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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon (Ragn) 10VIII (Ragn 40)

Rory McTurk (ed.) 2017, ‘Ragnars saga loðbrókar 40 (Anonymous Lausavísur, Lausavísur from Ragnars saga loðbrókar 10)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 705.

Anonymous LausavísurLausavísur from Ragnars saga loðbrókar

text and translation

Þar báðu standa,         meðan strönd þolir,
mann hjá þyrni         ok mosa vaxinn.
Nú skýtr á mik         ský*ja gráti;
hlýr hvárki mér         hold né klæði.

Þar báðu mann standa, meðan strönd þolir, hjá þyrni ok vaxinn mosa. Nú skýtr {gráti ský*ja} á mik; hvárki hold né klæði hlýr mér.
‘There they bade the man [me] stand for as long as the coast endures, by a thorn-bush and overgrown with moss. Now the weeping of the clouds [RAIN] pours down upon me; neither flesh nor cloth protects me.

notes and context

The trémaðr speaks his third and final stanza. A brief sentence in prose follows it, concluding the saga and stating that Ǫgmundr’s followers marvel at what they have witnessed, and later tell others of it.

As the result of an error in the binding of 1824b, the fols numbered 73-6 have become displaced, in such a way that narrative logic requires fols 73-9 to be read in the following order: 77, 78, 73-6, 79. While this naturally disrupts the continuity of the prose text, it does not affect the order in which the Ragn stanzas occur in the text, since there are no stanzas on fols 77-8. It does, however, mean that the present stanza is interrupted halfway through the word mosa, dat. sg. ‘with moss’ in l. 4: its first two letters complete the final line (21) on 76v, and its third and fourth letters begin l.1 on 79r. — The implication of the present stanza, when seen in relation to the previous one, seems to be that the trémaðr is no longer in active use as a cult-object. — [5-8]: In the second half-stanza, the trémaðr seems to be lamenting the fact that he is no longer decked with clothes, possibly as part of a ritual, nor treated any longer – as the mention of hold ‘flesh’ in this context suggests – as an animate being.



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. 2. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Ragnarssaga loðbrókar XI 3: AII, 241-2, BII, 261, Skald II, 136; FSN 1, 299 (Ragn ch. 21), Ragn 1891, 223-4 (ch. 21), Ragn 1906-8, 175, 222 (ch. 20), Ragn 1944, 132-3 (ch. 22), FSGJ 1, 285 (Ragn ch. 20), Ragn 1985, 153 (ch. 20), Ragn 2003, 69 (ch. 20), CPB II, 359; Edd. Min., lxxxii-iii, 94.


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