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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon (HSig) 7II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Lausavísur from Haralds saga Sigurðarsonar 7’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 820-1.

Anonymous LausavísurLausavísur from Haralds saga Sigurðarsonar

text and translation

Stór taka fjǫll at f*alla;
ferr sótt of kyn dróttar;
eyðisk friðr, en fœðisk
fjandhugr meðal landa.
Vesa munk yðr, sem ǫðrum,
angrljóðasǫm, þjóðum
— ylgr nemr suðr at svelgja
sveita — Urðr of heitin;
sveita Urðr of heitin.

Stór fjǫll taka at f*alla; sótt ferr of kyn dróttar; friðr eyðisk, en fjandhugr fœðisk meðal landa. Munk yðr, sem ǫðrum þjóðum, vesa of heitin angrljóðasǫm Urðr; ylgr nemr at svelgja sveita suðr; Urðr sveita of heitin.
‘Large mountains begin to fall; pestilence spreads throughout mankind; peace is destroyed, and enmity is born between nations. To you, as to other people, I shall be known as the Urðr <norn> filled with sorrowful songs; the she-wolf begins to swallow blood in the south; be known as the Urðr <norn> of blood.

notes and context

Cited in Hb without intervening prose after Anon (HSig) 6 above.

[1-4]: The first helmingr recalls the Apocalypse (cf., e.g. Rev. VI.14, VIII.11, IX.15-18) and is out of keeping with the different images of doom presented in Anon (HSig) 6 and 8. — [9]: The repetition of the last l. is characteristic of prophetic sts, and such repetitions are a feature of the metre galdralag ‘incantation metre’ (SnSt Ht 101III; SnE 1999, 39, 74). In this particular case, the l. is syntactically incomplete (sveita ‘blood’ and Urðr of heitin ‘known as the Urðr’ belong to two different clauses in l. 8), but sveita ‘blood’ could be construed as a gen. qualifying Urðr (‘the Urðr of blood’). Urðr was one of the norns of fate in ON mythology (see SnE 2005, 18).



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 om historiske personer og begivenheder [XI], [8]. Drömme- og varselsvers 9: AI, 430, BI, 400, Skald I, 198; Hb 1892-6, 337-8, Fellows Jensen 1962, 45 (Hem).


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