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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eyv Lv 4I

Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Lausavísur 4’ 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. 219.

Eyvindr skáldaspillir FinnssonLausavísur

text and translation

Baðat valgrindar vinda
veðrheyjandi Skreyju
gumnum hollr né golli
Gefnar sinni stefnu:
‘Ef søkkspenni svinnan,
sigrminnigr, vilt finna,
framm halt, njótr, at nýtum
Norðmanna gram, hranna.’

{{{{Valgrindar} Gefnar} veðr}heyjandi}, hollr gumnum né golli, baðat Skreyju vinda stefnu sinni: ‘Ef, sigrminnigr, vilt finna {svinnan søkkspenni}, halt framm at {nýtum gram Norðmanna}, {njótr hranna}.’
‘The enacter of the storm of the Gefn <= Freyja> of the slaughter-gate [(lit. ‘storm-enacter of the Gefn of the slaughter-gate’) SHIELD > VALKYRIE > BATTLE > WARRIOR = Hákon], loyal to men, not to gold, did not bid [Eyvindr] Skreyja (‘Wretch’) to alter his course: ‘If, mindful of victory, you wish to meet a wise treasure-grasper [RULER], keep straight ahead to the capable king of the Norwegians [= Hákon], user of the waves [SWIMMER = Eyvindr skreyja].’

notes and context

As the two sides engage at Fitjar, Hákon and his opponents exchange taunts. Eyvindr skreyja asks where the king is, wondering if he has hidden or fled, to which Hákon replies loudly, ‘Haltu svá fram stefnunni, ef þú vill finna Norðmanna konung’, ‘Keep coming in this direction, if you want to meet the king of the Norwegians’ (Hkr, cf. the somewhat more elaborate account in Fsk). Eyvindr skáldaspillir’s stanza is cited in corroboration.

Direct speech within a skaldic stanza is rare, and Eyvindr may here be building upon memories of an actual exchange of taunts in the battle (cf. Note to Lv 1 [All]). The wording of the speech in the stanza and the prose narrative (Context above) is closely similar: see Fidjestøl (1993c, 89-90) for discussion.



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, 3. Lausavísur 4: AI, 72, BI, 63, Skald I, 39, NN §§1057, 1783; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 215, IV, 56-7, ÍF 26, 189, Hkr 1991, I, 121-2 (HákGóð ch. 31), F 1871, 82; Fsk 1902-3, 43-4 (ch. 12), ÍF 29, 90 (ch. 13); Krause 1990, 220-4.


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