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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Busla Busl 8VIII (Bós 8)

Wilhelm Heizmann (ed.) 2017, ‘Bósa saga 8 (Busla, Buslubæn 8)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 34.


text and translation

Tröll ok álfar         ok töfrnornir,
búar, bergrisar         brenni þínar hallir.
Hati þik hrímþussar,         hestar streði þik,
stráin stangi þik,         en stormar æri þik,
ok vei verði þér,         nema þú vilja minn gjorir.

Tröll ok álfar ok töfrnornir, búar, bergrisar brenni hallir þínar. Hrímþussar hati þik, hestar streði þik, stráin stangi þik, en stormar æri þik, ok verði þér vei, nema þú gjorir vilja minn.
‘May trolls and elves and magic-Norns, supernatural inhabitants and mountain giants burn your halls. May frost giants loathe you, stallions violate you, straw prick you and storms bewilder you; and harm will come to you unless you do my bidding.

notes and context

A passage of prose now intervenes in Bós after st. 7 and before st. 8. It tells that the king remains implacable and insults Busla by calling her a vættr, a word which can be understood in the sense of ‘witch’ in this context. Busla’s magic causes the king to be stuck fast to the bed and the servant boys kept asleep. Thus she can begin to recite the poetry that begins the second section of the curse, in which an entire army of demons is invoked to rise up against the king.



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 8: AII, 331-2, BII, 352, Skald II, 190; Bós 1666, 20-1, FSN 3, 205-6, Bós 1893, 18, FSGJ 3, 294, Bós 1996, 14-15; Edd. Min. 124.


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