Cite as: Hubert Seelow (ed.) 2017, ‘Hálfs saga ok Hálfsrekka 38 (Útsteinn Gunnlaðarson, Lausavísa 1)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 334.
This stanza stands outside the following sequence that constitutes Útsteinskviða ‘Poem of Útsteinn’ (Útkv). In it Útsteinn, who has survived the burning and hall fight described in his dead brother, Innsteinn’s, Innkv, expresses his pleasure that at least one man, himself, is still alive and, by implication, ready to take vengeance on Ásmundr. However, such a statement does not fit well with the following sequence of stanzas (Hálf 39-50) in which the superiority of the Hálfsrekkar is mentioned frequently, but not a final battle against Ásmundr. The content of this stanza provides no reason for its incorporation into Útkv, contrary to the practice of most eds, even though the prose text places it more or less as an introduction to that poem.
context: This stanza is preceded by a prose paragraph: Útsteinn was staying with King Eysteinn of Denmark, whose counsellor Úlfr inn rauði ‘the Red’ had eight boisterous sons. They envied Útsteinn and treated him badly, so a dispute arose. First, though, Útsteinn told of King Hálfr’s death. The stanza is introduced by the words: Hann kvað þá ‘He then said’.
texts: ‹Hálf 38›
editions: Skj Anonyme digte og vers [XIII]: E. 6. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Hálfssaga VIII 1 (AII, 262-3; BII, 283-4); Skald II, 149; Hálf 1864, 26, Hálf 1909, 113-14, FSGJ 2, 119, Hálf 1981, 127-8, 186; Edd. Min. 71.