Cite as: Hubert Seelow (ed.) 2017, ‘Hálfs saga ok Hálfsrekka 12 (Marmennill, Lausavísur 7)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 314.
|Kalt vatn augum en kvett tönnum,
lérept líki, lát mik aptr í sjó.
|Dregr mik engi í degi síðan |
maðr upp í skip af marabotnum.
Kalt vatn augum en kvett tönnum, lérept líki, lát mik aptr í sjó. Engi maðr dregr mik síðan í degi upp í skip af marabotnum.
Cold water for the eyes and a piece of meat for the teeth, linen for the body, put me back into the sea. No man will pull me then by daylight from the depths of the ocean up into a ship.
Mss: 2845(34r) (Hálf)
Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], E. 6. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Hálfssaga IV 6: AII, 258, BII, 278, Skald II, 145, NN §3188; Hálf 1864, 11, Hálf 1909, 86, FSGJ 2, 103-4, Hálf 1981, 116, 175; Edd. Min. 91.
stanza is preceded by the words: Þá tók
einn maðr í hönd honum ok spurði: Hvat er manni bezt? Marmendill svarar … ‘Then
a man took him by the hand and asked: What is best for a man? The merman
replies …’. The stanza is followed by the words: Kóngr
gaf þeim Handi ok Hrindi land at búa á ok þar með þræl ok ambátt ‘The king
gave Handir and Hrindir land to farm and with it a slave and a bondwoman’.
Notes:  kvett ‘a piece of meat’: There has been much discussion about the meaning of the word kvett: Konráð Gíslason (1866c) suggests the reading kveitt, p. p. of an otherwise unknown verb *kveita used as an adj. (attributive to the n. noun vatn ‘water’ in l. 1) meaning ‘lukewarm, tepid’. Both Skj B and Skald adopt the form kveitt, Finnur Jónsson translating it as kuldslåt ‘lukewarm’. Fritzner (1885) reads kvett as kvætt, explaining it as an otherwise unknown Old Norse noun denoting ‘resin, tree-gum’ (ModDan. kvade) allegedly chewed by people in Scandinavia in the old days; Konráð Gíslason (1885) is mainly a reply to Fritzner’s criticism of Konráð Gíslason (1866c). Eiríkr Magnússon (1895) points out that in Modern Icelandic there is a noun kvetti ‘lean whale meat’ and suggests the meaning ‘piece of (whale) meat’ for kvett. —  síðan í degi ‘then by daylight’: Kock (NN §3188) disapproves of Finnur Jónsson’s translation (Skj B siden ‘again’) of í degi síðan and suggests mera i dag ‘more today’. Cf. Hálf 25/8 and Note there. —  af marabotnum ‘from the depths of the ocean’: This cpd was normalised to mararbotnum in Hálf 1864 and most later eds, except for Skald. According to ONP: marabotn, mararbotn this cpd is in most cases written marabotn, as in 2845.