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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Ǫrvar-Oddr (ǪrvOdd)

volume 8; ed. Margaret Clunies Ross;

Lausavísur (Lv) - 32

not in Skj

Lausavísur — ǪrvOdd LvVIII

Not published: do not cite (ǪrvOdd LvVIII)

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SkP info: VIII, 884

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

32 — ǪrvOdd Lv 32VIII (Ǫrv 69)

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 69 (Ǫrvar-Oddr, Lausavísur 32)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 884.

Elta ek ásu         ørhjartaða tvá,
sem fyr úlfi         örg geit rynni.
Illr er Óðinn         at eingavin;
skuluð eigi ér         skratta blóta.

Ek elta tvá ørhjartaða ásu, sem örg geit rynni fyr úlfi. Óðinn er illr at eingavin; ér skuluð eigi blóta skratta.

I chased the two dispirited gods just as a timid nanny goat runs before a wolf. Óðinn is evil as an intimate friend; you should not worship demons with sacrifice.

Mss: 344a(23v), 7(56r) (ll. 5-8), 343a(79r), 471(91v) (Ǫrv)

Readings: [1] Elta: Ætla 343a;    ásu: ása 344a, æsa 343a, æsi 471    [2] ørhjartaða tvá (‘aur hiartada ii’): so 343a, ‘ꜹr hratada tva’ 344a, ‘úr hjarta […]’ 471    [4] örg: argar 343a, 471;    geit: geitr 343a, ‘geite’ 471    [5] Illr: illt 7, 343a, 471;    Óðinn: om. 7, at eiga Óðin 343a, 471    [6] einga‑: einka 7, 343a, 471    [7] skuluð eigi ér (‘skoluð eigi ęrr’): so 7, skulu þér eigi 344a, skaltu eigi lengr 343a, skal ek aldregi 471    [8] skratta: so 7, skrattan 344a, 343a, 471

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], E. 10. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Ǫrvar-Oddssaga VIII 11: AII, 305-6, BII, 324, Skald II, 173; Ǫrv 1888, 184, FSGJ 2, 331; Edd. Min. 75.

Context: Oddr continues his response to Gyðja. This stanza follows Ǫrv 68, introduced with the clause ok enn kvað Oddr ‘and Oddr said further’.

Notes: [All]: This stanza is lacking in 173ˣ, while 7 has ll. 5-8 as ll. 5-8 of a 12-line Ǫrv 62. — [1] ek elta ‘I chased’: The verb elta is often used of the act of chasing or herding animals, so prepares the way for the analogy between Oddr’s pursuit of Freyr and Óðinn and a wolf’s hunting down a timid goat. — [2] tvá ørhjartaða ásu ‘the two dispirited gods’: Probably a reference to Freyr and Óðinn, mentioned in the previous stanza, rather than to the whole pantheon of the pagan gods. The numeral tvá occurs in the mss, but is omitted or placed in parentheses by all previous eds because it makes the line hypermetrical. The acc. pl. of æsir, ásu is given in normalised form in the text, but is not regarded as an emendation here (though it is in Ǫrv 67/7), because 471’s æsi is an attested alternative form of the acc. pl. of áss (cf. ANG §395.4). — [4] örg geit ‘a timid nanny goat’: The word order örg geit has been reversed from the mss’ geit örg in order to produce a metrical line. An insult of a well-known type, in which male beings are compared to female animals; cf. Meulegracht Sørensen (1983, 16-20). — [5-6]: These lines are likely to be a variation on the proverbial saying Ilt er at eiga þræl at einka vin ‘It is bad to have a scoundrel [lit. ‘slave’] as an intimate friend’, as Boer (Ǫrv 1892, 91 n. to l. 20) points out, giving examples from Old Icelandic prose texts. — [5-8]: These lines occur in 7 as the middle section of Ǫrv 62. See Note to [All] to that stanza. — [8] skratta ‘demons’: The noun skratti also means ‘sorcerer, monster’, but it is likely to have a demonic sense here, in line with the common medieval Christian view that the pagan gods were manifestations of Satan.

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