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 81VIII (Bret 149)

Russell Poole (ed.) 2017, ‘Breta saga 149 (Gunnlaugr Leifsson, Merlínusspá I 81)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 118.

Gunnlaugr LeifssonMerlínusspá I

text and translation

‘Mun hans brjóst vesa         brǫgnum fœzla,
þeims fátt hafa         fjár með hǫndum.
Ok in tállausa         tunga hilmis
sløkkvir þorsta         þjóðans liði.

‘Brjóst hans mun vesa fœzla brǫgnum, þeims hafa fátt fjár með hǫndum. Ok in tállausa tunga hilmis sløkkvir þorsta liði þjóðans.
‘‘His breast will be sustenance for men who have little property at their disposal. And the ruler’s tongue, free of deception, will slake thirst for the following of the lord.

notes and context

Cf. DGB 115 (Reeve and Wright 2007, 151.130; cf. Wright 1988, 106, prophecy 26): Pectus eius cibus erit egentibus, et lingua eius sedabit sicientes ‘His breast shall be food for the needy and his tongue drink for the thirsty’ (Reeve and Wright 2007, 150). Geoffrey continues his prophecies regarding the ‘boar of commerce’. Gunnlaugr adds the idea of the ruler’s tongue being free from deceit; for other additions relating to deceit and treachery cf. I 48 Note to [All] and II 25 Note to [All].



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 81: AII, 33, BII, 40, Skald II, 25; Bret 1848-9, II, 67 (Bret st. 149); Hb 1892-6, 282; Merl 2012, 192.


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.