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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Lausavísur — Rloð LvVIII (Ragn)

Ragnarr loðbrók

Ragnarr loðbrók, Lausavísur — Rory McTurk

Rory McTurk (forthcoming), ‘ Ragnarr loðbrók, Lausavísur’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. . <https://skaldic.org/m.php?p=text&i=3173> (accessed 17 September 2021)

 

Hætt hefi ek leyfðu lífi,
litfögr kona, — vetra
vá ek at foldar fiski
fimtán gamall — mínu.
Hafa skal ek böl, nema bíði
bráðráðinn mér dauði
heiðar lax til hjarta
hringlegnum vel smjúga.
 
‘I have risked the life allotted to me, fair-complexioned woman; at the age of fifteen I attacked the fish of the earth [SNAKE]. I shall encounter disaster, unless the death imminently destined for me succeeds in creeping to the heart of the ring-coiled salmon of the heath [SNAKE].
mundi víst, ef væri
vörðr föðurjarðar
mætr á mildri snótu,
á mér taka höndum.
 
‘She would surely put her arms around me, if the noble guardian of the fatherland [KING = Ragnarr] were on top of the gentle maiden.
Viltu þenna þiggja,
er Þóra hjörtr átti,
serk við silfr um merktan?
Sama allvel þér klæði.
Fóru hendr hvítar
hennar um þessar görvar;
sú var buðlungi bragna
blíðum þekk til dauða.
 
‘Are you willing to accept this shift, decked out with silver, which Þóra hjǫrtr (‘Hart’) possessed? [Such] garments suit you very well. Her white hands stroked these trappings; she was dear to the joyful prince of men [KING = Ragnarr] right up to her death.
Sigurðr mun sveinn of heitinn;
sá mun orrostur heyja,
mjök líkr vera móður
ok mögr föður kallaðr.
Sá mun Óðins ættar
yfirþáttr vera heitinn;
þeim er ormr í auga,
er annan lét svelta.
 
‘The boy will be called Sigurðr; he will engage in battles, will be very like his mother and called his father’s son. He will come to be known as the chief scion of Óðinn’s dynasty; there is a snake in the eye of him [Sigurðr Fáfnisbani] who caused another [snake, Fáfnir] to die.
Brynhildar líz brögnum
brúnstein hafa fránan
d*óttur mögr inn dýri
ok dyggligast hjarta.
Sjá berr alla ýta
undleygs boði magni,
Buðla niðr, er baugi
bráðgörr, hatar rauðum.
 
‘The noble son of the daughter of Brynhildr [= Kráka/Áslaug > = Sigurðr ormr-í-auga] seems to men to have a glittering brow-stone [EYE] and a most steadfast heart. This descendant of Buðli [= Sigurðr ormr-í-auga], a precocious profferer of the wound-flame [SWORD > WARRIOR], who hates a red ring, surpasses all men in strength.
Sá ek engum sveini
nema Sigurði einum
í brúnsteinum brúna
bráðhalls tau*ma lagða.
Sjá hefir dagrýfir dýra
— dælt er hann at því kenna —
hvass í hvarmatúni
hrings myrkviðar fengit.
 
‘I have seen bright reins of a rockface [SNAKES] placed in the brow-stones [EYES] of no boy save Sigurðr alone. This breaker of the light of hands [(lit. ‘light-breaker of hands’) GOLD > GENEROUS MAN], keen as he is, has received a ring of the murky forest [SNAKE] in the enclosure of the eyelids [EYE]; it is easy to recognise him by that.
Spari manngi röf Rínar,
ef röskr vili hermenn;
verr samir hoskum hilmi
hringa fjölð en drengja.
Ilt er í borghlið baugum
brandrauðum fram standa;
allmarga veit ek jöfra,
þá er auðr lifir, dauða.
 
‘Let no person be sparing of the amber of the Rhine [GOLD], if a brave man should want soldiers; a multitude of rings befits a wise ruler worse than one of men. It is no good entering the gate of a stronghold with fire-red rings; I know of very many kings who are dead, while their wealth lives on.
Hvat er, þat er baugs ór björgum
brjótr heyri ek nú þjóta,
at myni Mundils máli
mars †svandr† ófni* hafna?
Þó skal ek þeira ráða,
þorn-Bil, ef goð vilja,
æ*gir* alnar leygjar
ókvíðandi bíða.
 
‘What is that which I, the breaker of a ring [GENEROUS MAN], now hear howl from the cliffs, that the close companion of Mundill <sea-king> [SEAFARER] is likely to reject … a snake of the sea [SHIP]? Nevertheless, I, the terrifier of the fire of the forearm [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN], shall without fear bring those plans to fruition if the gods wish it, clasp-Bil <goddess> [WOMAN = Áslaug-Randalín].
Orrostur hefi ek áttar,
þær er ágætar þóttu
— görða ek mörgum mönnum
mein — fimm tigu ok eina.
Eigi hugðumz orma
at aldrlagi mínu;
* mjök verðr mörgu sinni,
þat er minst varir sjálfan.
 
‘I have engaged in fifty-one battles, which were reckoned magnificent; I did many people harm. I did not think that snakes would cause my death; very often that which oneself least expects comes to pass.
Gnyðja mundu grísir,
ef galtar hag vissi,
— mér er gnótt at grandi —
grafa inn rönum sínum
ok harðliga hrína;
hafa mik sogit ormar;
nú man ek nár af bragði
ok nær dýrum deyja.
 
‘The porkers would grunt if they knew the boar’s predicament, would dig in with their snouts and squeal mightily; for me there is harm in plenty; snakes have sucked me; I’ll soon be a corpse and die in the proximity of beasts.
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