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 Mhkv 9III

Roberta Frank (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Poems, Málsháttakvæði 9’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1223.

Anonymous PoemsMálsháttakvæði

text and translation

Friggjar þótti svipr at syni;
sá var taldr ór miklu kyni;
Hermóðr vildi auka aldr;
Éljúðnir vann sólginn Baldr.
Ǫll grétu þau eptir hann;
aukit var þeim hlátrar bann;
heyrinkunn er frá hánum saga;
hvat þarf ek of slíkt at jaga.

Þótti svipr at {syni Friggjar}; sá var taldr ór miklu kyni; Hermóðr vildi auka aldr; Éljúðnir vann Baldr sólginn. Þau ǫll grétu eptir hann; {bann hlátrar} var þeim aukit; saga frá hánum er heyrinkunn; hvat þarf ek at jaga of slíkt.
‘It seemed a sudden loss concerning the son of Frigg <goddess> [= Baldr]; he was reckoned from a great family; Hermóðr wanted to extend his life; Éljúðnir <hall of Hel> had swallowed up Baldr. They all wept for him; their ban of laughter [SORROW] grew; the tale about him is very well known; why do I need to harp on it.

notes and context

Snorri Sturluson’s version of Baldr’s end in Gylf  (SnE 2005, 45-9) includes Hermóðr’s journey to Hel’s hall to rescue Óðinn’s son, a mission that failed when all creation did not lament the slain god. The Mhkv version of the myth portrays the tragic death of Baldr as an ordinary domestic tragedy rather than the beginning of the last days of the world. — [1-2]: Guðbrandur Vigfússon (CPB II, 365) emended this couplet to Friggjar þótti svipr at sveini | sá var tældr af Mistilteini ‘Frigg’s boy was snatched away, he was done to death by Mistiltoe’. — [5]: This suggestion of universal lamentation differs from Snorri’s account, in which one female figure (Loki in disguise) refuses to join in; but see Anon (Hrafn) 2/4IV dated 1196.


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], A. [1]. Málsháttakvæði 9: AII, 132, BII, 140, Skald II, 75; Möbius 1874, 5, Wisén 1886-9, I, 74.


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.