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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

VII. Leiðarvísan (Leið) - 45

Leiðarvísan (‘Way-Guidance’) — Anon LeiðVII

Katrina Attwood 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Leiðarvísan’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 137-78.

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33   34   35   36   37   38   39   40   41   42   43   44   45 

Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XII]: G [2]. Leiðarvísan, et digt fra det 12. årh. (AI, 618-26, BI, 622-33)

SkP info: VII, 152-3

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

13 — Anon Leið 13VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Leiðarvísan 13’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 152-3.

Stef skal hátt — hætta
hykk enn tǫlu dyggva —
fljótt, ef finna mættak
fríð orð, goði smíðat.
Lúta englar ítrum
óttlaust ok lið dróttni;
einn es siklingr sunnu
setrs hvívetna betri.


A loud refrain shall be made quickly for God, if I am able to find beautiful words; nor do I yet intend to desist from good speech. Angels and people bow down fearlessly before the glorious Lord; {the king {of the seat of the sun}} [SKY/HEAVEN > = God] is alone better than everything else.

notes: There is an obelos in the left margin indicating the beginning of Leið’s first stef (refrain). — [1-4]: Several interpretations of these ll. are possible. With Sveinbjörn Egilsson and Skj B fljótt (l. 3) is understood here as an adv. ‘quickly’, describing the composition of the refrain. However, Kock (NN §2558) takes fljótt ‘swift-running’ and hátt ‘loud’ (l. 1) as grammatically parallel adjectives. He thus construes hátt, fljótt stef skal smíðat goði ‘a loud, swift-running refrain shall be composed for God’. It is also possible (Peter Foote, pers. comm.) that fljótt (adv.) might be construed with hætta ‘to stop, desist’ (l. 1), rendering the second clause né hykk enn hætta fljótt ‘nor do I intend to desist (i.e. bring the poem to an end) soon’. — [5-8]: Considerable similarities of diction, structure and sentiment exist between this refrain and other helmingar in the Christian skaldic corpus, especially that of C12th. On these similarities, especially between Leið 13/5-8, Pl 32/1-4, Geisl 66/5-6 and Has 20/7-8, and their possible implications for the relative chronology of the C12th drápur, see Attwood 1996b, 232-4.

editions: Skj Anonyme digte og vers [XII]: G [2]. Leiðarvísan 13 (AI, 620-1; BI, 625); Skald I, 304, NN §2558; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 60-1, Rydberg 1907, 6, Attwood 1996a, 63, 174.


AM 757 a 4° (B) 10v, 16 - 10v, 18  transcr.  image  image  image  image  
AM 624 4° (624) 87, 15 - 87, 19  image  
JS 399 a-b 4°x (399a-bx) -  
Lbs 444 4°x (444x) -  
Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated