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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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HervH Lv 1VIII (HjǪ 23)

Richard L. Harris (ed.) 2017, ‘Hjálmþés saga ok Ǫlvis 23 (Hervǫr Hundingjadóttir, Lausavísur 1)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 516.

Hervǫr HundingjadóttirLausavísur

text and translation

Hervör ek heiti         Hundingja dóttir;
minn föður ef röskvan         þú lítir ríku*liga,
líf þitt án dvöl         þú láta mundir,
ef þú værir         gegn döglingi.

Ek heiti Hervör, dóttir Hundingja; ef þú lítir röskvan föður minn ríku*liga, mundir þú láta líf þitt án dvöl, ef þú værir gegn döglingi.
‘I am called Hervǫr, daughter of Hundingi; if you look at my bold father arrogantly, you would lose your life without delay, if you were to be against the prince.

notes and context

In response to Hǫrðr’s inquiry, Hervǫr identifies herself and warns him initially about her father. 

As with the previous stanza, all mss present a corrupt text and one in which words approximating to l. 5 have been omitted, though papp6ˣ appears to have the first words of the line, líf þitt ‘your life’. Basically, all mss present the same text with minor variations, while text added to papp6ˣ has supplied previous eds with the material for emendation. — [4]: All previous eds have replaced the line, with which all mss are in basic agreement, with that suggested by another hand in papp6ˣ, ef þú réðir líta, and have deleted the ef ‘if’ of l. 3, to give, as ll. 3-4, minn föður röskvan | ef þú réðir líta ‘if you have looked at my bold father’. This certainly produces more regular lines, but there is no assurance that they have any ms. authority. Skald (cf. NN §2618) reverses the order of words in l. 3 to rǫskvan fǫður minn, but this is unmetrical. — [5]: Both 109a IIIˣ and ÍBR5ˣ have nothing corresponding to this line, while papp6ˣ has líf þitt þú láta mundir ‘you would lose your life’. This text is too short to fill two lines, so the suggested additional text of papp6ˣ án dvöl ‘without delay’ has been adopted here and treated as an emendation. — [7-8]: These lines do not alliterate. Most eds have adopted both 109a III’s genginn ‘gone’ and the gegn ‘against’ of papp6ˣ and ÍBR5ˣ to fill them out, even though the ms. paradosis suggests they are variants to the same lemma. Thus, Skj B and Skald have ef værir genginn | í gegn dǫglingi ‘if you had gone against the prince’.



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. 16. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Hjálmþérs saga ok Ǫlvis IV 2: AII, 337, BII, 358, Skald II, 193, NN §§123, 2618; HjǪ 1720, 46, FSN 3, 489, FSGJ 4, 214, HjǪ 1970, 38, 93, 194.


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