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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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GunnLeif Merl I 15VIII (Bret 83)

Russell Poole (ed.) 2017, ‘Breta saga 83 (Gunnlaugr Leifsson, Merlínusspá I 15)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 58.

Gunnlaugr LeifssonMerlínusspá I

text and translation

Ok drjúgligir         drekar vǫknuðu;
gerðusk báðir         brott úr rúmi.
Rennask síðan         snart at móti
fróns fásýnir         frœknir baugar.

Ok drjúgligir drekar vǫknuðu; báðir gerðusk brott úr rúmi. {Fásýnir frœknir baugar fróns} rennask síðan snart at móti.
‘And the mighty serpents woke; both moved away from their resting-places. The rarely-seen ferocious rings of the earth [SNAKES] then swiftly run towards each other.

notes and context

Cf. DGB 111 (Reeve and Wright 2007, 145.27): Cumque alter alteri appropinquasset ‘As they neared each other’ (Reeve and Wright 2007, 144). Gunnlaugr elaborates on this description.


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 15: AII, 24, BII, 27, Skald II, 17; Bret 1848-9, II, 43-4 (Bret st. 83); Hb 1892-6, 278; Merl 2012, 140.


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