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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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GunnLeif Merl II 48VIII (Bret 48)

Russell Poole (ed.) 2017, ‘Breta saga 48 (Gunnlaugr Leifsson, Merlínusspá II 48)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 176.

Gunnlaugr LeifssonMerlínusspá II

text and translation

‘Verða síðar         á sama landi
léparðar sjau         linni bornir.
Þeir hafa brúsa         bǫlgjǫrn hǫfuð;
eru dáðlausir         dǫglings synir.

‘Sjau léparðar verða bornir linni síðar á sama landi. Þeir hafa bǫlgjǫrn hǫfuð brúsa; synir dǫglings eru dáðlausir.
‘‘Seven leopards will be born to the snake later in that same land. They will have the baleful heads of he-goats; the king’s sons will be bereft of [noble] deeds.

notes and context

Cf. DGB 116 (Reeve and Wright 2007, 157.228-9; cf. Wright 1988, 111, prophecy 53): Egredientur ex eo septem leones capitibus hircorum turpati ‘From it will emerge seven lions, disfigured with the heads of goats’ (Reeve and Wright 2007, 156). Prophecies 47 to 52 inclusive are not represented in Merl; for the possibility that there is an extensive lacuna at this point in Hb see Merl 2012, 39-44).



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 48: AII, 19, BII, 20, Skald II, 12-13, NN §1281; Bret 1848-9, II, 33 (Bret st. 48); Hb 1892-6, 276; Merl 2012, 111-12.


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