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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Keth Lv 3VIII (Ket 5)

Beatrice La Farge (ed.) 2017, ‘Ketils saga hœngs 5 (Ketill hœngr, Lausavísur 3)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 556.

Ketill hœngrLausavísur

text and translation

Hængr ek heiti         kominn ór Hrafnistu
hefnir Hallbjarnar;         hví skríðr þú svá, inn armi?
Friðmálum mæla         mun ek eigi við Finn ragan;
heldr mun ek boga benda         þann er mér Brúni gaf.

Ek heiti Hængr, kominn ór Hrafnistu, {hefnir Hallbjarnar}; hví skríðr þú svá, inn armi? Ek mun eigi mæla friðmálum við ragan Finn; heldr ek mun benda boga, þann er Brúni gaf mér.
‘I am named Hœngr (‘Salmon’), come from Hrafnista, avenger of Hallbjǫrn [= Ketill]; why do you glide thus, wretch? I will not speak words of peace to a cowardly Saami; rather I will bend the bow, which Brúni gave me.

notes and context

This stanza is introduced by the words: Ketill kvað vísu ‘Ketill spoke a stanza’. It is Ketill’s answer to Gusi’s question about who he is (Gusi Lv 2 (Ket 4)).

In papp32ˣ parts of this stanza are combined with parts of Ket 7, Hæng kalla mik (see Anderson 1990, 291). — [1-4]: Alliteration on h is used in two consecutive long-lines. — [8] þann er ‘which’: Both mss read þann, but have been normalized to þann er to reflect the syntax of the period 1250-1300, rather than that of the C14th and later, when the loss of the rel. particle er in the combination demonstrative + rel. particle became common (cf. NS §261).



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. 8. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Ketill hœngs saga II 3: AII, 280, BII, 301, Skald II, 159, NN §2391; FSN 2, 119, FSGJ 2, 161, Anderson 1990, 48, 91, 433; Edd. Min. 78.


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