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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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GunnLeif Merl II 43VIII (Bret 43)

Russell Poole (ed.) 2017, ‘Breta saga 43 (Gunnlaugr Leifsson, Merlínusspá II 43)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 172.

Gunnlaugr LeifssonMerlínusspá II

text and translation

‘Es fundr lagiðr         ok friðr samiðr;
koma mildingar         málstefnu til.
En á fundi þeim         flærðir reynask;
banar hertoga         brezkr landreki.

‘Fundr es lagiðr ok friðr samiðr; mildingar koma til málstefnu. En flærðir reynask á þeim fundi; brezkr landreki banar hertoga.
‘‘A meeting will be set and a safe-conduct concluded; the leaders will come to the council. But at that meeting treacheries will come to pass; the British ruler will slay the war-leader.

notes and context

Cf. DGB 116 (Reeve and Wright 2007, 155.202; cf. Wright 1988, 110, prophecy 44): et ipsum totum deuorabit ‘and will eat him whole’ (cf. Reeve and Wright 2007, 154). Here the usurping fox, disguised as the wolf, consumes the boar-king: Geoffrey’s animal symbolism is rationalised in Merl. Gunnlaugr also elaborates on the establishment of the truce, both here and in the preceding 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: Gunnlaugr Leifsson, Merlínússpá I 43, 45/1-4: AII, 18, BII, 19, Skald II, 12; Bret 1848-9, II, 31 (Bret st. 43); Hb 1892-6, 275; Merl 2012, 107.


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