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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon 732b 1III

Jonathan Grove (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Lausavísur from AM 732 b 4° 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1248.

Anonymous LausavísurLausavísur from AM 732 b 4°

text and translation

Meyjar bað men-Týr
mætrar; sá er fágiætr;
hljótr fekk við hryggbrot
hásætrs votar nætr.
Krafti var ok konu sviftr
kauði; var hann þess trauðr;
slík gjöraz mál mjó
mærðar í skaup færð.

{Men-Týr} – sá er fágiætr – bað mætrar meyjar; {hljótr hásætrs} fekk votar nætr við hryggbrot. Kauði var sviftr krafti ok konu; hann var trauðr þess; slík mjó mál gjöraz færð í skaup mærðar.
‘The Týr <god> of the neck-ring [MAN] – he’s a rare one – asked for [the hand of] a splendid girl; the receiver of the rowing-bench [SEAFARER] had wet nights on account of the refusal. The wretch was deprived of strength and the woman; he was averse to this; such slight affairs get mocked in verse.

notes and context

The lausavísa is included among marginalia inserted below a conventional schematic plan of Jerusalem. It is preceded by a vernacular account of units of weight and currency, expressed in the same simple code as the stanza. Anon 732b 2 follows immediately.

The encrypted ms. text reads as follows: ᴍfzkbr bbð mfntzr mætrbr sb fr fbgkætr. hlkptr ffkk xkð hrzɢg brpt hbsætrs xptr nætr krbpti xbr pk kpnx sxkptr kbxði var hann þess trbxðr slik gkprbz mbl mkp mærðbr k skbxp færð. An original uncoded o has been corrected to the code-letter p in the form brpt (for -brot, l. 3). Decryption and expansion produces the following raw text before normalisation and re-punctuation: meyjar bað mentyr mætrar sa er fagiætr. hljotr fekk við hrygg brot hasætrs votr nætr krapti var ok konu sviptr kauði var hann þess trauðr slik gjoraz mal mjo mærðar i skaup færð.  — [1]: Finnur Jónsson (1886a, 191) detects a failure of rhyme, but it is possible that a non-consonantal skothending is intended on the long vowels ‑ey- and ‑ý- in meyjar : Týr, allowing for the non-participation of the inflectional endings (cf. Kuhn 1983, 80; Gade 1995a, 32-3). — [5-6]: If hann ‘he’ in l. 6 is ignored as an extrametrical scribal addition, the couplet reads: ‘[He] was deprived of strength and the woman; the wretch was averse to this’.



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. 10. Løse vers 1: AII, 463, BII, 495-6, Skald II, 271; Finnur Jónsson 1886a, 187, 191-2, Metr. §29, Finnur Jónsson 1934a, 60.


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