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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

3. Anonymous Lausavísur, 4. Stanzas from Laufás Edda, 9 [Vol. 3, 646]

[2] blandna eitri ‘mixed with poison’: The reference to this poisonous river is obscure, but it recalls the mythical rivers Élivágar, which according to Vafþr were mixed with poison. Cf. Vafþr 31/1-3 (NK 50): Ór Élivágom | stucco eitrdropar ‘Drops of poison were flung from the Élivágar’. See also Gylf (SnE 2005, 9-10). Jón Helgason (1966a) sees mythical allusions here as well, possibly to Óðinn’s journey to Hel in Bdr or to the river Slíðr described in Vsp 36/1-2 (NK 8): Á fellr austan | um eitrdala ‘A river flows from the east through valleys of poison’. See also Eil Þdr 6/7-8.


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