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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eir Lv 1II

Judith Jesch (ed.) 2009, ‘Eiríkr, Lausavísa 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 612-13.


text and translation

Bœir eru brenndir,         en búendr ræntir,
— svá hefr Sveinn hagat —         sex í morgin.
Gerði hann einum         œrinn þeira;
leigir þar kol         leigumanni.

Sex bœir eru brenndir í morgin, en búendr ræntir; Sveinn hefr hagat svá. Hann gerði œrinn einum þeira; leigir kol þar leigumanni.
‘Six farms have been burned this morning, and the farmers robbed; Sveinn has arranged this. He did plenty for [each] one of them; [he] rents out charcoal there to the one who rents.

notes and context

Having landed in Wales at an unidentified place called Jarlsnes, Sveinn Ásleifarson’s troop meet little opposition and burn six farms before dagverðr ‘breakfast’ (ÍF 34, 179).

[7-8]: These ll. are clearly intended as an expansion or explanation of the statement in ll. 5-6, but neither statement is very clear. Presumably the ironical meaning is that Sveinn ‘benefited’ the tenant farmers whose farms he has just burnt down by providing them with charcoal in the form of their own houses. A similar sentiment is expressed in Þorm Lv 18aV, 18bI.


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: Eirekr, Lausavísa: AI, 528-9, BI, 509, Skald I, 249, NN §3118; Flat 1860-8, II, 466, Orkn 1887, 137, Orkn 1913-16, 200, ÍF 34, 179-80 (ch. 78), Bibire 1988, 227-8.


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