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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Lv 26I

R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Lausavísur 26’ 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. 732.

Sigvatr ÞórðarsonLausavísur

text and translation

Alfífu mun ævi
ungr drengr muna lengi,
es oxamat ôtum
inni, skaf sem hafrar.
Annat vas, þás Ôleifr
ógnbandaðr réð landi;
hverr átti þá hrósa
hjalmþornuðu korni.

Ungr drengr mun lengi muna ævi Alfífu, es ôtum oxamat inni, sem hafrar skaf. Vas annat, þás Ôleifr, {ógnbandaðr}, réð landi; hverr átti þá hrósa hjalmþornuðu korni.
‘A young fellow will long remember the days of Álfífa (Ælfgifu), when we ate cattle fodder indoors, as goats [eat] peeled bark. It was otherwise when Óláfr, the battle-gesturer [WARRIOR], ruled the country; everyone then had to praise the rick-dried grain.

notes and context

It is said that Norway fares pitiably under the reign of Sveinn Álfífuson/Knútsson and his mother Álfífa, and the people live more on fodder than on food for human beings because there is no plenty in the land during their day, as may be heard in this stanza that Sigvatr composed.

Olsen (1945b, 188) perceives a connection between this stanza and Eyv Lv 12, concerning the lean years under Queen Gunnhildr, and indeed the two stanzas share references to goats eating bark (and to being indoors).



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 28: AI, 274, BI, 253, Skald I, 130, NN §1877, 3069B; ÓHLeg 1849, 75, 121, ÓHLeg 1922, 91, ÓHLeg 1982, 208-9, Fms 5, 209-10, 219-20, Fms 12, 111, Flat 1860-8, II, 393, ÓH 1941, II, 837, 838, 839, n.; Fms 10, 400, Fms 12, 229, Ágr 1880, 51, ÍF 29, 31, Ágr 2008, 44-5; Jón Skaptason 1983, 210, 327.


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