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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, ‘ 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. <> (accessed 20 January 2022)

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

SkP info: VII, 459

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

9 — Anon Heildr 9VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Heilags anda drápa 9’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 459.

Mærr valdi gefr mildi
meinlausum her beinan
guðs, þeim er grimmu niðrar
grandi hræzlu, anda.
Sú er prýðigjöf góðum
grundvöllr stöðugr undir
(náir gipt, er krefr) kröptum
(Krist af hjarta tvistu).

{Mærr valdi mildi} gefr meinlausum her, þeim er niðrar grimmu grandi hræzlu, beinan anda guðs. Sú prýðigjöf er stöðugr grundvöllr undir góðum kröptum; náir gipt, er krefr Krist af tvistu hjarta.

{The great ruler of mercy} [= God] gives the sinless army, which supresses terrible damage through fear, the helpful spirit of God. That magnificent gift is a secure foundation beneath good powers; he will obtain grace who calls on Christ from a repentant [lit. sorrowful] heart.

Mss: B(10r), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [1] valdi: valdr all    [3] niðrar: niðra all    [6] stöðugr: so 399a‑bˣ, BRydberg, BFJ, ‘sto᷎ðug[...]’ B    [7] er: en all

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], C. [3]. Heilags anda vísur 9: AII, 161, BII, 177, Skald II, 93, NN §2339; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 54, Rydberg 1907, 2, 46, Attwood 1996a, 57, 153.

Notes: [1] valdi ‘ruler’: B has valdr, a m. noun with the same meaning as valdi. However, all eds (following Nj 1875-8, II, 27-9) emend to give a two-syllable word, as the l. would otherwise be too short. — [3] þeim er niðrar ‘the one which supresses’: The ms. reading ‘þeim er … nidra’ gives a sg. subject with a pl. verb. Skj B emends to niðrar, 3rd pers. sg., but retains the pl. form niðra in the prose order (most likely a typographical error). Hræzlu ‘through fear’ (l. 4) is understood as an instrumental dat. referring to the fear of God, which the army of righteous Christians uses to suppress the damage caused by sin. Kock (NN §2339) sees the Holy Spirit, rather than Christian people, as the motive force. Kock’s reading requires the emendation of þeim (dat.) to þann (acc.), construing gefr meinlausum her beinan anda guðs, þanns niðrar grimmu grandi hræzlu ‘gives the sinless army the helpful spirit of God, which suppresses the terrible damage of fear’.

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