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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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KrákÁsl Lv 8VIII (Ragn 25)

Rory McTurk (ed.) 2017, ‘Ragnars saga loðbrókar 25 (Kráka/Áslaug Sigurðardóttir, Lausavísur 8)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 675.

Kráka/Áslaug SigurðardóttirLausavísur

text and translation

Þér ann ek serk inn síða
ok saumaðan hvergi
við hug ofinn heilan
ór hársíma gránu.
Mun eigi ben blæða
né bíta þik eggjar
í heilagri hjúpu;
var hon goðum signuð.

Ek ann þér inn síða serk, ofinn við heilan hug ór gránu hársíma ok hvergi saumaðan. Ben mun eigi blæða né eggjar bíta þik í heilagri hjúpu; var hon signuð goðum.
‘I am giving you the long shirt, devotedly woven out of grey hair-thread, and nowhere sewn. A wound will not bleed, nor sword-edges cut you in that holy tunic: it was consecrated to the gods.

notes and context

Just as Ragnarr is about to leave for England, Áslaug-Randalín gives him a protective shirt of hair, in return for the shift which, according to the prose introducing this stanza, he had given her.

On the shift for which Áslaug-Randalín is offering this shirt in return, see the Note to st. 5/1-4, above. Cf. Ǫlvǫr Lv 1 (Ǫrv 4), also in dróttkvætt, in which Ǫlvǫr, who becomes Ǫrvar-Oddr’s first wife, gives him a protective shirt which serves him well throughout his long career as a viking. — [3]: There is a twofold problem with this line. (a) The mss’ word order must be changed to produce a metrically regular line with alliteration in positions 2 and 5, and (b) the p. p. ‘ofnan’ (1824b) or ‘ofnann’ (147) must be emended to ofinn ‘woven’, m. acc. sg. p. p. of vefa ‘weave’, agreeing with and qualifying serk ‘shirt’ in l. 1, as do inn síða ‘the long’ and saumaðan ‘sewn’ in ll. 1 and 2. — [4]: Here the problem concerns the reading of the last word in this line, which is either ‘grani’ or ‘garni’ in 1824b and uncertain in 147. Most eds, including the present, follow Valdimar Ásmundarson (Ragn 1891), in emending to gránu ‘grey’, n. dat. sg. of adj. gránn ‘grey’, agreeing with and qualifying hársíma ‘hair-thread’. While Olsen (Ragn 1906-8, 212) and Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) emend to gránu in l. 4, linking it syntactically to hársíma ‘hair-thread’, they also emend to ofnu, n. dat. sg. of p. p. ofinn ‘woven’ in l. 3, keeping the p. p. as the final word of l. 3 and making it agree attributively, like gránu, with hársíma, thus envisaging a garment of ‘grey, woven hair-thread’. Kock (NN §2371) rightly criticises as unnatural the linking by emendation of ofnu with hársíma. — [8]: The demonstrative pron. þeim ‘those [gods]’, which is present in 1824b, has been omitted in this edn, as in most others, in order to produce a regular metrical line.



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. 2. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Ragnarssaga loðbrókar VI 3: AII, 238, BII, 257, Skald II, 134, NN §2371; FSN 1, 279-80 (Ragn ch. 14), Ragn 1891, 209 (ch. 14), Ragn 1906-8, 156, 187, 212 (ch. 15), Ragn 1944, 94-5, 97 (ch. 15), FSGJ 1, 266 (Ragn ch. 15), Ragn 1985, 138 (ch. 15), Ragn 2003, 50-1 (ch. 15), CPB II, 350.


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