Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.



Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

Anon (Ragn) 5VIII (Ragn 35)

Rory McTurk (ed.) 2017, ‘Ragnars saga loðbrókar 35 (Anonymous Lausavísur, Lausavísur from Ragnars saga loðbrókar 5)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 692.

Anonymous LausavísurLausavísur from Ragnars saga loðbrókar

text and translation

Alls engi sá ek yðvarn,
þar er upp lokinn fundum
Heilavá*g fyrir hvítum
hesti máva rastar.
Ok við lási lúðra
fyrir landi vér undum
hallar ríkri möllu
hrafns fyrir rauðum stafni.

Ek sá alls engi yðvarn, þar er fundum Heilavá*g upp lokinn fyrir {hvítum hesti {rastar máva}}. Ok við lási lúðra undum vér fyrir landi {ríkri möllu {hallar hrafns}} fyrir rauðum stafni.
‘I saw none of you at all where we found Heilavágr opened up before the white horse of the path of seagulls [SEA > SHIP]. And with our ships at anchor we took pleasure, offshore, in the mighty enclosure of the hall of the raven [CRAG > SEA] before the red prow.

notes and context

The second speaker responds to his challenger.

[5-8]: Previous eds apart from Kock appear to have been defeated by these lines, most especially by ms. ‘vid lasi ludrra’ or ‘ludrar’ (l. 5) and ‘hallar rika mollu hrafns’ (ll. 7-8), leaving these word-sequences unemended and untranslated. All eds read lúðrar apart from Kock (Skald) and Örnólfur Thorsson (Ragn 1985), who read lúðra; Olsen (Ragn 1906-8, 173 n. 1) admits lúðra (‘ludrra’) as an alternative reading. As for ms. ‘rika mollu’, which does seem to be the correct reading, all eds read ríka (or rika) mollu here apart from Olsen (Ragn 1906-8, 173) and Örnólfur (Ragn 1985, 151), who read riki mollu and ríki mollu respectively, as well as the eds of CPB, who read […] miꜵllo, and Kock, who reads ríka mellu. See further Note [6-8], below. — [6-8]: These lines raise the question of whether undum in l. 6 is to be taken as the 1st pers. pl. pret. indic. of vinda ‘wind’ or of una ‘enjoy’, and the related question of how ms. ‘mollu’ in l. 7 is to be understood. Given the seafaring context of the preceding lines, it might be thought that undum, pret. of vinda, is here being used in a nautical sense, meaning either ‘we hoisted’ or ‘we weighed’, and that the reference is either to hoisting a sail with a windlass (at vinda segl) or to weighing anchor (at vinda upp akkeri). As for ms. ‘mollu’, this might be read as möllu, dat. sg. of malla (= mella) f. ‘loop, (small) ring’ (Fritzner IV: malla; Falk 1914b, 98-9), used here instrumentally with reference either to the hole at the masthead through which the halyard is secured in the process of hoisting the sail (Christensen 1979, 190) or to the ring joining the anchor to its cable (Brøgger and Shetelig 1951, 98, 135). It is unlikely, however, that the lines refer to anchor-weighing if the meaning of l. 5 is indeed that the ship or fleet in question was lying at anchor; and the idea of hoisting the sail is hardly consistent with the phrase fyrir rauðum stafni ‘before (i.e. ahead of) the red prow’, as Anne Holtsmark (1946, 64) points out. Reading undum here as pret. of vinda in these senses also raises the question of how the remainder of the half-stanza is to be interpreted. The present ed. therefore prefers to follow Kock (NN §1468) in taking fyrir landi as meaning ‘close to shore, offshore’; undum as 1st pers. pl. pret. of una ‘enjoy, take pleasure in’, and hallar … hrafns ‘hall of the raven [CRAG]’ (cf. hǫll gallópnis ‘hall of the shrill-crier <eagle> [MOUNTAIN]’, Eil Þdr 3/6, 7III) as a simple kenning for ‘crag’. The present ed. also follows Kock in taking ms. ‘mollu’ as the object of undum (though with the spelling möllu as opposed to Kock’s mellu), and in taking ms. ‘rika’ as an adj. qualifying it. Kock is surely wrong, however, in simply normalising to f. acc. sg. ríka here, since una would be expected to take a dat. object. Hence the emendation to f. dat. sg. ríkri ‘mighty’, agreeing with möllu, in the present edn. Malla ‘ring’, here in the dat. sg., möllu, may be translated in this instance as ‘enclosure’ (cf. the related weak verb mella ‘lock’, ÍO: 5 mella, found in Sigv Vestv 2/3I), and the expression rík malla hallar hrafns ‘the mighty enclosure of the hall of the raven [CRAG > SEA]’ may be read as a tvíkent kenning for ‘sea’, with the sea thought of as enclosing the land (cf. Meissner 94-5). Retention of ms. ‘mollu’ (recognisable in 1824b as the labially mutated form of malla, see Olsen 1906-8, xv), leaves l. 7 short of one alliterating element linking it to the head-stave (hrafns) in l. 8, but the lack of one out of two alliterating elements in an odd line is not uncharacteristic of the Ragn stanzas as preserved in 1824b (see the Note to 16/5-6, above).



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 X 4: AII, 240, BII, 260, Skald II, 135, NN §1468; FSN 1, 297 (Ragn ch. 20), Ragn 1891, 222 (ch. 20), Ragn 1906-8, 172-3, 219 (ch. 19), Ragn 1944, 128-9 (ch. 21), FSGJ 1, 283 (Ragn ch. 19), Ragn 1985, 151 (ch. 19), Ragn 2003, 66 (ch. 19), CPB II, 352.


Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.


Stanza/chapter/text segment

Use the buttons at the top of the page to navigate between stanzas in a poem.

Information tab

Interactive tab

The text and translation are given here, with buttons to toggle whether the text is shown in the verse order or prose word order. Clicking on indiviudal words gives dictionary links, variant readings, kennings and notes, where relevant.

Full text tab

This is the text of the edition in a similar format to how the edition appears in the printed volumes.

Chapter/text segment

This view is also used for chapters and other text segments. Not all the headings shown are relevant to such sections.