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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Brúni Lv 1VIII (Ket 1)

Beatrice La Farge (ed.) 2017, ‘Ketils saga hœngs 1 (Brúni, Lausavísa 1)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 551.



Ketill, son of Hallbjǫrn hálftroll ‘Half-troll’, son of Úlfr inn óargi ‘the Uncowardly’, from Hrafnista (Ramsta), an island off the coast of the Namdalen district (ON Naumudalr) in Norway, has travelled by boat north towards Finnmark (ON Finnmǫrk), a district of North Norway inhabited by the Saami people, in search of fish. This stanza and the following one contain the initial exchange between Brúni, brother of Gusi(r), king of the Saami (Finnar), and Ketill in ch. 3 of the saga. During his stay with Brúni Ketill amuses himself with Brúni’s giantess-like daughter Hrafnhildr, who becomes the mother of Ketill’s son Grímr loðinkinni but is later rejected as a potential daughter-in-law by Ketill’s father Hallbjǫrn on account of her ‘troll’ origin (Ket chs 3-4, FSGJ 2, 158-68). She returns to her father’s home but leaves Grímr with Ketill.

text and translation

Heill kom þú, Hængr;         hér skaltu þiggja
í allan vetr         með oss vera.
Þér mun ek fastna,         nema þú fyrir látir,
dóttur mína,         áðr dagr komi.

Heill kom þú, Hængr: skaltu þiggja vera hér með oss í allan vetr. Mun ek fastna þér dóttur mína, áðr dagr komi, nema þú látir fyrir.
‘Welcome, Hœngr (‘Salmon’); you must accept [the invitation] to be here with us for the whole winter. I will engage my daughter to you before day comes, unless you reject [her].

notes and context

The stanza is introduced by the words: Sá tók honum vel ok kvað vísu ‘That man [Brúni] received him [Ketill] well and spoke a stanza’.

The metre of this stanza and the next is fornyrðislag.



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. 8. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Ketill hœngs saga I 1: AII, 279, BII, 300, Skald II, 159; FSN 2, 117, FSGJ 2, 158-9, Anderson 1990, 47, 89, 432; Edd. Min. 77.


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