Cite as: Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 65 (Ǫrvar-Oddr, Lausavísur 29)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 880.
|Oddr sveigði álm, ör fló af streng,
Jólfs smíði beit Álf í gegnum.
|Dugðu svá blót, at yfir honum hlakka |
bæði hrafnar ok hrægjóðar.
Oddr sveigði álm, ör fló af streng, smíði Jólfs beit í gegnum Álf. Blót dugðu svá, at bæði hrafnar ok hrægjóðar hlakka yfir honum.
Oddr bent the bow, the arrow flew from the string, Jólfr’s handiwork bit right through Álfr. The sacrifices lent help to the extent that both ravens and carrion-ospreys exult over him.
Mss: 344a(23v), 343a(79r), 471(91v), 173ˣ(57r-v) (Ǫrv)
Readings:  Oddr sveigði álm: so all others, Sveigða ek álm 344a  streng: so 173ˣ, ‘streignum’ 344a, strengjum 343a, 471  beit: so all others, om. 344a  Dugðu svá blót: dugðu blót svá 344a, býðr ei þú blót honum 343a, býðr þú honum ei blót 471, bið attu á honum blót 173ˣ  at yfir honum hlakka: svá at Bjálki þiggi 343a, svá hann þiggi 471, 173ˣ  bæði hrafnar: hlakka hrafnar 343a, 471, 173ˣ  ok hrægjóðar: yfir hræi Bjálka 343a, ‘yfir hræi […]’ 471, um hræ Bjálka 173ˣ
Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], E. 10. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Ǫrvar-Oddssaga VIII 7: AII, 304-5, BII, 323, Skald II, 172-3, NN §2602; Ǫrv 1888, 182, FSGJ 2, 330; Edd. Min. 76.
Context: Oddr responds to Gyðja’s threat to bring back Álfr
from the dead.
Notes: [All]: This stanza is corrupted in all mss, and there is a considerable divergence between them, in that, as often, 344a has a rather different text from the younger mss, especially in ll. 1 and 5-8. Previous eds have mostly tried to compromise between the versions, so that their texts are composites, and follow no one base ms. The exception is Ǫrv 1888, which reproduces an emended text of 344a, a policy also followed here. Edd. Min., Skj B and Skald have composite texts, to a greater or lesser extent following the younger mss, while Skj A reproduces the text of 344a. The main difficulties occur in ll. 5-6, which do not alliterate. —  streng ‘string’: Only 173ˣ has the metrically required form of the dat. sg. of strengr ‘[bow]-string’ and its reading has been adopted by all previous eds. —  smíði Jólfs ‘Jólfr’s handiwork’: A reference to a weapon, in the prose texts said to comprise three stone arrows, that a mysterious old man named Jólfr lends Oddr before he visits King Herrauðr’s court. Oddr uses these to wound Álfr bjálki (in the younger mss) or to kill Gyða (in 7). Jólfs smíði is listed among other arrow-names in Þul Ǫrvar 2/5III; for a discussion, see SnE 1998, II, 228 n. to st. 466/7-8. Although this is not stated directly in the prose text, the implication is that Jólfr is an Odinic figure. His name is possibly reminiscent of certain names for Óðinn (cf. discussion in Edd. Min. lxviii). As Boer commented in several notes to his 1892 edn (Ǫrv 1892, 90-1), the sense of the prose text is at odds with the sense of these stanzas, in that, among other things, Oddr benefits from the thinly disguised Óðinn’s help in the prose, while declaring himself opposed to the pagan gods and to Óðinn in particular in the poetry. Finnur Jónsson (Skj B and LP: Jólfssmíði) treated Jólfs smíði as a cpd or hyphenated name (Skj B) for the stone arrow(s). It is not clear whether the phrase refers to a single arrow or whether smíði is a collective noun. The phrase also occurs at Ǫrv 67/2. —  beit ‘bit’: This verb, necessary both
for sense and metrically, is omitted in 344a, but all other mss have it. — [5-6]: The utterance has to be understood as deeply ironic: Oddr means that one can see from the behaviour of the carrion birds that Álfr is dead and that Gyðja’s sacrifices have been of no help. Lines 5-6 are unmetrical in all mss because they have no alliteration. Skj B offers býðrat blót honum | svát hann þiggi ‘you will not offer him sacrifice(s) such that he can receive’ based on the younger mss, while Skald rearranges the wording to give býðrat hónum | blot, svát þiggi (see NN §2602). Edd. Min. has l. 5 according to 344a, and a l. 6 that follows no ms. reading. — [7-8]: The younger mss agree on l. 7 hlakka hrafnar ‘ravens exult’, but have slightly differing versions of l. 8. Skj B and Skald adopt of hræi Bjálka ‘over Bjálki’s corpse’, which is the reading of 343a and (reportedly by earlier eds) 471, which is now illegible in part. —  hrægjóðar ‘carrion-ospreys’: A hap. leg. cpd and one not recorded in LP. Most compounds in hræ- form kennings and one would expect the second element of this cpd to refer to some other kind of bird than a bird of prey. Doubtless because hræ ‘corpse’ cannot here have a determinative function, Meissner 120 does not include the cpd hrægjóðr among kennings for raven/eagle, though gjóðr ‘osprey’ occurs as a base-word in several kennings of this type.