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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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GunnLeif Merl II 11VIII (Bret 11)

Russell Poole (ed.) 2017, ‘Breta saga 11 (Gunnlaugr Leifsson, Merlínusspá II 11)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 144.

Gunnlaugr LeifssonMerlínusspá II

text and translation

‘Hon þá drekkr         it dýra vatn,
ok máttr við þat         magnask brúðar.
Berr hon í hœgri         hendi sinni,
kynstór kona,         Kolídónis skóg,
en í lófa man         Lundúna borg.

‘Hon drekkr þá it dýra vatn, ok máttr brúðar magnask við þat. Hon, kynstór kona, berr skóg Kolídónis í hœgri hendi sinni, en man Lundúna borg í lófa.
‘‘She will then drink the precious water and the woman’s strength will increase with that. She, the woman of high lineage, will bear the forest of Colidon in her right hand and the maiden [will bear] the city of London in her palm.

notes and context

Cf. DGB 116 (Reeve and Wright 2007, 151.157-153.159; cf. Wright 1988, 108, prophecy 33): Exin, ut sese salubri liquore refecerit, gestabit in dextera sua nemus Colidonis, in sinistra uero murorum Lundoniae propugnacula ‘Next, refreshing herself with healing water, she will bear in her right hand the forest of Colidon and in her left the battlements of London’s walls’ (Reeve and Wright 2007, 150-2).


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: Gunnlaugr Leifsson, Merlínússpá I 11: AII, 12, BII, 12, Skald II, 8, NN §§94, 1281; Bret 1848-9, II, 18 (Bret st. 11); Hb 1892-6, 272; Merl 2012, 76-7.


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