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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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GunnLeif Merl I 11VIII (Bret 79)

Russell Poole (ed.) 2017, ‘Breta saga 79 (Gunnlaugr Leifsson, Merlínusspá I 11)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 55.

Gunnlaugr LeifssonMerlínusspá I

text and translation

Ok inn fróði halr         frétti lofða,
hvat und vatni         væri niðri.
Ok, es engi þat         annarr vissi,
sagði fylki         fleinþollr spǫkum:

Ok inn fróði halr frétti lofða, hvat væri niðri und vatni. Ok, es engi annarr vissi þat, sagði {fleinþollr} spǫkum fylki:
‘And the wise man asked people what was further down beneath the lake. And, when nobody else knew that, the spear-fir [WARRIOR = Merlin] said to the sagacious king:

notes and context

Cf. DGB 108 (Reeve and Wright 2007, 141.559-65): Ammirans continuo rex super uerbis illius iussit uenire magos et coram Merlino sedere. Quibus ait Merlinus: ‘… Dicite michi quid sub fundamento latet …’ Expauescentes autem magi conticuerunt ‘Amazed at what he said, the king ordered the magicians to come and sit before Merlin. To them Merlin said: “… Tell me what is hidden beneath the foundations …” The magicians were cowed into silence’ (Reeve and Wright 2007, 140).


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 II 11: AII, 23, BII, 26, Skald II, 16, NN §3142; Bret 1848-9, II, 42 (Bret st. 79); Hb 1892-6, 278; Merl 2012, 137.


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