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, 175

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

41 — Anon Leið 41VII

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Cite as: Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Leiðarvísan 41’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 175.

Haldi oss frá eldi
eilífr skapa deilir
Kristr styrkr ok myrkrum
menn, es heim líðr þenna,
svát ǫll í frið fullan
farim heim, es skilr beima
alls stýrandi, órum
óttalaus með dróttni.

{Eilífr deilir skapa}, styrkr Kristr, haldi oss menn frá eldi ok myrkrum, es líðr þenna heim, svát farim ǫll heim í fullan frið, óttalaus með órum dróttni, es {stýrandi alls} skilr beima.

May {the eternal ruler of fates} [= God (= Christ)], powerful Christ, keep us men from fire and darkness, when this world passes away, so that we may all go home into complete peace, fearlessly with our Lord, when {the steerer of all} [= God] divides men.

Mss: B(11r), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [7] stýrandi: stýranda B, 399a‑bˣ

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XII], G [2]. Leiðarvísan 41: AI, 625-6, BI, 632, Skald I, 307, NN §1270; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 69, Rydberg 1907, 10, Attwood 1996a, 70, 181.

Notes: [3] styrkr ‘strong, powerful’: The ms. reading has been retained here, although it disturbs the alliteration, which requires a word beginning with <m>. Sveinbjörn Egilsson, acknowledging Jón Sigurðsson’s suggestion (in a n. to 444(2)ˣ), and Kock (NN §1270) independently suggested that the word should be merkir, 3rd pers. sg. pres. indic. of merkja in the sense ‘to set a value on’. They take Kristr ‘Christ’ (l. 3) to be the subject and menn the object in an intercalary cl. Kristr merkir menn ‘Christ values men’. Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) omits the word altogether, marking the space with dots. — [4, 6] heim ‘[this] world, place of abode’, heim (adv.) ‘home, homewards’: The poet plays on the similarity between these two words and the disparity between the first, which refers to the temporal world, and the second, which holds out the prospect of heavenly bliss. — [5] ǫll ‘all’: The poet’s use of the n. pl. form of the adj. allows for the possibility that women as well as men may go to heaven. — [7] stýrandi alls ‘steerer of all [= God]’: Sveinbjörn Egilsson’s correction (note to 444(2)ˣ) is adopted by all subsequent eds. Cf. the kenning stýrandi hallar heims ‘steerer of the hall of the world [SKY/HEAVEN > = God]’ in 21/3-4. Alls stýrandi is used in Mark Eirdr 29/2II.

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