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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ESk Frag 17III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Fragments 17’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 167.

Einarr SkúlasonFragments


This stanza (ESk Frag 17) is found in mss R (ll. 1-2), A, B (and 744ˣ) and C (ll. 1-2) of Skm (SnE). Ms. A, which contains the entire stanza, is the main ms. The full name of the poet (Einarr Skúlason) is given in all mss, but in B he is mistakenly identified as Einarr skálaglamm ‘Tinkle-scales’ (EskálI). The stanza describes a sea-voyage, and it may have been part of an encomium or composed under similar circumstances as ESk Lv 8-9, 14-15.

text and translation

Œsir hvasst at hraustum
Himinglæva þyt sævar
— glymr Unnar vex — grenni
Gǫndlar skúfs ok Dúfa.
Brædd strýkr Blóðughadda
— brimsolgin fellr Kolga —
hlýr, þars Hefring stœrir
haflauðr of við rauðan.

Himinglæva ok Dúfa œsir þyt sævar hvasst at {hraustum grenni {skúfs Gǫndlar}}; glymr Unnar vex. Blóðughadda strýkr brædd hlýr, þars Hefring stœrir haflauðr of rauðan við; Kolga fellr brimsolgin.
‘Himinglæva and Dúfa violently stir up the howling of the sea against the valiant feeder of Gǫndul’s <valkyrie’s> skua [RAVEN/EAGLE > WARRIOR]; the roar of Unnr increases. Blóðughadda strokes the tarred bows where Hefring increases the sea-foam around the red wood; Kólga falls sea-swollen.

notes and context

In Skm the stanza is cited because it enumerates the names of six of the nine daughters of Ægir, a sea-giant in Old Norse myth. Ægir is a personification of the sea, and his daughters are the waves.

All of the heiti for ‘wave’ found in this stanza are also listed in Þul Waves, and the two stanzas are indeed so similar that it is tempting to suggest that the latter, which is anonymous, may have been composed by Einarr as well. The heiti are also listed in Þul Sjóvar 4 and in the prose of Skm (SnE 1998, I, 36).



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, 12. Ubestemmelige vers, tilhørende forskellige fyrstedigte eller lausavísur 17: AI, 482, BI, 454, Skald I, 223; SnE 1848-87, I, 500-1, II, 451, 534, 600, III, 103-4, SnE 1931, 175, SnE 1998, I, 95.


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