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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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GunnLeif Merl I 18VIII (Bret 86)

Russell Poole (ed.) 2017, ‘Breta saga 86 (Gunnlaugr Leifsson, Merlínusspá I 18)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 60.

Gunnlaugr LeifssonMerlínusspá I

text and translation

Þeir víg gera         vatns farveg í,
ok lengi hvatt         linnar berjask.
Mega ormar þar         ýmsir meira
ok ýmsir þar         undan leggja.

Þeir gera víg í farveg vatns, ok linnar berjask lengi hvatt. Ýmsir ormar mega þar meira ok ýmsir leggja þar undan.
‘They wage battle in the lake’s outlet and the snakes fight each other fiercely for a long time. Now one snake, now the other has the advantage there; now one, now the other takes refuge there.

notes and context

Cf. DGB 111 (Reeve and Wright 2007, 145.30-1): Ipsis ergo in hunc modum pugnantibus ‘As they fought in this way’ (cf. Reeve and Wright 2007, 144).



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 18: AII, 24, BII, 27, Skald II, 17; Bret 1848-9, II, 44-5 (Bret st. 86); Hb 1892-6, 278; Merl 2012, 141-2.


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