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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ESk Geisl 71VII

Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Geisli 71’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 64-5.

Einarr SkúlasonGeisli
7071

Bœn ‘request’

bœn (noun f.; °-ar; -ir): request, prayer

notes

[1] bœn ‘prayer, request’: The word (pl. bœnir 1/1) appears in key position in the first l. of the poem, and it is with a sense of symmetry that Einarr uses it here.

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hefk ‘I have’

hafa (verb): have

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þengill ‘prince’

þengill (noun m.): prince, ruler

[1] þengill: ‘þeimgill’ corrected from ‘femgit’ or ‘feingit’ Bb

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framla ‘excellently’

framla (adv.): excellently

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iflaust ‘without a doubt’

iflauss (adj.): doubtless

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hǫfum ‘we [I] have’

hafa (verb): have

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kunnum ‘we are [I am] able’

kunna (verb): know, can, be able

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œztan ‘the most outstanding’

œðri (adj. comp.): nobler, higher

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segið ‘say’

segja (verb): say, tell

[5] segið: so Bb, segir Flat

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ítran ‘the outstanding’

ítr (adj.): glorious

[5] ítran: so Bb, œztan Flat

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Eysteinn ‘Eysteinn’

Eysteinn (noun m.): Eysteinn

[6] Eysteinn: so Bb, om. Flat

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hvé ‘how’

hvé (adv.): how

[6] hvé: so Bb, ‘hue ek’ Flat

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leystak ‘I have delivered’

leysa (verb): release, loosen, redeem

[6] leystak: so Bb, leysta Flat

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hôs ‘of the high’

3. hár (adj.; °-van; compar. hǽrri, superl. hǽstr): high

kennings

vísa hôs vagnræfrs;
‘of the king of the high wagon-roof; ’
   = God

the high wagon-roof; → SKY/HEAVEN
the king of the SKY/HEAVEN → God

notes

[7, 8] veg vísa hôs vagnræfrs ‘the honour of the king of the high wagon-roof’: The cpd vagnræfr ‘wagon-roof’ is a kenning for heaven: Karlsvagn was the ON name for the constellation Ursa Major; see Ník Jóndr 3/6 tyggi vagnbryggju ‘ruler of the wagon-bridge’ and Note ad loc. The adj. hás ‘high’ (m. gen. sg.) can be construed with either vísa ‘king’ or vagnræfrs. Vegr has two meanings: ‘way, path’ and ‘honour’, and Einarr may have intended both senses to be in play.

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hôs ‘of the high’

3. hár (adj.; °-van; compar. hǽrri, superl. hǽstr): high

kennings

vísa hôs vagnræfrs;
‘of the king of the high wagon-roof; ’
   = God

the high wagon-roof; → SKY/HEAVEN
the king of the SKY/HEAVEN → God

notes

[7, 8] veg vísa hôs vagnræfrs ‘the honour of the king of the high wagon-roof’: The cpd vagnræfr ‘wagon-roof’ is a kenning for heaven: Karlsvagn was the ON name for the constellation Ursa Major; see Ník Jóndr 3/6 tyggi vagnbryggju ‘ruler of the wagon-bridge’ and Note ad loc. The adj. hás ‘high’ (m. gen. sg.) can be construed with either vísa ‘king’ or vagnræfrs. Vegr has two meanings: ‘way, path’ and ‘honour’, and Einarr may have intended both senses to be in play.

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elskið ‘love’

1. elska (noun f.; °-u): love

[7] elskið: so Bb, ‘elskig’ Flat

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veg ‘the honour’

2. vegr (noun m.; °-s/-ar, dat. -): honour

notes

[7, 8] veg vísa hôs vagnræfrs ‘the honour of the king of the high wagon-roof’: The cpd vagnræfr ‘wagon-roof’ is a kenning for heaven: Karlsvagn was the ON name for the constellation Ursa Major; see Ník Jóndr 3/6 tyggi vagnbryggju ‘ruler of the wagon-bridge’ and Note ad loc. The adj. hás ‘high’ (m. gen. sg.) can be construed with either vísa ‘king’ or vagnræfrs. Vegr has two meanings: ‘way, path’ and ‘honour’, and Einarr may have intended both senses to be in play.

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vísa ‘of the king’

vísi (noun m.; °-a): leader

kennings

vísa hôs vagnræfrs;
‘of the king of the high wagon-roof; ’
   = God

the high wagon-roof; → SKY/HEAVEN
the king of the SKY/HEAVEN → God

notes

[7, 8] veg vísa hôs vagnræfrs ‘the honour of the king of the high wagon-roof’: The cpd vagnræfr ‘wagon-roof’ is a kenning for heaven: Karlsvagn was the ON name for the constellation Ursa Major; see Ník Jóndr 3/6 tyggi vagnbryggju ‘ruler of the wagon-bridge’ and Note ad loc. The adj. hás ‘high’ (m. gen. sg.) can be construed with either vísa ‘king’ or vagnræfrs. Vegr has two meanings: ‘way, path’ and ‘honour’, and Einarr may have intended both senses to be in play.

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vagn ‘wagon’

vagn (noun m.; °dat. -i; -ar): wagon < vagnræfr (noun n.)

kennings

vísa hôs vagnræfrs;
‘of the king of the high wagon-roof; ’
   = God

the high wagon-roof; → SKY/HEAVEN
the king of the SKY/HEAVEN → God

notes

[7, 8] veg vísa hôs vagnræfrs ‘the honour of the king of the high wagon-roof’: The cpd vagnræfr ‘wagon-roof’ is a kenning for heaven: Karlsvagn was the ON name for the constellation Ursa Major; see Ník Jóndr 3/6 tyggi vagnbryggju ‘ruler of the wagon-bridge’ and Note ad loc. The adj. hás ‘high’ (m. gen. sg.) can be construed with either vísa ‘king’ or vagnræfrs. Vegr has two meanings: ‘way, path’ and ‘honour’, and Einarr may have intended both senses to be in play.

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vagn ‘wagon’

vagn (noun m.; °dat. -i; -ar): wagon < vagnræfr (noun n.)

kennings

vísa hôs vagnræfrs;
‘of the king of the high wagon-roof; ’
   = God

the high wagon-roof; → SKY/HEAVEN
the king of the SKY/HEAVEN → God

notes

[7, 8] veg vísa hôs vagnræfrs ‘the honour of the king of the high wagon-roof’: The cpd vagnræfr ‘wagon-roof’ is a kenning for heaven: Karlsvagn was the ON name for the constellation Ursa Major; see Ník Jóndr 3/6 tyggi vagnbryggju ‘ruler of the wagon-bridge’ and Note ad loc. The adj. hás ‘high’ (m. gen. sg.) can be construed with either vísa ‘king’ or vagnræfrs. Vegr has two meanings: ‘way, path’ and ‘honour’, and Einarr may have intended both senses to be in play.

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ræfrs ‘roof’

2. ræfr (noun n.): roof < vagnræfr (noun n.)

kennings

vísa hôs vagnræfrs;
‘of the king of the high wagon-roof; ’
   = God

the high wagon-roof; → SKY/HEAVEN
the king of the SKY/HEAVEN → God

notes

[7, 8] veg vísa hôs vagnræfrs ‘the honour of the king of the high wagon-roof’: The cpd vagnræfr ‘wagon-roof’ is a kenning for heaven: Karlsvagn was the ON name for the constellation Ursa Major; see Ník Jóndr 3/6 tyggi vagnbryggju ‘ruler of the wagon-bridge’ and Note ad loc. The adj. hás ‘high’ (m. gen. sg.) can be construed with either vísa ‘king’ or vagnræfrs. Vegr has two meanings: ‘way, path’ and ‘honour’, and Einarr may have intended both senses to be in play.

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ræfrs ‘roof’

2. ræfr (noun n.): roof < vagnræfr (noun n.)

kennings

vísa hôs vagnræfrs;
‘of the king of the high wagon-roof; ’
   = God

the high wagon-roof; → SKY/HEAVEN
the king of the SKY/HEAVEN → God

notes

[7, 8] veg vísa hôs vagnræfrs ‘the honour of the king of the high wagon-roof’: The cpd vagnræfr ‘wagon-roof’ is a kenning for heaven: Karlsvagn was the ON name for the constellation Ursa Major; see Ník Jóndr 3/6 tyggi vagnbryggju ‘ruler of the wagon-bridge’ and Note ad loc. The adj. hás ‘high’ (m. gen. sg.) can be construed with either vísa ‘king’ or vagnræfrs. Vegr has two meanings: ‘way, path’ and ‘honour’, and Einarr may have intended both senses to be in play.

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en ‘and’

2. en (conj.): but, and

notes

[8] en ek þagna ‘and I fall silent’: The abrupt conclusion is typical of medieval European poetry (see Curtius 1953, 89-91), and, although the small number of complete drápur makes it impossible to generalize, it is probably typical of skaldic poetry as well. The phrase appears again at the conclusion of HSt RstI.

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ek ‘I’

ek (pron.; °mín, dat. mér, acc. mik): I, me

notes

[8] en ek þagna ‘and I fall silent’: The abrupt conclusion is typical of medieval European poetry (see Curtius 1953, 89-91), and, although the small number of complete drápur makes it impossible to generalize, it is probably typical of skaldic poetry as well. The phrase appears again at the conclusion of HSt RstI.

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þagna ‘fall silent’

þagna (verb): be silent

notes

[8] en ek þagna ‘and I fall silent’: The abrupt conclusion is typical of medieval European poetry (see Curtius 1953, 89-91), and, although the small number of complete drápur makes it impossible to generalize, it is probably typical of skaldic poetry as well. The phrase appears again at the conclusion of HSt RstI.

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[5, 7]: segið ‘say’ and elskið ‘love’ (both 2nd pers. pl. imp.), which are Bb’s readings, are preferred here, and constitute a direct exhortation to Eysteinn. Flat’s ‘elskik’ (l. 7), if taken as elskak ‘I love’ or ‘may I love’, is also possible, if understood as a pious, self-reflexive exclamation by the poet. See Chase 2005, 121 and 169-70 for such a reading. — [5, 6]: The rhyming epithet in Flat (œztan / Eysteinn ‘best / Eysteinn’) is clever, and may be what caused the Flat scribe to omit the name Eysteinn in l. 6: a kind of haplography by aural association. But the rhyme of l. 5 is imperfect and the Bb reading, ítran ‘glorious/outstanding’, is therefore preferable.

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