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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Heiðr Lv 3VIII (Ǫrv 3)

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 3 (Heiðr, Lausavísur 3)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 812.


text and translation

Naðr mun þik höggva         neðan á fæti,
fránn ór fornum         Faxa hausi.

Naðr mun höggva þik neðan á fæti, fránn ór fornum hausi Faxa.
‘A snake will strike you from below on the leg, gleaming from the ancient skull of Faxi.

notes and context

See Introduction above.

The helmingr above is based on 7. Ms. 344a follows the same text for ll. 1-4 but adds two lines which correspond to ll. 7-8 of the version of the younger mss printed below. The three younger mss, 343a, 471 and 173ˣ, have an appreciably different, and longer, version of this stanza, labelled by Finnur Jónsson 3b. The text of this version based on 471 is edited below.

Skal þér ormr tapa         eiturblandinn
fránn ór fornum         Faxa hausi.
Naðr mun þik höggva         neðan á fæti;
þá ertu fullgamall,         fylkir, orðinn.

Eiturblandinn ormr skal tapa þér, fránn ór fornum hausi Faxa. Naðr mun höggva þik neðan á fæti; þá ertu, fylkir, fullgamall orðinn.

A serpent mixed with poison will destroy you, gleaming from the ancient skull of Faxi. A snake will strike you from below on the leg; then, you, leader, will have reached your full age.

Readings: [1] tapa: granda 343a    [2] eitur-: með eitri 173ˣ    [4] hausi: hausa 173ˣ    [6] neðan: om. 173ˣ    [7] ertu: þú ert 173ˣ

— A comparison of the shorter (7) and longer versions of this stanza shows that ll. 3-6 of the longer one simply rearrange the shorter and then expand to make a full stanza by adding ll. 1-2, which elaborate on the stanza’s essential information, and by adding ll. 7-8, which is also present in 344a. In l. 2, the cpd adj. eiturblandinn ‘mixed with poison’ requires the desyllabified form for metrical reasons, suggesting that this line at least is likely to be a composition of the C14th. 



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 I 3: AII, 289-90, BII, 310-11, Skald II, 165; Ǫrv 1888, 15, Ǫrv 1892, 9, FSGJ 2, 208; Edd. Min. 93.


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