Cite as: Rory McTurk (ed.) 2017, ‘Ragnars saga loðbrókar 32 (Anonymous Lausavísur, Lausavísur from Ragnars saga loðbrókar 2)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 687.
These six stanzas, quoted in a chapter (19) of the Y-redaction (preserved in 1824b) of Ragn that arguably did not form part of the X-redaction (preserved in 147), resemble a mannjafnaðr ‘comparison of men’, in which male rivals boast of their own daring achievements, usually in battle, and their opponent’s lack of such virtues. They introduce several conventional topics of such dialogues: accusations of cowardice and lack of battle-worthiness, preference for soft, stay-at-home activities over participation in manly fights. The last two stanzas, however, are conciliatory, as the two speakers agree that they are both worthy warriors.
context: Once all the sons of Ragnarr are dead, none of their followers can find
leaders of comparable excellence, although two of them search separately for
such a leader. The two searchers finally meet at a royal funeral feast, one of them
arriving before the other. Once they are both present, the one who arrived
first initiates an exchange of stanzas between them. In this stanza he accuses
the one who arrived second of having more experience of the banqueting hall
than of the field of battle.
notes: [5-8]: The meaning appears to be that the person addressed has more often received than given, has more often been regaled with food and drink in the banqueting hall than he has regaled the birds of battle (the valfuglar of l. 8) with corpses of the slain (so Kock NN §1464 and most translators). Kock rightly criticises Finnur’s emendation (Skj B) of dat. pl. öðrum to n. dat. sg. öðru, and his translation of þáttu at as (oftere) har du … kikket efter ‘you have (more often) … looked at’ in l. 5, thus producing the meaning ‘You have more often looked at something else than …’, which says very little, and seems to imply a mistaken view of þáttu as pret. of þekkja ‘perceive, recognise’, rather than of þiggja ‘receive, accept’.
texts: ‹Ragn 32›
editions: Skj Anonyme digte og vers [XIII]: E. 2. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Ragnarssaga loðbrókar X 1 (AII, 240; BII, 259); Skald II, 135, NN §§1464, 2151, 2373, 2983; FSN 1, 296 (Ragn ch. 20), Ragn 1891, 221 (ch. 20), Ragn 1906-8, 171, 216 (ch. 19), Ragn 1944, 124-7 (ch. 21), FSGJ 1, 282 (Ragn ch. 19), Ragn 1985, 150 (ch. 19), Ragn 2003, 65 (ch. 19), CPB II, 352.