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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Mberf Lv 1II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Magnús berfœttr Óláfsson, Lausavísur 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 385-6.

Magnús berfœttr ÓláfssonLausavísur


This helmingr (Mberf Lv 1) is preserved in Mberf in Mork (Mork), H, Hr (H-Hr) and mss Flat, 325III α and R702ˣ of Orkn. Mork is the main ms. The prose of H-Hr follows Orkn at this point, but it is difficult to establish a stemma for the poetry. Skj A includes readings from AM 762 4°ˣ (762ˣ), a copy of R702ˣ, which has no independent value and has not been consulted for the present edn.

text and translation

Auð hefk minn, þanns mǫnnum
margteitum réðk veita,
— húf létk kløkkvan klífa
kolgur — illa folginn.

Hefk folginn auð minn, þanns réðk veita margteitum mǫnnum, illa; létk kløkkvan húf klífa kolgur.
‘I have invested my wealth, which I gave to my most cheerful men, unwisely; I let the flexible hull climb the breakers.

notes and context

In Mork the helmingr is recited by Magnús in response to an anonymous helmingr as he is getting ready to embark on his second expedition to the west in 1102. In Orkn and H-Hr this exchange occurs in the Hebrides in 1098-9 and the first half-st., the question eliciting Magnús’s response, is spoken by Kali Sæbjarnarson (see Kali Lv).



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.

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