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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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GunnLeif Merl II 61VIII (Bret 61)

Russell Poole (ed.) 2017, ‘Breta saga 61 (Gunnlaugr Leifsson, Merlínusspá II 61)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 185.

Gunnlaugr LeifssonMerlínusspá II

text and translation

‘Geisar geimi;         gengr hann upp í lopt;
slíkt es ógurligt         ýta bǫrnum.
Slíkt es ógurligt         upp at telja;
mun in forna mold         af firum verða.’

‘Geimi geisar; hann gengr upp í lopt; slíkt es ógurligt {bǫrnum ýta}. Slíkt es ógurligt at telja upp; in forna mold mun verða af firum.’
‘‘The sea will surge; it will go up into the sky; such [a thing] is terrifying for the children of men [MANKIND]. Such [a thing] is terrifying to recount; the ancient earth will be emptied of men.’

notes and context

Cf. DGB 117 (Reeve and Wright 2007, 159.302; cf. Wright 1988, 115, prophecy 74): In ictu radii exurgent aequora ‘In the flash of its beam, the seas will rise’ (Reeve and Wright 2007, 158). This marks a conclusion of the prophecies in DGB. — [1]: De Vries (1964-7, II, 75 n. 179) compares Vsp 57/5.


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 61: AII, 20, BII, 22, Skald II, 14; Bret 1848-9, II, 36-7 (Bret st. 61); Hb 1892-6, 276; Merl 2012, 121.


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