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, 169

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32 — Anon Leið 32VII

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Cite as: Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Leiðarvísan 32’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 169.

Vôru ǫðlings ærir
alkunnan dag sunnu
heiðar bœs í húsi
hreins luktaðir einu.
Þá gaf skjǫldungr skýja
skríns postolum sínum
— ítr firri goð gotna
grandi — helgan anda.

{Ærir {ǫðlings {hreins bœs heiðar}}} vôru luktaðir í einu húsi alkunnan sunnudag. Þá gaf {skjǫldungr {skríns skýja}} postolum sínum helgan anda; ítr goð firri gotna grandi.

{The envoys {of the prince {of the pure dwelling of the heath}}} [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ) > APOSTLES] were shut up in a certain house on a well-known Sunday. Then {the king {of the shrine of the clouds}} [HEAVEN > = God] gave his Apostles the Holy Spirit; may glorious God save men from harm.

Mss: B(11r), 624(90), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [1] ǫðlings: egg þings BRydberg, B, af þingi 624, ‘ạf̣ þings’ 399a‑bˣ    [2] ‑kunnan: ‘kvna’ 624    [3] húsi: so 624, 399a‑bˣ, ‘[...]’ B    [4] hreins: hrein B, hreinn 624;    einu: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘ein[...]’ B, einni 624    [7] firri: fyrir 624

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XII], G [2]. Leiðarvísan 32: AI, 624, BI, 630, Skald I, 306, NN §2144; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 66, Rydberg 1907, 9, Attwood 1996a, 68, 178.

Notes: [All]: The granting of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles at Pentecost is recounted in Acts II.1-4, and occurs in Sunday Letters from all three recensions. — [1, 3, 4] Ærir ǫðlings hreins bœs heiðar ‘servants of the prince of the pure dwelling of the heath [SKY/HEAVEN > = God ( = Christ) > APOSTLES]’: The ms. readings of the first part of the second word of l. 1 are confusing, though they seem to agree on the second part, presenting it as some form of the noun þing ‘meeting, assembly’. This is, however, difficult to fit into what appears to be a kenning for the Apostles as the subject of the first helmingr. If B’s reading eggþings ‘blade-meeting [BATTLE]’ is kept (so Skald and NN §2144), a standard kenning results: eggþings ærir ‘envoys of the blade-meeting [BATTLE > WARRIORS]’, but heiðar bœs ‘of the dwelling of the heath [SKY/HEAVEN]’ is unaccounted for, unless the idea of ‘heaven’s warriors’, invoked by Kock in NN is correct. Finnur Jónsson’s suggested emendation of B’s eggþings to ǫðlings ‘prince, ruler’ has been followed here, except that hreins ‘pure’ is taken with bœs rather than ǫðlings. The resulting kenning is parallel to ǫðlingr salar rǫðla ‘prince of the hall of heavenly bodies [SKY/HEAVEN > = God]’ in 33/2. — [3] hreins bœs heiðar ‘of the pure dwelling of the heath [SKY/HEAVEN]’: Cf. the heaven-kennings salr heiðar ‘hall of the heath’ in Geisl 7/5-6 and tjald heiða ‘tent of the heaths’ in Líkn 12/3. — [5-6] skríns skýja ‘of the shrine of the clouds [HEAVEN]’: The conceit of heaven as a shrine, whose jewel is the sun, is a popular one. This heaven-kenning occurs twice in Has (19/7-8, 29/7-8), skrín providing the hǫfuðstafr (as it does here) both times.

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