Egla, 81

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Chapter 81

Of Einar Helgi's son and Egil

There was a man named Einar. He was the son of Helgi, the son of Ottar, the song of Bjorn Easterling, who took land in Broad-firth. Einar was brother of Osvif the seer. Einar at an early age was tall and strong, and most doughty. He began to compose poetry when quite young, and was eager for learning. One summer at the Thing Einar went to the booth of Egil Skallagrimsson, and they began to talk, and soon their talk took this turn that they spoke of poetry. In this converse both of them found pleasure. After this Einar often went to talk with Egil, and a great friendship was struck up between them.

Einar had not long returned to Iceland from foreign travel. Egil asked Einar much of tidings from the east, and about his friends, and withal about those that he deemed his enemies. He asked also much about men of rank. Einar in turn asked Egil about the events that had happened in his travels, and about his exploits. This talk pleased Egil, and was kept up briskly. Einar asked Egil on what occasion his prowess had been most hardly tried; this he begged him to say. Egil then sang:

'One with eight I battled,
Eleven faced I twice,
Made for wolf a meal,
Myself the bane of all.
Shields shook by sword-strokes
Smitten fast and furious;
Angry fire forth-flashing
Flew my ashen spear.'[1]

Egil and Einar pledged them to friendship on parting. Einar was long abroad from Iceland with men of rank. Einar was open-handed, and often short of money, but noble-hearted and manly. He was in the body-guard of earl Hacon Sigurd's son. At that time there was in Norway much war, the battles between earl Hacon and Eric's sons; and now one, now the other, was driven from the land. King Harold, Eric's son, fell south in Denmark, at Hals in Lima-firth; this was by treachery. He was then fighting with Harold Knut's son, who was called Gold-Harold, and earl Hacon was there. There fell also with king Harold lord Arinbjorn, of whom much has already been told. And when Egil heard of the fall of Arinbjorn, then he sang:

'Mead-givers, glorious men,
Gold-spending warrior wights
Are spent and gone. Where seek
Such lavish donors[2] now?
Erewhile, beyond the sea,
Earth's islet-studded belt,
Such on my high hawk-perch
Hailed down the silver shower.'[3]

Einar Helgi's son the poet was nicknamed Skala-glam. He composed a poem about earl Hacon, which is called 'Dearth of Gold'; and for a long time the earl would not hear the poem because he was wroth with Einar. Then Einar sang:

'Song made I on a chief
Supreme o'er land enthroned;
While others slept, I wrought,
Whereof I much repent.
Hither the earl to seek
Eager I came, nor thought
From brave free-handed prince
Far-comers worse would fare.'[4]

And further he sang:

'Seek we that earl whose sword
Spreads banquet for the wolf:
To Sigvald's ship well-oared,
Shield-fenced, my sword I lend.
Wielder of wound-snake, he
Will not my succour scorn:
I to his sea-borne barque
My buckler now will bear.'

The earl did not wish Einar to go away; so he granted a hearing to the poem, and thereafter gave Einar a shield, which was a most costly work. It was inscribed with old tales;[5] and between the writing were overlaid spangles of gold with precious stones set therein. Einar went to Iceland and lodged with his brother Osvif: but in autumn he rode east and came to Borg, and was guest there. Egil was just then not at home, having gone to the northern part of the district, but was expected home. Einar waited for him three nights: longer than three nights it was not the custom to stay on a friendly visit. Then Einar made him ready to go; but when ready he went to Egil's place in the hall, and there he hung up that precious shield, and told the house-carles that he left it a gift for Egil.[6] Then he rode away.

But on that same day Egil came home. And when he came in to his place, then he saw the shield, and asked whose was that costly work. It was told him that Einar Skala-glam had come there, and had left the shield as a gift for him. Then said Egil: 'The wretched man, to give it! He means that I should bide awake and compose poetry about his shield. Now, bring my horse. I must ride after him and slay him.' He was told that Einar had ridden away early in the morning. 'He will,' they said, 'by this be come westwards to the dales.' Soon after Egil composed a poem, whereof this is the beginning:

'Of shield, the ship's bright guard,
To show the praise tis time,
Home to my hand is given
The treasure-sender's gift.
Sure hath Skala-glam
To skilful guidance lent
(Speak, ye who list my lay)
The reins of minstrel lore.'

Egil and Einar remained friends so long as they both lived. But about the shield's fortune at last this is told, that Egil took it with him to the wedding when he went north to Broadmoor with Thorkettle Gunnvald's son and Red-Bjorn's sons Trefill and Helgi. There the shield was spoilt by falling into a tub of sour whey. After this Egil had the outer ornaments taken off: and there were twelve ounces of gold in the spangles.

References

  1. Flew my ashen spear: "Cap. 82, 1 (i.e. chapter 81) endet bei Jónsson folgendermassen: létk af emblu aski / eldi valbasta kastat, wo das wort eldi (c.f. Finnur Jónsson 1884) metrisch unrichtig ist, weil es dem verse eine überschlüssige silbe erteilt. Zu lesen ist eld oder elds. Das object des verbums kasta wird dann in der voraufgehenden zeile zu suchen sein. Es bleibt somit kaum eine andere combination möglish als diese: elds embla = 'femina' (vgl. eld-Gerðr und eld-Gefn), valbasta askr = 'pugnator, vir' (wo valbǫst metaphorisch für schwert steht). Der sinn wird hiernach folgender: 'ich befreite die frau von dem krieger'." Falk, Hjalmar. Bemerkungen zu den Lausavísur der Egils saga (p. 365).
  2. Such lavish donors: "The poet, like Deor in the Anglo-Saxon poem of that name, mourns his loss of income. The lavish rewarding of poets by their patrons was not a peculiarly "barbarian" institution. Roman poets of the fifth century - such luminaries as Claudian, Merobaudes, and Sidonius - could expect bronze likenesses of themselves to be erected in the Forum in gratitude for their eulogies; in fourth-century Constantinople, the panegyrist Themistius was honored with two such statues. Arinbjǫrn, the great-grandson of Bragi, the first skald (see stanza 17), would have had a hereditary interest in promoting the fortunes of dróttkvætt." Frank, Roberta. Old Norse Court Poetry (p. 77).
  3. Hailed down the silver shower: "From the point of view of the saga‘s construction, this reminiscent mode marks the point where Egil begins to be represented as an old man revisiting the dramas of his past. Arinbjorn‘s triumph is not allowed to last; almost immediately we hear of his death at the side of Harald Grey-clock at Limfjord, commemorated by Egil in a strongly elegiac stanza lamenting the loss of his friends" Finlay, Alison. Elegy and Old Age in Egil’s Saga (p. ??).
  4. worse would fare: "Í Velleklu kallar Einar jarl hugstóran foldar vörð, en í vísunni sleppir hann lýsingarorðinu [...]. Þegar haft er í huga, hvert lofkvæði um Hákon jarl Vellekla er, og skáldið kallar hann í erindinu hér að framan hodda stökkvi og frækinn vísa, fær það naumast staðizt, að jarli hafi ekki fallið kvæði Einars -- eða kveðskapur yfirleitt. [...] Hitt er sanni nær, að jarl hafi [...] verið "reiðr Einari"." Finnbogi Guðmundsson. Hugstóran biðk heyra (p. 28-29).
  5. It was inscribed with old tales; : "Um þessar fornsögur er notað orðið „skriftir“. Er hugsanlegt að þessi frásögn eigi að þjóna örðum tilgangi en að skemmta lesandanum? Getur verið að höfundur sé að notfæra sér að orðið „skrift“ er tvíkennt og „gera ofljóst“ eins og Snorri sagði? Gæti hann verið að gefa til kynna að fornsögurnar, sem hann er búinn að vera að segja okkur, séu eins konar skriftir, þ.e. sagðar í eim tilgangi að bæta fyrir eitthvað? " Torfi H. Tulinius. Hvað er Egils saga? (p. 124).
  6. left it a gift for Egil: "The semiotic import of Einarr's gift is complex and works within binary thematic oppositions already established in the text of Egils saga. It represents an act of generosity on the part of a court poet, who is said to be often short of money, towards an older (and presumably, in Einarr's eyes, better) poet who is known to be miserly and unpredictable in his behaviour, as well as hostile to Norwegian royalty". Clunies Ross, Margaret. A Tale of Two Poets (p. 80).

Kafli 81

Einar hét maður. Hann var son Helga Óttarssonar, Bjarnarsonar hins austræna er nam lönd í Breiðafirði. Einar var bróðir Ósvífurs hins spaka. Einar var þegar á unga aldri mikill og sterkur og hinn mesti atgervimaður. Hann tók að yrkja þegar er hann var ungur og var maður námgjarn.

Það var eitt sumar á alþingi að Einar gekk til búðar Egils Skalla-Grímssonar og tókust þeir að orðum og kom þar brátt talinu að þeir ræddu um skáldskap. Þótti hvorumtveggja þær ræður skemmtilegar.

Síðan vandist Einar oftlega að ganga til tals við Egil. Gerðist þar vinátta mikil. Einar hafði litlu áður komið út úr för. Egill spurði Einar mjög austan tíðinda og að vinum sínum, svo og að þeim er hann þóttist vita að óvinir hans voru. Hann spurði og mjög eftir stórmenni. Einar spurði og í móti Egil frá þeim tíðindum er fyrr höfðu gerst um ferðir Egils og stórvirki hans, en það tal þótti Egli gott og rættist af vel. Einar spurði Egil hvar hann hefði þess verið staddur að hann hafði mest reynt sig og bað hann það segja sér. Egill kvað:

Börðumk einn við átta,
en við ellifu tysvar,
svá fengum val vargi,
varðk einn bani þeira;
skiptumsk hart af heiptum
hlífar skelfiknífum;
létk af Emblu aski
eld valbasta kastat.[1]

Þeir Egill og Einar mæltu til vináttu með sér að skilnaði. Einar var löngum utanlendis með tignum mönnum. Einar var ör maður og oftast félítill en skörungur mikill og drengur góður. Hann var hirðmaður Hákonar jarls Sigurðarsonar.

Í þann tíma var í Noregi ófriður mikill og bardagar með þeim Hákoni jarli og Eiríkssonum og stukku ýmsir úr landi. Haraldur konungur Eiríksson féll suður í Danmörk, að Hálsi í Limafirði, og var hann svikinn. Þá barðist hann við Harald Knútsson er kallaður var Gull-Haraldur, og þá Hákon jarl.

Þar féll og þá með Haraldi konungi Arinbjörn hersir er fyrr var frá sagt. Og er Egill spurði fall Arinbjarnar þá kvað hann:

Þverra nú, þeirs þverrðu,
þingbirtingar Ingva,
hvar skalk manna mildra,[2]
mjaðveitar dag, leita,
þeira's hauks fyr handan
háfjöll digulsnjávi
jarðar gjörð við orðum
eyneglda mér hegldu.[3]

Einar Helgason skáld var kallaður skálaglamm. Hann orti drápu um Hákon jarl er kölluð er Vellekla og var það mjög lengi að jarlinn vildi eigi hlýða kvæðinu því að hann var reiður Einari. Þá kvað Einar:

Gerðak veig um virða
vörð, þanns sitr at jörðu,
iðrumk þess, meðan aðrir,
örr Váfaðar, sváfu;
hykk, at hodda stökkvi,
hinig sóttak gram, þótti,
fýsinn, fræknum vísa,
ferri, skald in verra.[4]

Og enn kvað hann:

Sækjum jarl, þanns auka
ulfs verð þorir sverðum;
skipum borðróinn barða
baugskjöldum Sigvalda;
drepr eigi sá sveigir
sárlinns, es gram finnum,
rönd berum út á andra
Endils, við mér hendi.

Jarlinn vildi eigi að Einar færi á brott og hlýddi þá kvæðinu og síðan gaf hann Einari skjöld og var hann hin mesta gersemi. Hann var skrifaður fornsögum[5] en allt milli skriftanna voru lagðar yfir spengur af gulli og settur steinum. Einar fór til Íslands og til vistar með Ósvífi bróður sínum.

En um haustið reið Einar vestan og kom til Borgar og gisti þar. Egill var þá eigi heima og var hann farinn norður til héraða og var hans þá heim von. Einar beið hans þrjár nætur en það var engi siður að sitja lengur en þrjár nætur að kynni. Bjóst Einar þá í brott. Og er hann var búinn þá gekk hann til rúms Egils og festi þar upp skjöldinn þann hinn dýra og sagði heimamönnum að hann gaf Agli skjöldinn.[6]

Síðan reið Einar í brott en þann sama dag kom Egill heim. En er hann kom inn til rúms síns þá sá hann skjöldinn og spurði hver gersemi þá ætti. Honum var sagt að Einar skálaglamm hafði þar komið og hann hafði gefið honum skjöldinn.

Þá mælti Egill: „Gefi hann allra manna armastur. Ætlar hann að eg skuli þar vaka yfir og yrkja um skjöld hans? Nú takið hest minn. Skal eg ríða eftir honum og drepa hann.“

Honum var þá sagt að Einar hafði riðið snemma um morguninn „mun hann nú kominn vestur til Dala.“

Síðan orti Egill drápu og er þetta upphaf að:

Mál es lofs at lýsa
ljósgarð, es þák, barða,
mér kom heim at hendi
hoddsendis boð, enda;
skalat at grundar Gylfa
glaums misfengnir taumar,
hlýðið ér til orða,
erðgróins mér verða.

Egill og Einar héldu vináttu sinni meðan þeir lifðu báðir. En svo er sagt að færi skjöldurinn um síðir að Egill hafði hann með sér í brúðför þá er hann fór norður á Víðimýri með Þorkatli Gunnvaldssyni og þeir Rauða-Bjarnarsynir, Trefill og Helgi. Þá var spillt skildinum og kastað í sýruker. En síðan lét Egill taka af búnaðinn og voru tólf aurar gulls í spöngunum.

Tilvísanir

  1. eld valbasta kastat: "Cap. 82, 1 (i.e. chapter 81) endet bei Jónsson folgendermassen: létk af emblu aski / eldi valbasta kastat, wo das wort eldi (c.f. Finnur Jónsson 1884) metrisch unrichtig ist, weil es dem verse eine überschlüssige silbe erteilt. Zu lesen ist eld oder elds. Das object des verbums kasta wird dann in der voraufgehenden zeile zu suchen sein. Es bleibt somit kaum eine andere combination möglish als diese: elds embla = 'femina' (vgl. eld-Gerðr und eld-Gefn), valbasta askr = 'pugnator, vir' (wo valbǫst metaphorisch für schwert steht). Der sinn wird hiernach folgender: 'ich befreite die frau von dem krieger'." Falk, Hjalmar. Bemerkungen zu den Lausavísur der Egils saga (s. 365).
  2. manna mildra: "The poet, like Deor in the Anglo-Saxon poem of that name, mourns his loss of income. The lavish rewarding of poets by their patrons was not a peculiarly "barbarian" institution. Roman poets of the fifth century - such luminaries as Claudian, Merobaudes, and Sidonius - could expect bronze likenesses of themselves to be erected in the Forum in gratitude for their eulogies; in fourth-century Constantinople, the panegyrist Themistius was honored with two such statues. Arinbjǫrn, the great-grandson of Bragi, the first skald (see stanza 17), would have had a hereditary interest in promoting the fortunes of dróttkvætt." Frank, Roberta. Old Norse Court Poetry (s. 77).
  3. eyneglda mér hegldu: "From the point of view of the saga‘s construction, this reminiscent mode marks the point where Egil begins to be represented as an old man revisiting the dramas of his past. Arinbjorn‘s triumph is not allowed to last; almost immediately we hear of his death at the side of Harald Grey-clock at Limfjord, commemorated by Egil in a strongly elegiac stanza lamenting the loss of his friends" Finlay, Alison. Elegy and Old Age in Egil’s Saga (s. ??).
  4. skald in verra: "Í Velleklu kallar Einar jarl hugstóran foldar vörð, en í vísunni sleppir hann lýsingarorðinu [...]. Þegar haft er í huga, hvert lofkvæði um Hákon jarl Vellekla er, og skáldið kallar hann í erindinu hér að framan hodda stökkvi og frækinn vísa, fær það naumast staðizt, að jarli hafi ekki fallið kvæði Einars -- eða kveðskapur yfirleitt. [...] Hitt er sanni nær, að jarl hafi [...] verið "reiðr Einari"." Finnbogi Guðmundsson. Hugstóran biðk heyra (s. 28-29).
  5. Hann var skrifaður fornsögum : "Um þessar fornsögur er notað orðið „skriftir“. Er hugsanlegt að þessi frásögn eigi að þjóna örðum tilgangi en að skemmta lesandanum? Getur verið að höfundur sé að notfæra sér að orðið „skrift“ er tvíkennt og „gera ofljóst“ eins og Snorri sagði? Gæti hann verið að gefa til kynna að fornsögurnar, sem hann er búinn að vera að segja okkur, séu eins konar skriftir, þ.e. sagðar í eim tilgangi að bæta fyrir eitthvað? " Torfi H. Tulinius. Hvað er Egils saga? (s. 124).
  6. gaf Agli skjöldinn: "The semiotic import of Einarr's gift is complex and works within binary thematic oppositions already established in the text of Egils saga. It represents an act of generosity on the part of a court poet, who is said to be often short of money, towards an older (and presumably, in Einarr's eyes, better) poet who is known to be miserly and unpredictable in his behaviour, as well as hostile to Norwegian royalty." Clunies Ross, Margaret. A Tale of Two Poets (s. 80).

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