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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þorm Lv 25I

R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Þormóðr Kolbrúnarskáld, Lausavísur 25’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 843.

Þormóðr KolbrúnarskáldLausavísur

text and translation

Undrask ǫglis landa
eik, hví vér róm bleikir;
fár verðr fagr af sôrum;
fannk ǫrva drif, svanni.
Mik fló malmr inn døkkvi
magni keyrðr í gǫgnum;
hvasst beit hjarta it næsta
hættligt járn, es vættik.

{Eik {landa ǫglis}} undrask, hví vér róm bleikir; fár verðr fagr af sôrum; fannk {drif ǫrva}, svanni. Inn døkkvi malmr, keyrðr magni, fló í gǫgnum mik; hættligt járn beit hvasst it næsta hjarta, es vættik.
‘The oak of the lands of the hawk [ARMS > WOMAN] wonders why we are [I am] pale; few grow handsome from wounds; I met a blizzard of arrows [BATTLE], lady. The dark metal, driven with might, flew through me; the dangerous iron bit sharply next to the heart, I expect.

notes and context

In ÓH, excluding Flat, and Hkr, a woman tending wounds asks Þormóðr why he is so pale. In Flat, he asserts that he is hardly injured, and a woman offering milk asks why he is so pale if he is largely unscathed. In ÓHLeg, a woman bearing wood throws down her burden when she sees Þormóðr and declares that the dead walk. He denies being dead, and we are told that he has a spot on his nose. In Fbr, a woman in charge of water for the wounded asks why he is so pale and whether he is not in some difficulty. In Fbr and ÓHLeg (as well as in Flat), this stanza precedes Lv 24; in ÓH it follows. (See the discussion in the Introduction.) In ÓHLeg, ÓH and Hkr Þormóðr dies soon after delivering this stanza.



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: Þórmóðr Bersason Kolbrúnarskáld, 2. Lausavísur 25: AI, 288, BI, 266, Skald I, 137; Fms 5, 92, Fms 12, 103, ÓH 1941, I, 585 (ch. 234), Flat 1860-8, II, 365; Hkr 1777-1826, II, 377, VI, 115, Hkr 1868, 498 (ÓHHkr ch. 247), Hkr 1893-1901, I, 502-3, IV, 172, ÍF 27, 392, Hkr 1991, II, 539 (ÓHHkr ch. 234); ÓHLeg 1849, 73, 120, ÓHLeg 1922, 88, ÓHLeg 1982, 202-5; Fbr 1925-7, 231, ÍF 6, 274 (ch. 24), Loth 1960a, li, 157-8 (ch. 17), ÍS II, 843, 850 (ch. 24); Gaertner 1907, 312, 347-8, Finnur Jónsson 1932-3, 79.


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