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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hjálm Lv 11VIII (Ǫrv 21)

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 21 (Hjálmarr inn hugumstóri, Lausavísur 11)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 836.

Hjálmarr inn hugumstóriLausavísur


The following four stanzas are found only in mss of Ǫrv. Although they occur in the order 21-4 (Hjálm Lv 11-14), that sequence is interrupted, as follows, by stanzas which are in both the Ǫrv and Heiðr mss, with the four stanzas in question shown in bold: Hjálm Lv 4 (Ǫrv 14); Hjálm Lv 11 (Ǫrv 21); Hjálm Lv 9 (Ǫrv 19); Hjálm Lv 7 (Ǫrv 17); Hjálm Lv 12 (Ǫrv 22); Hjálm Lv 13 (Ǫrv 23); Hjálm Lv 5 (Ǫrv 15); Hjálm Lv 8 (Ǫrv 18); Hjálm Lv 14 (Ǫrv 24). This is the order of these stanzas in the Ǫrv mss, except that 343a reverses the order of Ǫrv 17 and 22; the order of the Heiðr mss is as set out in section 1 of the Introduction to Ǫrv 13-29 above; ms. 344a is taken as the main ms. for this group of stanzas.

text and translation

Fregna eigi þat         á fold konur,
at ek fyr höggum         hlífaz léta.
Hlær eigi at því,         at ek hlíða gerðak,
snót svinnhuguð         Sigtúnum í.

Konur á fold fregna eigi þat, at ek léta hlífaz fyr höggum. Svinnhuguð snót í Sigtúnum hlær eigi at því, at ek gerðak hlíða.
‘Women in the land will not hear tell that I allowed myself to be spared from blows. The quick-thinking lady in Sigtuna will not deride me because I gave ground.

notes and context

In the Ǫrv mss, this stanza is preceded by Hjálm Lv 4 (Ǫrv 14) and a passage of prose, in which Hjálmarr asks Oddr to listen to the poem he is about to compose and take it back to Sweden. This stanza is the first of a block of eight that then follow.

[7-8]: Ms. 344a’s version of these lines is corrupt. Aside from the reading svá at ‘so that’ where all other mss have snót, a poetic word for ‘lady’, whatever stood for l. 8 has been erased and the words ‘sigradan spyrie’ written over the top in a later hand which projects into the right margin.



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 α 1: AII, 294, BII, 314-15, Skald II, 167, NN §2599; Ǫrv 1888, 103, Ǫrv 1892, 57, FSGJ 2, 258; Edd. Min. 49.


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