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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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GunnLeif Merl II 65VIII (Bret 65)

Russell Poole (ed.) 2017, ‘Breta saga 65 (Gunnlaugr Leifsson, Merlínusspá II 65)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 187.

Gunnlaugr LeifssonMerlínusspá II

text and translation

Skrjúpt es líf         lýða barna
und hreggská         heiðar tjaldi.
En lífs lau*n         líða eigi
góð eða ill         gumna mengis.

Skrjúpt es líf {barna lýða} und {hreggská tjaldi heiðar}. En lau*n lífs {mengis gumna}, góð eða ill, líða eigi.
‘Brittle is the life of the children of men [MANKIND] under the storm-worn awning of heaven [SKY/HEAVEN]. But the rewards, good or evil, of the life of the multitude of men [MANKIND] do not pass away.

notes and context



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 65: AII, 21, BII, 23, Skald II, 14; Bret 1848-9, II, 37-8 (Bret st. 65); Hb 1892-6, 277; Merl 2012, 124.


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