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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Rv Lv 12II

Judith Jesch (ed.) 2009, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali Kolsson, Lausavísur 12’ 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. 589-90.

Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali KolssonLausavísur

text and translation

Skelk aflar Sif silkis
svinn at umbúð minni;
hlær stórum mun meira
mær, an fallit væri.
Fár kann jarl, en árla
(ǫrlyndr) at sjá gǫrla
(hlunns drók eik af unnum
áðr) í fiskivôðum.

{Svinn Sif silkis} aflar skelk at umbúð minni; mær hlær stórum mun meira, an væri fallit. Fár kann at sjá jarl gǫrla í fiskivôðum, en áðr drók, ǫrlyndr, {eik hlunns} af unnum árla.
‘The wise Sif <goddess> of silk [WOMAN] makes fun of my outfit; the girl laughs a great deal more than would be right. Few are able to see the jarl clearly in his fishing-gear, yet previously I pulled, gallant [as I am], the oak of the roller [SHIP] from the waves in the early morning.

notes and context

A poor farmer in Shetland is accompanied on a fishing trip by a hooded figure who later turns out to be Rǫgnvaldr. On completing their fishing trip and, having given away his share of the fish to the poor, the hooded man gets ready to go, but misses his footing on a slippery slope, whereupon a woman and some other people laugh at him.

This st. is preserved only in R702ˣ, which also records a lengthy anecdote to which it belongs, not preserved in any other ms. of Orkn, including the Dan. translation Holm papp 39 folˣ. Elsewhere, such prose passages in R702ˣ retain the sense and much of the wording of the saga without being entirely accurate renditions. In this case, it is impossible to tell how well the anecdote represents its saga exemplar. The anecdote is analysed in detail in Bibire 1984. — [6]: It is likely that this l. read ǫrlyndr séa gǫrla and that a scribe, unfamiliar with the earlier hiatus form of the verb (séa ‘see’), realised he was missing a syllable and added the inf. marker at.


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: Rǫgnvaldr jarl kali Kolsson, Lausavísur 12: AI, 507, BI, 481, Skald I, 236, NN §§2338B, 2990E; Orkn 1887, 152-3, Orkn 1913-16, 221, ÍF 34, 200 (ch. 85), Bibire 1988, 230.


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