Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.



Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

FriðÞ Lv 22VIII (Frið 28)

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Friðþjófs saga ins frœkna 28 (Friðþjófr Þorsteinsson, Lausavísur 22)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 225.

Friðþjófr ÞorsteinssonLausavísur

text and translation

Helgi varð fyr höggi;
hraut sjóðr á nef kauða;
hneig Hálfdanar hlýri
ór hásæti miðju.
Þar varð Baldr at brenna,
en baugi náða ek áðr;
síðan frá eldi usla
ódrjúgr dró ek bjúga.

Helgi varð fyr höggi; sjóðr hraut á nef kauða; {hlýri Hálfdanar} hneig ór miðju hásæti. Þar varð Baldr at brenna, en ek náða baugi áðr; síðan dró ek ódrjúgr bjúga usla frá eldi.
‘Helgi met with a blow; the purse struck on the wretch’s nose; the brother of Hálfdan [= Helgi] fell from the middle of the high-seat. There Baldr <god> had to burn, but I grabbed the ring beforehand; afterwards I, not sluggish, pulled curved embers out of the fire.

notes and context

Bjǫrn asks Friðþjófr, who has left the hall with the ring that has fallen from the arm of Helgi’s wife, what has happened while he was inside, and Friðþjófr recites this stanza while holding up the ring.

This and the following stanza (Frið 29) are only in the B redaction mss. Two separate stanzas covering much the same ground (Frið 30 and 31) are only in the A redaction mss. This stanza is in an irregular dróttkvætt, with hendingar in ll. 2, 6 and 8, although l. 6 is problematic. — [3-4]: These lines tally with the prose text; in the A recension, the text simply states that Helgi fell … í óvit ‘lost … consciousness’ (Frið 1914, 23), while B has en hann fell ór hásætinu í úvit ‘and he fell from the high-seat in an unconscious state’ (Frið 1901, 35). — [6]: This line is hypometrical (assuming cliticisation of ek) unless en is deleted and áðr is desyllabified to áður. Skj B, following a suggestion of Konráð Gíslason, changes the word order to en baugi ek áðr náða ‘but I got hold of the ring first’, but this line is unmetrical.   — [7-8]: Understood here as an oblique reference to the piece of firewood (eldskíða) which the B text says that Friðþjófr used to set fire to Baldrshagi. Other eds resort to emendation to make sense of these two lines, but this is unnecessary. Larsson (Frið 1901) emends ódrjúgr to údrjúga and bjúga to bjúgur, translating dann zog ich gebückt schnellverzehrte brennende holzscheite aus dem feuer ‘then I drew curved, quickly consumed burning logs of wood from the fire’. Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) inserts an ok in l. 7 between eldi and usla (cf. Ǫrv 101/7) while emending ódrjúgr ‘not slugglish’ (lit. ‘not lasting’) to ódeigr ‘not timid, not faint-hearted’, presenting the following translation: siden slæbte jeg ufej den krumböjede kvinde fra ilden og flammeødelæggeslen ‘afterwards I, not timid, dragged the bent woman from the fire and the destruction of flames’. Falk (1890, 82) suggested emending bjúga (l. 8) to ljúga, ‘lie, tell a lie’ and implied a translation like ‘I, inadequate in lying’, with reference to Friðþjófr’s relationship to Helgi and Hálfdan. Kock (Skald; NN §2388) follows Skj B in emending ódrjúgr to ódeigr and also emends síðan ‘afterwards’ (l. 7) to þá ‘then’. 



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. 7. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Friðþjófssaga ens frækna I 27: AII, 276, BII, 297, Skald II, 157, NN §§1476, 2388; Falk 1890, 80-2, Frið 1893, 25, Frið 1901, 36.


Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.


Stanza/chapter/text segment

Use the buttons at the top of the page to navigate between stanzas in a poem.

Information tab

Interactive tab

The text and translation are given here, with buttons to toggle whether the text is shown in the verse order or prose word order. Clicking on indiviudal words gives dictionary links, variant readings, kennings and notes, where relevant.

Full text tab

This is the text of the edition in a similar format to how the edition appears in the printed volumes.

Chapter/text segment

This view is also used for chapters and other text segments. Not all the headings shown are relevant to such sections.