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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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GunnLeif Merl II 13VIII (Bret 13)

Russell Poole (ed.) 2017, ‘Breta saga 13 (Gunnlaugr Leifsson, Merlínusspá II 13)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 146.

Gunnlaugr LeifssonMerlínusspá II

text and translation

‘Gerisk ógurligt         óp í landi,
es gull-Skǫgul         grætr hástǫfum.
Ok þjóta tekr         þjóð með henni
innan of alla         ey með hringum.

‘Ógurligt óp gerisk í landi, es {gull-Skǫgul} grætr hástǫfum. Ok þjóð tekr þjóta með henni innan of alla ey með hringum.
‘‘A terrible cry will be made in the land, when the Skǫgul <valkyrie> of gold [WOMAN] weeps loudly. And people therein will start wailing with her throughout the entire island.

notes and context

Cf. DGB 116 (Reeve and Wright 2007, 153.161-2; cf. Wright 1988, 108, prophecy 33): Lacrimis miserandis manabit ipsa et clamore horrido replebit insulam ‘She will be drenched with pitiful tears and fill the island with a terrible cry’ (Reeve and Wright 2007, 152). Gunnlaugr appears to rationalise this account by attributing the cries of lamentation to the people as a whole rather than to one preternaturally loud woman.


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 13: AII, 12, BII, 13, Skald II, 8; Bret 1848-9, II, 18-19 (Bret st. 13); Hb 1892-6, 273; Merl 2012, 78-9.


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