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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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SnH Lv 6II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Sneglu-Halli, Lausavísur 6’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 327-8.


text and translation

Hrangs, þars hôvan þǫngul
heldk umb, síz fjǫr seldak;
sýnts, at sitk at Ránar;
sumir ’ró í búð með humrum.
Ljóst es lýsu at gista;
lǫnd ák út fyr strǫndu;
því sitk bleikr í brúki;
blakir mér þari of hnakka;
blakir mér þari of hnakka.

Hrangs, þars heldk umb hôvan þǫngul, síz seldak fjǫr; sýnts, at sitk at Ránar; sumir ’ró í búð með humrum. Ljóst es at gista lýsu; ák lǫnd út fyr strǫndu; því sitk bleikr í brúki; þari blakir mér of hnakka; þari blakir mér of hnakka.
‘There is tumult where I’m grasping the tall seaweed stalk, since I lost my life; it’s clear that I’m living at Rán’s <sea-goddess>; some share their residence with lobsters. It is light when one visits the whiting; I own land off the shore; hence I sit pale in the pile of seaweed; kelp is flapping around my neck; kelp is flapping around my neck.

notes and context

Halli attempts to get passage on a ship from England to Norway, but the ship is already filled with Ger. travellers. To scare them off the ship, Halli pretends to have had an ominous dream in which a man appeared before him and recited this st.

[8-9]: The repetition of l. 8 is characteristic of the metre galdralag ‘incantation metre’ (see SnSt Ht 101III; SnE 1999, 39), and it is also found frequently in prophetic poetry. Although the present st. is not in galdralag, the repetition serves to emphasise the supernatural aspects of the situation. See also Anon (HSig) 6-8 below.



Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: Sneglu- [Grautar-] Halli, 2. Lausavísur 6: AI, 389, BI, 359, Skald I, 180, NN §2038; ÍF 9, 292 (Snegl ch. 9), Mork 1867, 101, Mork 1928-32, 246, Andersson and Gade 2000, 252, 479 (MH); Fms 6, 376 (HSig ch. 105); Flat 1860-8, III, 426 (Snegl).


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