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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Lausavísur 7’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 169.

Einarr SkúlasonLausavísur


This stanza (ESk Lv 7) is transmitted in mss R (main ms.), , W, U and A of Skm (SnE), as well as in mss 2368ˣ and 743ˣ of LaufE and in RE 1665(Kk3) (copied from a ms. close to 743ˣ and of no independent value). The poet is identified as Einarr (no patronymic) in all mss. For the attribution of this helmingr to Einarr Skúlason, see Fidjestøl (1982, 100). It is tempting to connect the stanza with the occasion (described in ESk Lv 3II) on which Einarr travelled to Denmark (c. 1053) to present a poem to the Danish king Sveinn svíðandi ‘the Singeing’ Eiríksson (r. 1147-57) and received no reward for his efforts (see ÍF 35, 275). See also Finnur Jónsson (SnE 1848-87, III, 697-8).

text and translation

Baugs, getr með þér þeygi,
þýðr, drengr vesa lengi,
(elg búum flóðs, nema fylgi)
friðstøkkvir (því nøkkvat).

Drengr getr þeygi vesa lengi með þér, {þýðr friðstøkkvir baugs}; búum {elg flóðs}, nema nøkkvat fylgi því.
‘The man certainly cannot remain long with you, kind truce-banisher of the ring [GENEROUS MAN]; we’ll ready the elk of the flood [SHIP] unless something follows [in return] for that.

notes and context

Elgr flóðs ‘elk of the flood’ is given as an illustration of a ship-kenning in both Skm and LaufE.



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. Lausavísur 4: AI, 483, BI, 455, Skald I, 224; SnE 1848-87, I, 444-5, II, 332, 443, III, 87-8, SnE 1931, 157, SnE 1998, I, 75; LaufE 1979, 394.


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