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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Lv 25I

R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Lausavísur 25’ 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. 730.

Sigvatr ÞórðarsonLausavísur

text and translation

Enn lystir mik (austan
erut of spǫrð ór Gǫrðum)
frá ǫðlingi ungum
(opt byrjuð lof) spyrja.
Fréttik smás, þótt smæstir
smoglir ástar foglar
(þinig ljúgumk fǫr) fljúgi
(fylkis niðs) á miðli.

Enn lystir mik spyrja frá ungum ǫðlingi; lof opt byrjuð austan ór Gǫrðum erut of spǫrð. Fréttik smás, þótt smæstir, smoglir foglar ástar fljúgi á miðli; ljúgumk fǫr þinig {niðs fylkis}.
‘Still it pleases me to ask about the young prince; the praises often conveyed from the east out of Russia are not too sparing. I enquire about little, though the smallest, smuggling birds of affection fly between; I am cheated of the journey hither of the leader’s offspring [RULER = Magnús].

notes and context

Sigvatr travels to Sweden and stays with Queen Ástríðr (who had gone there with King Óláfr when he first lost control of Norway, and had remained there after his return). Whenever he meets merchants coming from Hólmgarðr (Novgorod), he asks what they can tell him about Óláfr’s son Magnús. He says this.

[1-4]: There are alternative ways to analyse the syntax of this helmingr. (a) Finnur Jónsson (Skj B; so Hkr 1991) would have frá ǫðlingi ungum ‘about the young prince’ in l. 3 modify lof ‘praises’ in l. 4 and austan … ór Gǫrðum ‘from the east out of Russia’ in ll. 1, 2 modify spyrja ‘to ask’ in l. 4. (b) Kock (NN §1876; so ÍF 28 and Jón Skaptason 1983, 209) would have both of these phrases modify spyrja ‘ask’ on the ground that lof frá einhverjum ‘praise about someone’ seems unidiomatic to him.



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 27: AI, 273, BI, 252-3, Skald I, 130, NN §§1876, 2205D (cf. 2225); Hkr 1777-1826, III, 13, VI, 126, Hkr 1868, 522 (MGóð ch. 9), Hkr 1893-1901, III, 20, IV, 184-5, ÍF 28, 18, Hkr 1991, II, 567 (MGóð ch. 8), F 1871, 173, E 1916, 13; Konráð Gíslason 1892, 41, 191, 232, Jón Skaptason 1983, 209, 326-7.


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