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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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GunnLeif Merl I 26VIII (Bret 94)

Russell Poole (ed.) 2017, ‘Breta saga 94 (Gunnlaugr Leifsson, Merlínusspá I 26)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 65.

Gunnlaugr LeifssonMerlínusspá I

text and translation

‘Ok Rúmverjar         ræsi ugga;
megut reisa þeir         rǫnd við stilli.
Mart veitk annat         of menbrota,
en óglǫgt sék         ørlǫg konungs.

‘Ok Rúmverjar ugga ræsi; þeir megut reisa rǫnd við stilli. Veitk mart annat of {menbrota}, en ørlǫg konungs sék óglǫgt.
‘‘And the Romans will fear the king; they will not be able to raise a shield against the lord. I know much else about the breaker of ring [GENEROUS MAN = Arthur], but the fate of the king I see indistinctly.

notes and context

Cf. DGB 112 (Reeve and Wright 2007, 145.42; cf. Wright 1988, 102, prophecy 2): Tremebit Romulea domus saeuiciam ipsius, et exitus eius dubius erit ‘The house of Romulus will tremble before his rage, and his end shall be unknown’ (cf. Reeve and Wright 2007, 144). Gunnlaugr adds the claim to know more about Arthur (J. S. Eysteinsson 1953-7, 99).


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 26: AII, 25, BII, 29, Skald II, 18; Bret 1848-9, II, 47 (Bret st. 94); Hb 1892-6, 278; Merl 2012, 146-7.


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