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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon (Vǫlsa) 1I

Wilhelm Heizmann (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Lausavísur from Vǫlsa þáttr 1’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1092.

Anonymous LausavísurLausavísur from Vǫlsa þáttr

text and translation

Karl hefir búit         ok kona ǫldruð
á andnesi         einhverju.
Átti son         við seima Bil
drengr ok dóttur         drjúgskýrliga.

Karl ok ǫldruð kona hefir búit á einhverju andnesi. Drengr átti son ok drjúgskýrliga dóttur við {Bil seima}.
‘An old man and an aged woman used to live on a certain headland. The capable man had a son and a very sensible daughter with the Bil <goddess> of gold [WOMAN].

notes and context

The prose text sets the story in the time before the expulsion of King Óláfr from Norway by King Knútr (late 1020s), and connects it with the Christianizing efforts of Óláfr. The king is informed about heathen practices being performed on a remote farm in northern Norway. The family at the farm, a farmer, a housewife and their son and daughter, are introduced and st. 1 cited with at þui sem j upphafi kuædissins segir ok suo hefr ‘as it says in the beginning of the poem, starting thus’. The prose resumes with the remainder of the household: a male and a female servant, and a dog called Lærir.

The stanza is missing in 292ˣ, and it was probably inserted into Flat as an introductory stanza deduced from the prose text.



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], D. 4. Vers af Vǫlsaþáttr 1: AII, 219, BII, 237, Skald II, 123; Flat 1860-8, II, 331 (Vǫlsa); Guðbrandur Vigfússon 1860, 133, CPB II, 381, Edd. Min. 123, Schröder 1933, 78.


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