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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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GunnLeif Merl II 38VIII (Bret 38)

Russell Poole (ed.) 2017, ‘Breta saga 38 (Gunnlaugr Leifsson, Merlínusspá II 38)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 168.

Gunnlaugr LeifssonMerlínusspá II

text and translation

‘En galti þat         gengr at reyna;
blæss hann í andlit         ok í augu gram.
En refr við þat         ræðr á galta;
fær hann af hánum         fót inn vinstra
hlust ina hœgri         ok hryggjar nes.

‘En galti gengr at reyna þat; hann blæss í andlit ok í augu gram. En refr ræðr á galta við þat; hann fær inn vinstra fót af hánum, ina hœgri hlust ok {nes hryggjar}.
‘‘And the boar will go to test that; he will blow in the face and eyes of the ruler. But thereupon the fox will attack the boar; he will take from him the left foot, the right ear, and the headland of the back [TAIL].

notes and context

Cf. DGB 116 (Reeve and Wright 2007, 155.193-6; cf. Wright 1988, 109, prophecy 42): Mox adibit ipse cadauer et dum superstabit anhelabit in oculos eius et faciem. At ipsa, non oblita præteriti doli, mordebit sinistrum pedem ipsius totumque ex corpore euellet. Saltu quoque facto, eripiet ei dexteram aurem et caudam ‘It will at once approach the fox’s body and, standing over it, will breathe into its eyes and face. But the fox, not forgetting its old cunning, will bite the boar’s left foot and tear it from its body. Then, leaping up, it will bite off its right ear and tail’ (cf. Reeve and Wright 2007, 154).



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 38: AII, 17, BII, 18, Skald II, 11, NN §2163F; Bret 1848-9, II, 29 (Bret st. 38); Hb 1892-6, 275; Merl 2012, 102-3.


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