Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade and Diana Whaley (eds) 2009, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Lausavísa from Magnúss saga góða ok Haralds harðráða 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 813-14.
|Nú fara heim í húmi
herkunn fyr lǫg sunnan
daprar skeiðr með dauðan
dýrnenninn gram þenna.
|Ǫld hefr illa haldit;|
esa stríðvana síðan;
hulit hafa hirðmenn skylja
hǫfuð, þess’s fremstr vas jǫfra.
Nú fara daprar skeiðr heim í húmi sunnan fyr herkunn lǫg með þenna dauðan, dýrnenninn gram. Ǫld hefr haldit illa; esa stríðvana síðan; hirðmenn skylja, þess’s vas fremstr jǫfra, hafa hulit hǫfuð.
Now the gloomy warships sail home in the dusk from the south past well-known law-districts with this dead, most enterprising ruler. People have been sorely grieved; there will be no lack of sorrow later; the retainers of that lord, who was the foremost of princes, have covered their heads.
Mss: H(41r), Hr(29va) (H-Hr); Flat(197rb) (Flat)
Readings:  með: fyrir Flat  þenna: þennan Flat  ‑vana: ‘‑uada’ Flat  þess’s (‘þess er’): so Flat, þat er H, Hr; fremstr: so Flat, fremst H, Hr; vas (‘var’): er Flat
Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte om historiske personer og begivenheder [XI], . Lausavísur 5: AI, 425, BI, 395, Skald I, 195-6, NN §§908, 1147, 2787; Fms 6, 236 (HSig ch. 41); Flat 1860-8, III, 334, Mork 1928-32, 147, Andersson and Gade 2000, 186, 475 (MH).
Context: The retainers bring the body of Magnús inn góði Óláfsson back to Norway after his death in Denmark (on 25 October 1047).
Notes: [All]: For Magnús’s death and the grief of his men, see also Anon Nkt 34-5, ÞjóðA Lv 1 and Okík Magn 2-3. — [1-5]: The present edn follows NN §908. The w. o. of the Skj B version is very garbled. Finnur emends skeiðr ‘warships’ (l. 3) to veðrs (n. gen. sg.) ‘of the wind’ and gives the following reading: nú fara kunn veðrs dýr heim í húmi með þenna nenninn gram dauðan; her daprar fyr sunnan lǫg ‘now the familiar animals of the wind (i.e. ships) sail home in the dusk with this powerful dead king; people grieve south of the sea’. —  sunnan fyr herkunn lǫg ‘from the south past well-known law-districts’: This could also be construed as fyr sunnan herkunn lǫg ‘south of well-known law-districts (see Okík Magn 1/8). Lǫg (n. acc. pl.) is taken here in the meaning ‘law-districts’ (so NN §908) rather than lǫg (m. acc. sg.) ‘sea’ (so Skj B). The latter word cannot be reconciled with the attributive adj. herkunn (n. nom. or acc. pl.) ‘well-known’ (rather than herkunnan m. acc. sg.), and for the same reason herkunn cannot qualify gram (m. acc. sg.) ‘ruler’ (l. 4). For lǫg ‘law-districts’ see also Gísl Magnkv 2/8, 17/6 and Anon Nkt 19/2. —  daprar ‘gloomy’: This adj. (‘gloomy, mournful’) also occurs in Okík Magn 3/8. —  skylja (m. gen. sg.) ‘of that lord’: This noun could technically modify hǫfuð ‘head(s)’ (l. 8): hirðmenn hafa hulit hǫfuð skylja, þess’s fremstr vas jǫfra ‘the retainers have covered the head of the lord, who was the foremost of princes’ (ll. 7-8; so NN §§1147, 2787, citing Beowulf ll. 445b-46a and notes; Beowulf 2008, 143). However, that construction is highly unlikely from a metrical point of view, because enjambement on a non-alliterating noun (skylja ‘of the lord’) and an alliterating noun (hǫfuð ‘head’) is avoided in dróttkvætt poetry (see Gade 1995a, 202-05). For the custom of covering one’s head in grief at the death of a ruler, see Sv (ÍF 30, 148): En hverju gegnir þetta er allir menn drepa niðr hǫfði eða bera klæði yfir hǫfuð sér ‘But of what avail is this, that all men hang their head or pull clothes over their heads’. See also Sigv Berv 12/5-8 and Egill Lv 16/5-8V). The H-Hr variant (hirðmenn skylja hafa hulit hǫfuð, þats fremst vas jǫfra ‘the retainers of the lord have covered the head, which was the foremost of princes’) must be an attempt at syntactic simplification.