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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Lv 16I

R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Lausavísur 16’ 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. 719.

Sigvatr ÞórðarsonLausavísur

text and translation

Út býðr allvaldr sveitum
Englands, en vér fengum
— lítt sék lofðung óttask —
liðfæð ok skip smæri.
Rôð eru ljót, ef láta
landsmenn konung þenna
— lætr einǫrð fé firrða
ferð — liðþrota verða.

{Allvaldr Englands} býðr sveitum út, en vér fengum liðfæð ok smæri skip; lítt sék lofðung óttask. Rôð eru ljót, ef landsmenn láta þenna konung verða liðþrota; fé lætr ferð firrða einǫrð.
‘The mighty ruler of England [= Knútr] calls the war-bands out, but we have got a scarcity of men and smaller ships; little do I see [our] prince show anxiety. Our options are ugly if his countrymen let this king run short of troops; money deprives people of their constancy.

notes and context

When it becomes known that King Knútr is gathering an invincible army for the conquest of Norway, it becomes all the more difficult for King Óláfr to build up his forces. His men often discuss this among themselves, and Sigvatr delivers this stanza.

Hellberg (1981a, 11-21) argues that the context is not at all as Snorri says, but that this and the following vísa were composed in Denmark and concern the feudal obligation of vassals to provide troops for King Knútr.



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 19: AI, 271, BI, 250-1, Skald I, 129, NN §2778; Fms 5, 1, Fms 12, 92, ÓH 1853, 178, 287, ÓH 1941, I, 468 (ch. 162), Flat 1860-8, II, 304; Hkr 1777-1826, II, 293, VI, 98-9, Hkr 1868, 437 (ÓHHkr ch. 178), Hkr 1893-1901, II, 392, IV, 150, ÍF 27, 303-4, Hkr 1991, II, 474 (ÓHHkr ch. 168); Konráð Gíslason 1892, 38, 181, Jón Skaptason 1983, 201, 323-4.


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