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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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FriðÞ Lv 25VIII (Frið 31)

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Friðþjófs saga ins frœkna 31 (Friðþjófr Þorsteinsson, Lausavísur 25)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 229.

Friðþjófr ÞorsteinssonLausavísur

text and translation

Gekk ek því frá garði
grundskjöldunga tveggja,
at ek illsögur ætta
†i enni mina grandvær†.
Nær var ek nála Gunni
við gistingar fundinn;
þat rak mik frá húsi
heldur meir, en skyldi.

Ek gekk frá garði tveggja grundskjöldunga, því at ek ætta illsögur †i enni mina grandvær†. Ek var fundinn nær {Gunni nála} við gistingar; þat rak mik frá húsi heldur meir, en skyldi.
‘I went from the courtyard of the two princes of the land, because I might have malicious stories … . I was found near the Gunnr <valkyrie> of needles [WOMAN = Ingibjǫrg] at the night-lodgings; that drove me from the house rather more than it should have.

notes and context

In some of the A redaction mss, Friðþjófr speaks this stanza as he and Bjǫrn go to their ships, while looking back towards Baldrshagi.

Like Frið 30, Frið 31 is only in certain of the A redaction mss, including 510, and is again missing from 568ˣ. The metre is an irregular variant of dróttkvætt; only l. 8 has internal rhyme. The adv. heldur ‘rather’ (l.8) requires desyllabification from mss’ heldr in order to provide a metrically regular line; this suggests a date of composition post-1300. Stylistically noteworthy is the use of the woman-kenning Gunnr nála ‘the Gunnr <valkyrie> of needles’ in l. 5. This stanza, in which Friðþjófr reflects on the supposed misdemeanour of his dalliance with Ingibjǫrg, which happened before his voyage to Orkney and his return to Norway, seems misplaced where it occurs in some of the A mss. — [1]: Ms. 27’s text is preferred here because it is syntactically and metrically superior to that of 510.  — [3-4]: It is impossible to give a reliable interpretation of ll. 3-4. Most eds who have attempted one make major emendations (e.g. Skj B) which have little regard for the mss. Kock (Skald; NN §3195) emends i enni mina grandvær to enn in minna grandvarr. The adj. grandvarr ‘guileless, upright’ is a sensible suggestion for the last word in l. 4, but the rest of Kock’s emended text is arbitrary.



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 30: AII, 276, BII, 298, Skald II, 157, NN §§1476 anm., 3195; Falk 1890, 82-3, Frið 1893, 53-4, Frið 1914, 25.


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