Cite as: Carolyne Larrington and Peter Robinson (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Sólarljóð 70’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 345-6.
|Menn sá ek þá, er af miklum hug
veittu fátækum frama;
| helgar bækr|
ok himna skript yfir höfði þeim.
Ek sá menn þá, er af miklum hug veittu fátækum frama; englar lásu helgar bækr ok himna skript yfir höfði þeim.
I saw men then who from a generous spirit offered support to the poor; angels read holy books and heavenly writing [lit. writing of the heavens] over their heads.
Mss: 166bˣ(48r), papp15ˣ(7r), 738ˣ(83r), 167b 6ˣ(3v), 214ˣ(152r), 1441ˣ(587), 10575ˣ(10r), 2797ˣ(237)
Readings:  sá ek: ek sá 167b 6ˣ  af: om. 738ˣ, 167b 6ˣ, 2797ˣ  fátækum: ‘fakękom’ 10575ˣ  ok himna skript: om. papp15ˣ, 738ˣ, 167b 6ˣ, 214ˣ, 1441ˣ, 10575ˣ, 2797ˣ
Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XII], G . Sólarljóð 70: AI, 638, BI, 646-7, Skald I, 315; Bugge 1867, 368, Falk 1914, 45, Björn M. Ólsen 1915, 20-1, Fidjestøl 1979, 69, Njörður Njarðvík 1991, 96-7, Njörður Njarðvík 1993, 76, 143.
Notes: [All]: In a vision recounted in the Annals of S. Bertin, attributed to a ‘religious English man’, boys, who represent the blessed, read books with red and black script in alternating lines; the red ink recounts the deeds of the wicked, the black tells of good deeds (Grat et al. 1964, 29-30). Larrington (2002, 184) notes the preponderance of loan-words and references to church accoutrements in the description of the pleasures of heaven. — [4-6] lásu englar helgar bækr ok himna skript yfir höfði þeim ‘angels read holy books and heavenly writing over their heads’: Both alliteration and metre have gone awry in the last half of this st. There is no alliteration in ll. 4-5 and, although it supplies alliteration, the phrase ok himna skript makes l. 6 much too long. It is found only in 166bˣ and 8 other mss closely related to 166bˣ. Other eds have improved ll. 4-6 by altering the w.o.: Skj B, followed by Skald, have helgar bœkr | ok himna skript | lsu þeim englar yfir; Falk gives helgar bækr | ok himna skript; Fidjestøl puts ok himna skript in brackets, but leaves it at the beginning of l. 6.