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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon (OStór) 1VIII (OStór 1)

Peter Jorgensen (ed.) 2017, ‘Orms þáttr Stórólfssonar 1 (Anonymous Lausavísur, Lausavísa from Orms þáttr Stórólfssonar 1)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 604.

Anonymous LausavísurLausavísa from Orms þáttr Stórólfssonar1


Both the prose text of OStór ch. 5 and this fornyrðislag lausavísa are indebted to Ǫrv ch. 2, where a sibyl similarly prophesies that Oddr will die in a particular place on an island off the Norwegian coast. In both cases, the protagonists are hostile to the prophetess and scoff at her prediction. Aside from the prophetess’s stanzas in Ǫrv 1-3, there is one other instance in a fornaldarsaga of a sibyl’s prophecy in Hrólf 2-5.

text and translation

Þó at þú látir         yfir lögu breiða
byrhest renna         ok beriz víða,
nær mun þat liggja,         at norðr fyrir Mæri
þú bana hljótir;         bezt mun at þegja.

Þat mun liggja nær, at þú hljótir bana norðr fyrir Mæri, þó at þú látir {byrhest} renna yfir breiða lögu ok beriz víða; bezt mun at þegja.
‘Even though you let the wind-horse [SHIP] run over the broad seas and roam afar, it [the fate] will be at hand, that you will meet your death in the north off the coast of Møre; it is best to be silent.

notes and context

On a farm in Denmark, a sibyl utters this prophecy, that young Ásbjǫrn Virfilsson is destined to die in the north, off the coast of Møre (ON Mærr) in Norway.

This stanza may echo Heiðr Lv 2/1-4 (Ǫrv 2): Ferr þú eigi svá | fjörðu breiða | né líðr yfir | langa vága … ‘You will never travel thus over broad firths or sail across long bays …’.  The import of the stanza is that, however far Ormr travels, he will not avoid his destiny back in Norway.



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. 18. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Orms þáttr Stórólfssonar I: AII, 342, BII, 364, Skald II, 197; ÓT 1689, 10, Fms 3, 212Flat 1860-8, I, 525; Þorleifur Jónsson 1904, 207; Guðni Jónsson 1935, 177 (ch. 5), Guðni Jónsson 1946-9, 11, 455 (ch. 5), Faulkes 2011b, 64 (ch. 5) (ÓStór).


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