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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Busla Busl 1VIII (Bós 1)

Wilhelm Heizmann (ed.) 2017, ‘Bósa saga 1 (Busla, Buslubæn 1)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 28.


text and translation

Hér liggr Hringr konungr         hilmir Gauta
einráðastr         allra manna.
Ætlar þú son þinn         sjálfr at myrða;
þau munu fádæmi         fréttaz víða.

Hér liggr Hringr konungr, hilmir Gauta, einráðastr allra manna. Þú ætlar sjálfr at myrða son þinn; þau fádæmi munu fréttaz víða.
‘Here lies King Hringr, ruler of the Gautar, the most stubborn of all men. You yourself intend to murder your son; these shocking events will be heard far and wide.

notes and context

Bósi, a farmer’s son, is to be executed along with the king’s legitimate son, Herrauðr, Bósi’s blood-brother, on account of the former’s slaying of the king’s bastard son, Sjóðr. Herrauðr joined with Bósi against his own father, King Hringr of East Götaland. The night before the execution, Bósi’s sorcerous foster-mother, Busla, appears. In her youth she had been Bósi’s father’s lover. She appears in the king’s bed-chamber and is ultimately successful in dissuading him from his plan. She achieves this goal by reciting a total of nine curse stanzas. They begin with two stanzas that outline the scenario, and then the curses are pronounced.



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: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], E. 14. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Bósasaga 1: AII, 330, BII, 350-1, Skald II, 189; Bós 1666, 18, FSN 3, 202, Bós 1893, 16, FSGJ 3, 291, Bós 1996, 12; Edd. Min. 123.


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