Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Einarr Skúlason (biog. vol. 2), Geisli, 9 [Vol. 7, 14-15]

[5] hefjum hendr ‘we lift up hands’: The gesture was associated with prayer and would have been familiar from Scripture (Ps. XXVII.2, LXII.5, CXXXIII.3; Lam. III.41; 1 Tim. II.8). The psalmist’s formula appears in a l. from the widely-used matins hymn Rerum creator optime (AH 51, 28; Ordo Nidr., 185, 195, 198): Mentes manusque tollimus ‘We lift up our minds and our hands’. Liturgical books commonly use the rubric manus elevans. The Bb reading hróðr is adopted in Skj B and Skald, hence hefjum hróðr ... fagran ‘I begin my fine poem’ (ll. 5, 8)


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