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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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GunnLeif Merl I 70VIII (Bret 138)

Russell Poole (ed.) 2017, ‘Breta saga 138 (Gunnlaugr Leifsson, Merlínusspá I 70)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 106.

Gunnlaugr LeifssonMerlínusspá I

text and translation

‘Yppir fjǫllum         fljótt Valbreta;
munu Brútus þau         bera kórónu.
Grœnask ǫflgar         eikr Kornbreta;
fagnar slíku         fús Kambría.

‘Yppir fljótt fjǫllum Valbreta; þau munu bera kórónu Brútus. Ǫflgar eikr Kornbreta grœnask; fús Kambría fagnar slíku.
‘‘The mountains of French Britons will be swiftly raised up; they will bear the crown of Brutus. The mighty oaks of the Cornish Britons will grow green; eager Cambria rejoices at that.

notes and context

Cf. DGB 115 (Reeve and Wright 2007, 149.112-13; cf. Wright 1988, 105, prophecy 20): tunc erumpent Armorici montes et diademate Bruti coronabuntur. Replebitur Kambria laeticia, et robora Cornubiae uirescent ‘then the hills of Brittany will burst forth and be crowned with Brutus’ diadem. Wales will be filled with rejoicing and the Cornish oaks will flourish’ (cf. Reeve and Wright 2007, 148). Geoffrey envisages an assumption of monarchical power in the British Isles on the part of the returning Bretons (cf. I 63) to the satisfaction of the British still resident in Wales and Cornwall.



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 70: AII, 31-2, BII, 38, Skald II, 24; Bret 1848-9, II, 63 (Bret st. 138); Hb 1892-6, 281; Merl 2012, 182-3.


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