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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Torf-Einarr Rǫgnvaldsson (TorfE)

9th century; volume 1; ed. Russell Poole;

Lausavísur (Lv) - 5

Skj info: Torf-Einarr jarl, Jarl på Orknøerne; omkr. 900. (AI, 31-32, BI, 27-28).

Skj poems:
Lausavísur

Einarr jarl Rǫgnvaldsson (TorfE) ruled over the Orkneys at some time in the early tenth century. Our knowledge of him derives largely from Orkn, Fsk, and HHárf in Hkr; the relevant part of ÓT essentially derives from Hkr. All three principal compilations incorporate lausavísur ascribed to Einarr which are printed below as his five lausavísur. Additionally, Orkn and Hkr give a brief account of his life and of the events that the lausavísur relate to. Parts of the story are also told in Ldn (ÍF 1, 314, 316) but without the lausavísur (Mundal 1993, 248). His more familiar name, Torf-Einarr ‘Turf-Einarr’, is explained as due to his adoption of peat as a fuel in Orkney (ÍF 34, 11; ÍF 26, 129).

Einarr was a son of Rǫgnvaldr Mœrajarl ‘Jarl of Møre’, his mother being a concubine (see Note to Lv 1 [All] on Rǫgnvaldr’s sons). When King Haraldr hárfagri ‘Fair-hair’ awarded Rǫgnvaldr the rule of Orkney and Shetland in compensation for the killing of his son Ívarr, Rǫgnvaldr initially delegated it to his brother Sigurðr, then to Sigurðr’s son Guttormr, and after their deaths to his own son Hallaðr. Only after Hallaðr failed in the task did Rǫgnvaldr grudgingly assent to Einarr’s offer to take it on (ÍF 34, 10-11). Torf-Einarr established himself as lord of the islands, having first defeated two viking leaders; see Anon (Hhárf). The killing of Rǫgnvaldr, possibly at Haraldr’s instigation, precipitated the vengeance on Einarr’s part recounted in the lausavísur.

Lausavísur — TorfE LvI

Russell Poole 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Torf-Einarr Rǫgnvaldsson, Lausavísur’ 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. 129.

 1   2   3   4   5 

Skj: Torf-Einarr jarl: Lausavísur (AI, 31-2, BI, 27-8); stanzas (if different): 2 | 4 | 5

SkP info: I, 134

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

3 — TorfE Lv 3I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Torf-Einarr Rǫgnvaldsson, Lausavísur 3’ 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. 134.

Ey munk glaðr, síz geirar
— gótts vinna þrek manni —
bǫðfíkinna bragna
bitu þengils son ungan.
Þeygi dylk, nema þykki
— þar fló grár af sôrum
hræva nagr of holma —
hól undvala gœli.

Munk ey glaðr, síz geirar bǫðfíkinna bragna bitu {ungan son þengils}; gótts manni vinna þrek. Þeygi dylk, nema hól þykki {gœli {undvala}}; þar fló {grár nagr hræva} af sôrum of holma.

I will be forever glad now that spears of battle-keen men pierced {the young son of the king} [= Hálfdan]; it is good for a man to do a heroic deed. Not at all do I conceal the fact that it seems like vaunting {to the comforter {of wound-falcons}} [RAVENS/EAGLES > WARRIOR = Haraldr]; there {the grey bird of corpses} [EAGLE] flew from the wounded over the islands.

editions: Skj Torf-Einarr jarl: Lausavísur 3 (AI, 32; BI, 28); Skald I, 17, NN §2214; Orkn 1913-16, 12-13, ÍF 34, 14-15 (ch. 8); Fsk 1902-3, 297-8 (ch. 64), ÍF 29, 293 (ch. 74); Finnur Jónsson 1884, 98, von See 1960, 34.

sources

AM 332 4°x (332x) 12, 12 - 12, 19 (Orkn)  transcr.  image  
UppsUB R 702x (R702x) 36v, 16 - 36v, 19 (Orkn)  image  
AM 303 4°x (FskAx) 314, 9 - 314, 16 (Fsk)  transcr.  image  
AM 301 4°x (301x) 116r, 9 - 116r, 13 (Fsk)  transcr.  image  
AM 761 b 4°x (761bx) 395v, 12 - 395v, 19 (Lv)  image  
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