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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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GunnLeif Merl I 86VIII (Bret 154)

Russell Poole (ed.) 2017, ‘Breta saga 154 (Gunnlaugr Leifsson, Merlínusspá I 86)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 121.

Gunnlaugr LeifssonMerlínusspá I

text and translation

‘Ok hann síðan þekr         þykku laufi
einn of alla         eybarms fjǫru.
Megut þá fljúga         foglar í landi,
þvíat hann œgir þeim,         en hann enn til sín
laðar fogla fljótt         ferð útlendra.

‘Ok síðan þekr hann einn þykku laufi of alla fjǫru eybarms. Foglar megut þá fljúga í landi, þvíat hann œgir þeim, en hann laðar enn ferð útlendra fogla fljótt til sín.
‘‘And then it alone will cover with its dense foliage the entire foreshore of the island’s fringe. The birds within the land will then be unable to fly, because he will frighten them, but yet he will quickly entice a host of foreign birds to himself.

notes and context

Cf. DGB 115 (Reeve and Wright 2007, 151.137-9; cf. Wright 1988, 107, prophecy 28): et uolucres exterarum regionum sustentabit. Patriis uolatilibus nociuus habebitur; nam timore umbrae eius liberos uolatus amittent ‘and feed birds from foreign lands. It will prove harmful to native birds; for they will not be able to fly freely in fear of its shadow’ (Reeve and Wright 2007, 150).


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 86: AII, 34, BII, 41, Skald II, 26; Bret 1848-9, II, 69 (Bret st. 154); Hb 1892-6, 282; Merl 2012, 195-6.


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