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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

VII. Líknarbraut (Líkn) - 52

Líknarbraut (‘The Way of Grace’) — Anon LíknVII

George S. Tate 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Líknarbraut’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 228-86.

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33   34   35   36   37   38   39   40   41   42   43   44   45   46   47   48   49   50   51   52 

Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII]: C. 1. Líknarbraut (AII, 150-9, BII, 160-74)

SkP info: VII, 244-5

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

13 — Anon Líkn 13VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: George S. Tate (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Líknarbraut 13’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 244-5.

Vilda ek vitra hölda
vegs gæti*, meinlætum,
hátt, þeim er hörðum mætti,
hvargóðum stef bjóða.
Krists vinnr krapt ins hæsta
krossmark viðum hnossa
alls bezt; lofar æztan
öll dýrð konung fyrða.

Ek vilda bjóða hátt stef {hvargóðum gæti* vegs vitra hölda}, þeim er mætti hörðum meinlætum. Krossmark ins hæsta Krists vinnr krapt alls bezt {viðum hnossa}; öll dýrð lofar {æztan konung fyrða}.

I would like to offer a sublime refrain {to the ever-good guardian of the way of wise men} [= God (= Christ)], who met with hard tribulations. The cross-sign of the most high Christ gains power best of all {for trees of treasures} [MEN]; all glory exalts {the highest king of men} [RULER = Christ].

Mss: B(11v), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [2] vegs gæti*: ‘vegsge᷎tiss’ B, 399a‑bˣ    [5] Krists: Kristr B, 399a‑bˣ

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], C. 1. Líknarbraut 13: AII, 153, BII, 163-4, Skald II, 87; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 39, Rydberg 1907, 13-14, 49, Kock and Meissner 1931, I, 91, Tate 1974, 58.

Notes: [All]: Having alluded to the Nativity in st. 12, the poet, as if present, now offers Christ a hátt stef ‘sublime refrain’ as a gift as he begins the refrain section (stefjabálkr). — [1-2] gæti* vitra hölda vegs (dat.) ‘guardian of the way of wise men’: The ms. has gen. -gætis for gæti ‘guardian’ (dat. sg.). All eds emend: Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 39 to nom. gætir (speculating in a note that the <s> may derive from misreading an abbreviation stroke in an earlier ms.); all others to dat. gæti. Two strained readings are possible if the ms. gen. were retained. 1) the kenning could modify meinlætum ‘tribulations’ (l. 2) (as the scribe may have assumed), giving ‘I would like to offer a high refrain to that ever-good one who met with the hard torments of the guardian of the way of wise men’ (i.e. redundantly ‘to Christ who suffered Christ’s torments’. 2) The kenning could modify stef ‘refrain’ (l. 4), i.e. ‘I would like to offer the sublime stef of the guardian of the way of wise men who suffered hard torments’. In this case, ‘the guardian of the way of wise men’ might refer to the Cross. Both readings seem unsatisfactory. — [4] stef ‘refrain’: The word is also used formally to introduce the first stef of the stefjabálkr in Leið 13/1 (as here hátt stef), Has 20/4, Pl 11/4 and Geisl 18/4. — [5]: A marginal ms. obelos (†) indicates occurrence of the stef here and at later occurrences. — [5] Krists: Kristr in ms. B; all eds assume a scribal error (because of vinnr: i.e. Kristr vinnr krapt), repeated in subsequent incipits of the stef (17/5, 21/5, 25/5, 29/5). — [5] krapt ‘power’: The word may have a richer theological connotation, for in the ON Elucidarium Lat. gratia ‘grace’ is sometimes translated as kraptr (Salvesen 1968, 42; cf. Walter 1976, 43). — [6] krossmark ‘cross-sign’: In Niðrst1 I.8 Christ makes the crossmarc ‘sign of the cross’ over the captives as he leads them up out of hell at the Harrowing. On the early history of the term ‘sign’ (σημεῖον, or signum) for the Cross, see Reijners 1965, 118-23, 160-87. — [7] alls bezt ‘best of all’: Skj B, Skald, and Kock and Meissner include with the rest of ll. 7-8 as a single syntactic unit. — [8] dýrð : fyrða: Ms. fýrða; Skj B shortens dýrð to dyrð. This same rhyme (dýrð- : fyrð-) of long and short ‘y’ occurs also 28/2 as well as in Geisl 24/2, 45/2, Mdr 33/8 and Lil 68/8, 74/2; cf. 1/6 styrki : dýrka.

Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated