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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Lv 10I

R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Lausavísur 10’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 712.

Sigvatr ÞórðarsonLausavísur

text and translation

Þrøngvisk ér of ungan,
ítrmenni, gram þenna;
bægisk ǫld, svát eigi
Ôleifs náik máli.
Mér varð orð at órum
auðsótt frǫmum dróttni,
þás óðum mjǫk móðir
mjǫll á Dofrafjalli.

Ér þrøngvisk of þenna ungan gram, ítrmenni; ǫld bægisk, svát náik eigi máli Ôleifs. Mér varð orð at frǫmum dróttni órum auðsótt, þás óðum mjǫk móðir mjǫll á Dofrafjalli.
‘You throng about this young ruler, glorious crowd; people are pushing, so that I cannot obtain speech with Óláfr. For me a word with our outstanding lord was easy to get when we waded, quite exhausted, through the snow on Dovrefjell.

notes and context

One day Sigvatr has urgent business with King Óláfr, but there is such a throng of people around the king that Sigvatr cannot get to speak with him. Then Sigvatr speaks this stanza; it has the desired effect. In all the mss the incident comes at the end of the account of the journey through Dofrafjall (Dovrefjell) on which Sigvatr finds a way to give his cloak to the king, who is feeling the cold, without insulting him.

Sigvatr’s point is that there may be crowds jostling around the king now, but few of them shared the king’s hardships on his winter journey through Dovrefjell. 



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: Sigvatr Þórðarson, 13. Lausavísur 13: AI, 269, BI, 249, Skald I, 129, NN §§1873, 2480F; Fms 5, 180, Fms 12, 110, Flat 1860-8, II, 112, III, 240, ÓH 1941, II, 687, 697, 698, 699; Konráð Gíslason 1892, 42, 201-2, Jón Skaptason 1983, 195, 321.


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