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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Lv 23I

R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Lausavísur 23’ 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. 728.

Sigvatr ÞórðarsonLausavísur

text and translation

Hafa láti mik heitan
Hvíta-Kristr at víti
eld, ef Ôleif vildak
— emk skirr of þat — firrask.
Vatnœrin hefk vitni
— vask til Rúms í haska—
— ǫld leynik því aldri —
annarra þau manna.

Hvíta-Kristr láti mik hafa heitan eld at víti, ef vildak firrask Ôleif; emk skirr of þat. Hefk þau vatnœrin vitni annarra manna; vask í haska til Rúms; aldri leynik ǫld því.
‘May White-Christ let me have hot fire for punishment if I wanted to abandon Óláfr; I am guiltless about that. I have those abundant-as-water testimonies of other people; I was in peril on the way to Rome; never shall I conceal that from people.

notes and context

In ÓH and Hkr, Sigvatr then goes to his farmstead. He hears many people accuse him of deserting King Óláfr (since he was on a pilgrimage to Rome at the time of the battle of Stiklastaðir (Stiklestad); cf. Þorm Lv 20 and Context). He speaks this stanza. In Flat and in 73a (ÓH 1941, II, 830-1), the stanza is a response to the same criticism, but the incident immediately follows when he has returned from Denmark, fleeing in the middle of the night after having been warned that he has been recognized by his poetry (see Lv 27 and Context) and will be captured and killed because of King Knútr’s enmity to the friends of Óláfr. In TGT, l. 6 is quoted in the section on metaplasmus to provide an example of sineresis (vas ek > vask).



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 25: AI, 273, BI, 252, Skald I, 130, NN §3133A; Fms 5, 123, Fms 12, 107, ÓH 1853, 236, 301, ÓH 1941, I, 618 (ch. 254), Flat 1860-8, II, 372; Hkr 1777-1826, III, 12, VI, 126, Hkr 1868, 521 (MGóð ch. 9), Hkr 1893-1901, III, 18-19, IV, 183-4, ÍF 28, 17, Hkr 1991, II, 566 (MGóð ch. 8), F 1871, 173, E 1916, 12; SnE 1848-87, II, 138-9, TGT 1884, 39, 73, TGT 1927, 64, 101, TGT 1998, 170-1; Konráð Gíslason 1892, 41, 189, 232, Jón Skaptason 1983, 207, 326.


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