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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Heiðr Lv 1VIII (Ǫrv 1)

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 1 (Heiðr, Lausavísur 1)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 810.



At the farm of Ingjaldr, foster-father to Ǫrvar-Oddr, at Berurjóðr in the south-western Norwegian district of Jaðarr (Jæren), a prophetess (vǫlva) has been invited to a feast in order for the household to get the benefit of her predictions about their lives and the coming winter weather. After everyone else has come forward to hear their fates, the prophetess, whose name is Heiðr, realises that there is someone unaccounted for, hiding under a cloak. This is Oddr, who has made it clear from the outset that he does not believe such soothsaying and wants to have no part in it. He threatens to hit the woman on the nose with a stick (sproti) if she tries to predict his fate. At that, she utters the stanzas Ǫrv 1-3 below.

Ǫrv 1 is only preserved in the younger versions of the saga, in mss 343a, 471 and 173ˣ. Ǫrv 2 and 3 occur in variant versions in all mss. However, 7 has only the first helmingr of stanza 2 and lines 7-8, followed immediately by stanza 3/1-4. Ms. 344a has the complete st. 2, followed by st. 3/1-4 and the final two lines of the version of the stanza in 343a, 471 and 173ˣ. All stanzas are in fornyrðislag.

text and translation

Ægðu eigi mér,         Oddr á Jaðri,
eldiskíðu,         þótt ýmist geipum.
Saga mun sannaz,         sú er segir völva;
öll veit hon ýta         ørlög fyrir.

Ægðu eigi mér, Oddr á Jaðri, eldiskíðu, þótt geipum ýmist. Saga, sú er völva segir, mun sannaz; hon veit fyrir öll ørlög ýta.
‘Do not threaten me, Oddr from Jæren, with a firestick, though we [I] babble of this and that. That tale the prophetess tells will be proven true; she foretells all destinies of men.

notes and context

See Introduction above.

Ms. 471 has been chosen as the main ms. here, as 343a is almost illegible in places.



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. 10. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Ǫrvar-Oddssaga I 1: AII, 289, BII, 310, Skald II, 164, NN §2598; Ǫrv 1888, 15n., FSGJ 2, 207; Edd. Min. 92n.


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