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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hundk Lv 5VIII (HjǪ 36)

Richard L. Harris (ed.) 2017, ‘Hjálmþés saga ok Ǫlvis 36 (Hundingi konungr, Lausavísur 5)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 527.

Hundingi konungrLausavísur

text and translation

Harðr muntu heima,         er þú hyggz öllu ráða
oss hjá í dýrum         höllum várum.
Hefir þú brand hvassan         brynju ok hjálm vænan
ok Sófnis bingi aðra,         en set þik aptr af því.

Muntu harðr heima, er þú hyggz ráða öllu hjá oss í dýrum höllum várum. Þú hefir hvassan brand, brynju ok vænan hjálm ok {aðra bingi Sófnis}, en set þik aptr af því.
‘You must be tough at home, since you think to decide everything among us in our excellent halls. You have a keen sword, a coat of mail and beautiful helmet and other beds of Sófnir <snake> [GOLD], but restrain yourself from that.

notes and context

Hjálmþér indicates that he will not have Hǫrðr left out of the seating arrangements and asks Hundingi for winter quarters, as Hervǫr had advised him to do. Hundingi presents him with the difficult task of obtaining the two horns of his ‘calf’ (really a man-eating bull) or losing his life. Hjálmþér asks to be first directed to a seat and the king responds with this stanza.

[4]: All mss have várum höllum (papp6ˣ crosses out várum), but this word order has been inverted, as in Skj B, both to regularise the alliteration and for syntactical reasons. Kock (NN §128) objects to the inversion of word order, but supports Skj B’s change of várum to órum, which is, however, found largely in early poetry (cf. ANG §467.2) and is unlikely here.



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 IV 15: AII, 339, BII, 361, Skald II, 195, NN §128; HjǪ 1720, 51, FSN 3, 495, FSGJ 4, 220, HjǪ 1970, 41-2, 96, 158.


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