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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ESk Frag 18III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Fragments 18’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 168.

Einarr SkúlasonFragments


The helmingr (ESk Frag 18) describes a sea-voyage during which the poet, who is identified as Einarr (no patronymic) in all mss, may have been present. It is recorded in Skm (SnE) in mss R (main ms.), , A, B and C. Ms. B is now too damaged to be read with any certainty, and 744ˣ has been used in its place.

text and translation

Né framlyndir fundu
fyrr, (hykkat lô kyrrðu)
þars sær á við varra
(vini óra) fell stórum.

Framlyndir né fundu fyrr, þars sær fell stórum á {við varra}; hykkat lô kyrrðu vini óra.
‘The confident ones did not discover it earlier, where the sea fell violently on the wood of the wake [SHIP]; I do not believe the wave calmed our friends.

notes and context

Lá is given among the heiti for ‘wave’ in Skm.

The sense of the helmingr is that, during a sea-voyage, the poet’s friends were surprised by a wave that either hit the ship or poured in over the railing.



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 18: AI, 482, BI, 454, Skald I, 223, NN §961; SnE 1848-87, I, 502-3, II, 452, 535, 601, III, 105, SnE 1931, 176, SnE 1998, I, 96.


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