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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eyv Hák 21I

R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Hákonarmál 21’ 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. 193.

Eyvindr skáldaspillir FinnssonHákonarmál
2021

text and translation

Deyr fé,         deyja frændr,
        eyðisk land ok láð,
síz Hôkun fór         með heiðin goð;
        mǫrg es þjóð of þéuð.

Fé deyr, frændr deyja, land ok láð eyðisk, síz Hôkun fór með heiðin goð; mǫrg þjóð es of þéuð.
 
‘Livestock are dying, kinsfolk are dying, land and realm become deserted, since Hákon went with the heathen gods; many a nation is enslaved.

notes and context

In Hkr, as for st. 1. In Fsk, as for st. 19.

On the desolation of the land after Hákon’s death, see also Eyv Lv 12-14. The images of desolation in this stanza have been seen by Larsen (1943-6, II, 316) as an expression of sacral kingship, or pagan belief in the magical connexion between the king’s person and the fruitfulness of the land. — [1-2]: Cf. Hávm 76-7. De Vries (1964-7, I, 145 n. 83) asserts that this borrowing from Hávm is too direct, and the final stanza must therefore be a later poet’s addition. Holm-Olsen (1953, 159) and Marold (1972, 24) argue that Eyvindr’s audience would have known what follows in Hávm: the assertion that fame never dies. Eyvindr thus manages both to praise Hákon and to conclude on a note of desolation with an artful contrast. Marold (1972) and Clunies Ross (2005a, 51) detect an ambivalent attitude towards heathenism in the unremitting gloom produced by the contrast of the remainder of the stanza with the corresponding lines in Hávm.

readings

sources

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 21: AI, 68, BI, 60, Skald I, 37; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 221, IV, 61, ÍF 26, 197, Hkr 1991, I, 129 (HákGóð ch. 31/32), F 1871, 84; Fsk 1902-3, 48 (ch. 12), ÍF 29, 94 (ch. 13); Möbius 1860, 234, Jón Helgason 1968, 28, Krause 1990, 135-7.

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