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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Rv Lv 11II

Judith Jesch (ed.) 2009, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali Kolsson, Lausavísur 11’ 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, pp. 588-9.

Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali KolssonLausavísur

text and translation

Ala kvezk Einarr vilja
engan Rǫgnvalds drengja
— mér kemr Gauts á góma
gjalfr — nema jarlinn sjalfan.
Veitk, at hratzk í heitum
hugþekkr firum ekki;
inn gekk, Yggs þars brunnu
eldar síð á kveldi.

Einarr kvezk vilja ala engan drengja Rǫgnvalds nema jarlinn sjalfan; {gjalfr Gauts} kemr á góma mér. Veitk, at ekki hugþekkr firum hratzk í heitum; gekk inn, þars {eldar Yggs} brunnu síð á kveldi.
‘Einarr said that he wished to entertain none of the followers of Rǫgnvaldr except the jarl himself; the roaring sea of Gautr <= Óðinn> [POETRY] comes to my palate. I know that [the one] not amiable to men overturned his promises; I went in where the fires of Yggr <= Óðinn> [SWORDS] burned late in the evening.

notes and context

After the shipwreck, Rǫgnvaldr sent twelve of his men to stay with Einarr in Gulberwick (Gullberuvík), either at the present farm called Wick (ÍF 34, 198 n. 1) or ‘the old farm of Trebister’ (Taylor 1938, 391 n. 4).

In contrast to the st., which states that Einarr was only willing to offer hospitality to the jarl, the saga says that Einarr would only accept these men if the jarl came too (the translation of the st. in Skj B seems to have been influenced by the prose). The prose context also implies that Rǫgnvaldr spoke this st. before going in to Einarr’s farm, while l. 7 of the st. suggests the opposite. — [5-6]: Skj B (followed by Orkn 1913-16) adopts R702ˣ’s readings throughout these ll., giving veitk at vatzk í heitum; hann var ekki firum þekkr, interpreted more or less as ‘I know that he got entangled in threats; he was not beloved of men’. This makes good enough sense in itself but it is not clear how it relates to the rest of the st. The reading adopted here (largely following ÍF 34) is admittedly awkward and also hard to reconcile with the rest of the st., but is chosen in an attempt to make sense of the main ms. Ultimately, the lack of a detailed and unambiguous context for the st. makes it difficult to arrive at a definitive interpretation.



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: Rǫgnvaldr jarl kali Kolsson, Lausavísur 11: AI, 507, BI, 481, Skald I, 236, NN §2795; Flat 1860-8, II, 474-5, Orkn 1887, 151, Orkn 1913-16, 219, ÍF 34, 198 (ch. 85), Bibire 1988, 230.


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