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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hjálm Lv 5VIII (Ǫrv 15)

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 15 (Hjálmarr inn hugumstóri, Lausavísur 5)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 828.

Hjálmarr inn hugumstóriLausavísur

text and translation

Áttak at fullu         fimm tún saman,
en ek því aldri         unða ráði.
Nú verð ek liggja         lífs andvani,
sverði undaðr,         Sámseyju í.

Áttak at fullu fimm tún saman, en ek unða aldri því ráði. Nú verð ek liggja andvani lífs, undaðr sverði, í Sámseyju.
‘I owned fully five homesteads together, but I never loved that lot [in life]. Now I must lie deprived of life, wounded by a sword, on Samsø.

notes and context

In both Heiðr mss this stanza follows immediately from Ǫrv 14, introduced with ok enn kvað hann ‘and then he said’, but in the prose of Ǫrv Oddr is given further lines of self-justification, while Hjálmarr urges him to sit down and listen to the poem he is about to compose and then send it back to Sweden. Ǫrv mss then give Hjálm Lv 11 (Ǫrv 21) as the stanza that begins the sequence of verses in Hjálmarr’s death-song, which are presented without intervening prose. Ǫrv 21 is not in the Heiðr mss. The Ǫrv mss all agree on the following sequence: Hjálm Lv 11 (Ǫrv 21), 9 (Ǫrv 19), 7 (Ǫrv 17), 12 (Ǫrv 22), 13 (Ǫrv 23), 5 (Ǫrv 15) and 8 (Ǫrv 18). Thereafter the sequences change, as described in the Introductions to sts 21-4 and sts 25-9 (and see Table 2 above).

In the Ǫrv mss this stanza comes after several in which Hjálmarr speaks romantically of his attachment to the ladies of the Swedish court at Sigtuna, especially the king’s daughter Ingibjǫrg, and how they will grieve that he will not come back to them. — [3-4]: These lines exhibit considerable variation across the mss. The alternative reading of 343a and 471, en ek unða því | eigi láði ‘but I did not love that land’ also gives sense.



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. 10. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Ǫrvar-Oddssaga IV 3: AII, 293, BII, 313, Skald II, 166; Ǫrv 1888, 104, Ǫrv 1892, 58, FSGJ 2, 259; Heiðr 1924, 12-13, 100, Heiðr 1960, 8; Edd. Min. 50, 52.


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