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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Sólarljóð, 27 [Vol. 7, 313-14]

[6] er sér finnrat föður ‘who does not find the Father for himself’: This l. is problematic in all mss, and is likely to have been corrupted. The verb and subject of the main cl. is sg. (hverr manna ‘each man, lit. ‘each of men’), but the verb of the rel. cl. in all ms. readings appears to be pl. Thus either the verb of the rel. cl. is corrupted (the view taken here), or some other distortion of the text has occurred. Finna is the most acceptable of the ms. readings and also provides good alliteration. If the final <a> is what remains of an original neg. enclitic particle –at, the sg. verb finnrat can be reconstructed by slight emendation. Skj B and Skald also emend thus. The mss also vary considerably in the second word of l. 6. 166bˣ’s sér ‘for himself’ has been accepted here. Other eds either choose one of the other variants or emend; Skj B and Skald adopt sinn, giving the sense ‘who does not find his Father’. Bugge (1867, 361) emended papp15ˣ’s reading seint (adv.) ‘late’ to seinar (comp. adv.) ‘later’ (seint appears in 23 mss, though never in combination with finna). This solves the problem of the pl. verb and sg. subject for the rel. cl., but there is still a switch between sg. and pl. as between main cl. and rel. cl. The danger inherent in coming to God late is paralleled in Has 41 and Leið 39.


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