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, 232-3

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

3 — Anon Líkn 3VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: George S. Tate (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Líknarbraut 3’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 232-3.

Hneig, er veitir vægðir
vígrunni, miskunnar
hreina hugðubænum
heyrn þína, guð, mínum;
allr týnumz ek ella,
ítr, sem þú mátt líta,
guð, nema gæzku saðrar
gipt þín of mér skíni.

Guð, er veitir vægðir {vígrunni}, hneig þína hreina heyrn miskunnar mínum hugðubænum; ella týnumz ek allr, sem þú, ítr guð, mátt líta, nema þín gipt saðrar gæzku skíni of mér.

God, [you] who grant mercies {to the battle-bush} [WARRIOR], incline your pure ear [lit. hearing] of mercy to my loving prayers; otherwise I am completely lost, as you, glorious God, can see, unless your gift of true grace shine upon me.

Mss: B(11r), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [8] of: yfir B, 399a‑bˣ

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], C. 1. Líknarbraut 3: AII, 151, BII, 161, Skald II, 85, NN §3277B; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 35-6, Rydberg 1907, 11-12, 47, Tate 1974, 48.

Notes: [All]: The movement of the st., in which guð ‘God’ and the idea of mercy or grace appear in each helmingr, is from the aural image heyrn ‘hearing’ (l. 4) of the first half-st. to the visual líta ‘see’ (l. 6), skíni ‘shine’ (l. 8) of the second. Following upon the ‘tongue’s offences’ in the previous st., it is as if sound now resolves in quietude. The final word skíni ‘shine’ anticipates the light imagery of the next st., in which the verb skína is repeated (4/2). — [2] vígrunni ‘to the battle-bush [WARRIOR]’: The source of the st.’s lone kenning may be HSt Rst 8/7I (C12th), the only other occurrence of vígrunnr, also rhymed with kunn-. — [2] miskunnar ‘of mercy’: Apo koinu; the gen. can go either with vægðir ‘mercies’ (so Skj B) or heyrn ‘hearing’, or even guð ‘God’. Analogues to the first, a tautology, are found in the OIcel. Nativity homily lícn miscuɴar ‘grace of mercy’ (HómÍsl 1993, 23v; HómÍsl 1872, 48) and in liturgical Lat. (clementia misericordiae ‘mercy of compassion’, Manz 1941, 112, no. 165). The second (heyrn), favoured by Rydberg 1907, 47, is also echoed in the liturgy (aures clementiae, aures misericordiae ‘ears of mercy, compassion’, Manz 1941, 80-1, nos 91-2) and in the late medieval Icel. Rósa 1/3-4 (probably influenced by Líkn): hneig þu þitt enn helgi drottenn | heyrenda myskunnar eyra ‘Holy Lord, incline your listening ear of mercy’ (ÍM I.2, 6). — [3] hugðubænum ‘loving prayers’: Lit. ‘prayers of love, sincerity’. Skj B (followed by Skald) emends hugðu unnecessarily to hugðum (from adj. hugaðr ‘minded, disposed, righteous’), assuming perhaps a missing nasal stroke. Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 36 and Rydberg 1907, 47 follow B. LP (1860) translates hugðu bænir as preces sincerae ‘sincere prayers’; cf. CVC: hugð, hugða ‘love, interest, affection’; hugðumaðr ‘intimate friend’. Hugða also occurs with a slightly different sense in 41/7.

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