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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Ormarr Lv 2VIII (Heiðr 103)

Hannah Burrows (ed.) 2017, ‘Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks 103 (Ormarr, Lausavísur 2)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 475.


text and translation

Sunnan em ek kominn         at segja spjöll þessi:
sviðin er öll         Myrkviðar heiðr,
drifin öll Gotþjóð         gumna blóði.

Ek em kominn sunnan at segja þessi spjöll: öll heiðr Myrkviðar er sviðin, öll Gotþjóð drifin blóði gumna.
‘I have come from the south to relate these words: all Myrkviðr’s heath is scorched, all the land of the Goths sprayed with the blood of men.

notes and context

The Goths and Huns meet in battle. Eventually Hervǫr, the leader of the Goths, is killed, whereupon Ormarr and the rest of the troop flee. The Huns harry widely in the land of the Goths. Ormarr rides to Angantýr and speaks this stanza.

[3-4]: To restore alliteration Skj B, Skald, Heiðr 1960 and Edd. Min. all add in mæra ‘the renowned’ after öll, Edd. Min. placing öll in square brackets. There is no ms. support for this emendation here, but cf. Heiðr 94/1-2 hrís þat it mæra, | er Myrkviðr heitir ‘that renowned forest, which is called Myrkviðr’ (and see Note there). ÍF Edd. takes Sviðin er ǫll Myrkheiðr (see following Note) to be l. 3, assuming another l. 4 to be lost.



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. 5. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Hervararsaga VII 2: AII, 254, BII, 273-4, Skald II, 143; Heiðr 1672, 172, FSN 1, 499, Heiðr 1873, 279, Heiðr 1924, 149, Heiðr 1960, 53 (Heiðr); Edd. Min. 7, NK 307, ÍF Edd. II, 425.


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