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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Ármóðr (Árm)

12th century; volume 2; ed. Judith Jesch;

Lausavísur (Lv) - 4

Skj info: Ármóðr, Islandsk skjald, 12. årh. (AI, 530-1, BI, 511-12).

Skj poems:

Ármóðr (Árm) is only known from Orkn. He is said to have been one of two Icelanders (the other is Oddi inn litli (Oddi)) who came to the court of Jarl Rǫgnvaldr Kali Kolsson (Rv) in Orkney one autumn; he is described as a skáld (ÍF 34, 200-1) on his arrival, and as one of the skáld jarls ‘skalds of the jarl’ who accompany Rǫgnvaldr on his journey to the Holy Land (ÍF 34, 204). Although the main saga ms. (Flat) says that Ármóðr was hjaltlenzkr ‘from Shetland’, all eds have preferred the reading of the two other mss, which say that he was an Icelander (Orkn 1913-16, 221 and n. 1).

Lausavísur — Árm LvII

Judith Jesch 2009, ‘ Ármóðr, Lausavísur’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 620-3. <> (accessed 9 December 2021)

 1   2   3   4 

Skj: Ármóðr: Lausavísur (AI, 530-1, BI, 511-12)

SkP info: II, 622

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

3 — Árm Lv 3II

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Judith Jesch (ed.) 2009, ‘Ármóðr, Lausavísur 3’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 622.

Ek mun Ermingerði,
nema ǫnnur skǫp verði,
— margr elr sorg of svinna —
síðan aldri finna.
Værak sæll, ef ek svæfa
— sýn væri þat gæfa —
— brúðr hefr allfagrt enni —
eina nótt hjá henni.

Ek mun aldri síðan finna Ermingerði, nema ǫnnur skǫp verði; margr elr sorg of svinna. Værak sæll, ef ek svæfa eina nótt hjá henni; þat væri sýn gæfa; brúðr hefr allfagrt enni.

I shall never again meet Ermingerðr, unless another fate comes about; many a man nurtures grief for the wise lady. I would be blessed if I could sleep one night beside her; that would be obvious luck; the lady has a very attractive forehead.

Mss: 325I(12v), Flat(140ra), R702ˣ(46v) (Orkn)

Readings: [2] nema: útan Flat;    ǫnnur: annars R702ˣ    [3] sorg: sút R702ˣ    [5] Værak (‘væra ec’): væri ek Flat

Editions: Skj: Ármóðr, Lausavísur 3: AI, 531, BI, 511, Skald I, 250; Flat 1860-8, II, 478, Orkn 1887, 161, Orkn 1913-16, 234, ÍF 34, 212 (ch. 86), Bibire 1988, 233.

Context: Having left Narbonne, Rǫgnvaldr and his poets are sailing in a good wind, and are sitting and drinking, and in good spirits. Rǫgnvaldr, Ármóðr and Oddi each recite a st. containing Ermingerðr’s name.

Notes: [All]: For other sts with similar content recited on the same occasion, see Rv Lv 16 and Oddi Lv 2. Ármóðr’s st. is the only one to have end-rhyme; cf. Hbreiðm Lv for another st. of the hexasyllabic in minzta runhenda (SnSt Ht 88III, SnE 1999, 35-6). — [3] sorg ‘grief’: The variant sút (with the same meaning) may be preferable in that it avoids the skothending of margr and sorg in a st. with no regular internal rhyme. — [7] brúðr ‘the lady’: This can mean ‘(affianced) bride’, ‘wife’, or ‘woman’ in general. Here, Ármóðr picks up on Rǫgnvaldr’s use of the same word in Rv Lv 16. Although Ermengard of Narbonne’s exact birth date is not known, she would have been in her early twenties at this time and already twice married. However, her first marriage was soon dissolved, her second appears to have been a marriage of convenience, and she never had children (Cheyette 2001, 14-25). She is presented in the saga and in Rv Lv 15 as youthful and as an unmarried woman with loose hair, see Note to Rv Lv 15/6, 7. See also Note to Rv Lv 15 [All].

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