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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ESk Frag 4III

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Fragments 4’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 155.

Einarr SkúlasonFragments


Jón Sigurðsson (SnE 1848-87, III, 356) assigned this half-stanza (ESk Frag 4) to Einarr’s panegyric about Haraldr gillikristr ‘Servant of Christ’ Magnússon (r. 1130-6) (ESk Hardr III). Although the helmingr appears to have been part of a royal encomium, there is no evidence to support such an attribution. The stanza is preserved in mss R (main ms.), , W, U, A and C of Skm (SnE) and also in LaufE (mss 2368ˣ, 743ˣ). The poet’s name is given as Einarr (without patronymic) in all mss of SnE and in ms. 2368ˣ of LaufE. In 743ˣ the stanza is preceded by so sem q Bersi [open space] og Einar skalagl ‘as Bersi said … and Einarr skálagl[amm]’. This must have resulted from scribal confusion: in SnE the stanza is preceded by HólmgB Lv 6/1-4V (Korm 40) and followed by Eskál Vell 34I. The half-stanza is also preserved in RE 1665(Ii3), which has no independent value.

text and translation

Glymvindi lætr Gǫndlar
— gnestr hjǫrr — taka mestum
Hildar segl, þars hagli,
hraustr þengill, drífr strengjar.

Hraustr þengill lætr {segl Hildar} taka {mestum glymvindi Gǫndlar}, þars drífr {hagli strengjar}; hjǫrr gnestr.
‘The brave ruler makes Hildr’s <valkyrie’s> sail [SHIELD] catch the strongest roaring wind of Gǫndul <valkyrie> [BATTLE] where hail of the bow-string [ARROWS] is driven; the sword crashes.

notes and context

Glymvindr Gǫndlar ‘the roaring wind of Gǫndul’ is listed as one of several examples of battle-kennings in Skm. In LaufE, vindr Gǫndlar ‘the wind of Gǫndul’ is a kenning for ‘battle’.



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 4: AI, 480, BI, 452, Skald I, 222; SnE 1848-87, I, 418-19, II, 327, 438, 587, III, 77-8, SnE 1931, 149, SnE 1998, I, 67; LaufE 1979, 383.


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