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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Úlfrauð Útkv 1VIII (Hálf 40)

Hubert Seelow (ed.) 2017, ‘Hálfs saga ok Hálfsrekka 40 (Úlfr inn rauði, Útsteinskviða 1)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 336.

Úlfr inn rauðiÚtsteinskviða

Yðr munu dauðar         dísir allar;
heill kveð ek horfna         frá Hálfsrekkum.
Dreymði mik í morgin,         at megir várir
efri yrði,         hvar er vér mættuz.

Allar dísir munu yðr dauðar; ek kveð heill horfna frá Hálfsrekkum. Dreymði mik í morgin, at megir várir yrði efri, hvar er vér mættuz.

For you, all dísir will be dead; I say luck has deserted Hálfr’s champions. I dreamed this morning that our [my] sons would prevail, wherever we should meet.

Mss: 2845(37r) (Hálf)

Readings: [1] dauðar: ‘daud ar’ with a small hole in the parchment between ‘daud’ and ‘ar’ 2845    [4] Hálfs: hálf 2845

Editions: Skj AII, 263, Skj BII, 284, Skald II, 149; Hálf 1864, 27, Hálf 1909, 114, FSGJ 2, 120, Hálf 1981, 187; Edd. Min. 71.

Context: This stanza is introduced by the words: Úlfr kvað ‘Úlfr said’.

Notes: [3] heill ‘luck’: The idea that some individuals were favoured by luck or good fortune was a commonplace of Old Norse literature, and is expressed both in poetry as well as in prose sagas (cf. Hallberg 1973). In Útkv 9/5-8 (Hálf 50), Útsteinn attributes his success in life to Óðinn. — [7] yrði efri ‘would prevail’: Lit. ‘would become uppermost’. Cf. Hálf 42/1. — [8] vér ‘we’: The ms. has vér ‘we’, but this leaves ll. 7-8 without alliteration, so previous eds (e.g. Hálf 1864, Edd. Min., Skj B) have emended vér mættuz to ér mættiz ‘wherever you (pl.) should meet’, i.e. Útsteinn and Úlfr’s sons.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. FSGJ = Guðni Jónsson, ed. 1954. Fornaldar sögur norðurlanda. 4 vols. [Reykjavík]: Íslendingasagnaútgáfan.
  5. Edd. Min. = Heusler, Andreas and Wilhelm Ranisch, eds. 1903. Eddica Minora: Dichtungen eddischer Art aus den Fornaldarsögur und anderen Prosawerken. Dortmund: Ruhfus. Rpt. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft.
  6. Hallberg, Peter. 1973. ‘The Concept of gipta-gæfa-hamingja in Old Norse Literature’. In Foote et al. 1973, 143-83.
  7. Hálf 1981 = Seelow, Hubert, ed. 1981. Hálfs saga ok Hálfsrekka. RSÁM 20. Reykjavík: Stofnun Árna Magnússonar.
  8. Hálf 1864 = Bugge, Sophus, ed. 1864. Saga af Hálfi ok Hálfsrekkum. Norrøne Skrifter af sagnhistorisk Indhold 1. Christiania (Oslo): Det Nordiske Oldskriftselskab.
  9. Hálf 1909 = Andrews, A. Le Roy, ed. 1909. Hálfs saga ok Hálfsrekka. ASB 14. Halle: Niemeyer.
  10. Internal references
  11. Hubert Seelow (ed.) 2017, ‘Hálfs saga ok Hálfsrekka 42 (Úlfr inn rauði, Útsteinskviða 2)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 338.
  12. Hubert Seelow (ed.) 2017, ‘Hálfs saga ok Hálfsrekka 50 (Útsteinn Gunnlaðarson, Útsteinskviða 9)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 343.

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