Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.



Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

Rv Lv 9II

Judith Jesch (ed.) 2009, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali Kolsson, Lausavísur 9’ 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. 586-7.

Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali KolssonLausavísur

Skekk hér skinnfeld hrokkinn;
skrauts mér afar lítit;
stórrs, sás stendr of órum,
stafnvǫllr, yfirhǫfnum.
Nærgis enn af úrgum
álvangs mari gǫngum
— brim rak hest við hamra
húns — skrautligar búnir.

Skekk hér hrokkinn skinnfeld; [e]s mér afar lítit skraut; {stafnvǫllr}, sás stendr of yfirhǫfnum órum, [e]s stórr. Nærgis gǫngum enn skrautligar búnir af {úrgum mari {álvangs}}; brim rak {hest húns} við hamra.

I shake out here a wrinkled leather garment; it provides me with very little finery; {the prow-field} [SEA] which surrounds our outerwear is big. Some day we’ll go more finely dressed from {a spray-swept horse {of the eel plain}} [SEA > SHIP]; surf drove {the stallion of the mast-head} [SHIP] onto cliffs.

Mss: Flat(139va), R702ˣ(43v) (Orkn)

Readings: [1] Skekk (‘Skekk ek’): ‘Sekki ek’ R702ˣ;    hér: om. R702ˣ    [3] órum: so R702ˣ, ‘aurum’ Flat    [5] Nærgis (‘no᷎rgi er’): so R702ˣ, ‘feingr er’ Flat;    úrgum: so R702ˣ, ungum Flat    [6] álvangs: so R702ˣ, ‘alfangs’ Flat    [7] brim: heim R702ˣ    [8] skrautligar: so R702ˣ, skrautligir Flat

Editions: Skj AI, 507, Skj BI, 480-1, Skald I, 236, NN §§2063, 2205E, 2735A; Flat 1860-8, II, 474, Orkn 1887, 150, Orkn 1913-16, 218, ÍF 34, 197 (ch. 85), Bibire 1988, 229-30.

Context: As for st. 8.

Notes: [All]: After uttering st. 8, Rǫgnvaldr is offered a leather garment by the mistress of the farm where he is staying; the saga says hann ... tók hlæjandi við ok kvað ‘he ... accepted it with a laugh and spoke’ before citing st. 9. Finnbogi Guðmundsson’s interpretation of this st. (ÍF 34; similarly Bibire 1988, though his translation is not especially clear) links l. 2 with the main statement in the second helmingr, making Rǫgnvaldr say something to the effect that the leather garment just given to him will provide little finery whenever he steps better-dressed off a ship. While it is conceivable that Rǫgnvaldr is disparaging the garment by saying that he will never wear it in future, it makes more sense to see contrast rather than continuity between the two halves of the st. In ll. 1-2, Rǫgnvaldr is disparaging of a garment. In ll. 5-6, 8 he expresses the hope that in the future he will step well-dressed from his ship, in contrast to his present gear, which has been truly sodden (ll. 3-4). The st. makes no reference to a woman giving him a leather garment, and it is more natural to read l. 1 as referring to Rǫgnvaldr’s own sodden clothing which he is shaking out once on dry land. This interpretation is based on the argument made by Kock (NN §2735) that nærgis (l. 5) means not just ‘when, whenever’ (the usual meaning recorded in dictionaries), but has an additional implication of det blir kanske bättre en annan gång ‘things may be better another time’; he cites Egill Lv 19V, Þorm Lv 1V, Klauf Lv 2V and KormǪ Lv 40V which all show the poet with a positive attitude to a future event. — [1] skekk ‘I shake out’: This represents the 1st pers. sg. pres. indic. of skaka, with suffixed pron., i.e. skek ek. — [1] skinnfeld ‘leather garment’: The various witnesses to the prose of Orkn differ as to what exactly is being offered to Rǫgnvaldr. Flat has skinnfeldarskikkju ‘cloak made of leather’, R702ˣ (which sometimes includes the prose of the saga, but not always exactly) has skinnfeld ... fyrir skikkju ‘piece of leather ... as a cloak’ (also Worm 1650, 117), and Holm papp 39 folˣ (an early modern translation of the saga into Dan.) has en skindfeld oc en kiortel ‘a piece of leather and a tunic’ (Orkn 1913-16, 218 n.). But see above, in which it is suggested that the st. does not describe the gift of a wrinkled garment. — [2]: The l. has skothending rather than aðalhending.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Worm, Ole. 1650. Specimen lexici runici: Obscuriorum qvarundam vocum qvæ in priscis occurunt historiis & poëtis Danicis, enodationem exhibens. Hafniæ (Copenhagen): Martzan.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  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 34 = Orkneyinga saga. Ed. Finnbogi Guðmundsson. 1965.
  7. Orkn 1913-16 = Sigurður Nordal, ed. 1913-16. Orkneyinga saga. SUGNL 40. Copenhagen: Møller.
  8. Bibire, Paul. 1988. ‘The Poetry of Earl Rǫgnvaldr’s Court’. In Crawford 1988, 208-40.
  9. Orkn 1887 = Gudbrand Vigfusson 1887-94, I.
  10. Internal references
  11. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Orkneyinga saga (Orkn)’ 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].
  12. Not published: do not cite (Egill Lv 19V (Eg 26))
  13. Not published: do not cite (KormǪ Lv 40V (Korm 59))
  14. Not published: do not cite (Þorm Lv 1V (Fbr 8))
  15. Not published: do not cite (Klauf Lv 2V (Svarfd 2))

Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.


Stanza/chapter/text segment

Use the buttons at the top of the page to navigate between stanzas in a poem.

Information tab

Interactive tab

The text and translation are given here, with buttons to toggle whether the text is shown in the verse order or prose word order. Clicking on indiviudal words gives dictionary links, variant readings, kennings and notes, where relevant.

Full text tab

This is the text of the edition in a similar format to how the edition appears in the printed volumes.

Chapter/text segment

This view is also used for chapters and other text segments. Not all the headings shown are relevant to such sections.