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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eyv Lv 2I

Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Lausavísur 2’ 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. 216.

Eyvindr skáldaspillir FinnssonLausavísur
123

Samira, Njǫrðr, enn norðar,
naddregns, hvǫtum þegni
— vér getum bili at bǫlva —
borðmœrar skæ fœra.
Nús, þats rekr á Rakna
rymleið flota breiðan
— grípum vér í greipar
gunnborð — Haraldr sunnan.

Samira hvǫtum þegni, {Njǫrðr {naddregns}}, fœra {skæ {borðmœrar}} enn norðar; vér getum at bǫlva bili. Nús, þats Haraldr rekr breiðan flota sunnan á {rymleið Rakna}; grípum vér {gunnborð} í greipar.

It does not befit a brave man, {Njǫrðr <god> {of the spear-rain}} [BATTLE > WARRIOR = Hákon], to take {the horse {of the gunwale-land}} [SEA > SHIP] still further north; we curse delay. Now it is coming about that Haraldr drives his broad fleet from the south on {the roaring path of Rakni <sea-king>} [SEA]; let us grasp {the battle-board} [SHIELD] in our hands.

Mss: (101r-v), F(17vb), J1ˣ(61v), J2ˣ(57v) (Hkr); 61(5vb), Bb(7va-b), 325IX 1 a(2va), Flat(8ra) (ÓT); FskBˣ(9r-v), FskAˣ(48) (Fsk); Þb106ˣ(9v), Þb112ˣ(9v) (Ldn)

Readings: [1] Samira: sannra Bb, samir at Flat, FskBˣ, samir á FskAˣ, ‘Bamir a’ Þb106ˣ, Þb112ˣ;    Njǫrðr: so J1ˣ, J2ˣ, norðr Kˣ, F, 61, Bb, 325IX 1 a, FskAˣ, njǫrð FskBˣ, ‘mord’ or ‘niord’ Þb106ˣ, morð Þb112ˣ;    enn: so F, J2ˣ, Bb, FskBˣ, FskAˣ, Þb112ˣ, en Kˣ, J1ˣ, 61, 325IX 1 a, Þb106ˣ, þá er Flat;    norðar: norðan Flat    [2] nadd‑: ‘nað’ J1ˣ, J2ˣ, FskAˣ, ‘nad’ Þb106ˣ, Þb112ˣ;    ‑regns: ‘rengs’ J1ˣ;    hvǫtum: ‘hv(gg)tum’(?) J1ˣ    [3] vér: oss Þb106ˣ, Þb112ˣ;    getum: gerum Flat, gerðum FskBˣ, samir Þb106ˣ, Þb112ˣ;    bili: bils Flat, bil Þb106ˣ, Þb112ˣ    [4] borð‑: blá FskBˣ, FskAˣ;    ‑mœrar: ‘m(æ)rar’(?) Bb, ‘męra’ Flat, ‘mæyar’ FskBˣ;    skæ: so F, J1ˣ, J2ˣ, 61, FskBˣ, FskAˣ, Þb106ˣ, Þb112ˣ, ‘kæ’ Kˣ, ‘sk(œ)’(?) 325IX 1 a, skír Bb, sker 325IX 1 a, ‘sko᷎r’ Flat    [5] þats (‘þat er’): þat F, þar er Flat, Þb106ˣ, Þb112ˣ;    rekr: ‘rø̨tt’ F, ‘raukkr’ 61, reykr Bb, 325IX 1 a, ‘rykr’ Flat;    á: enn F, um Flat, at Þb106ˣ, Þb112ˣ;    Rakna: regni FskBˣ    [6] rym‑: ‘rím’ F, ‘rum’ FskBˣ, FskAˣ, rá Þb106ˣ, Þb112ˣ, ‘ra(r)’(?) Þb112ˣ;    ‑leið: seið F, skeiðs FskBˣ, stóð Þb106ˣ, Þb112ˣ;    flota: konungr Þb106ˣ, Þb112ˣ;    breiðan: breiðum Bb, 325IX 1 a, slóðar Þb106ˣ, Þb112ˣ    [7] vér: oss Þb106ˣ, Þb112ˣ;    greipar: greipum 61    [8] ‑borð: bráðr 61, Flat, bræðr Bb, 325IX 1 a;    Haraldr: Haralds Bb, 325IX 1 a;    sunnan: om. Þb106ˣ, Þb112ˣ

Editions: Skj AI, 71, Skj BI, 62-3, Skald I, 39; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 210, IV, 53-4, ÍF 26, 184, Hkr 1991, I, 118 (HákGóð ch. 28), F 1871, 80; Fms 1, 42, Fms 12, 28-9, ÓT 1958-2000, I, 41 (ch. 25), Flat 1860-8, I, 59; Fsk 1902-3, 37-8 (ch. 11), ÍF 29, 85 (ch. 12); Ldn 1921, 35, Ldn 1958, 19, ÍF 1, 66; Krause 1990, 210-16.

Context: In Hkr, ÓT and Fsk, this follows Lv 1 (see Context). Hákon abandons his meal and consults his advisers. He sees that he is outnumbered by the fleet sailing from the south and would take evasive action if he could do so honourably. Eyvindr now speaks Lv 2. In Ldn, by contrast, the stanza is ascribed to Þorgeirr hǫggvinkinni ‘Cut-cheek’, a member of Hákon’s entourage, who is about to commence a voyage northwards to Bjarmaland (Permia) when king Haraldr sails up from the south. Þorgeirr supports Hákon in the battle of Fitjar, receiving the wound to the cheek that gives him his nickname.

Notes: [All]: The ascription to Þorgeirr in Ldn, mentioned above, is rejected by all scholars (e.g. ÍF 1, 66 n.) but is interesting as hinting at divergent traditions in the transmission of skaldic verses. — [1] enn norðar ‘still further north’: Most mss have en or enn; adverbial enn ‘still’ is assumed here, and this is a possible interpretation of the reading en in some mss. Thus the skald’s words could voice criticism of Hákon for retreating (or contemplating retreat) in the face of the threat from Haraldr. Editors have suggested that enn carries little emphasis here and have cautioned against this reading (ÍF 26, and ÍF 29 implicitly), but the possibility of such criticism cannot be excluded. Alternatively, the situation implied in the stanza, read independently of the prose, might be that at the time that the threat announced itself Hákon had been intending to continue his itinerary of seasonal feasts (veizlur) in a northerly direction. — [3] getum at bǫlva ‘curse’: Geta ‘to get, be able’ is probably a pleonastic auxiliary here.  — [4] borðmœrar ‘of the gunwale-land [SEA]’: Borð ‘gunwale, strake, plank’ may be used here, as frequently, pars pro toto for ‘ship’ (cf. ÍF 26). The reading blámœrar ‘of the blue land [sea]’ in some Fsk mss represents an adj. plus noun construction that has some parallels (Meissner 3; cf. Note to Gsind Hákdr 1/2). It is poorly supported in the paradosis, but it is just conceivable that it is the original reading and that the majority reading has arisen by anticipation from gunnborð ‘battle-board [SHIELD]’ in l. 8. — [5-6, 8] Haraldr rekr breiðan flota sunnan á rymleið Rakna ‘Haraldr drives his broad fleet from the south on the roaring path of Rakni <sea-king> [SEA]’: The Ldn text deviates considerably here, and can be construed in context as follows (ÍF 1): Haraldr konungr rekr rástóð sunnan at slóðar Rakna ‘King Haraldr drives his yard-arm-stud [FLEET] from the south towards the tracks of Rakni [SEA]’. Konráð Gíslason (1892, 68-9) sees this as a case of re-working of the text, with rástóð ‘yard-arm-stud [FLEET]’, which fits well with the verb reka ‘drive’, representing a refinement upon Eyvindr’s original during subsequent transmission. But the possibility cannot be excluded that Ldn here represents a sound early tradition. — [6] breiðan ‘broad’: Haraldr’s fleet, with its superior numbers, is seen as presenting a broad front to its opponent (cf. Hkr 1893-1901, IV). — [7] í greipar ‘in our hands’: Shields of the standard circular wooden type had a central rounded boss of iron to protect the left hand, which grasped a bar on the back (Graham-Campbell and Batey 1998, 35-6).

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. Meissner = Meissner, Rudolf. 1921. Die Kenningar der Skalden: Ein Beitrag zur skaldischen Poetik. Rheinische Beiträge und Hülfsbücher zur germanischen Philologie und Volkskunde 1. Bonn and Leipzig: Schroeder. Rpt. 1984. Hildesheim etc.: Olms.
  5. Flat 1860-8 = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and C. R. Unger, eds. 1860-8. Flateyjarbók. En samling af norske konge-sagaer med indskudte mindre fortællinger om begivenheder i og udenfor Norge samt annaler. 3 vols. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  6. ÍF 1 (parts 1 and 2) = Íslendingabók; Landnámabók. Ed. Jakob Benediktsson. 1968. Rpt. as one volume 1986.
  7. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  8. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  9. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  10. F 1871 = Unger, C. R., ed. 1871. Fríssbók: Codex Frisianus. En samling af norske konge-sagaer. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  11. Fsk 1902-3 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1902-3. Fagrskinna: Nóregs kononga tal. SUGNL 30. Copenhagen: Møller.
  12. ÍF 29 = Ágrip af Nóregskonunga sǫgum; Fagrskinna—Nóregs konungatal. Ed. Bjarni Einarsson. 1985.
  13. ÓT 1958-2000 = Ólafur Halldórsson, ed. 1958-2000. Saga Óláfs Tryggvasonar en mesta. 3 vols. EA A 1-3. Copenhagen: Munksgaard (Reitzel).
  14. Konráð Gíslason, ed. 1892. Udvalg af oldnordiske skjaldekvad, med anmærkninger. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  15. Krause, Arnulf, ed. 1990. Die Dichtung des Eyvindr skáldaspillir: Edition-Kommentar-Untersuchungen. Altnordische Bibliothek 10. Leverkusen: Literaturverlag Norden Mark Reinhardt.
  16. Graham-Campbell, James and Colleen E. Batey. 1998. Vikings in Scotland: An Archaeological Survey. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
  17. Ldn 1921 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1921b. Landnámabók. Melabók AM 106. 112 fol. Copenhagen and Kristiania (Oslo): Gyldendal, Nordisk Forlag.
  18. Ldn 1958 = Jakob Benediktsson, ed. 1958. Landnámabók: Ljósprentun handrita. Reykjavík: Stofnun Árna Magnússonar.
  19. Internal references
  20. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Heimskringla (Hkr)’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols [check printed volume for citation].
  21. Not published: do not cite (LdnIV)
  22. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘Fagrskinna (Fsk)’ 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, pp. clix-clxi.
  23. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘The Greatest Saga of Óláfr Tryggvason / Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar in mesta (ÓT)’ 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, pp. clxiii-clxvi.
  24. Not published: do not cite (HákGóðII)
  25. Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Guthormr sindri, Hákonardrápa 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. 157.
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