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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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GunnLeif Merl I 69VIII (Bret 137)

Russell Poole (ed.) 2017, ‘Breta saga 137 (Gunnlaugr Leifsson, Merlínusspá I 69)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 105.

Gunnlaugr LeifssonMerlínusspá I

text and translation

‘Falla fyrðar         í fleindrífu;
verðr enskri þjóð         aldrspell skipat.
Es vǫllr roðinn         en víg boðin;
hlýtr hôvan sigr         helmingr Breta.

‘Fyrðar falla í {fleindrífu}; aldrspell verðr skipat enskri þjóð. Vǫllr es roðinn en víg boðin; helmingr Breta hlýtr hôvan sigr.
‘‘Men will fall in the arrow-blizzard [BATTLE]; loss of life will be allotted for the English people. The field will be stained red and killing proffered; the forcè of Britons will win a great victory.

notes and context

Cf. DGB 115 (Reeve and Wright 2007, 149.111; cf. Wright 1988, 105, prophecy 20): Tunc erit strages alienigenarum ‘Then there will be a slaughter of foreigners’ (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 69: AII, 31, BII, 38, Skald II, 24Bret 1848-9, II, 63 (Bret st. 137); Hb 1892-6, 281; Merl 2012, 182.


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