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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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GunnLeif Merl I 14VIII (Bret 82)

Russell Poole (ed.) 2017, ‘Breta saga 82 (Gunnlaugr Leifsson, Merlínusspá I 14)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 57.

Gunnlaugr LeifssonMerlínusspá I

text and translation

Gerðu greppar,         þats gumnum bauð;
varð vatni niðr         veitt ór fjalli.
Ok seimgefendr         snáka þekðu
tryggðarlausa,         sem Týr firum
hafði Hristar         hugspár sagat.

Greppar gerðu, þats bauð gumnum; varð vatni veitt niðr ór fjalli. Ok {seimgefendr} þekðu tryggðarlausa snáka, sem {hugspár Týr Hristar} hafði sagat firum.
‘Men did as he ordered them; the lake was drained down from the mountain. And the givers of treasure [GENEROUS MEN] could see the treacherous snakes, just as the prophetic-minded Týr <god> of Hrist <valkyrie> [WARRIOR = Merlin] had said to men.

notes and context

Cf. DGB 108 (Reeve and Wright 2007, 141.575): Credidit rex uerbis eius quia uerum dixerat de stagno et iussit illud hauriri ‘Because he had been right about the pool, the king believed him and ordered it to be drained’ (cf. 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 14: AII, 24, BII, 27, Skald II, 17; Bret 1848-9, II, 43 (Bret st. 82); Hb 1892-6, 278; Merl 2012, 139.


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