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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, 256-7

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

26 — Anon Líkn 26VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: George S. Tate (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Líknarbraut 26’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 256-7.

Enn mun kross dýrð kynnaz
— kemr ótti þá — dróttins
fyr hnigstöfum hjörva
hljóms at efsta dómi.
Meiðr skal hverr ór hauðri
hringmóts til alþingis
fremðarráðs á fæðis
fund hvatliga skunda.

Dýrð dróttins kross mun enn kynnaz fyr {hnigstöfum {hljóms hjörva}} at efsta dómi; ótti kemr þá. {Hverr meiðr {hringmóts}} skal skunda hvatliga ór hauðri til alþingis á fund {fæðis fremðarráðs}.

The glory of the Lord’s Cross will yet be made known to {bowing staves {of swords’ din}} [BATTLE > WARRIORS] at the Last Judgement; fear will come then. {Each tree {of the sword-meeting}} [BATTLE > WARRIOR] shall hasten quickly from out of the ground to the Althing to meet {the nourisher of propitious counsel} [= God (= Christ)].

Mss: B(11v), 399a-bˣ

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], C. 1. Líknarbraut 26: AII, 155, BII, 167, Skald II, 88; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 43, Rydberg 1907, 15, 50, Tate 1974, 71.

Notes: [3-4] hnigstöfum hljóms hjörva ‘bowing-staves of swords’ din [BATTLE > WARRIORS]’: The identical battle-kenning (hjörva hljómr) occurs previously in Tindr Hákdr 10/5-6I (C10th). LP finds the hnig- element of hnigstafr ‘bowing-stave’ problematic, having no particular transitive meaning as LP (1860) had posited (praelium inclinare faciens ‘causing the battle to bend’); LP suggests something like ‘those who themselves move or cause movement’ in battle. But hnig- is from intrans. hníga ‘to bow down, sink, fall (gently)’, the p.p. of which (hniginn) often means ‘bent with age’ or ‘fallen in battle’ (cf. Lat. occubitus). Here, however, the allusion is likely to be to men bowing before God or the Cross. — [4] hljóms at efsta dómi: Probably based upon Has 6/6 hljóms á efsta dómi. — [6] til alþingis ‘to the Althing’: This conception of the Last Judgement in terms of the Althing is apparently unique in ON. In an Icel. poem the term cannot but evoke the country’s general assembly, the highest court of the land, though in Norway the cpd has a less specific sense, simply ‘a general meeting’ (Fritzner). The Last Judgement is also characterised as a þing ‘assembly’ (not alþingi) in 27/1, Has 32/1, Líkn 27/1, Lil 72/1, and in the late medieval Píslardrápa 32/1, 34/1 (ÍM I.2, 62); cf. mót ‘meeting’ in the ONorw. Doomsday homily (HómNo, 101). In poetry, alþingi otherwise occurs only in HǫrðG Lv 7/2 (Harð 14)V, where it refers to the Icel. general assembly. — [7] fæðis fremðarráðs ‘the nourisher of propitious counsel [= God (= Christ)]’: Cf. fœðir fremðarráða ‘king of famous deeds’ (of King Eiríkr Sveinsson of Denmark; Mark Eirdr 4/1II). LP defines fremðarráð (fremðar rð, under fremð) as ‘a deed which wins fame’. Adapted to Christ, the kenning is enriched, more capable of simultaneously suggesting the semantic range of each of its elements: ráð ‘counsel, plan, authority, deed’, perhaps even ‘judgement’; fremð (here translated adjectively) ‘furtherance, aid, fame, nobility’; fæðir ‘nourisher, author’. Christ’s counsels and deeds are both worthy of fame and furthering of salvation.

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