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, 170-1

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

34 — Anon Leið 34VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Leiðarvísan 34’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 170-1.

Slœm skalk upp af aumu
— eru stef liðin — hefja,
mætr ef mér vil láta
málfinni goð vinnask.
Styrk ávalt til verka,
vegs gnóttar, mik, dróttinn;
verðk at engu orði
einhlítr, nema goð beini.

Skalk hefja upp slœm af aumu, ef mætr goð vil láta málfinni vinnask mér; stef eru liðin. {Dróttinn gnóttar vegs}, styrk mik ávalt til verka; verðk einhlítr at engu orði, nema goð beini.

I will begin a conclusion from a state of wretchedness, if glorious God will grant that eloquence be achieved for me; the refrains are complete. {Lord of the abundance of glory} [= God], assist me always in [the composition of] poems; I will be fully sufficient for not one word, unless God helps [me].

Mss: B(11r), 624(90), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [2] hefja: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘[...]fia’ B, ‘hefur’ 624    [6] vegs gnóttar (‘vex gnottar’): so 624, ‘vegs[...]ttar’ BRydberg, ‘[...]e[...]s[...]ottar’ B, vegsnóttar 399a‑bˣ

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XII], G [2]. Leiðarvísan 34: AI, 624, BI, 630-1, Skald I, 306; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 67, Rydberg 1907, 9, Attwood 1996a, 69, 179.

Notes: [All]: St. 34 begins the slœmr or concluding section of the poem, as the poet says. As befits a Christian skald whose inspiration comes from God alone, the Leið poet introduces a modesty topos disclaiming poetic proficiency, unless God helps him. Cf. Mgr 3/5-6 with ll. 7-8. — [1] af aumu ‘from a state of wretchedness’: The adj. aumr means ‘poor, wretched, miserable’ (ONP: aumr, adj., auma, f. the latter only in the expression sjá aumu ‘to feel pity for’), but in this context expresses the poet’s feeling of inadequacy to his task. Sveinbjörn Egilsson (1844, 67 n. 21) suggested that the phrase may refer to the poet’s miserable subject-matter, given that he is to discuss the fates of men at the Last Judgement in st. 35, but this seems unlikely in context. — [4] málfinni ‘eloquence’: An assimilated variant of málfimni, introduced to form an aðalhending with vinn-.

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