Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Lausavísur (Anon)

I. 8. Lausavísur from Vǫlsa þáttr (Vǫlsa) - 14

not in Skj

2.2: Lausavísur from Vǫlsa þáttr — Anon (Vǫlsa)I

Wilhelm Heizmann 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Lausavísur from Vǫlsa þáttr’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1089.

 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13 

for reference only:  14 

Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII]: D. 4. Vers af Vǫlsaþáttr (AII, 219-21, BII, 237-9)

SkP info: I, 1093

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

2 — Anon (Vǫlsa) 2I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Wilhelm Heizmann (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Lausavísur from Vǫlsa þáttr 2’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1093.

Hér megit sjá         heldr rǫskligan
vingul skorinn         af viggs fǫður.
Þér er, ambátt,         þessi vǫlsi
allódaufligr         innan læra.

Hér megit sjá heldr rǫskligan vingul, skorinn af {fǫður viggs}. Þér er, ambátt, þessi vǫlsi allódaufligr innan læra.

Here you can see quite a powerful dong, cut off from {the stallion’s father} [HORSE]. For you, maid, this rod is not at all dull between the thighs.

Mss: Flat(121vb) (Flat); 292ˣ(54r) (Vǫlsa)

Readings: [4] viggs: ‘uigs’ Flat, ‘vigz’ 292ˣ    [6] vǫlsi: ‘volsi’ Flat, ‘Volse’ 292ˣ    [7] allódaufligr: ‘alleigulegur’ 292ˣ

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], D. 4. Vers af Vǫlsaþáttr 2: AII, 219, BII, 237, Skald II, 123; Flat 1860-8, II, 332 (Vǫlsa); Guðbrandur Vigfússon 1860, 133-4, CPB II, 381, Edd. Min. 123, Schröder 1933, 78.

Context: Towards the end of autumn the fat packhorse dies and the carcase is prepared for food. The manservant cuts off the penis, intending to throw it away. However, the farmer’s son takes it in order to make crude jokes in the main room in front of the women, then recites st. 2. The following prose relates how the housewife takes hold of the severed horse penis, dries it carefully, and wraps it in a linen cloth with leeks and other herbs to prevent it from decomposing. Afterwards she puts it in her chest or box. The penis becomes the object of veneration and is even treated as a deity. Through the power of the Devil it grows and becomes so strong that it can stand up in front of her if she wants it to. The phallus is brought forth every evening and passed around among the members of the household in descending social order, from the head of the household down to the maid, during which each of them has to recite a stanza about it.

Notes: [3] vingul ‘dong’: Cf. ModIcel. vingla ‘to swing’ (AEW: vingull). In the sense of ‘horse phallus’ vingull is only known in this text. For another skaldic stanza involving a horse penis see SnH Lv 11II. — [4] fǫður viggs ‘the stallion’s father [HORSE]’: If ms. ‘uigs’ represents vígs ‘of the fight’, a slight emendation to viggs is necessary, resulting in a more fitting description for the fat packhorse than the original vígs faðir ‘father of the fight’ (cf. LP (1860): faðir). — [6] vǫlsi ‘rod’: Here denoting a horse phallus (cf. Context). Derived from vǫlr ‘stick’ (AEW), and spelt variously ‘volsi’, ‘uolse’, ‘uo᷎lsi’, and ‘vo᷎lse’ in the prose and verse of Flat, the word occurs as an appellative only here and in st. 8/5; otherwise (cf. st. 4/1) it is used as a proper name for the preserved horse phallus. Its relation to Vǫlsungr, progenitor of the house of the Vǫlsungar and descendant of Óðinn, is unclear. This patronymic with the suffix -ungr, falsely used as a proper name, gives rise to a certain Vǫlsi who occurs in Old English as Wæls, the father of Sigemund (Beowulf l. 897). Consequently, the name of the progenitor seems to refer to his procreative potential. Vǫlsi also appears as the name of a troll in Allra flagða þula in Vilhjálms saga sjóðs (Loth 1962-5, 4, 67). In the story of Ásmundur flagðagæfa (see Introduction) a horse phallus called Völski, described as a deity, waits on the guests and serves them. In the context of Vǫlsa, Vǫlsi is interpreted in the scholarly literature as a kind of fetish (Heusler 1903, 30; Neckel 1915-16, III, 241; Rosén 1919, 10; Schomerus 1936, 120; ARG I, 282, II, 207; Düwel 1971, 200), or as a deity or the hypostasis, representative, or symbol of a deity, mainly the fertility god Freyr (Detter and Heinzel 1894, 552 n. 1; Johansson 1917, 121 n. 1; F. Ström 1954, 23, 26-7; Turville-Petre 1964, 258; F. Ström 1967, 88; Å. Ström and Biezais 1975, 147; Steinsland 1997, 89; Näsström 2002, 153). — [7] allódaufligr ‘not at all dull’: A hap. leg., missing from LP.

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