Wilhelm Heizmann (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Lausavísur from Vǫlsa þáttr 13’ 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. 1104.
Hvat er þat manna, mér ókunnra,
er hundum gefr heilagt blæti?
Hefi mik um hjarra ok á hurðása,
vita ef ek borgit fæ blætinu helga!
Legg þú niðr, Lærir, ok lát mik eigi sjá
ok svelg eigi niðr, sártíkin rǫg!
Hvat er þat manna, ókunnra mér, er gefr hundum heilagt blæti? Hefi mik um hjarra ok á hurðása, vita ef ek fæ borgit blætinu helga! Legg þú niðr, Lærir, ok lát mik eigi sjá ok svelg eigi niðr, rǫg sártíkin.
What man is that, unknown to me, who gives the holy offering to dogs? Lift me over door-hinges and onto door-beams to see if I can save the holy offering. Put [it] down, Lærir, and do not let me see [it] and do not swallow [it], perverted wound-bitch!
Mss: Flat(122ra-b) (Flat); 292ˣ(55v) (Vǫlsa)
Readings:  Hefi mik: Hefig mig 292ˣ  á: um 292ˣ  Lærir: ‘l[…]’ Flat, ‘Ler’ 292ˣ
Context: Seeing Vǫlsi in the dog’s mouth, the housewife reacts with extreme agitation and speaks a stanza. After this the king throws off his disguise and reveals his identity. He instructs the farmer’s household in the true faith and converts them.
Notes: [5-6]: The reference to the housewife demanding to be lifted ‘over door-hinges and onto door-beams’ is reminiscent of part of Ibn Fadlan’s description of a Rus funerary rite (for which, see Smyser 1965, 99; Lunde and Stone 2012, 52; see Price 2002, 168, 217-19 on connections between Ibn Fadlan’s account and Vǫlsa). Here, a slave-girl who is to die and accompany her master to the other world is said to be raised three times in order to see over a type of door frame, which seems to represent the limen between the worlds of the living and the dead. With the help of this particular mantic practice, the housewife in Vǫlsa hopes to be able to save Vǫlsi (Steinsland and Vogt 1981, 103-4; Näsström 2002, 150). In Steinsland’s opinion this pushes the Völsi rite towards a vǫlva (seeress) cult. —  á ‘on’: Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) and Kock (Skald) emend this to of ‘over’. —  blætinu helga ‘the holy offering’: Heusler and Ranisch (Edd. Min.) emend this to blœti helgu, without the article, for metrical reasons. — [9-12]: The final lines are often separated off as an independent stanza by eds (Skj; Skald; Edd. Min.), producing an eight-line st. 13, as normal though not invariable in the Vǫlsa stanzas. —  Lærir: A suggestive proper name, related to lær ‘thigh’; cf. st. 2/8 innan læra ‘between the thighs’. Only the initial ‘l’ is now distinct in Flat, but 292ˣ has ‘Ler’, and the prose has Lærir (Flat(121vb); Flat 1860-8, II, 332). The eds of the stanza in Flat 1860-8 (II, 335) and Skj B read Lerir. —  lát mik eigi sjá ‘do not let me see [it]’: Heusler and Ranisch (Edd. Min.) suggest that eigi should be omitted or it should be emended to eiga by leaving out sjá; thus the phrase would read ‘let me see’ or ‘let me have’. —  rǫg sártíkin ‘perverted wound-bitch’: Sártík f. is a hap. leg., with suffixed def. art -in. The word sár ‘wound, pain’ might refer both to the housewife, who is deeply hurt by seeing Vǫlsi in the dog’s mouth, and to Vǫlsi itself. Rǫg is f. nom. sg. of ragr, a term of extreme abuse normally applied to men to imply cowardice or passive homosexuality.
Use the buttons at the top of the page to navigate between stanzas in a poem.
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.
This is the text of the edition in a similar format to how the edition appears in the printed volumes.
This view is also used for chapters and other text segments. Not all the headings shown are relevant to such sections.