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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eskál Vell 15I

Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Einarr skálaglamm Helgason, Vellekla 15’ 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. 303.

Einarr skálaglamm HelgasonVellekla

text and translation

Ok herþarfir hverfa
(Hlakkar móts) til blóta
(rauðbríkar fremsk rœkir
ríkr) ásmegir (slíku).
Nú grœr jǫrð sem áðan;
aptr geirbrúar hapta
auðrýrir lætr ôru
óhryggva vé byggva.

Ok herþarfir ásmegir hverfa til blóta; {ríkr rœkir {rauðbríkar {móts Hlakkar}}} fremsk slíku. Nú grœr jǫrð sem áðan; {auðrýrir} lætr {ôru {geirbrúar}} byggva vé hapta aptr óhryggva.
‘And the sons of the Æsir, beneficial to the people, turn to the sacrifices; the powerful keeper of the red board of the meeting of Hlǫkk <valkyrie> [BATTLE > SHIELD > WARRIOR = Hákon jarl] prospers from this. Now the earth flourishes as before; the wealth-diminisher [GENEROUS MAN] lets the messengers of the spear-bridge [SHIELD > WARRIORS] once again inhabit the sanctuaries of the gods without sorrow.

notes and context

For Hkr see the previous stanza. After st. 12, which relates Hákon’s return from Denmark, Fsk reports that Hákon begins sacrificing with even greater zeal than before, whereupon the harvest quickly improves, the grain begins growing again, the herring return and the earth blossoms.

[5]: The hending is missing from this line, but there is no reason to restore it as proposed by Konráð Gíslason (1895-7, I, 126). The line is reminiscent of Vsp 59, where the green earth rises again out of the sea (Olsen 1962a, 44). ‘now’ constitutes the link to the previous sentence, because the newly growing earth is portrayed as the result of the renewed heathen sacrifices. Hkr (ÍF 26, 221) gives an account of harvests failing and herring disappearing during the rule of the Eiríkssynir (Gunnhildarsynir), and of abundance restored during the rule of Hákon jarl (ÍF 26, 243). — [6-8]: Turville-Petre (1976, 61-2) reads aptr auðrýrir geirbrúar lætr áru hapta óhryggja byggja vé ‘again the destroyer of the wealth of the spear-bridge allows the merry messengers of the gods to inhabit the temples’, but this is unconvincing because the kenning ‘the destroyer of the wealth of the spear-bridge’ is overdetermined.



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 16: AI, 126, BI, 119-20, Skald I, 67, NN §§1814D, 2240A; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 281, IV, 73-4, ÍF 26, 242, Hkr 1991, I, 161 (ÓTHkr ch. 16), F 1871, 105; Fsk 1902-3, 69 (ch. 14), ÍF 29, 111-12 (ch. 16).


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