Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Leiðarvísan, 40 [Vol. 7, 174]

[5-8]: Several interpretations of this helmingr are possible. The one favoured here assumes l. 5 staðr es ǫllum œðri ‘the place is higher than all’ to refer back to the first helmingr, in which the poet advocates that humans seek a place in heaven beside the holy Cross; munligri ok betri ‘more desirable and better’ (l. 8) qualify staðr (l. 5). The remainder of the helmingr may then be understood as an intercalary sentence. Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) takes með dróttni ‘with the Lord’ (l. 6) as qualifying staðr ‘place’ (l. 5) and óttalauss ‘fearless’ (l. 6) as part of the intercalary cl., qualifying þjóð lifir ‘the people live’ (l. 7). He construes staðr með dróttni es ǫllum æðri, munnligri ok betri; glǫð þjóð … lifir óttalaus ‘A place with the Lord is higher, more pleasant and better than all others; the happy people … lives without fear’. Kock (NN §1269) agrees with Finnur’s understanding of með dróttni and promotes óttalaus, emended to óttalauss to agree with staðr, to the main cl., construing staðr óttalauss með dróttni ‘a fearless place with the Lord’.

references

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