Cite as: Rory McTurk (ed.) 2017, ‘Ragnars saga loðbrókar 17 (Kráka/Áslaug Sigurðardóttir, Lausavísur 6)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 660.
context: With her three-year-old son Sigurðr in tow,
Áslaug receives the news of Rǫgnvaldr’s death from her newly returned sons
Ívarr, Bjǫrn and Hvítserkr. She implies criticism of them for keeping her
waiting so long for the news, and compares them unfavourably, also by
implication, with Rǫgnvaldr, the youngest of her sons at the time of his heroic
death at Hvítabær.
notes: [1-4]: Among previous eds, only Olsen (Ragn 1906-8, 207) (perhaps followed by Eskeland (Ragn 1944) is clear in taking heiman ‘from home’ in l. 3 together with kaga ‘gaze (at), watch’, in l. 1, in the sense of ‘watch … from home’. All others (including those of CPB, who, however, leave ll. 2-4 partly blank) seem to treat ll. 1-2 as syntactically independent, as does the present ed. Rafn (FSN) follows 1824b in ll. 3-4, while Valdimar Ásmundarson (Ragn 1891) emends heim af in l. 3 to harmi at and ‘hvsgafs’ in l. 4 to húsgangs ‘begging from house to house’; neither’s text lends itself to satisfactory interpretation. Olsen takes kaga ‘gaze at’, as transitive, with its object mávangs ‘the gull-field [SEA]’ in l. 2 in the gen. He emends 1824b’s heim af in l. 3 to heima ‘at home’, understanding it to modify the verb eruð immediately preceding it, while taking heiman to modify kaga in l. 1, as said; he also emends to húsgangs in l. 4, thus: ‘my sons let me gaze at the sea for a long time from home, (while) you, at home, are only moderately capable (meðalfærir, i.e. hardly even capable) of begging from house to house’. Olsen further considers, without committing himself to it, the alternative possibility of emending heim af in l. 3 to hreina, gen. pl. of hreinn m. ‘reindeer’ and taking it as the base-word in a kenning for ‘ships’, with mávangs ‘the gull-field’s’, ‘sea’s’, as determinant, and forming the gen. object of kaga, thus producing: ‘my sons let me gaze at the reindeer of the gull-field [SEA > SHIPS] for a long time from home …’. Finnur Jónsson’s emendation of af in l. 3 to ok ‘and’ (Skj B) gives very satisfactory sense in the context (heim ok heiman ‘homewards and from home’), intensifying the idea of ‘from house to house’ implicit in the emended form húsgangs in l. 4, which Finnur also adopts. His text of ll. 3-4 is followed by Kock (Skald), Guðni Jónsson (FSGJ), Örnólfur Thorsson (Ragn 1985) and also by the present ed.
texts: ‹Ragn 17›
editions: Skj Anonyme digte og vers [XIII]: E. 2. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Ragnarssaga loðbrókar V 7 (AII, 236; BII, 255-6); Skald II, 133; FSN 1, 265 (Ragn ch. 9), Ragn 1891, 198 (ch. 9), Ragn 1906-8, 142, 207 (ch. 10), Ragn 1944, 68, 70-71 (ch. 10), FSGJ 1, 252-3 (Ragn ch. 10), Ragn 1985, 126 (ch. 10), Ragn 2003, 38 (ch. 10), CPB II, 351.