Cite as: Philip Lavender (ed.) 2017, ‘Þjalar-Jóns saga 1 (Þjalar-Jón Svipdagsson, Lausavísur 1)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 801.
context: Prince Eiríkr Vilhjálmsson has followed the mysterious stranger named Gestr Gunnólfsson (later revealed to be Þjalar-Jón Svipdagsson) into the lodgings that his father has provided for him. Gestr has three sealed chests, but, after opening two, refuses to unlock the third. Gestr says that he must put Eiríkr to the test first and recites this stanza.
notes: The situation envisaged by the
speaker in these lines is not entirely clear. Having asserted his preoccupation
with women in the first helmingr in
defiance of certain unspecified men, possibly courtiers attempting to hinder
his involvement with these females, he acknowledges in ll. 5-8 that these same
men (presumably) could damage his reputation by slander if he does not stand up
to them. On the question of whether this preoccupation could amount to a
romantic interest and the problems that such an (otherwise natural) interpretation
would pose considering the prose context, see the Introduction.
texts: ÞJ 1› (ch. 3)
editions: Skj Not in Skj; ÞJ 1857, 12, 62, ÞJ 1939, 6 (ch. 3).