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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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GunnLeif Merl I 58VIII (Bret 126)

Russell Poole (ed.) 2017, ‘Breta saga 126 (Gunnlaugr Leifsson, Merlínusspá I 58)’ 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

‘Es í reiðingu         ráð þjóðkonungs
inn fyrra hlut         fylkis ævi.
En inn øfri aldr         auðvarpaðar
líkar helgum         himinstilli vel.

‘Ráð þjóðkonungs es í reiðingu inn fyrra hlut ævi fylkis. En inn øfri aldr {auðvarpaðar} líkar {helgum himinstilli} vel.
‘‘The behaviour of the mighty king will waver for the first part of the leader’s life. But the later life of the wealth-flinger [GENEROUS MAN] will please the holy ruler of heaven [= God] well.

notes and context

Cf. DGB 114 (Reeve and Wright 2007, 149.101-2; cf. Wright 1988, 105, prophecy 17): Principium eius uago affectui succumbet, sed finis ipsius ad superos conuolabit ‘His beginning will be weakened by uncertain desires, but his end will ascend to the heavens’ (cf. Reeve and Wright 2007, 148).


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 58: AII, 30, BII, 35-6, Skald II, 22; Bret 1848-9, II, 59 (Bret st. 126); Hb 1892-6, 280; Merl 2012, 172.


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