Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

VII. Leiðarvísan (Leið) - 45

not in Skj

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.

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

SkP info: VII, 153-4

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

14 — Anon Leið 14VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Leiðarvísan 14’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 153-4.

Yfirþengill skóp engla
einn sunnudag hreina;
sǫnn hefr siklingr unnit
slík verk himinríkis.
Ok heimstýrir, harra,
heppinn, þás skóp skepnu
þann setti dag, dróttinn
dýrðar mildr, til hvílðar.

Einn yfirþengill skóp hreina engla sunnudag; {siklingr himinríkis} hefr unnit slík sǫnn verk; ok {heppinn heimstýrir} setti þann dag til hvílðar, þás {dróttinn harra}, dýrðar mildr, skóp skepnu.

The one overlord created the pure angels on a Sunday; {the king of the heaven-kingdom} [= God] has performed true deeds such as these; and {the fortunate world-ruler} [= God] established that day for rest, when {the lord of lords} [= God], generous in glory, brought creation into being

Mss: B(10v), 624(87)

Readings: [5] heimstýrir: heimstýris B, 624;    harra: ‘harre’ B, 624

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XII], G [2]. Leiðarvísan 14: AI, 621, BI, 625-6, Skald I, 304, NN §1262; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 61, Rydberg 1907, 6, Attwood 1996a, 63, 174.

Notes: [All]: St. 14 begins the stefjabalkr, in which the poet enumerates a number of significant events in Christian history that took place on a Sunday. Sts 14-16 deal with events from the Book of Genesis. — [1-2] einn yfirþengill skóp hreina engla sunnudag ‘the one overlord created the pure angels on a Sunday’: Einn ‘one’ could also be construed with sunnudag ‘Sunday’ (l. 2). Although the creation of the angels is not biblical, references to it are widespread in early apocryphal tradition, as, for example in the Book of Jubilees II.2; see Charles 1913, II, 13 and Lees 1985, 140. It is often mentioned in the Sunday Lists included in versions of the Sunday Letter, across all recensions. In the two MHG homilies containing freestanding Sunday Lists (see Introduction), the creation of the angels is the first event listed. On the relationships between Leið, the MHG sermons and other texts in the Sunday Letter/List traditions, see Attwood 2003. — [5-8]: Sveinbjörn Egilson offers an alternative interpretation in a marginal note to Jón Sigurðsson’s transcription of the 624 text in 444(2)ˣ. He retains B’s readings heimstýris harri in l. 5, taking heimstýrir ‘steerer of the world’ as a kenning for the sun, whose harri m. ‘lord, king’ is God. He construes ok þá’s heppinn harri heimstýris skóp skepnu, setti dýrðarmildr dróttinn þann dag til hvílðar ‘and when the fortunate lord of the steerer of the world [SUN > = God] created the race of men, the glory-generous lord established that day as a time of rest’. This makes for a neat, balanced arrangement, in which the two couplets make independent sense. However, the sun is not generally, in Leið or the other C12th drápur, designated by a cpd, figurative expression, but is invariably the prosaic element in kennings for both heaven and God, rendered by sunna, sól or rǫðull. Stýrir appears elsewhere in Leið only in expressions for God (see 3/5, 27/2, 21/3). It therefore seems unlikely that Leið would adopt such a different technique only here as Sveinbjörn’s interpretation would require. Here ms. ‘harre’ has been emended to harra ‘of lords’ to produce a God-kenning; cf. Geisl 25/7-8 dyrr lét dróttinn harra | dáðmilds. — [5-8]: God’s establishment of Sunday as a day of rest is recorded in Gen. II.2: conplevitque Deus die septimo opus suum quod fecerat et requievit die septimo ab universo opere quod patrarat ‘and on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made: and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done’. — [5-6]: These ll. are echoed in 21/3-4: heims stýrandinn hár*i | hallar skepnu allri.

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