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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

VII. Líknarbraut (Líkn) - 52

not in Skj

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.

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

SkP info: VII, 250-1

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

20 — Anon Líkn 20VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: George S. Tate (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Líknarbraut 20’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 250-1.

Enn und hægri hendi
hyggjublíðr á síðu
hlaut af hvössu spjóti
höfugt sár konungr jöfra.
Árveitis rann ýta
eirsanns ór ben þeiri
— hugum skyldu þat höldar
heyra — vatn ok dreyri.

Enn á síðu und hægri hendi hlaut {hyggjublíðr konungr jöfra} höfugt sár af hvössu spjóti. Vatn ok dreyri rann ór þeiri ben {eirsanns árveitis ýta}; höldar skyldu heyra þat hugum.

Yet on his side under the right arm {the thought-tender king of princes} [RULER = Christ] received a heavy wound from a sharp spear. Water and blood flowed out of that wound {of the mercy-true abundance-giver of men} [= God (= Christ)]; men should hear that in their thoughts.

Mss: B(11v), 399a-bˣ

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], C. 1. Líknarbraut 20: AII, 154, BII, 165, Skald II, 87, NN §3279; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 41, Rydberg 1907, 14-15, 50, Tate 1974, 65.

Notes: [1] enn ‘yet’: Sveinbjörn Egilsson, Rydberg and Skj B all normalise ms. enn as en ‘but’. As NN §3279 suggests, however, the adv., as opposed to the conj., is appropriate given the cumulation of tortures over the previous sts; cf. similar use of enn in 26/1. — [1, 2] á síðu und hægri hendi ‘on his side under the right arm’: This specific iconographic detail locating the wound from the lance on the right side accords with the more common medieval tradition. Mꜽle 1958, 190-5 indicates that the wound on the right side represents the founding of the church (Ecclesia), but the tradition is not fixed. See Gurewich 1957, 358-62, who suggests that when on the left, the wound points to Christ’s ‘bleeding heart’. Late medieval Icel. Passion poems vary the position of the wound, either leaving it unspecified but penetrating the heart (Rósa 106), locating it on the right side (Blómarós 55), or on the right but still reaching to the heart (Gimsteinn 55) (ÍM I.2, 29; I.2, 93; I.2, 316). — [2] hyggjublíðr ‘thought-tender’: Cf. hugblíðr (also of Christ) in RKet Lv 1IV. — [5, 6, 8] vatn ok dreyri rann ór þeiri ben ... árveitis ýta ‘water and blood flowed out of the wound ... of the abundance-giver of men [= God (= Christ)]’: The conflation of the kenning with the image may suggest that the blood and water which flow from Christ’s wound are themselves symbols of his nurturing ‘abundance’. On this effluence as a representation of Christ’s grace, related to the ‘rivers of living water’ in John VII.38, see Rahner 1964, 177-238. — [6] eirsanns (gen.) ‘mercy-true’: An otherwise unattested cpd; all previous eds unnecessarily emend ms. -sanns to -sams, in part because eirsamr ‘peaceful, mild’ occurs in st. 49/6. As an adj. for Christ, however, the cpd eirsannr is well conceived. In addition to the meaning ‘true’, -sannr can, by association with the noun sannr m. ‘justice’, suggest Christ’s justice while eir- points to his tender mercy, an idea which dominates the st.

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