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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Heiðv Lv 1VIII (Hrólf 2)

†Desmond Slay (ed.) 2017, ‘Hrólfs saga kraka 2 (Heiðr vǫlva, Lausavísur 1)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 542.

Heiðr vǫlvaLausavísur


The following four stanzas are all attributed in Hrólf to a sibyl (vǫlva) named Heiðr, who has been invited to King Fróði’s hall to reveal to him the whereabouts of his brother Hálfdan’s sons, Hróarr and Helgi, whom he intends to kill. It is possible that these fragments were once part of a longer poem.

text and translation

Tveir eru menn,         — trúi ek hvárugum —
þeir er við elda         ítrir sitja.

Eru tveir menn, þeir er sitja ítrir við elda; ek trúi hvárugum.
‘There are two men, who sit glorious by the fires; I trust neither.

notes and context

In Fróði’s hall, the king asks Heiðr what she can say about the boys by her art, and she utters this half-stanza.

A number of earlier eds (e.g. Edd. Min. 61) treated Heiðv 1 and 2 as a single stanza. Stanza 3 is then treated as a main clause by slight emendation, Þeir í Vífilsey | váru … ‘They were in Vífilsey …’. In the present edn st. 3 is a free-standing subordinate clause. — [1-2]: These lines are very similar to two versions of a stanza ascribed to Bragi Boddason (Bragi Lv 1aIV and Lv 1b (Hálf 78)), uttered in similarly vatic circumstances about twin boys, which begins: Tveir ’ro inni – trúik bôðum vel –  ‘Two are inside – I trust both well’. The variant inni in may reflect this (it can hardly have been in the common original of the Hrólf mss). See further Introduction to Bragi Lv 1aIV and Introduction to Hálf 78.



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. 1. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Hrólfs saga kraka 2: AII, 230, BII, 250, Skald II, 130; Hrólf 1960, 10; Edd. Min. 61.


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