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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eyv Hák 17I

R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Hákonarmál 17’ 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. 190.

Eyvindr skáldaspillir FinnssonHákonarmál

text and translation

‘Gerðar órar,’         kvað inn góði konungr,
        ‘viljum vér sjalfir hafa;
hjalm ok brynju         skal hirða vel;
        gótt es til gǫrs at taka.’

‘Vér viljum sjalfir hafa gerðar órar,’ kvað inn góði konungr; ‘skal hirða vel hjalm ok brynju; gótt es at taka til gǫrs.’
‘‘We ourselves [I myself] wish to keep our [my] armour,’ said the good king; ‘one should take good care of one’s helmet and mail-shirt; it is good to have recourse to ready gear.’

notes and context

As for st. 1.

Hákon’s desire to keep his weapons (which recalls the image of slain princes sitting fully armed in st. 9) has been variously explained. Olsen (1916a) explains it as a sign that he wishes to be prepared at all times for the great final battle of the einherjar, and Paasche (1916) as a necessary precaution in the presence of Eiríkr and his allies (rendering ironic Bragi’s reassurance in the preceding stanza that Hákon has eight brothers in Valhǫll). See also Holm-Olsen (1953, 161).



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: Eyvindr Finnsson skáldaspillir, 1. Hákonarmál 17: AI, 67, BI, 59, Skald I, 37, NN §1055; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 221, IV, 60, ÍF 26, 196, Hkr 1991, I, 128 (HákGóð ch. 31/32), F 1871, 84-5; Möbius 1860, 234, Jón Helgason 1968, 28, Krause 1990, 121-2.


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