Cite as: Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 122 (Ǫrvar-Oddr, Ævidrápa 52)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 928.
|Sigldum síðan suðr langt í haf,
áðr ek grunnsævi grimmu mættak,
|svá at einn saman en öllu firðr |
gumna sinni gekk ek annan veg.
Sigldum síðan langt suðr í haf, áðr ek mættak grimmu grunnsævi, svá at ek gekk annan veg einn saman en firðr öllu sinni gumna.
We sailed then a long way south in the ocean before I came upon treacherous shallows, so that I went another way alone and deprived of all company of men.
Mss: 7(52r), 343a(81r), 471(95v), 173ˣ(64ra) (Ǫrv)
Readings:  Sigldum síðan: Lét ek suðr í haf 343a, 471, 173ˣ  suðr langt í haf: langt um farit 343a, 471, svá langt um farit 173ˣ  áðr: at 343a, 471, 173ˣ  grimmu: gildu 343a, 471, 173ˣ; mættak: mætti 471, mætta 173ˣ  svá at: varð ek 343a, 471, 173ˣ  en öllu firðr: en annan veg 343a, 471, 173ˣ  sinni: mengi 343a, 471, 173ˣ  gekk ek annan veg: gekk helvegu 343a, 471, 173ˣ
Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], E. 10. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Ǫrvar-Oddssaga IX 52: AII, 315, BII, 334-5, Skald II, 179; Ǫrv 1888, 117, 205, Ǫrv 1892, 65, 99, FSGJ 2, 356; Edd. Min. 57.
Notes: [All]: This is the first of seven stanzas or part-stanzas that are found in ms. 7 (but not in 344a) as well as in the younger mss within the continuous Ævdr. The other six stanzas are Ævdr 53 (Ǫrv 123), Ævdr 64 (Ǫrv 134), Ævdr 68 (Ǫrv 138), Ævdr 69 (Ǫrv 139), Ævdr 70 (Ǫrv 140) and Ævdr 71 (Ǫrv 141). In most instances of the stanzas within this group the wording of the text in 7 differs significantly from that of the younger mss. which largely agree with one another, as in the present case. Ǫrv 1888, 117 gives 7’s text, while presenting that of 343a on p. 205; Ǫrv 1892 has the text of 7 on both pp. 65 and 99. Edd. Min. 57 also has the text of 7. Skj B presents the first helmingr from 7, and the second from 343a, while Skald has ll. 1-7 from 7, and the final line from 343a. FSGJ gives the text of the younger mss within the Ævdr. The text of 343a is given here:
Lét ek suðr í haf       langt um farit,
at ek grunnsævi       gildu mættak.
Varð ek einn saman,       en annan veg
gumna mengi       gekk helvegu.
Prose order: Ek lét um farit langt suðr í haf, at ek mættak gildu grunnsævi. Ek varð einn saman, en mengi gumna gekk annan veg helvegu.
Translation: I had travelled [such] a long way south in the ocean that I came upon extensive shallows. I was alone, but the crowd of men went another way along the roads to Hel.
The translation of at (l. 3) assumes a suppressed svá ‘such’ in the first clause. — [All]: The circumstances underlying this stanza are only explicit in 7’s version of the prose saga (Ǫrv 1888, 117): Eptir þat siglir Oddr út til Jórsalalands, ok þá fekk hann storm svá mikinn ok grunnsævi, at þar braut skip hans ǫll. Þar týnduz ok menn hans allir, svá at einn komz hann á land með því móti, at hann rak með skipflaki nǫkkuru til lands ‘After that [i.e. his baptism by an abbot in Sicily] Oddr sails out to Palestine, and there he encountered such a great storm as well as shallow water, that all his ships were wrecked there. There all his men were also lost, so that he came ashore alone by drifting towards land with some flotsam’. The other mss do not mention a storm at sea, and state that Oddr travelled to the River Jordan after his meeting with Christians in Aquitaine. Thus the events referred to in this stanza actually follow the events mentioned in Ævdr 53 (Ǫrv 123). In 7, but not in the younger mss, Ævdr 53 precedes Ævdr 52. — [5-8]: There are several reasons to think that the younger mss’ version of this helmingr is less good than that of 7: first, the sense is dubious in context and it is unclear who the crowd of men are who travelled the roads to Hel. While it is clear that Oddr himself follows his baptism by travelling to the Holy Land and thus acquiring Christian virtue, the only people who could be seen as travelling the roads to Hel are a band of robbers who, in the episode referred to in Ævdr 53, attacked and killed a bishop, and were killed by Oddr in return. — : The younger mss have gekk helvegu ‘went along the roads to Hel’, i.e. they died. Cf. Vsp 52/7 (NK 12) troða halir helveg ‘men tread the road to Hel’. Finnur Jónsson (Skj B and LP: helvegr) emends to helvega (acc. pl.), but emendation is not required, as vegr may sometimes have the inflexions of u-stem nouns in nom. and acc. pl. (ANG §358.4).