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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Mágj Lv 3VIII (Mág 3)

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Máguss saga jarls 3 (Mágus jarl, verses 3)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 601.

Mágus jarlverses

text and translation

Veit ek í öndvegi         öðru sitja,
sá er í ráðum         reyndr at illu.
Rigar þú í rúmi;         ragr ertu, Ubbi;
þér er verst gefit,         er þik varðar mest.

Ek veit sitja í öðru öndvegi, sá er reyndr at illu í ráðum. Þú rigar í rúmi; ertu ragr, Ubbi; verst er gefit þér, er varðar þik mest.
‘I know there sits in the second high-seat the one who is steeped in evil in his plans. You are squirming in your seat; you are a scoundrel, Ubbi; you are worst in that which concerns you most.

notes and context

Even more laughter follows the second stanza. For a third time the old man walks before everyone in the hall and utters a third stanza in a low voice.

[7-8]: These lines are very similar in sentiment to a passage of the prose text in the longer recension (Mág 1858, 72 with editorial normalisation): ‘ok þú, Ubbi, munt þó verst duga, sem þér er vandast um, ok konungr hefir mest traust á þinni fylgð’ ‘“and you, Ubbi, will yet do your worst, when you are in difficulties, and the king has most trust in your guidance”’, and a similar statement occurs in the shorter recension (Mág 1884, 22).



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 XIV], A. 8. Vers af sagaer: Af isl. slægtsagaer: Af Mágus saga 3: AII, 461, BII, 494, Skald II, 269; Mág 1858, 72, Mág 1963, 133 (Mág).


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