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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon (Vǫlsa) 8I

Wilhelm Heizmann (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Lausavísur from Vǫlsa þáttr 8’ 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. 1100.

Anonymous LausavísurLausavísur from Vǫlsa þáttr

text and translation

Hleifr væri mér         hálfu sæmri
þykkr ok økkvinn         ok þó víðr
en vǫlsi þessi         á verkdǫgum.
Þiggi Maurnir         þetta blæti!
En þú, þý hjóna,         þrýstu at þér Vǫlsa!

Hleifr væri mér hálfu sæmri, þykkr ok økkvinn ok þó víðr, en þessi vǫlsi á verkdǫgum. Þiggi Maurnir þetta blæti! En þú, þý hjóna, þrýstu at þér Vǫlsa!
‘A loaf of bread would be twice as suitable for me, thick and bulging and yet broad, as this rod on workdays. May Maurnir receive this offering! But you, maid of the household, you thrust Vǫlsi onto yourself!

notes and context

The servant takes Vǫlsi and speaks a stanza.

[1-4]: Cf. 4/2-3, where the bread of Edda, mother of the race of servants, is described in very similar terms as øcqvinn hleif, þungan ok þyccan ‘bulging loaf, heavy and thick’ (NK 280; Dronke 1997, 217; Kommentar III, 533-4). Dronke refers in this context to the Old English Riddle no. 45 (Krapp and Dobbie 1936, 205), which depicts the rising of dough as an analogue of sexual tumescence. — [3-4]: This pair of half-lines is placed in brackets or in a footnote by previous eds, since st. 8 has one pair more than is normal in the Vǫlsa stanzas, but the content gives no grounds for that. Cf. Note to st. 9 [All].



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 8: AII, 220, BII, 238, Skald II, 123, NN §1451 Anm.; Flat 1860-8, II, 334 (Vǫlsa); Guðbrandur Vigfússon 1860, 136, CPB II, 382, Edd. Min. 124, Schröder 1933, 81-2.


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