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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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GunnLeif Merl II 41VIII (Bret 41)

Russell Poole (ed.) 2017, ‘Breta saga 41 (Gunnlaugr Leifsson, Merlínusspá II 41)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 171.

Gunnlaugr LeifssonMerlínusspá II

text and translation

‘En refr ofan         renn ór fjalli;
ferr fárhugaðr         finna galta.
Hann býðr sættir         af svikum einum;
kvezk hann mart við svín         mæla vilja.

‘En refr renn ofan ór fjalli; fárhugaðr ferr finna galta. Hann býðr sættir af svikum einum; hann kvezk vilja mæla mart við svín.
‘‘But the fox will run down from the mountain; the baleful one will go to meet the boar. He will offer a settlement out of pure treachery; he will say he wishes to discuss many things with the pig.

notes and context

Cf. DGB 116 (Reeve and Wright 2007, 155.200-2; cf. Wright 1988, 110, prophecy 44): Interim descendet uulpes de montibus et sese in lupum mutabit et quasi colloquium habitura cum apro adibit illum callide ‘Meanwhile the fox will come down from the mountains, transform itself into the wolf, cunningly approach as if to talk with the boar’ (Reeve and Wright 2007, 154). The transformation of the fox into a wolf does not appear in Merl.


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 41: AII, 18, BII, 18, Skald II, 11-12; Bret 1848-9, II, 30 (Bret st. 41); Hb 1892-6, 275; Merl 2012, 105-6.


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