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, 257-8

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

27 — Anon Líkn 27VII

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Cite as: George S. Tate (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Líknarbraut 27’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 257-8.

Kross mun á þingi þessu
þjóðum sýndr með blóði
— uggs fyllaz þá allir
aumir menn — ok saumi.
Líta seggja sveitir,
svipur ok spjót á móti
sér ok sjá með dreyra
sjálfs Krists viðir Mistar.

Á þessu þingi mun kross sýndr þjóðum með blóði ok saumi; allir aumir menn fyllaz þá uggs. Sveitir seggja líta ok {viðir Mistar} sjá á móti sér svipur ok spjót með dreyra Krists sjálfs.

At this assembly the Cross will be shown to the people [lit. pl.] with blood and nails; all wretched men will be filled then with terror. Hosts of men look, and {the trees of Mist <valkyrie>} [WARRIORS] see before them the whips and spear with the blood of Christ himself.

Mss: B(11v), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [2] með: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘[...]’ B    [5] sveitir: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘sue[...]’ B    [7] ok: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘[...]’ B

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], C. 1. Líknarbraut 27: AII, 155, BII, 167, Skald II, 88, NN §§1392, 2710A, cf. 3040; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 43, Rydberg 1907, 15-16, 50, Tate 1974, 72.

Notes: [All]: The appearance of the Cross in the heavens (often with other instruments of the Passion) at the Last Judgement is an iconographic and liturgical commonplace. The response Hoc signum crucis erit in coelo cum Dominus ad judicandum venerit; tunc manifesta abscondita cordis nostri ‘This sign of the cross will be in the heaven when the Lord comes to render judgement; then will be manifest the hidden things of our heart’ recurs in the Feast of the Invention of the Cross (3 May) and in the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross (14 September) (See Ordo Nidr., 339, 394, 414). The appearance of the blood-covered Cross is part of the chilling imagery of the Judgement in Has 32-3, in which the terror is so great that even the angels quake with fear and dread (ugg ok hræzlu 32/8) – a detail occurring also in the Icel. homily on All Saints (HómÍsl 1993, 21v; HómÍsl 1872, 45) and in the late medieval Rósa 124/2 (ÍM I.2, 33). The appearance of the Cross at Judgement is likewise mentioned in Píslardrápa 31/4 (ÍM I.2, 62) and Milska 67 (ÍM I.2, 53), the latter with other instruments of the Passion. These instruments, the arma Christi, are also depicted in the Islensk tegnebog (Fett 1910, pl. 4). — [4] saumi ‘nails’: See Note to 32/1, 4. — [5-7] líta ... ok sjá ‘look ... and see’: Cf. Icel. homily (above), with reference to the Last Judgement, where God’s enemies will be required at siá oc at líta ‘to see and look’ toward the Lord. — [5] sveitir ‘hosts’: Restoration of <itir> based upon 399a-bˣ; <t> confirmed by skothending. — [6-7] á móti sér ‘before them’: Skj B takes á móti to mean ‘at the assembly’ and sjá sér as ‘become fearful’ (cf. LP on this passage, the usage otherwise unattested). NN §1392 rightly objects to this, but construes með ‘with’ as också ‘as well’ (i.e. ‘blood as well as whips and spear’). Surely, however, með dreyra ‘with blood’ describes the condition of svipur ok spjót ‘whips and spear’. — [8] viðir Mistar ‘the trees of Mist <valkyrie> [WARRIORS]’: Mist is a valkyrie named in Grm (NK 64; SnE 1982, 30) and Þul Ásynja 4III and Valkyrja 1III. This is the only occurrence of a mythological name in Líkn. Rhymed with Krists, and in the context of judgement, it may suggest the juxtaposition of pagan and Christian realms.

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