Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Magnús inn góði 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. 5-6.
Enn, þótt héti Hvinngestr faðir minn,
gerði eigi sá garð of hestreðr,
sem Sigurðr sýr; sá vas þinn faðir!
Enn, þótt faðir minn héti Hvinngestr, gerði sá eigi garð of hestreðr sem Sigurðr sýr; sá vas þinn faðir!
Yet, even though my father was called Hvinngestr (‘Thief-guest’), he never put a fence around horse-phalli like Sigurðr sýr (‘Sow’); he was your father!
Mss: H(32v), Hr(23vb) (H-Hr); Mork(5r) (Mork, ll. 3-6); Flat(195va) (Flat, ll. 3-6)
Readings:  gerði eigi sá: so Mork, Flat, þá gerði hann aldri H, þá gerði hann þó aldri Hr  sýr: so Mork, Flat, sýrr H, Hr
Context: The st. was composed by Magnús and recited by his half-brother, Þórir, in response to a taunting lv. by Haraldr harðráði (Hharð Lv 3).
Notes:  Hvinngestr ‘(“Thief-guest”)’: The identity of Þórir’s father is not known, but the nickname had derogatory connotations. Hvinn was a person guilty of petty theft (NGL I, 253), which was considered a shameful crime. The unsubstantiated allegation of petty theft carried the penalty of outlawry (NGL I, 273, 311, 331) or fines (NGL II, 70, V: hvinn). — : The H, Hr variants are hypermetrical. Skj B and Skald emend to gerði hann aldri lit. ‘did he never’. —  hestreðr ‘horse-phalli’: This n. noun could be either acc. pl. or sg. —  garð of hestreðr ‘a fence around horse-phalli’: According to LP: garðr 6, this apparently meant ‘wrap the phallus of a horse so that it could not mate’. A more practical explanation is that it refers to the custom of separating the stallions from the mares by putting them in a separate, fenced-off pasture. Erik Noreen’s attempt to connect the phrase with a pagan phallus cult is not persuasive (Noreen 1922, 51). The l. may allude to Sigurðr sýr’s fondness for farm activities (see Flat 1860-8, II, 12; ÍF 27, 41), but the veiled insult is clearly of a sexual nature (making a fence, a ‘ring’ around horse-phalli), implying that Sigurðr sýr, in keeping with his feminised nickname, had been the passive partner in sexual intercourse with stallions (see SnH Lv 11; see also Hjǫrtr Lv 1-3). For legal punishments incurred by poetic insults, see Andersson and Gade 2000, 474. —  sem Sigurðr sýr ‘like Sigurðr sýr (“Sow”)’: The l. is unmetrical, and Magnús may have used the older form of the name Sigurðr (Sigvǫrðr), which would give a regular fornyrðislag l. —  sýr (f. nom. sg.) ‘(‘‘Sow’’)’: The noun is f., but when used as a male nickname it could occur as a m. (cf. sýrr m. nom. sg.; so H, Hr) (see LP: sýrr).
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