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 (Vǫlsa) 11I

Wilhelm Heizmann (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Lausavísur from Vǫlsa þáttr 11’ 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. 1102.

Anonymous LausavísurLausavísur from Vǫlsa þáttr

text and translation

Sá ek ei forðum         — þó hefik farit víða —
flent reðr fyrri         fara með bekkjum.
Þiggi Maurnir         þetta blæti!
En þú, Aðalgrímr,         tak enn við Vǫlsa!

Ek sá ei forðum flent reðr fara fyrri með bekkjum; þó hefik farit víða. Þiggi Maurnir þetta blæti! En þú, Aðalgrímr, tak enn við Vǫlsa!
‘ I have never before seen a penis with the foreskin pulled back pass first along the benches; yet I have travelled far and wide. May Maurnir receive this offering! But you, Aðalgrímr (‘Chief Grímr’), take Vǫlsi too!

notes and context

Þormóðr examines Vǫlsi carefully, smiles and speaks a stanza, before passing it on to the third guest, who is called konungr ‘king’ in the prose text.

The attribution of the stanza to the distinguished skáld Þormóðr Kolbrúnarskáld (ÞormV) is an amusing fiction. It is printed in Skj AI, 285-6, BI, 264 as Þorm Lv 17 as well as in the Vǫlsa sequence in Skj AII, BII. — [3] flent reðr fyrri ‘penis with the foreskin pulled back ... first’: Ms. 292ˣ instead reads ‘flemt edur firne’, which may be related to ModIcel. flimt n. ‘a lampoon, libel’ and firni n. pl. ‘an abomination, shocking thing’ (cf. Düwel 1971, 166 referring to CVC). The force of fyrri in the Flat text, here translated ‘first’, is not clear.



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 11: AII, 220, BII, 239, Skald II, 124; Flat 1860-8, II, 335 (Vǫlsa); Guðbrandur Vigfússon 1860, 137, CPB II, 382, Edd. Min. 125, Schröder 1933, 82.


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.