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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eskál Vell 9I

Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Einarr skálaglamm Helgason, Vellekla 9’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 293.

Einarr skálaglamm HelgasonVellekla

text and translation

Berk fyr hefnð, þás Hrafna
(hljóm*) lof (togins skjóma
þann) nam vǫrðr at vinna
(vann) síns fǫður hranna.

Berk lof fyr hefnð, þás {vǫrðr {Hrafna hranna}} nam at vinna fǫður síns; vann {þann hljóm* togins skjóma}.
‘I bear praise for the revenge that the guardian of the Hrafnar <horses> of the waves [SHIPS > SEAFARER] took for his father; [he] made the din of the drawn sword [BATTLE].

notes and context

Stanzas 9 and 10 are cited in uninterrupted sequence, and are introduced as Einarr’s account of how Hákon jarl avenged his father.

Vell 1865, 18 presents this helmingr together with st. 8 as one stanza, but this seems unconvincing because in Hkr and ÓT they are separated by a prose sentence (see Context). Some eds link st. 9 with 10/1-4, and that is compatible with the layout in the mss, but see Note to st. 10 [All]. — This helmingr has been the subject of many interpretations, none of which is fully convincing. Almost all interpreters agree on the following part of the stanza: fyr hefnð, þás vǫrðr hrafna hranna vann fǫður síns ‘for the revenge that the guardian of the Hrafnar <horses> of the waves [SHIPS > SEAFARER] took for his father’. Fms 12 and Konráð Gíslason (1895-7, I, 108-9) construe fǫður síns with hefnð; but since this produces a tripartite division of l. 4, it is better to leave it in the subordinate clause. For the rest of the helmingr, several emendations have been proposed and suggestions made as to how to achieve the most satisfactory sentence structure.



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 Helgason skálaglamm, 3. Vellekla 10: AI, 124, BI, 118, Skald I, 66, NN §§303B, 397, 1884B; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 237, IV, 68, ÍF 26, 210, Hkr 1991, I, 139 (HGráf ch. 6), F 1871, 90; Fms 1, 56, Fms 12, 32, ÓT 1958-2000, I, 56 (ch. 35).


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