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Eiríkr Ragnarsson (EirRagn)

volume 8; ed. Rory McTurk;

VIII. Lausavísur (Lv) - 4

Lausavísur — EirRagn LvVIII (Ragn)

Rory McTurk (forthcoming), ‘ Eiríkr Ragnarsson, Lausavísur’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. . <> (accessed 20 January 2022)

stanzas:  1   2   3   4 

SkP info: VIII, 651

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

3 — EirRagn Lv 3VIII (Ragn 13)

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


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.

Bera skuluð orð it efra,
— nú eru órir firar lagðir —
at mær hafi mína
mjó, Áslaugu, bauga.
Þá mun mest af móði,
er mik spyrja dauðan,
mín stjúpmóðir mildum
mögum sínum til segja.

Nú eru firar órir lagðir; skuluð bera orð Áslaugu it efra, at mjó mær hafi bauga mína. Þá mun stjúpmóðir mín segja mildum mögum sínum til, mest af móði, er mik spyrja dauðan.

Now our men are laid low; you are to bring word to Áslaug by land that a slender maiden may have my rings. Then, when they hear that I am dead, my stepmother will tell her generous sons about it, in the greatest grief.

Mss: 1824b(64r) (Ragn); Hb(105v) (RagnSon)

Readings: [1] Bera skuluð: Þau berið Hb    [2] eru órir firar lagðir (‘nv ero orrrir firar lagþir’): eru austrfarar liðnar Hb    [3] mær: ‘meirr’ Hb    [4] mjó: so Hb, mik 1824b    [6] er: ef Hb    [7] mildum: so Hb, sínum 1824b    [8] sínum til: so Hb, þögul 1824b

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.

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: [1] skuluð bera orð ‘you are to bring word’: The present edn here follows FSN, Ragn 1891, and Ragn 1985 in adopting the 1824b reading; all other eds (apart from those of CPB, see below) follow Hb with Þau berið orð ‘Bring these tidings’. — [1] it efra ‘by land’: Here the comp. adj. efra, preceded by the def. art., is to be taken as n. acc. sg. and adverbial, meaning ‘by the upper route’ i.e., by land, with land thought of as above sea level. The present ed. follows Edzardi (1855-80, III, 277), Finnur Jónsson (Hb 1892-6; Skj B), Olsen (Ragn 1906-8, 205) and Herrmann (1923b, 164), in understanding the phrase this way. There is no ms. authority for CPB ’s replacement of either þau, pl., with þat, sg., or the comp. efra with sup. œfsta. — [2] nú eru firar órir lagðir ‘now our men are laid low’: The present ed. follows FSN and Ragn 1891 in adopting the 1824b reading, which makes just as good sense as the Hb reading eru austrfarar liðnar ‘journeys eastward (i.e. to Sweden) are a thing of the past’, which all other eds adopt, some of them adding ‘now’ from 1824b at the beginning of the line. — [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. — [5] mest af móði ‘in the greatest grief’: Mest ‘in the greatest degree’ is here adverbial: ‘in grief (af móði; cf. Akv 9, NK 241) in the greatest degree’. — [6] er ‘when’: Ms. 1824b’s reading here gives marginally better sense than Hb’s ef ‘if’ in the context, and is adopted by all eds with the exception of Finnur Jónsson in Hb 1892-6 (as opposed to Skj B). — [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).

Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated