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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Vígf Lv 1I

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2012, ‘Vígfúss Víga-Glúmsson, Lausavísa 1’ 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. 364.

Vígfúss Víga-GlúmssonLausavísa1

text and translation

Oss es leikr, en lauka
liggr heima vinr feimu,
— þryngr at Viðris veðri
vandar — góðr fyr hǫndum.
Hlýs kveðk hœlis bósa
— hann væntir sér annars —
vífs und vǫrmum bœgi
— vér skreytum spjǫr — neyta.

Góðr leikr es fyr hǫndum oss, en vinr {feimu lauka} liggr heima; þryngr at {veðri {vandar Viðris}}. Kveðk bósa neyta hlýs hœlis und vǫrmum bœgi vífs; hann væntir sér annars; vér skreytum spjǫr.
‘Good sport is at hand for us [me], but the friend of the lady of leeks [WOMAN] lies around at home; [events] press towards the storm of the rod of Viðrir <= Óðinn> [SWORD > BATTLE]. I declare the womaniser enjoys cosy refuge under the warm arm of the woman; he expects something different; we [I] polish [my] spear.

notes and context

The stanza follows Þskúm Lv within the prelude to the battle of Hjǫrungavágr (Liavågen). In Fsk, which places the scene on board Hákon jarl’s ship and attributes Þskúm Lv 1 to Vígfúss Víga-Glúmsson, it is merely introduced, Þá kvað hann ok þetta ‘Then he also spoke this’. Jvs, on the other hand, places the scene on Eiríkr jarl’s ship, and there is a change of poet, Vigfúss uttering the stanza as he sharpens his spear in readiness for battle.

For the sea-battle at Hjǫrungavágr (c. 985) and other skaldic poetry associated with it, see the entry on Hákon jarl Sigurðarson in ‘Ruler biographies’ in Introduction to this volume. — [7] vífs und vǫrmum bœgi ‘under the warm arm of the woman’: Cf. Tindr Hákdr 1/2, which also mentions a woman’s arms when contrasting martial deeds with lying with a woman, and Stefnir Lv 2/7-8, which boasts of preferring the rigours of seafaring to warm embraces. The line lacks hending, which led Kock (Skald; NN §2509) to suggest replacing bœgi ‘arm’ by its synonym armi, and transposing the first two words, to give vǫrmum vífs und armi. He defended the resulting placement of the adj. against an objection from Kuhn in NN §2902I.



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: Vígfúss Víga-Glúmsson, [2]. Lausavísa: AI, 121, BI, 115, Skald I, 65, NN §§641, 2509, 2902I; Fsk 1902-3, 95-6 (ch. 20), ÍF 29, 132 (ch. 22); Fms 11, 130 n., Fms 12, 238, Flat 1860-8, I, 189, Jvs 1875, 28, Jvs 1879, 74, Jvs 1962, 34. 


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