Cite as: Hannah Burrows (ed.) 2017, ‘Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks 40 (Hervǫr, Lausavísur 16)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 400.
|Ek mun hirða ok í hendr nema
hvassan mæki, ef ek hafa mættak.
|Uggi ek eigi eld brennanda; |
þegar loga lægir, er ek lít yfir.
Ek mun hirða hvassan mæki ok nema í hendr, ef ek mættak hafa. Ek uggi eigi brennanda eld; loga lægir þegar, er ek lít yfir.
I will guard the sharp sword and take it in my hands, if I might have it. I do not fear the burning fire; the flame will subside as soon as I look upon it.
Mss: Hb(74r), 2845(65v), R715ˣ(14r) (Heiðr)
Readings:  mun: so 2845, R715ˣ, man Hb; hirða: so 2845, R715ˣ, hirða segir hon Hb  hendr: hönd 2845, R715ˣ  mættak: ‘gnædi’ R715ˣ  Uggi: ‘higg’ R715ˣ [7, 8] þegar loga lægir er ek lít yfir: þann er framliðnum fyrðum leikr um sjónir R715ˣ
Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], E. 5. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Hervararsaga III 16: AII, 248, BII, 268, Skald II, 139; Heiðr 1672, 93-4, FSN 1, 440, 521, Heiðr 1873, 220, 320, Heiðr 1924, 29-30, 111, FSGJ 2, 20, Heiðr 1960, 17; Edd. Min. 18-19.
Notes: : The stanza is interrupted
at the end of this half-line in Hb with the attribution segir hon ‘she says’. This is clearly not part of the verse
and is indicated as separate from it in the ms. by the placing of a vertical
stroke on either side of the interjection. —  nema í hendr ‘take it in my hands’: Echoes l. 8 of the previous stanza. The agreement of the other mss on the sg. hönd ‘hand’ is not enough to go against the main ms. here, since in 2845 this is a direct repetition of its reading, hönd, in l. 8 of the previous stanza, a reading rejected in the present edn. Andrews (1920, 97-8), however, argues for the ‘poetic effect’ created (in R715ˣ only) by the use of the sg. form following the pl. in the previous stanza: ‘Hervǫr asserts her readiness to take it in one hand, answering not only the expressed doubt as to her courage, but also any possible implication as to her strength’. —  hvassan mæki ‘the sharp sword’: This half-line also occurs in Heiðr 25/6 and, in the dat. case, Heiðr 88/6; see Note there. — [5-8]: In these lines Hervǫr
responds to ll. 3-4 of the previous stanza: allr er hann útan | eldi sveipinn ‘on
the outside it is all encircled by fire’. — [7-8]: Ms. R715ˣ offers er framliðnum fyrðum | leikr um sjónir ‘which plays around the eyes of the deceased warriors’, which is unmetrical. In the readings in Skj A Finnur Jónsson suggests that the reading may originally have been er framm-liðnum | leikr fyr sjónum ‘which plays around the deceased before [my] sight’, but this lacks alliteration. The variant is clearly secondary.