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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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GunnLeif Merl II 6VIII (Bret 6)

Russell Poole (ed.) 2017, ‘Breta saga 6 (Gunnlaugr Leifsson, Merlínusspá II 6)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 139.

Gunnlaugr LeifssonMerlínusspá II

text and translation

‘Einn es brunna         beztr at reyna;
eykr auðstǫfum         aldr, ef drekka.
Né sótt hǫfug         sœkir hǫlða,
þás bergt hafa         beisku vatni.

‘Einn brunna es beztr at reyna; eykr aldr {auðstǫfum}, ef drekka. Né sœkir hǫfug sótt hǫlða, þás hafa bergt beisku vatni.
‘‘One of the springs is best to try; it will increase the life-span for wealth-staves [MEN], if they drink it. Nor will grievous sickness afflict men who have tasted the bitter water.

notes and context

Cf. DGB 116 (Reeve and Wright 2007, 151.148-9; cf. Wright 1988, 107, prophecy 31): Qui bibet de uno diuturniori uita fruetur nec superuenienti languore grauabitur ‘Whoever drinks from the first will enjoy a longer life, nor be weighed down by disease’ (cf. Reeve and Wright 2007, 150).


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 6: AII, 11, BII, 11, Skald II, 7; Edns: Bret 1848-9, II, 16 (Bret st. 6); Hb 1892-6, 272; Merl 2012, 71.


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