Cite as: Rory McTurk (ed.) 2017, ‘Ragnars saga loðbrókar 13 (Eiríkr Ragnarsson, Lausavísur 3)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 651.
context: After taking a ring from his arm, Eiríkr sends
messengers to Áslaug, with the instruction that a slender maiden may have his rings. He
confidently expresses the view that his stepmother (Áslaug) will convey to her
sons the news of his death.
notes: [3-4]: These lines raise the question of who is meant by the mjó mær ‘slender maiden’ to whom Eiríkr bequeaths his rings. Is it Áslaug, as some have thought, or some unknown, unnamed figure? (a) Most previous eds apart from those of CPB and Kock leave open the question of the slender maiden’s identity and the present ed. adopts the same position. (b) Finnur Jónsson (Hb 1892-6, 460) adopts Hb’s reading ‘meirr’, i.e. meir ‘(ever)more, hereafter’ in l. 3 (cf. Kock, to be discussed in (d), below), and takes the adj. mjó ‘slender’ in l. 4 as f. nom. sg. and substantival, giving the meaning ‘she, the slender one (hun den slanke) may have my belongings hereafter’. (c) In Skj B, however, Finnur adopts from 1824b the reading mær ‘maiden’ in l. 3 and from Hb the reading mjó (in place of mik, 1824b) in l. 4, taking mjó here, f. nom. sg., as an attributive adj., and producing the meaning ‘that the slender maiden may have my rings’. (d) Kock (NN §1455) adopts the Hb readings meir ‘hereafter’ and mjó ‘slender’, and emends Áslaugu in l. 4 to Áslaug um, thus making Áslaug nom., supplying a pleonastic um to fill out the line, and giving the meaning ‘that the fair (slender) Áslaug may have my rings hereafter’. The emendation seems unjustified, however; the oblique case of Áslaugu is sufficiently marked and syntactically out of place in l. 4 to suggest a syntactic link with an earlier part of the half-stanza. — [7-8]: The Hb reading of these two lines, adopted by all previous eds (apart from those of CPB, who follow Hb but omit sínum from l. 8, without replacing it, and Rafn (FSN), who simply follows 1824b), is undeniably preferable to that of 1824b as far as alliteration and (in l. 8) syllable-count are concerned and has also been followed here. The 1824b text lacks in l. 7 the double alliteration that would be expected in a dróttkvætt odd line, since ‑móðir, the second element in stjúpmóðir and bearing only secondary stress, cannot be regarded as alliterating with mín, at least for the purposes of dróttkvætt (cf. Russom 1998, 64); and l. 8, in which resolution of the two syllables of mögum (if not those of þögul) would be expected (Poole 2005e, 271), is short of the six syllables required in a dróttkvætt line. For an alternative treatment of these two lines, still taking account of the readings of 1824b, see McTurk (2014b, 110‑13).
texts: ‹Ragn 13›,
editions: Skj Anonyme digte og vers [XIII]: E. 2. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Ragnarssaga loðbrókar V 3 (AII, 235; BII, 254); Skald II, 132, NN §1455; FSN 1, 262-3 (Ragn ch. 9), Ragn 1891, 196 (ch. 9), Hb 1892-6, 460 (RagnSon ch. 2), Ragn 1906-8, 140, 204-5 (ch. 10), Ragn 1944, 64-5 (ch. 10), FSGJ 1, 250 (Ragn ch. 10), Ragn 1985, 124 (ch. 10), Ragn 2003, 35 (ch. 10), CPB II, 348.