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, 163-4

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25 — Anon Leið 25VII

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Cite as: Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Leiðarvísan 25’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 163-4.

Enn vilda ek annat
alfríðustum smíða
hátt í hróðri sléttum
himins gotna stef dróttni.
Gramr skóp hauðr ok himna
hreggranns sem kyn seggja;
einns salkonungr sólar
snjallr hjalpari allra.

Enn vilda ek smíða annat hátt stef í sléttum hróðri {alfríðustum dróttni {gotna himins}}. {Gramr {hreggranns}} skóp hauðr ok himna sem kyn seggja; {snjallr {sólar sal}konungr} [e]s einn hjalpari allra.

Further I would like to fashion another exalted refrain in the smooth praise-poem {for the altogether fairest lord {of the men of heaven}} [ANGELS > = God]. {The king {of the storm-house}} [SKY/HEAVEN > = God] created land and heavens, as well as the race of men; {the excellent king {of the hall of the sun}} [(lit. ‘hall-king of the sun’) SKY/HEAVEN > = God] is alone the helper of all.

Mss: B(10v), 624(89), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [3] hátt: ‘ha[...]’ 624;    sléttum: so 624, 399a‑bˣ, ‘sle[...]’ B

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XII], G [2]. Leiðarvísan 25: AI, 623, BI, 628, Skald I, 305; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 64, Rydberg 1907, 8, Attwood 1996a, 66, 177.

Notes: [2] alfríðustum ‘for the altogether fairest’: See also 9/4 and 36/4. Alfríðr provides the hǫfuðstafr in each case. — [3-4] hátt stef ‘exalted refrain’: The identical phrase is used to describe the first refrain in 13/1. — [3] í sléttum hróðri ‘in the smooth praise-poem’: Cf. the poet’s prayer for a slétt óðarlag ‘smooth poem-form’ in 3/2. These comments on the ‘smoothness’ of the poem are presumably intended to call attention to its apparently effortless artistry, though in fact much about the poem is rather self-conscious. Cf. the introductions to the refrains in 13/1-4 and 25/1-4, the prayers for inspiration and a hearing which occupy almost half of the upphaf and the expression of gratitude to prestr… Rúnolfr in st. 43 — [5-8]: The first instance of the second refrain. The opening couplet of this refrain is very similar to that of the first refrain in Has 20/5-6: Ern skóp hauðr ok hlýrni | heims valdr sem kyn beima ‘The powerful ruler of the world [ = God] created earth and heaven as well as the kinsfolk of men’. The helmingr as a whole is similar to one preserved in Skm and attributed there to Markús Skeggjason (d. 1107) (Mark FragIII), probably from a poem about Christ (SnE 1998, I, 77 and 201). — [5-6] gramr hreggranns ‘king of the storm-house [SKY/HEAVEN > = God]’: See also 2/4 and 17/2 and cf. the God-kenning konungr hreggranns ‘king of the storm-house’ in Mdr 24/2. — [7] salkonungr sólar ‘hall-king of the sun’: I.e. ‘king of the hall of the sun’, ‘king of heaven [ = God]’. Cf. Geisl 66/6, where God is described as salkonungr himna ‘hall-king of the heavens’. Salkonungr sólar is used twice in God-kennings in Heildr (13/1, 17/5).

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