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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Lv 11I

R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Lausavísur 11’ 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

Seinn þykki mér sunnan
sókndjarfr Haralds arfi;
langrs, en lýðum þrøngvir
lífs sorg, konungs morginn.
Hvatkis heiðis gatna
hyrtælanda sælan
— nú hefk vætt í dag dróttins —
dvelr, bíðk hans í Selju.

{Sókndjarfr arfi Haralds} þykki mér seinn sunnan; langrs morginn konungs, en sorg lífs þrøngvir lýðum. Hvatkis dvelr {sælan {{heiðis gatna} hyr}tælanda}, bíðk hans í Selju; nú hefk vætt dróttins í dag.
‘The attack-brave heir of Haraldr [= Óláfr] seems late to me [in coming] from the south; long is the king’s morning, and life’s sorrow presses on men. Whatever delays the fortunate destroyer of the flame of the paths of the hawk [ARMS > GOLD > GENEROUS MAN], I await him in Selja; now I have been expecting [my] lord today.

notes and context

After King Óláfr’s death, Sigvatr, while anchored by an island called Selja, is composing a drápa about him. On the mainland nearby a farmer is ill, and his wife cares for him as his strength diminishes. The king appears to her in a dream, telling her that he will tend her husband if she will go to Sigvatr and tell him to intercalate the poem with allusions to Uppreistarsaga (perhaps the story of Creation; Flat and Tóm add that this was to replace allusions to the story of Sigurðr). She does so, and when she returns, the saint has healed her husband. Sigvatr does as he has been told, and then he falls ill. The king appears to him and tells him to come with him, and he names the day when that will happen. When the day comes, Sigvatr delivers this stanza. Then he dies.

By placing this stanza in the middle of Sigvatr’s lausavísur, previous eds presumably signal their belief that it alludes to an event earlier in Sigvatr’s life than the prose Context would suggest.



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 14: AI, 269, BI, 249, Skald I, 129Fms 5, 211, Fms 12, 111, Flat 1860-8, II, 394, ÓH 1941, II, 840, 841; Jón Skaptason 1983, 196, 321.


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