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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, 255-6

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

25 — Anon Líkn 25VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: George S. Tate (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Líknarbraut 25’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 255-6.

Geypnir skjöldungr skepnu
skríns styrkliga sína
(ern er hilmir) hlýrna
(heiðtjalds) saman alla.
Krists vinnr krapt ins hæsta
krossmark viðum hnossa
alls bezt; lofar æztan
öll dýrð konung fyrða.

{Skjöldungr {skríns hlýrna}} geypnir styrkliga sína skepnu alla saman; {hilmir {heiðtjalds}} er ern. Krossmark ins hæsta Krists vinnr krapt alls bezt {viðum hnossa}; öll dýrð lofar {æztan konung fyrða}.

{The ruler {of the shrine of heavenly bodies}} [SKY/HEAVEN > = God] holds in his hand mightily his creation all at once; {the prince {of the heath’s tent}} [SKY/HEAVEN > = God] is valiant. 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: [5-8] abbrev. as ‘Kristr vinnr kr‑’ B, 399a‑bˣ

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], C. 1. Líknarbraut 25: AII, 155, BII, 166-7, Skald II, 88, NN §2328; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 43, Rydberg 1907, 15, 50, Tate 1974, 70.

Notes: [1] geypnir ‘holds, gathers in his hand’: The verb (from gaupn, f. ‘hollow of the hand’) occurs only in Christian skaldic poetry, primarily in kennings depicting God or Christ as pantocrator ‘ruler of the universe’. See, e.g., Has 29/7-8, Geisl 16/7-8, Kálf Kátr 36/3 and Mgr 2/5. On the iconography of Christ as pantocrator, see Kirschbaum et al. 1968-76, I, 392-4. A good example from the period is from the early C13th painted ceiling of S. Michael’s, Hildesheim; in the final roundel of the tree of Jesse, Christ appears enthroned against a blue field, surrounded by sun, moon, and stars. — [2] skríns ‘shrine’s’: Rydberg 1907, 50 (so also Guðrún Nordal 2001, 300) takes skríns and heiðtjalds ‘heath-tent’s’ (l. 4) (emended to heiðstalls ‘heath-ledge’s’; see below) together as a tvíkent heaven-kenning, making l. 3 parenthetical: ern er hilmir hlýrna ‘valiant is the prince of heavenly bodies’. The tvíkennt kenning of this reading is analogous to Has 29/7-8 (above), and the use of hlýrna as determinant in the kenning of the interjection is similar to gramr hlýrna ‘king of heavenly bodies’ Anon (FoGT) 35/3III. Following Skj B and Skald, however, this ed. prefers the balanced pairing of skjöldungr skríns hlýrna ‘prince of the shrine of heavenly bodies’ (ll. 1, 3, 2) and hilmir heiðtjalds (Skj B -stalls) ‘prince of the heath’s tent’ (ll. 3, 4), the first of which recalls Leið 32/5-6. — [4] heiðtjalds ‘of the heath’s tent’: Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 43 normalises ms. ‘-tialldz’ to -tjallz to improve rhyme with alla ‘all’. Konráð Gíslason 1877, 23-4, pointing out instances of tjald: ald- rhymes in Has (tjalds: aldir 10/4, tjalds: halda 20/7) and Líkn (tjalds [ms. ‘tíalldz’]: aldir 50/8), concludes that the scribe mistakenly substituted -tjalds for -stalls ‘ledge’s’, not only here but in Has 65/6 (ms. ‘tialldz’: alla). (Cf. Has 29/8 skýstalls: allri.) Rydberg 1907, 50 and Skj B accordingly emend to heiðstalls. But it is puzzling that the scribe of B (the same for both Has and Líkn) who got -stalls (ms. ‘stallz’) right in Has 29/8 would then substitute ‘tialldz’ (-tjalds) for -stalls in 65/6 and then again here. As Kock (NN §2328) argues, the pronunciation of ‘-lds-’ as ‘-lls-’ is not unusual in the period (analogous to kall for karl). This ed., with Skald, maintains the ms. reading and assumes that -tjalds (at least -al-) is intended to rhyme with alla. Cf. Játg Lv 2II hjald-: fjalli and, similarly, Halli XI Fl 3/8II vind-: finna (Skj B and Skald both emend to vinn-).

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