Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.



Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

GunnLeif Merl I 57VIII (Bret 125)

Russell Poole (ed.) 2017, ‘Breta saga 125 (Gunnlaugr Leifsson, Merlínusspá I 57)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 95.

Gunnlaugr LeifssonMerlínusspá I

text and translation

‘Sá bjartar brýtr         borgir Íra
ok foldar til         fellir skóga.
Gerir ræsir eitt         ríki margra;
tekr léónis         lávarðr hǫfuð.

‘Sá brýtr bjartar borgir Íra ok fellir skóga til foldar. Ræsir gerir eitt ríki margra; lávarðr tekr hǫfuð léónis.
‘‘He will destroy the splendid cities of the Irish and fell the forests to the ground. The leader will create one kingdom out of many; the lord will take on the head of a lion.

notes and context

Cf. DGB 114 (Reeve and Wright 2007, 149.99-100; cf. Wright 1988, 105, prophecy 17): Sextus Hiberniae moenia subuertet et nemora in planiciem mutabit. Diuersas portiones in unum reducet et capite leonis coronabitur ‘The sixth will overthrow the city walls of Ireland and turn its forests into a plain. He will reduce various shares to one and be crowned with the lion’s head’ (Reeve and Wright 2007, 148). This prophecy relates to the strong Norman king referred to in st. 56. Henry II did indeed successfully invade Ireland in 1171, lending credence to Geoffrey’s prophecy.



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 57: AII, 30, BII, 35, Skald II, 22, NN §3143B; Bret 1848-9, II, 59 (Bret st. 125); Hb 1892-6, 280; Merl 2012, 171.


Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.


Stanza/chapter/text segment

Use the buttons at the top of the page to navigate between stanzas in a poem.

Information tab

Interactive tab

The text and translation are given here, with buttons to toggle whether the text is shown in the verse order or prose word order. Clicking on indiviudal words gives dictionary links, variant readings, kennings and notes, where relevant.

Full text tab

This is the text of the edition in a similar format to how the edition appears in the printed volumes.

Chapter/text segment

This view is also used for chapters and other text segments. Not all the headings shown are relevant to such sections.