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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon (Orkn) 1II

Judith Jesch (ed.) 2009, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Lausavísa from Orkneyinga saga 1’ 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. 838-9.

Anonymous LausavísurLausavísa from Orkneyinga saga1

text and translation

Heyrik hitt, en órir
hafa dolgar skap folgit,
þengill ríkr, af þingi
þann kvitt búandmanna,
at valdandar vildi,
vargseðjandi, margir,
at þú vigg á brim byggir
brands en Pál at landi.

Heyrik hitt, ríkr þengill, af þingi—en dolgar órir hafa folgit skap—, þann kvitt búandmanna, at margir valdandar vildi, {vargseðjandi}, at þú byggir {vigg brands} á brim en Pál at landi.
‘I hear this, mighty lord, from the assembly—and our enemies have concealed intent—, the rumour of the landowners that many powerful men wished, wolf-sater [WARRIOR], that you should occupy the steed of the prow [SHIP] on the sea and that Páll should be on the land.

notes and context

On hearing that Rǫgnvaldr Kali Kolsson has come to Orkney and enjoys the support of many, his rival jarl, Páll Hákonarson, calls an assembly to take the advice of his followers. Rǫgnvaldr has several spies (njósnarmenn) at the meeting and one of them, a poet (skáld eitt), reports back to him in the words of this st.

Rǫgnvaldr returned to Orkney in the spring of 1137 (ÍF 34, lxxxvi). — [4-8]: According to the saga prose, while some wanted Páll to divide the rule of Orkney with Rǫgnvaldr, most of the powerful men wanted to buy Rǫgnvaldr off.



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 [XII], B. Vers om bestemte personer og begivenheder 16: AI, 594, BI, 595, Skald I, 290, NN §1231; Flat 1860-8, II, 459, Orkn 1887, 125, Orkn 1913-16, 184, ÍF 34, 166 (ch. 73), Bibire 1988, 227.


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