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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eyv Lv 8I

Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Lausavísur 8’ 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. 226.

Eyvindr skáldaspillir FinnssonLausavísur

text and translation

Bôrum, Ullr, of alla,
ímunlauks, á hauka
fjǫllum Fýrisvalla
fræ Hôkunar ævi.
Nú hefr folkstríðir Fróða
fáglýjaðra þýja
meldr í móður holdi
mellu dolgs of folginn.

Bôrum {fræ Fýrisvalla} á {fjǫllum hauka} of alla ævi Hôkunar, {Ullr {ímunlauks}}. Nú hefr {folkstríðir} of folginn {meldr {fáglýjaðra þýja Fróða}} í holdi {móður {dolgs mellu}}.
‘We bore the seed of Fýrisvellir [GOLD] on the mountains of hawks [HANDS] during the whole of Hákon’s lifetime, Ullr <god> of the battle-leek [SWORD > WARRIOR]. Now the afflicter of the people [= Haraldr] has hidden the flour of the little-satisfied bondswomen of Fróði <legendary king> [= Fenja and Menja > GOLD] in the flesh of the mother of the enemy of the giantess [= Þórr > = Jǫrð (jǫrð ‘earth’)].

notes and context

Fsk places Lv 8 and 9 after Lv 12, with the comment that the sons of Eiríkr have become grasping and pay no heed to the laws of the land; they bury their treasure in the ground like peasants and fail to pay their entourage. The explanation in Hkr is similar. In SnE, the first helmingr is used to exemplify the ‘seed of Hrólfr kraki’ pattern of gold-kenning (see Note to ll. 3-4). In TGT ll. 1-2 are cited by Óláfr Þórðarson to illustrate his Latin source’s account of a poetic blemish (vitium) termed collisio, where the consonant [m] stands between two vowels (see Note to l. 1).

The ideology underlying the kennings in this lausavísa is discussed in detail by Frank (1978, 57-60). Lv 8 and 9 are remarkable for their recurrent hendingar using the sounds [ll] or [l], along with other close imitative effects, both phonological and lexical.



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 8: AI, 73, BI, 64, Skald I, 39-40; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 226, IV, 62-3, ÍF 26, 201-2, Hkr 1991, I, 133 (HGráf ch. 1), F 1871, 86; Fms 1, 50, Fms 12, 30-1, ÓT 1958-2000, I, 49 (ch. 31); Fsk 1902-3, 54 (ch. 13), ÍF 29, 99 (ch. 14); SnE 1848-87, I, 398-9, II, 321, 362, 580-1, SnE 1931, 142, SnE 1998, I, 59; SnE 1848-87, II, 108-9, TGT 1884, 16, 71, TGT 1927, 48, TGT 1998, 124-5; Krause 1990, 243-9.


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