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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Ásb Lv 2VIII (OStór 3)

Peter Jorgensen (ed.) 2017, ‘Orms þáttr Stórólfssonar 3 (Ásbjǫrn, Lausavísur 2)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 607.


text and translation

Sinni má engi         íþrótt treysta;
aldri er hann svá sterkr         né stórr í huga.
Svá bregz hverjum         á banadægri
hjarta ok megin,         sem heill bilar.

Engi má treysta íþrótt sinni; hann er aldri svá sterkr né stórr í huga. Svá bregz hjarta ok megin hverjum á banadægri, sem heill bilar.
‘No one may trust in his own accomplishment; he is never so strong or courageous. Thus to every man on his death-day heart and strength fail as good fortune fails.

notes and context

Ormr returns to Iceland after he has heard news of his father’s death, but Ásbjǫrn becomes eager to go north to the Sauðeyjar off the coast of Møre. Leaving his men on the coast of the outer of the two islands, Ásbjǫrn goes inland to the giant Brúsi’s cave, where the giant snatches him up and dashes him to the ground as soon as he enters. After having been effortlessly overpowered by Brúsi, Ásbjǫrn utters this stanza.

[3-4]: These two lines are unmetrical in their present state, unless l. 3 sterkr is desyllabified to sterkur and l. 4 is treated as málaháttr.



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 III: AII, 342, BII, 365, Skald II, 197, NN §129; ÓT 1689, 13, Fms 3, 217, Flat 1860-8, I, 527, Þorleifur Jónsson 1904, 212, Guðni Jónsson 1935, 182-3 (ch. 7), Guðni Jónsson 1946-9, 11, 457-8 (ch. 7), Faulkes 2011b, 68-9 (ch. 7) (OStór).


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