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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eþver Lv 1I

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2012, ‘Einarr þveræingr Eyjólfsson, Lausavísa 1’ 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. 804.

Einarr þveræingr EyjólfssonLausavísa1

text and translation

Trautt erumk lausa at láta
— leiðs oss konungs reiði —
(gjarn es gramr at arna)
Grímsey (of trǫð fleyja).
Hǫldum vér fyr hildar
— hanns dýrr konungr — stýri
holmgjarðar — fremsk hilmir
hagli peitu — nagla.

Erumk trautt at láta Grímsey lausa; reiði konungs [e]s oss leið; gramr es gjarn at arna of {trǫð fleyja}. Hǫldum vér {nagla {holmgjarðar}} fyr {stýri hildar}; hanns dýrr konungr; hilmir fremsk {hagli peitu}.
‘I am reluctant to let Grímsey go; the king’s anger is hateful to us [me]; the prince is eager to travel over the path of vessels [SEA]. Let us hold the stud of the islet-belt [SEA > ISLAND] against the controller of battle [WARRIOR]; he is a splendid king; the ruler advances himself by the hail of the spear [BATTLE].

notes and context

In ÓH (1941, I, 326-9) and Hkr (ÍF 27, 215-7), Þórarinn Nefjólfsson at the Icelandic alþingi declaims a message from King Óláfr Haraldsson that he wishes to annex the island of Grímsey in exchange for friendship and unspecified benefits. The men of the Northern quarter are most affected and, swayed in their discussion by Guðmundr Eyjólfsson of Möðruvellir, incline to accept, but then his brother Einarr, in a now-famous speech about Iceland’s past and future freedom, swings opinion against the bid. Only in 61 does he also recite the stanza.

[2]: An aðalhending involving leið ‘hateful’ and reiði ‘anger’ is also the basis for Hfr Lv 9/6V (Hallfr 12) and Stefnir Lv 2/2.



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 Eyjolfsson, þveræingr, Lausavísur 2: AI, 307, BI, 284-5, Skald I, 145; Fms 4, 282, Fms 12, 87, ÓH 1941, II, 809.


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