Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

VII. Heilags anda drápa (Heildr) - 18

not in Skj

Heilags anda drápa (‘Drápa about the Holy Spirit’) — Anon HeildrVII

Katrina Attwood 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Heilags anda drápa’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 450-67.

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Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII]: C. [3]. Heilags anda vísur (AII, 160-3, BII, 175-80)

SkP info: VII, 461-2

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12 — Anon Heildr 12VII

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Cite as: Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Heilags anda drápa 12’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 461-2.

Sanndyggra, mátt, seggja
snjallr huggari, kallask
harðla traust ins hæsta
heiðgjöf konungs jöfra.
Eldr ert elsku mildrar
eilífr brunnr ok heilagr
hinn er, andar sára
einsmurning, vit hreinsar.

Snjallr huggari sanndyggra seggja, mátt kallask harðla traust heiðgjöf {ins hæsta konungs jöfra}. Ert eldr mildrar elsku, eilífr ok heilagr brunnr, hinn er hreinsar vit, einsmurning sára andar.

Wise comforter of truly faithful men, you can be called the very trusty honour-gift {of the highest king of kings} [= God]. You are the fire of gracious love, the everlasting and holy spring, which purifies the conscience, the unique unction of wounds of the soul.

Mss: B(10r), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [3] harðla: ‘hard’ B, 399a‑bˣ

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], C. [3]. Heilags anda vísur 12: AII, 162, BII, 178, Skald II, 93, NN §1409; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 55, Rydberg 1907, 2-3, 46, Attwood 1996a, 58, 153.

Notes: [All]: The Lat. text of which this st. is a translation reads as follows: Qui paraclitus diceris / donum Dei altissimi / fons vivus, ignis, caritas / et spiritalis unctio ‘You who are called Paraclete, gift of highest God, living spring, fire, love and spiritual unction’. — [2] huggari ‘comforter’: See Note to 4/2 above. Here the word is clearly a calque on the Lat. paraclitus lit. ‘advocate, intercessor’. — [3] harðla ‘very’: The first part of the word, ‘hard’, is written at the end of 10r, l. 23 and may be incomplete. What is missing may be an adj. in the n. nom. sg., agreeing with n. traust ‘trust, shelter’ (l. 3), intensified by the prefix harð- ‘very, greatly’ etc. Skj B, Skald and Rydberg adopt Sveinbjörn Egilsson’s reconstruction to n. harðfengt ‘hardy, valiant’. They take the periphrasis for the Holy Spirit, harðfengt traust seggja ‘valiant shelter of men’ (ll. 3, 1) as parallel to snjallr huggari ‘wise comforter’ (l. 2). This edn follows the construction implied by Einar Ólafur Sveinsson (1942, 144), assuming that the missing element of l. 3 is an adv. like harðla or harða (both meaning ‘very’). Einar (by implication) takes the addressee of the verse, the Holy Spirit, to be snjallr huggari sanndyggra seggja ‘wise comforter of truly faithful men’ and then construes harð(l)a traust heiðgjöf ens hæsta konungs jöfra ‘you may be called the very trusty honour-gift of the highest king of kings’, understanding traust as a strong adj. ‘strong, trusty’ in the f. sg. nom. This reading allows a much more straightforward w.o. to the helmingr and offers a direct translation of the Lat. donum Dei altissimi. — [6-8]: Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) construes ertu … eilífr ok heilagr brunnr, er hreinsar vit ens andar-sára einsmurning ‘you are … an eternal and holy spring, which purifies the senses of the soul-sick with an excellent salve’. The Lat. text, however, lists four distinct attributes of the Spirit in apposition, confirming that brunnr ‘spring’ and einsmurning ‘unique unction’ must be treated as parallel: fons vivus, ignis, caritas et spiritalis unctio. — [7]: This l., as it stands in B, is unsatisfactory metrically and difficult in terms of sense; hinn er ‘that which’, referring to brunnr (l. 6), gives a l. in which alliteration falls on the unstressed rel. particle and the rhyme is imperfect. Kock (NN §1409) objects to this, and suggests emendation of sára to undir (acc. pl. of f. und ‘wound’), also emending vit ‘conscience’ (l. 8) to vítt ‘widely’. Finnur Jónsson, following Sveinbjörn Egilsson, deals with the problem by emending B’s ‘hin er’ to er ens and taking the next two words as a cpd andar-sára, reading it with vit ens andar-sára, as detailed in the previous Note.

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