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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon (Mberf) 2II

Kari Ellen Gade and Diana Whaley (eds) 2009, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Lausavísur from Magnúss saga berfœtts 2’ 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. 829-30.

Anonymous LausavísurLausavísur from Magnúss saga berfœtts


Anon (Mberf) 2 is recorded in Mork (Mork) and in mss , 39, F, E, J2ˣ and 42ˣ of MberfHkr, as well as in H-Hr (H-Hr) and FskBˣ and FskAˣ (Fsk). The ms. variants show that H, Hr and F are Mork mss and not Hkr mss here, and the critical apparatus has been arranged accordingly. Mork offers the best reading and it is the main ms. The st. is anonymous in all mss, but the poet appears to be a member of Jón Árnason’s household.

text and translation

Breðr í Bjarkey miðri
ból, þats ek veit gólast;
téra þarft af Þóri
— þýtr vandar bǫl — standa.
Jóan mun eigi frýja
elds né ráns, es kveldar;
svíðr bjartr logi breiðan
bý; leggr reyk til skýja.

Ból, þats ek veit gólast, breðr í miðri Bjarkey; téra þarft standa af Þóri; {bǫl vandar} þýtr. Jóan mun eigi frýja elds né ráns, es kveldar; bjartr logi svíðr breiðan bý; reyk leggr til skýja.
‘The farm, which I find the best, burns in the middle of Bjarkøy; nothing good will be gained from Þórir; the destruction of the stick [FIRE] roars. Jón will not have to complain about a lack of fire or plunder when evening comes; the bright flame scorches the broad farmstead; smoke swirls toward the clouds.

notes and context

The st. is recited in 1094 when Steigar-Þórir Þórðarson burns the farmstead in Bjarkøy which belongs to Jón Árnason and his son, Víðkunnr. In Mork and Fsk it is introduced in retrospect after Þórir has been captured by Magnús berfœttr. In Hkr (and H-Hr, which combines the prose of Mork with that of Hkr), the burning takes place when Þórir flees north and before he is captured by Magnús, and the st. is recited on that occasion, as part of the prose narrative.



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], [7]. Lausavísur 15: AI, 427-8, BI, 397-8, Skald I, 197; Mork 1867, 135, Mork 1928-32, 304, Andersson and Gade 2000, 290, 484 (Mberf); Fms 7, 10 (Mberf ch. 6); F 1871, 264 (Mberf); ÍF 29, 305 (ch. 80); ÍF 28, 215 (Mberf ch. 5), E 1916, 112.


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