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.
|Kjóstu þann þræl af þengils liði,
er gefr svínum soð.
Mun þér ei maðr
| duga * af mildings hirð, |
ef þér glapvígr geriz.
Kjóstu þann þræl af liði þengils, er gefr svínum soð. Maðr af hirð mildings mun ei duga* þér, ef geriz þér glapvígr.
Choose that slave from the followers of the prince who gives swill to the swine. A man of the prince’s court will not be of use to you if he reveals himself to you as prone to accidental killing.
Mss: 109a IIIˣ(268r-v), papp6ˣ(49r), ÍBR5ˣ(89) (HjǪ)
Readings:  er: sem papp6ˣ  duga * af mildings hirð: duga eðr nægaz af mildings hirð 109a IIIˣ, duga eðr nægaz af mildings hirð with eðr nægaz crossed out, probably in another hand papp6ˣ, af mildings hirð duga ÍBR5ˣ
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.
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: [All]: 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). — [All]: 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’. —  glapvígr ‘prone to accidental killing’: An uncommon adj., instanced in poetry only here and in Þorm Lv1/6V (Fbr 8), in both cases describing a bad or disaster-prone fighter. It is related to the uncommon noun glapvíg ‘accidental manslaughter’ (ONP: glapvíg, only found in two versions of one statement in Ldn and the verb glapna ‘grow dim, be spoiled, harmed’ (cf. Fritzner: glapna) and various other compounds, such as glappaskot ‘chance shot, mishap, inadvertent shot’ and ModIcel. glapp ‘misfortune’, glappaskot ‘mistake’. Skj B translates l. 6 as hvis han viser sig for dig at svigte i kamp ‘if he shows himself before you to fail in battle’.