Cite as: Rory McTurk (ed.) 2017, ‘Ragnars saga loðbrókar 5 (Kráka/Áslaug Sigurðardóttir, Lausavísur 3)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 633.
|Þori ek eigi þann þiggja,
er Þóra hjörtr átti,
serk við silfr um merktan;
sama ælig mér klæði.
|Því em ek Kráka kölluð, |
í kolsvörtum váðum
at ek hefi grjót um gengit
ok geitr með sjá reknar.
Ek þori eigi þiggja þann serk, um merktan við silfr, er Þóra hjörtr átti; ælig klæði sama mér. Því em ek kölluð Kráka, at ek hefi um gengit grjót í kolsvörtum váðum ok reknar geitr með sjá.
I dare not accept that shift, decked out with silver, which Þóra hjǫrtr (‘Hart’) possessed; wretched garments are suitable for me. I am called Kráka (‘Crow’) because I have walked on stones in coal-black clothes and driven goats by the sea.
Mss: 1824b(58r) (Ragn); 762ˣ(2v-3r)
Readings:  sama: sóma 762ˣ  ‑svörtum: so 762ˣ, ‘svartum’ 1824b
Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], E. 2. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Ragnarssaga loðbrókar II 5: AII, 233, BII, 252-3, Skald II, 131, NN §2338Fb; FSN 1, 248 (Ragn ch. 5), Ragn 1891, 186 (ch. 5), Ragn 1906-8, 127, 198 (ch. 6), Ragn 1944, 38-9 (ch. 6), FSGJ 1, 236-7 (Ragn ch. 6), Ragn 1985, 113 (ch. 6), Ragn 2003, 22-3 (ch. 6), CPB II, 347.
Context: Kráka-Áslaug refuses the shift, indicating that only humble clothing befits her, and referring to the name Kráka ‘Crow’ bestowed upon her by the farmers who have brought her up as their daughter (see Context to Ragn 2) and given her the most menial tasks, including that of goatherd.
Notes: [All]: See Ragn 4 Note to [All]. — [1-4]: In the saga prose (Ragn 1906-8, 127), Kráka-Áslaug says, immediately after reciting this stanza, that she will not accept the shift while still living on the farm, where she wishes to stay for the moment. It is to be assumed that she does accept it at some later stage, however, since, in the prose preceding Ragn 25 (Ragn 1906-8, 156), she expresses the wish to repay Ragnarr for giving it to her. See Ragn 25 below, Note to [All]. Here the saga is adapting a version of the Kráka story, reflected in the Faroese ballad-sequence known as Ragnars kvæði (see Djurhuus and Matras 1951-63, 215-43), in which the hero Ragnar’s first wife Tóra, i.e. Þóra, had prophesied before dying that her clothes would be a perfect fit for his next wife, who would thus be revealed as of noble birth and specifically as Ásla Sjúrðardóttir, i.e. Áslaug, daughter of Sigurðr Fáfnisbani. In the X and Y versions of the saga, reflected respectively in 147 and 1824b, the revelation of Kráka-Áslaug’s true identity and parentage is postponed until after Ragnarr, believing her to be a mere farmer’s daughter, secretly seeks the hand of the daughter of King Eysteinn of Sweden, but abandons this plan after the fulfilment of Kráka-Áslaug’s prophecy that she and Ragnarr will have a son with a snake-like mark in his eye, a sign of his descent from Sigurðr Fáfnisbani. See further Ragn 8-10 below. The saga is inconsistent, in the Y-version at least, in reporting Kráka-Áslaug’s rejection of the shift and later, after no further mention of it, presenting her as having received it from Ragnarr as a gift. — [5-8]: Olrik (1892-4, II, 96) and Liestøl (1917, 107-9) point out the similarity in wording of this half-stanza to one of the four-line stanzas of the Faroese Ragnars kvæði (see Djurhuus and Matras 1951-63, 222, st. 89; 225, st. 28; 230, st. 81; 239, st. 76; 243, st. 84) and to one of the stanzas, also of four lines, in the Danish ballad ‘Regnfred og Kragelil’ (DgF I, 331, st. 11). — [5-8]: Skj B’s presentation of the text with no punctuation at the end of l. 5 and the translation derfor kaldes jeg Krage i kulsorte klæder, fordi … ‘I am called “Crow in coal-black clothes” because …’ (i.e. with l. 6 taken as an extension of the nickname Kráka) is hardly satisfactory, since, as Olsen (Ragn 1906-8, 198) points out, it is l. 6 rather than l. 7 or 8 that explains the nickname Kráka, and must thus be taken as forming part of the subordinate clause introduced by Því … at ‘because’ (of which ll. 7 and 8 also form part), so that Skj B’s comma at the end of l. 6 should rather be placed, as Olsen and the present ed. place it, at the end of l. 5. All previous eds apart from Olsen and Ebel (Ragn 2003) place the comma at the end of l. 6, thus apparently taking this line as an extension of the nickname. —  ek hefi um gengit grjót ‘I have walked on stones’: Grjót is here the acc. of the terrain covered (cf. NS §96), so the emendation to dat. grjóti adopted by some eds is not necessary.