Cite as: Richard L. Harris (ed.) 2017, ‘Hjálmþés saga ok Ǫlvis 10 (Vargeisa/Álfsól, Lausavísur 5)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 502.
context: Vargeisa, the enchanted Princess Álfsól, in a third stanza with prophetic content, advises
choose the humble swineherd, Hǫrðr, in
reality her enchanted brother, Hringr, for his companion. The stanza is again
introduced with the formula varð henni nú
ljóð á munni ‘now a song came into her mouth’.
notes: The subject-matter of this stanza is covered in a much more verbose way in three verses of Hjálmþérsrímur III, 33-7 (Finnur Jónsson 1905-22, II, 23). — This stanza, like HjǪ 4 and 5, is in ljóðaháttr. It is couched in a proverbial mode, though in fact it conceals the ‘realities’ of the saga’s magical world, in that Vargeisa is well aware that the apparently lowly swineherd is her brother, and a prince. The overt sentiment of the stanza is: ‘choose a humble man as your companion, and then you will not risk the possibility of a higher-class companion turning out a failure as a fighter’. — [5-6]: Both 109a IIIˣ and papp6ˣ have the words eðr nægaz ‘or suffice’ added after duga ‘be of use’, though they were crossed out in papp6ˣ, probably, though not certainly, by a later hand. If eðr nægaz were retained, ll. 5-6 would read mun þér ei maðr duga | eðr nægaz af mildings hirð ‘a man of the prince’s court would not be of use to you or suffice’.
texts: ‹HjǪ 10›
editions: Skj Anonyme digte og vers [XIII]: E. 16. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Hjálmþérs saga ok Ǫlvis II 8 (AII, 335; BII, 355); Skald II, 192; HjǪ 1720, 31, FSN 3, 477, FSGJ 4, 202, HjǪ 1970, 27, 85, 141.