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

Rv Lv 3II

Judith Jesch (ed.) 2009, ‘Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali Kolsson, Lausavísur 3’ 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. 578-9.

Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali KolssonLausavísur

Hér hefk hávan reistan
harðgeðjuðum varða
Dolls í døkkum helli
draug; leitak svá bauga.
Eigi veitk, hverr ýta
unnskíða ferr síðan
langa braut ok ljóta
leið of vatn it breiða.

Hér hefk reistan hávan varða harðgeðjuðum draug í døkkum Dollshelli; svá leitak bauga. Eigi veitk, hverr {ýta {unnskíða}} ferr síðan langa ok ljóta braut, leið of it breiða vatn.

Here I have raised a high cairn to a strong-minded ghost in dark Dollsteinshola; in this way I look for rings. I do not know who among {the pushers {of wave-skis}} [SHIPS > SEAFARERS] will go later the long and ugly way, the route across the broad lake.

Mss: 325I(6v), Flat(135va), R702ˣ(41r) (Orkn)

Readings: [4] draug: draugs R702ˣ    [5] veitk (‘veit ec’): veit Flat, R702ˣ;    hverr: hvé Flat;    ýta: ýtir R702ˣ    [6] unn‑: so Flat, R702ˣ, und 325I

Editions: Skj AI, 505, Skj BI, 479, Skald I, 235, NN §§2060, 2990E; Flat 1860-8, II, 441-2, Orkn 1887, 97, Orkn 1913-16, 143-4, ÍF 34, 133 (ch. 61), Bibire 1988, 226.

Context: Ch. 61 of Orkn describes an adventure Kali had when his ship was caught by the weather and had to anchor off the island of Dolls (now Sandsøya in Sunnmøre, Norway). The travellers entered a large cave on the island in expectation of much treasure (féván mikil), but only Kali and a companion dared to cross the large lake in the cave, which they did roped together, Kali holding a torch in his hand and with a strike-a-light on his back. Having crossed the lake, they had trouble lighting the torch and decided to go no further, but made a cairn to commemorate their visit.

Notes: [2, 4] harðgeðjuðum draug ‘to a strong-minded ghost’: There is no mention of a ghost in the prose anecdote and it is likely that the st. describes the building of the cairn as a prophylactic and propitiatory act against a possible, rather than actual, ghost. As well as being a general term for ‘ghost’, draugr refers specifically to the dead inhabitant of a mound or cairn (LP; Fritzner; CVC). — [3] Dollshelli ‘Dollsteinshola’: Dollshellir lit. ‘Doll’s cave’ is given as the name of the cave in the prose and is taken so here (the cave is now called Dollsteinshola, on Sandsøya). Bibire 1988 prefers to construe Dolls with draug (l. 4) and translates ‘Dolls-zomby’. — [4] draug ‘ghost’: Masculine a-stem nouns often have no ending in the dat. sg. (ANG §358.3). — [7-8] langa braut ok ljóta, leið of it breiða vatn ‘the long and ugly way, the route across the broad lake’: The punctuation and interpretation of these ll. follow Kock (NN §2060). Skj B and ÍF 34 construe ljóta with leið.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  6. CVC = Cleasby, Richard, Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and W. A. Craigie. 1957. An Icelandic-English Dictionary. 2nd edn. Oxford: Clarendon.
  7. ANG = Noreen, Adolf. 1923. Altnordische Grammatik I: Altisländische und altnorwegische Grammatik (Laut- und Flexionslehre) unter Berücksichtigung des Urnordischen. 4th edn. Halle: Niemeyer. 1st edn. 1884. 5th unrev. edn. 1970. Tübingen: Niemeyer.
  8. Flat 1860-8 = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and C. R. Unger, eds. 1860-8. Flateyjarbók. En samling af norske konge-sagaer med indskudte mindre fortællinger om begivenheder i og udenfor Norge samt annaler. 3 vols. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  9. Fritzner = Fritzner, Johan. 1883-96. Ordbog over det gamle norske sprog. 3 vols. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske forlagsforening. 4th edn. Rpt. 1973. Oslo etc.: Universitetsforlaget.
  10. ÍF 34 = Orkneyinga saga. Ed. Finnbogi Guðmundsson. 1965.
  11. Orkn 1913-16 = Sigurður Nordal, ed. 1913-16. Orkneyinga saga. SUGNL 40. Copenhagen: Møller.
  12. Bibire, Paul. 1988. ‘The Poetry of Earl Rǫgnvaldr’s Court’. In Crawford 1988, 208-40.
  13. Orkn 1887 = Gudbrand Vigfusson 1887-94, I.
  14. Internal references
  15. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Orkneyinga saga (Orkn)’ 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 [check printed volume for citation].

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.