Egla, 63

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Chapter 63

Egil's life is given him

King Eric sate upright[1] while Egil recited the poem, and looked keenly at him. And when the song of praise was ended, then spake the king: 'Right well was the poem recited;.[2] and now, Arinbjorn, I have resolved about the cause between me and Egil, how it shall go. Thou hast pleaded Egil's cause with great eagerness, since thou offerest to risk a conflict with me. Now shall I for thy sake do what thou hast asked, letting Egil go from my land safe and unhurt.[3] But thou, Egil, so order thy going that, after leaving my presence and this hall, thou never come before my eyes, nor my sons' eyes, nor be ever in the way of myself or my people. But I give thee now thy head this time for this reason, that thou camest freely into my power. I will do no dastardly deed on thee; yet know thou this for sure, that this is no reconciliation[4] with me or my sons or any of our kin who wish to wreak their vengeance.'

Then sang Egil:

'Loth am I in nowise,
Though in features loathly,[5]
Helm-capt head in pardon
From high king to take.
Who can boast that ever
Better gift he won him,
From a lordly sovereign's
Noble-minded son?'

Arinbjorn thanked the king with many fair words for the honour and friendship that he had shown him. Then they two, Arinbjorn and Egil, went back to Arinbjorn's house. After that Arinbjorn bade horses be made ready for his people. He rode away with Egil, and a hundred fully armed men with him. Arinbjorn rode with that force till they came to king Athelstan, where they were well received. The king asked Egil to remain with him, and inquired how it had gone between him and king Eric. Whereupon Egil sang:

'Egil his eyes black-browed[6]
From Eric, raven's friend,
Welcomed. Wise help therein
Wife's loyal kin lent.
My head, throne of helmet,
An heritage noble,[7]
As erst, from rough rainstorm
To rescue I knew.'

But at the parting of Arinbjorn and Egil, Egil gave Arinbjorn those two gold rings that king Athelstan had given him, whereof each weighed a mark. And Arinbjorn gave Egil the sword called Dragvandill. This had been given to Arinbjorn by Thorolf Skallagrimsson; but before that Skallagrim had received it from Thorolf his brother; but to Thorolf the sword was given by Grim Shaggy-skin, son of Kettle Hæing. Kettle Hæing had owned the sword and used it in his single combats, and no sword was there more biting. Egil and Arinbjorn parted with much affection. Arinbjorn went home to king Eric at York; but Egil's comrades and shipmates had good peace there, and disposed of their cargo under Arinbjorn's protection. But as winter wore on they moved south to England and joined Egil.

References

  1. King Eric sate upright: "In Egils saga the motif of immobilisation … is perhaps even less easy to recognise because of the still greater element of realism in the narrative, the main characters of which, incidentally, are readily identifiable as historical. Reminders of the mythical character of the motif are nevertheless present in the text, as appears when the situation in which Eiríkr sits upright, staring at Egill, is seen in relation to the latter's placing of the decapitated head of a horse … and also in relation to the centrally placed motif of Egill's father being found dead in a sitting position." McTurk, Rory. Lot’s wife, Agni Dagsson and Egill Skalla-Grímsson (p. 229).
  2. well was the poem recited: "The irony is that the head-saving poem (despite its content) gives Egill more glory than [Eiríkr]. The skill of this poet in spite of the situation outweighs the king's reputation, which pales in significance; the composition even hints at this subversive agenda with its references to the art of verse-making, and with its requests for silence." Waugh, Robin. Literacy, Royal Power, and King-Poet Relations in Old English and Old Norse Compositions (p. 296).
  3. unhurt: "The unexpectedness of Egil's saving of his "head" when by rights he should lose it goes against the normal pattern of the sagas... Only such an extraordinary "self" as Egil could impose language so effectively on events that, against all reasonable expectation, the escalating violence does not result in death." De Looze, Laurence. The Concept of the Self in Egil’s Saga (p. 68).
  4. this is no reconciliation: “Although Eirik accepts the poem and grants Egil safe passage away from his territory, it is hard to give this interaction a positive sign. In the friendship graph’s gift-giving subgraph, this act is the only negatively valued gift.” Tangherlini, Timothy R.. Facebook for Vikings (p. 162).
  5. features loathly: "Aflagandi beinbólga er sennileg skýring á andlitslýtum Egils og hauskúpu sem er eins og „hjalma klettr". Aflögun og hörðnun höfuðkúpunnar, breytingar sem einkenna Pagetssjúkdóm, geta leitt til ljónskúpu (leontiasis ossea), aflögunar andlitsbeina sem gerir útlit viðkomnandi ljónslegt. Og lýsingin á andliti Egils kemur heim við þetta vegna þess að afleiðing sjúkdómsins er sú að andlitsbeinin þykkna verulega." Byock, Jesse L.. Hauskúpan og beinin í Egils sögu (p. 89).
  6. eyes black-browed: "Föreställningen om kroppen som själens spegel synes emellertid ha bättre stöd i gammal tradition än själva porträtteringstekniken. Redan i Egil Skallagrimssons egen diktning framstår han själv som en ful man med mörka ögonbryn, ulvgrått här och magiska färdigheter." Lönnroth, Lars. Kroppen som själens spegel – ett motiv i de isländska sagorna (pp. 27-28).
  7. An heritage noble: "The excellence of the skald, and particularly Egill, consists then, in his skilful and daring variations on these (skaldic) themes, in the new and original kennings which, as in other poems go to the limits of the possible even in that baroque art; and, like many other artist, he has no mean opinion of his skill, and in general, of himself, and he is well aware that he is immortalizing but also himself in his poem." Hollander, Lee M.. The Lay of Arinbjiorn (p. 112)

Kafli 63

Lífgjöf Egils

Eiríkur konungur sat uppréttur[1] meðan Egill kvað kvæðið og hvessti augun á hann. Og er lokið var drápunni þá mælti konungur: „Besta er kvæðið fram flutt.[2] En nú hefi eg hugsað Arinbjörn um mál vort Egils hvar koma skal. Þú hefir flutt mál Egils með ákafa miklum er þú býður að etja vandræðum við mig. Nú skal það gera fyrir þínar sakir sem þú hefir beðið að Egill skal fara frá mínum fundi heill og ósakaður.[3] En þú Egill hátta svo ferðum þínum að síðan er þú kemur frá mínum fundi af þessi stofu, þá kom þú aldregi í augsýn mér og sonum mínum og verð aldrei fyrir mér né mínu liði. En eg gef þér nú höfuð þitt að sinni. Fyrir þá sök er þú gekkst á mitt vald, þá vil eg eigi gera níðingsverk á þér. En vita skaltu það til sanns að þetta er engi sætt við mig[4] né sonu mína og enga frændur vora þá sem réttar vilja reka.“

Þá kvað Egill:

Erumka leitt,
þótt ljótr of sé,[5]
hjálma klett
af hilmi að þiggja.
Hvar er sá er gat
af göfuglyndum
æðri gjöf
allvalds syni?

Arinbjörn þakkaði konungi með fögrum orðum þá sæmd og vináttu er konungur hefir veitt honum. Þá ganga þeir Arinbjörn og Egill heim í garð Arinbjarnar. Síðan lét Arinbjörn búa reiðskjóta liði sínu. Reið hann brott með Agli og hundrað manna alvopnaðra með honum. Arinbjörn reið með lið það til þess er þeir komu til Aðalsteins konungs og fengu þar góðar viðtökur. Bauð konungur Agli með sér að vera og spurði hvernig farið hafði með þeim Eiríki konungi.

Þá kvað Egill:

Svartbrúnum lét sjónum[6]
sannspár Hugins vára,
hugr tjáðum mjög mága,
magnaðr Egil fagna.
Arfstóli kná eg Ála
áttgöfguðum háttar[7]
fyr regn-Gnár regni
ráða nú sem áðan.

En að skilnaði þeirra Arinbjarnar og Egils þá gaf Egill Arinbirni gullhringa þá tvo er Aðalsteinn konungur gaf honum og stóð mörk hvor en Arinbjörn gaf Agli sverð það er Dragvandill hét. Það hafði gefið Arinbirni Þórólfur Skalla-Grímsson en áður hafði Skalla-Grímur þegið af Þórólfi bróður sínum en Þórólfi gaf sverðið Grímur loðinkinni son Ketils hængs. Það sverð hafði átt Ketill hængur og haft í hólmgöngum og var það allra sverða bitrast. Skildust þeir með kærleik hinum mesta. Fór Arinbjörn heim í Jórvík til Eiríks konungs en förunautar Egils og skipverjar hans höfðu þar frið góðan og vörðu varningi sínum í trausti Arinbjarnar. En er á leið veturinn fluttust þeir suður til Englands og fóru á fund Egils.

Tilvísanir

  1. Eiríkur konungur sat uppréttur: "In Egils saga the motif of immobilisation … is perhaps even less easy to recognise because of the still greater element of realism in the narrative, the main characters of which, incidentally, are readily identifiable as historical. Reminders of the mythical character of the motif are nevertheless present in the text, as appears when the situation in which Eiríkr sits upright, staring at Egill, is seen in relation to the latter's placing of the decapitated head of a horse … and also in relation to the centrally placed motif of Egill's father being found dead in a sitting position." McTurk, Rory. Lot’s wife, Agni Dagsson and Egill Skalla-Grímsson (s. 229).
  2. besta er kvæðið fram flutt: "The irony is that the head-saving poem (despite its content) gives Egill more glory than [Eiríkr]. The skill of this poet in spite of the situation outweighs the king's reputation, which pales in significance; the composition even hints at this subversive agenda with its references to the art of verse-making, and with its requests for silence." Waugh, Robin. Literacy, Royal Power, and King-Poet Relations in Old English and Old Norse Compositions (s. 296).
  3. ósakaður: "The unexpectedness of Egil's saving of his "head" when by rights he should lose it goes against the normal pattern of the sagas... Only such an extraordinary "self" as Egil could impose language so effectively on events that, against all reasonable expectation, the escalating violence does not result in death." De Looze, Laurence. The Concept of the Self in Egil’s Saga (s. 68).
  4. þetta er engi sætt við mig: “Although Eirik accepts the poem and grants Egil safe passage away from his territory, it is hard to give this interaction a positive sign. In the friendship graph’s gift-giving subgraph, this act is the only negatively valued gift.” Tangherlini, Timothy R.. Facebook for Vikings (s. 162).
  5. þótt ljótr of sé: "Aflagandi beinbólga er sennileg skýring á andlitslýtum Egils og hauskúpu sem er eins og „hjalma klettr". Aflögun og hörðnun höfuðkúpunnar, breytingar sem einkenna Pagetssjúkdóm, geta leitt til ljónskúpu (leontiasis ossea), aflögunar andlitsbeina sem gerir útlit viðkomnandi ljónslegt. Og lýsingin á andliti Egils kemur heim við þetta vegna þess að afleiðing sjúkdómsins er sú að andlitsbeinin þykkna verulega." Byock, Jesse L.. Hauskúpan og beinin í Egils sögu (s. 89).
  6. Svartbrúnum lét sjónum: „Föreställningen om kroppen som själens spegel synes emellertid ha bättre stöd i gammal tradition än själva porträtteringstekniken. Redan i Egil Skallagrimssons egen diktning framstår han själv som en ful man med mörka ögonbryn, ulvgrått här och magiska färdigheter.“ Lönnroth, Lars. Kroppen som själens spegel – ett motiv i de isländska sagorna (s. 27-28).
  7. áttgöfguðum: "The excellence of the skald, and particularly Egill, consists then, in his skilful and daring variations on these (skaldic) themes, in the new and original kennings which, as in other poems go to the limits of the possible even in that baroque art; and, like many other artist, he has no mean opinion of his skill, and in general, of himself, and he is well aware that he is immortalizing but also himself in his poem." Hollander, Lee M.. The Lay of Arinbjiorn (s. 112)

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