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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eskál Vell 12I

Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Einarr skálaglamm Helgason, Vellekla 12’ 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. 298.

Einarr skálaglamm HelgasonVellekla

text and translation

Hvarfat aptr, áðr erfðan,
óðstafr, fǫður hafði,
(herforðuðr réð Hǫrða)
hjǫrveðrs (konungs fjǫrvi).
Varðat Freyr, sás fœri,
folkskíðs, né mun síðan,
— því bregðr ǫld við aðra —
jarls ríki framm slíku.

ðstafr {hjǫrveðrs}} hvarfat aptr, áðr hafði erfðan fǫður; {herforðuðr} réð fjǫrvi {konungs Hǫrða}. Varðat {Freyr {folkskíðs}}, né mun síðan, sás fœri framm slíku ríki jarls; því bregðr ǫld við aðra.
‘The furious stave of the sword-storm [BATTLE > WARRIOR] did not return before he had done honour to his father’s memory; the army-protector [RULER] had power over the life of the king of the Hǫrðar [NORWEGIAN KING = Haraldr gráfeldr]. There has not been a Freyr <god> of the battle-ski [SWORD > WARRIOR], nor will there be afterwards, who proceeded with such power of a jarl; so say the people to one another.

notes and context

Haraldr gráfeldr, who had Hákon’s father Sigurðr Grjótgarðsson killed, is lured into a trap in Limafjǫrðr (Limfjorden) instigated by Hákon jarl with the complicity of the Danish king, Haraldr blátǫnn ‘Blue-tooth’. Haraldr gráfeldr dies in the battle. The Danish king installs Hákon as his jarl in Norway.



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 13: AI, 125, BI, 119, Skald I, 67, NN §§400, 1884B, 2240A; Fsk 1902-3, 68-9 (ch. 14), ÍF 29, 111 (ch. 16).


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