] performs all glorious deeds.

notes and context

As st. 7 above. Snær skála ‘snow of scales’ is given as an example of a kenning for ‘gold’ in Skm, and in LaufE that kenning and digulskafl ‘crucible-snowdrift’ are listed as examples of kennings for ‘gold’. See Note to ll. 4, 6, 8 below.

This stanza follows st. 7 above in Skm, and it is preceded by Ok enn sem hann kvað ‘And again as he said’. In LaufE the stanza is mistakenly attributed to Einarr skálaglamm ‘Tinkle-scales’ Helgason (EskálI), the poet who composed the stanza (Eskál Hardr 1I) which precedes this stanza in that compilation. In 2368ˣ the stanza is presented as two separate helmingar. — Ms. R is damaged at the top of fol. 33r, and W, which offers the best readings, has been chosen as the main ms. Because B is almost impossible to read, 744ˣ has been used selectively here.



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, 11. Øxarflokkr(?) 8: AI, 479, BI, 451, Skald I, 222; SnE 1848-87, I, 404-7, II, 322-3, 433, 517, 582, III, 70, SnE 1931, 144, SnE 1998, I, 62; LaufE 1979, 347.


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