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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon (Vǫlsa) 6I

Wilhelm Heizmann (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Lausavísur from Vǫlsa þáttr 6’ 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. 1098.

Anonymous LausavísurLausavísur from Vǫlsa þáttr

text and translation

Beri þér beytil         fyrir brúðkonur!
Þær skulu vingul         væta í aftan.
Þiggi Maurnir         þetta blæti!
En þú, dóttir bónda,         drag þú at þér Vǫlsa!

Beri þér beytil fyrir brúðkonur! Þær skulu væta vingul í aftan. Þiggi Maurnir þetta blæti! En þú, dóttir bónda, drag þú at þér Vǫlsa!
‘Carry the pintle before the bridesmaids! They shall moisten the dong this evening. May Maurnir receive this offering! But you, farmer’s daughter, you pull Vǫlsi towards you!

notes and context

The son of the house takes hold of Vǫlsi, brandishes it at his sister, and speaks a stanza which continues in the same obscene tone that he adopted at the beginning of the poem (st. 2).

[1-4]: Cf. Þry 30/3-6: Berið inn hamar, | brúði at vígia, | leggit Miǫllni | í meyiar kné ‘Bring in the hammer to consecrate the bride, put Mjǫlnir in the maiden’s lap’ (NK 115). The hammer is a widespread fertility symbol (Kommentar II, 570), and in this context it is equally as ambiguous as kné (Kommentar II, 571). The two stanzas are connected by references to penis (beytill, hamarr), bride (brúðkona, brúðr), and the female genitals (indirectly: væta ‘moisten’, directly: kné ‘lap’; cf. Fritzner: kné 1).



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 6: AII, 220, BII, 238, Skald II, 123; Flat 1860-8, II, 334 (Vǫlsa); Guðbrandur Vigfússon 1860, 136, CPB II, 382, Edd. Min. 124, Schröder 1933, 81.


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