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Anonymous Lausavísur (Anon)

VIII. Lausavísur from Vǫlsunga saga (Vǫls) - 6

Lausavísur from Vǫlsunga saga — Anon (Vǫls)VIII (Vǫls)

Margaret Clunies Ross (forthcoming), ‘ Anonymous, Lausavísur from Vǫlsunga saga’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. . <> (accessed 29 January 2022)

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6 

SkP info: VIII, 797

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

6 — Anon (Vǫls) 6VIII (Vǫls 26)

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Vǫlsunga saga 26 (Anonymous Lausavísur, Lausavísur from Vǫlsunga saga 6)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 797.

Sumir viðfiska tóku,         sumir vitnishræ skífðu,
sumir Guttormi gáfu         gerahold
við mungáti         ok marga hluti
aðra í tyfrum.

Sumir tóku {viðfiska}, sumir skífðu vitnishræ, sumir gáfu Guttormi gerahold við mungáti ok marga aðra hluti í tyfrum.

Some took {wood fish} [SNAKES], some sliced a wolf carcass, some gave Guttormr wolf flesh with small beer and many other things in magic potions.

Mss: 1824b(37v) (Vǫls)

Editions: FSN I, 199, Vǫls 1906-8, 79-80, FSGJ I, 189, Vǫls 1965, 58 (Vǫls ch. 32); NK 323.

Context: This stanza occurs in ch. 32 of Vǫls in the context of the narrative’s account of how Brynhildr and the three brothers Gunnarr, Hǫgni and Guttormr, plot the murder of Sigurðr. It is st. 26 in the continuous tally of stanzas in Vǫls, and is introduced with the words sem skáldit kvað ‘as the poet said’.

Notes: [All]: The first four lines of this stanza are clearly variants on the first four lines of Brot 4, given here in the edn of NK 198 as: Sumir úlf sviðo, | sumir orm sniðo, | sumir Gothormi | af gera deildo ‘Some roasted a wolf, some cut up a snake, some allotted pieces of wolf to Guttormr’. The following four lines of Brot 4 do not correspond to ll. 5-7 of the present stanza, which appears to be incomplete. The present stanza varies the referents ‘wolf’ and ‘snake’, given in Brot as the simplices úlfr and ormr respectively, by forming cpd nouns for the same referents, the first of which is a kenning. This suggests that the stanza in Vǫls may be an expanded variation on Brot 4, composed in skaldic style. The stanza has also undergone modification to skaldic metrical patterns, for the lines are actually in an approximate skaldic munnvǫrp with six metrical positions (ll. 1, 3 are Type C and l. 2 Type B), while l. 4 is hypometrical with suspended resolution in metrical positions 1-2 (similar to odd lines in kviðuháttr). ÍF Edd. II, 324-5 records this stanza in a note. — [All]: The idea of feeding someone a meal made from poisonous or dangerous creatures in order to incite them to commit dastardly deeds themselves is a common motif of folk literature (cf. Boberg 1966, 73, D1350, D1357. 1 and D1358. 1. 2). — [1] viðfiska ‘wood fish [SNAKES]’: Hap. leg. but a cpd conforming to a typical pattern of snake-kennings (Meissner 112-14); cf. myrkaurriða markar ‘the dark trout of the forest’, Ill Har 1/3II, where the reference is to Sigurðr’s killing of Fáfnir. — [2, 4] vitnishræ; gerahold ‘a wolf carcass; wolf flesh’: Each of these expressions is treated here as a noun cpd comprising a heiti for a wolf (vitnir, geri) in the gen. case followed by the nouns hræ ‘carrion’ and hold ‘flesh’. Both compounds are hap. leg. Vitnir ‘watcher, aware one’ occurs in eddic poetry only with reference to the wolf Fenrir (cf. Grí 19/1, 23/6, Vafþr 53/6), though there it does not seem to be a proper name; it is also found as a wolf-heiti in skaldic poetry (cf. Arn Magndr 15/5II). Geri ‘greedy’ is the name of one of Óðinn’s wolves according to Grí 19/1, but it can also be found as a wolf-heiti (cf. ÞjóðA Sex 31/1II). — [3] Guttormi (dat.) ‘Guttormr’: Third son of King Gjúki and brother of Gunnarr and Hǫgni. While Hǫgni is against killing Sigurðr, Guttormr is incited to the deed by Gunnarr with a promise of gold and power and fed a meal of snake and wolf’s flesh. — [6-7]: The composer of Vǫls may have had an imperfect version of the final lines of this stanza, as one would expect an eighth and final line. — [7] í tyfrum ‘in magic potions’: The sense of tyfr, which is a hap. leg., is conjectural. It may be related in sense to ON tívurr, only found in Vsp 31/2, probably in the sense ‘sacrifice’ (cf. OE tīfer, tīber ‘sacrifice’, OHG zebar ‘sacrificial animal’; AEW: tívurr).

Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated