Cite as: Wilhelm Heizmann (ed.) 2017, ‘Bósa saga 8 (Busla, Buslubæn 8)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 34.
|Tröll ok álfar ok töfrnornir,
búar, bergrisar brenni þínar hallir.
|Hati þik hrímþussar, hestar streði þik, |
stráin stangi þik, en stormar æri þik,
ok vei verði þér, nema þú vilja minn gjorir.
Tröll ok álfar ok töfrnornir, búar, bergrisar brenni hallir þínar. Hrímþussar hati þik, hestar streði þik, stráin stangi þik, en stormar æri þik, ok verði þér vei, nema þú gjorir vilja minn.
May trolls and elves and magic-Norns, supernatural inhabitants and mountain giants burn your halls. May frost giants loathe you, stallions violate you, straw prick you and storms bewilder you; and harm will come to you unless you do my bidding.
Mss: 586(14v), 577(53v), 510(11v), 340ˣ(271-272), 361ˣ(11r) (Bós)
Readings:  töfr‑: taufra 577, töfra 361ˣ  brenni: brenn 577, 361ˣ  þik: om. 577, 361ˣ  hestar streði þik: ‘heller þínar’ 577, 361ˣ; streði: tróði 340ˣ  en: om. 577, 361ˣ; stormar: stofnar 577, 361ˣ, stjörnur 510, stormur 340ˣ; æri: angri 577, 361ˣ  ok: om. 577; vei verði þér: verði þér vei 577  vilja: vili 577
Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], E. 14. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Bósasaga 8: AII, 331-2, BII, 352, Skald II, 190; Bós 1666, 20-1, FSN 3, 205-6, Bós 1893, 18, FSGJ 3, 294, Bós 1996, 14-15; Edd. Min. 124.
Context: A passage of prose now intervenes in Bós after st. 7 and before st. 8. It tells that the king remains implacable and insults Busla by calling her a vættr, a word which can be understood in the sense of ‘witch’ in this context. Busla’s magic causes the king to be stuck fast to the bed and the servant boys kept asleep. Thus she can begin to recite the poetry that begins the second section of the curse, in which an entire army of demons is invoked to rise up against the king.
Notes:  álfar ‘elves’: Mythical beings akin to the Æsir who receive cult worship (álfablót ‘sacrifice to the elves’) (Kuhn 1973; Shippey 2005b). Younger sources, as here in Bós, emphasise the demonic aspects of elves (Grimm 1875-8, 2, 381-2; Turville-Petre 1964, 232; Shippey 2005b, 166-8). —  töfrnornir ‘magic-Norns’: A hap. leg. While the Norns appear elsewhere as a threesome of fatal women (Dillmann 2002a), here they seem to present a younger development in which the Norns are included in a series of other baleful mythical creatures. Here the saga uses the word töfr n. pl., a concept initially applied to equipment and instruments used for magic, but then later for sorcery in general (cf. Wesche 1940, 5-17; Dillmann 2006, 130-2; AEW: taufr). —  búar ‘supernatural inhabitants’: Lit.
‘inhabitants’. The inhabitants of mountains (bergbúar) and hills or mounds (haugbúar). These may
include the dead as well as lesser mythological beings. —  bergrisar ‘mountain giants’: Old Norse tradition differentiates between several types of giants (cf. Schulz 2004, 29-37). Jǫtunn, þurs and risi are old words and are attested in all Germanic languages. Trǫll is attested only in Scandinavian languages and with a younger dating. Apart from some giants who are connected to the gods in Old Norse mythology by marriage or blood, the giants are generally regarded as threatening. They are demonised as forces of chaos and embody the forces of nature. The group of the mountain giants is attested in the eddic poem Grott (st. 9), but is otherwise mentioned relatively seldom. The mountain giants were probably first established as a separate group by Snorri Sturluson in Gylf (Schulz 2004, 44-5). —  hrímþussar ‘frost giants’: In Gylf frost giants appear as the archetypal embodiment of the giant race. Their lineage leads directly to the eldest humanoid primordial being, Ymir, who is licked out of the primordial frost by the cow, Auðhumla, and reproduces hermaphroditically with himself (SnE 2005, 11; cf. Schulz 2004, 43, 65-8). —  hestar streði þik ‘may stallions violate you’: Counted among the gravest insults in Old Norse society is the suggestion of passive homosexuality (cf. Meulengracht Sørensen 1983, 18-20; Almqvist 2002, 141; Price 2005, 254-6). It culminates not infrequently in the accusation of having changed sexes. Thus an anonymous Icelandic mocking verse in Hkr (ÍF 27, 270-1) about the Danish king, Harald Gormsson, and his jarl, Birgir, depicted the two men as stallion and mare (Anon (ÓTHkr) 1I; cf. Almqvist 1965-74, I, 119-85). Although the matter might generally remain at the level of obscene imagery, the line in Busl takes it to excess with the threat of real, repeated rape by stallions. On the verb streða ‘screw’, as a keyword in the context of níð, cf. Meulengracht Sørensen (1983, 17-20) and Price (2005, 253).