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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gyðja Lv 2VIII (Ǫrv 61)

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 61 (Gyðja, Lausavísur 2)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 876.


text and translation

Þess hlægjumk ek,         at hefir fengna
Freys reiði þú,         fári blandna.
Hjálpi æsir         ok ásynjur,
görvöll regin,         gyðjum sínum!

Ek hlægjumk þess, at þú hefir fengna reiði Freys, blandna fári. Æsir ok ásynjur, görvöll regin, hjálpi gyðjum sínum!
‘I am moved to laughter at this, that you have incurred Freyr’s wrath, mixed with evil. May gods and goddesses, all divine powers, help their priestesses!

notes and context

See Introduction to stanzas 59-70. In 7 this stanza is introduced with the words þá kvað Álfr ‘then Álfr said’, while the remaining mss have either þá kvað gyðja ‘then the priestess said’ (344a) or þá kvað hon ‘then she said’.

As has been noted in the Introduction, 7 ascribes this stanza to Álfr bjálki, but all the other mss present it as the words of his wife Gyðja. There are substantial variations in the wording of the stanza in the ms. witnesses which reflect these differences in attribution. The most significant is that l. 8 is sg. gyðju sinni ‘their priestess’ in the majority of mss, in line with their attribution of the stanza to Gyðja herself, while 7, assigning the stanza to Álfr, has the pl. gyðjum sínum ‘their priestesses’. In all mss except 7, ll. 5-8 are repeated as a separate refrain-like helmingr at the end of the dialogue between Gyðja and Oddr, and appear below as Gyðja Lv 6 (Ǫrv 70). — Ms. 7 has four additional lines after l. 8, making a 12-line stanza. In the other mss these additional lines form the first four lines of Gyðja Lv 5 (Ǫrv 66). The text in 7 reads as follows: eða hverr eggjaði þik | austan hingat | fræknan fella | fláráðan ‘or who egged you on [to come] here from the east ... full of deceits’? The final two lines may be a variant on what appears in 344a as Ǫrv 66/3-4, feiknafullan ok fláráðan ‘one full of portents and deceits’. It is to be noted that the additional lines are introduced in the ms. by the conj. eða ‘or’, which is extrametrical. The relationship between these lines from 7 and the other mss is discussed further in the Notes to Ǫrv 66.



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 VIII 3: AII, 303-4, BII, 322, Skald II, 172; Ǫrv 1888, 183, Ǫrv 1892, 91, FSGJ 2, 328; Edd. Min. 75.


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