Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Stanzas from Snorra Edda 15’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 527.
This anonymous helmingr (Anon (SnE) 15) found in SnE (Skm) is likely to have been part of a royal panegyric (see Fidjestøl 1982, 167-8), but the identity of the agent, ‘Magnús’, who burns settlements, is not clear. It could refer either to Magnús inn góði ‘the Good’ Óláfsson (r. 1035-47) and his campaigns against the Wends and the stronghold of Jómsborg (Wollin) in 1043 or to Magnús berfœttr ‘Barelegs’ Óláfsson (r. 1093-1103) and his punishment of rebels in Trøndelag (c. 1094), his raids in the Western Isles (1098, 1103) or his incursions into Sweden (c. 1101-2). The half-stanza is transmitted in mss R (main ms.), Tˣ, U, B (and 744ˣ) and C.
|Eldr brennat sá sjaldan,
— svíðr dyggr jǫfurr byggðir —
— blása rǫnn fyr ræsi
reyk — es Magnús kveykvir.
Sá eldr, es Magnús kveykvir, brennat sjaldan; dyggr jǫfurr svíðr byggðir; rǫnn blása reyk fyr ræsi.
That fire, which Magnús kindles, does not burn seldom; the reliable prince torches settlements; buildings belch smoke before the ruler.
Mss: R(38v), Tˣ(40r-v), U(40v), A(13v), B(6r), 744ˣ(37v), C(8r) (SnE)
Readings:  brennat sá sjaldan: ‘brenn en sio sannan’ C; sá: svá U  byggðir: ‘[…]’ B, ‘ḅygð̣ịr’ 744ˣ  blása rǫnn fyr ræsi: ‘[…]se’ B, ‘blasa ro᷎nn firi re᷎se’ 744ˣ; ræsi: ‘reisi’ Tˣ  kveykvir: kveykir Tˣ, A, B, C, kveikir U
Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte om historiske personer og begivenheder [XI], . Af et fyrstedigt: AI, 424, BI, 393, Skald I, 195; SnE 1848-87, I, 506-7, II, 354, 453, 536, 602, III, 106, SnE 1931, 177, SnE 1998, I, 97.
Context: Eldr ‘fire’ is given in Skm as one of several heiti for ‘fire’.
Notes:  brennat sjaldan ‘does not burn seldom’: An example of litotes, meaning that the
fire kindled by Magnús burns frequently. Brennat
‘does not burn’ is formed from brenn
(3rd pers. sg. pres. indic.) plus the negative suffixed particle -at. —  fyr ‘before’: Or ‘on account of’. —  kveykvir ‘kindles’: The variant forms kveykir (so Tˣ, A, B, C) and kveikir (so U) are also possible (from kveykja and kveikja respectively; see ANG §§82.13, 516 Anm. 2 and AEW: kveika).