Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Lilja, 2 [Vol. 7, 563-5]

[1-4]: The transmission of the helmingr is confused, and no ms. offers an acceptable reading. The reading here follows Guðbrandur Jónsson (1951, 155) and Gunnar Finnbogason (1988, 15), the latter of whom has Æski ég þín hin mikla miskunn | mér veitist, ef ég eftir leita | klökkum hug ‘I ask that your great mercy be granted to me, if I seek it with a humble spirit’. A variety of possible readings have been suggested: JH proposes an acc.-inf. construction: ek æski hina miklu miskunn þína veitaz mér ‘I ask that your great mercy be granted to me’. Finnur Jónsson’s translation implies the reading æskig þína miklu miskunn, | mér veitiz, ef ek eptir leita klǫkkum hug ‘I ask for your great mercy, that [it] may be granted me, if I seek with a humble spirit’ (Skj B). Skald has a similar understanding. Eiríkur Magnússon (1870, 2) offers the conjectural reading œski ek veitir mér þína mikla miskun ‘I ask that you might grant me your great mercy’. Cf. the invocation of Rósa: Bidur eg þig þo at brioſtid hrædizt | biarttuʀ gud med klocku hiartta ‘I now pray you, bright God, with a supple heart, that my breast be made fearful’ (ÍM I.2, 6).

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