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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Sigv Lv 8I

R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Lausavísur 8’ 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. 709.

Sigvatr ÞórðarsonLausavísur

text and translation

Eigi sôtuð ítrum,
Ívarr, meginfjarri,
orð þás ossum fœrðak
— at sóttisk lof — dróttni.
Þérs, alls hann réð hlýða
hróðr sínn, lofi þínu
— hljóðs hefk beitt á báða
bekki — vant at hnekkja.

Ívarr, eigi sôtuð meginfjarri ítrum, þás fœrðak orð dróttni ossum; lof sóttisk at. Þérs vant at hnekkja lofi þínu, alls hann réð hlýða hróðr sínn; hefk beitt hljóðs á báða bekki.
‘Ívarr, you did not sit very far from the glorious one when I conveyed words to our lord; praise rushed forth. For you it is inadvisable to reject praise of yourself, since he saw fit to listen to his encomium; I have requested a hearing from both benches.

notes and context

When Sigvatr is praised at a feast for a poem he delivers in honour of King Óláfr Haraldsson, a district chieftain by the name of Ívarr hvíti ‘the White’ chides him for praising only the king and expecting reward from him alone, neglecting other important men. Subsequently, with Óláfr’s grudging permission Sigvatr goes to Vík (Viken) to visit Ívarr, saying he has composed a poem about him. But Ívarr gives him a hostile reception, saying it is just like a skald, when a king grows tired of him, to go off and try to extract reward from farmers. In response, Sigvatr delivers this vísa, whereupon Ívarr agrees to listen to the poem that Sigvatr has composed. Sigvatr recites it (none is quoted) and is rewarded well. 



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.

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