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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon (Hálf) 1VIII (Hálf 4)

Hubert Seelow (ed.) 2017, ‘Hálfs saga ok Hálfsrekka 4 (Anonymous Lausavísur, Lausavísur from Hálfs saga ok Hálfsrekka 1)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 307.

Anonymous LausavísurLausavísur from Hálfs saga ok Hálfsrekka

text and translation

Veit ekki görla         víf þitt, konungr,
hvat hnekkja mun         hennar sælu.
Óverðum þér         …
Hildr, Hjörleifi,         haltu nær loga.

Víf þitt, konungr, veit ekki görla, hvat mun hnekkja sælu hennar. Óverðum þér … Hildr, Hjörleifi, haltu nær loga.
‘Your woman, king, does not quite know what will thwart her happiness. To you, undeserving … Hildr, to Hjǫrleifr, move near the flame.

notes and context

The stanza is preceded by the words: Þá er þau sátu við eld, þá kvað þuss af bjargi annat ljóð ‘Then, when they sat by the fire, the giant recited another song from the rock’. The stanza is followed by the words: Þá skaut Hjörleifr hinu sama spjóti í auga því trölli ‘Then Hjǫrleifr shot the same spear in that troll’s eye’.

[5-6]: The stanza may contain a prophecy of the end of Hildr’s good fortune. It is clear that either l. 5 or l. 6 is missing, although there is no lacuna in the ms., but, as the meaning of the stanza’s second helmingr remains obscure, it cannot be determined whether Óverðum þér ‘To you, undeserving’ should be positioned as l. 5 or as l. 6. Most other eds have emended the ms. reading in various ways and/or added text to fill the lacuna; vér verðum þér (Hálf 1864); óverðum þér [eld mun sløkkva] ‘undeserving for you, [the fire will go out]’ (Edd. Min.); vér undum þér (untranslated Hálf 1909, FSGJ); [Hildr mun ást sýna] óverðum þéṛ ‘[Hildr will show] you, undeserving, [her love]’ (Skj B). Skald treats l. 5 as missing and gives the present text of l. 5 as l. 6.



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. 6. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Hálfssaga II 2: AII, 257, BII, 277, Skald II, 144; Hálf 1864, 7, Hálf 1909, 79, FSGJ 2, 99, Hálf 1981, 111, 172; Edd. Min. 90.


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