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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hjþ Lv 5VIII (HjǪ 11)

Richard L. Harris (ed.) 2017, ‘Hjálmþés saga ok Ǫlvis 11 (Hjálmþér Ingason, Lausavísur 5)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 503.

Hjálmþér IngasonLausavísur


In the passage of the saga (Ch. 12 in FSGJ) where these stanzas are located, Hjálmþér, Ǫlvir and Hǫrðr meet and contend with a number of sea-ogresses. Later Hǫrðr obtains several items from their cave that prove useful during the heroes’ subsequent confrontation at the court of King Hundingi in their quest for his daughter Hervǫr.

text and translation

Hvert er þat bákn,         er í bjargi sitr
        ok sér of konungs …?
Enga veit ek þér         ámátligri
        alna fyrir jörð ofan.

Hvert bákn er þat, er sitr í bjargi ok sér of … konungs? Ek veit enga alna ámátligri þér fyrir ofan jörð.
‘Who is that monster who sits on the rock and looks down on the king’s …? I know no female born more loathsome than you on the face of the earth.

notes and context

Noticing a huge sea-ogress, Ýma, standing in the middle of a high mountain, Hjálmþér asks her name challengingly. 



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: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], E. 16. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Hjálmþérs saga ok Ǫlvis III 1: AII, 335, BII, 355, Skald II, 192, NN §2614; HjǪ 1720, 35, FSN 3, 480, FSGJ 4, 205, HjǪ 1970, 30, 87, 145.


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