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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Busla Busl 4VIII (Bós 4)

Wilhelm Heizmann (ed.) 2017, ‘Bósa saga 4 (Busla, Buslubæn 4)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 31.


text and translation

Svá skal ek þjarma         þér at brjósti,
at hjarta þitt         höggormar gnagi,
en eyru þín         aldrigi heyri,
ok augu þín         úthverf snúiz,
nema þú Bósa         björg um veitir
ok honum Herrauð         heipt upp gefir.

Ek skal þjarma þér svá at brjósti, at höggormar gnagi hjarta þitt, en eyru þín heyri aldrigi, ok augu þín snúiz úthverf, nema þú um veitir Bósa björg ok gefir honum Herrauð upp heipt.
‘I shall so oppress your breast as though adders are gnawing at your heart, and your ears shall never hear [again], and your eyes shall turn outwards, unless you grant Bósi freedom and forego your hatred towards Herrauðr.

notes and context

The curse in this stanza is directed at the bodily welfare of the king. He will endure not only pains, but he will simultaneously be locked within himself to the extent that his eyes and ears, two vital sensory organs, will cease to function.



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 4: AII, 330-1, BII, 351, Skald II, 189, NN § 793; Bós 1666, 18-19, FSN 3, 203-4, Bós 1893, 16-17, FSGJ 3, 292, Bós 1996, 13; Edd. Min. 124.


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