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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, ‘ Anonymous, Líknarbraut’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 228-86. <> (accessed 25 June 2022)

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

SkP info: VII, 280

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

44 — Anon Líkn 44VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: George S. Tate (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Líknarbraut 44’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 280.

‘Ér meguð undir stórar
yðars græðis sjá blæða;
þær eru sýnt, þó at sárar,
saklausum mér vaktar,
mín því at mildi raunar
mest ok yðrir lestir
veldr því, at verða skyldi
vísi lýðs fyr píslum.

‘Ér meguð sjá yðars græðis stórar undir blæða; þær eru, þó at sárar, sýnt vaktar mér saklausum, því at raunar veldr mest mín mildi ok yðrir lestir því, at vísi lýðs skyldi verða fyr píslum.

‘You may see your healer’s great wounds bleed; they are, though grievous, clearly dealt me guiltless, for in reality my mercy and your sins most cause it, that the prince of the people should be subjected to torments.

Mss: B(12r), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [5] því at: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘[...]t’ B    [8] vísi: ‘visí’ corrected from ‘vist’ B, vist 399a‑bˣ

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], C. 1. Líknarbraut 44: AII, 158, BII, 172, Skald II, 90, NN §§1400, 2332; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 48-9, Rydberg 1907, 18-19, 52, Tate 1974, 89.

Notes: [2] græðis ‘healer’s’: Just as in 31/3, when lýðs læknir ‘mankind’s healer [= Christ]’ dies, the use of græðir is paradoxical here; the one who heals is himself afflicted with wounds. The nomen agentis, formed from græða ‘to grow, nourish, heal’ also resonates with the poem’s recurrent use of ár ‘(year’s) abundance’ in kennings for God or Christ. — [4] vaktar (p.p.) ‘dealt’: Vekja e-m undir lit. ‘to awaken wounds (in) someone’ is otherwise unattested; LP does not cite the occurrence, LP (1860) gives vulnera infligere cui ‘to inflict wounds on someone’. Somewhat similar, however, are vekja blóð ‘call forth blood’ and vekja víg ‘awaken battle’. Vekja can also mean ‘to rouse, begin, cause’; possibly ‘to cause someone wounds’. — [5] raunar ‘in reality’: Gen. sg. of raun ‘reality, test’ used adverbially. — [7] veldr ‘cause(s)’: The 3rd pers. sg. verb is governed by its first subject mildi ‘mercy’ even though the subject is compounded by yðrir lestir ‘your sins’ (see NS §70). — [7-8] vísi lýðs skyldi ‘the prince of the people should’: 399a-bˣ, Sveinbjörn Egilsson, Skj, and Skald all read víst ‘certainly’ for vísi ‘prince’; the scribe of B appears first to have begun to write ‘vist’ then to have corrected it to ‘visí’ with a heavy accent. Skyldi ‘should’ is 3rd pers. subj., whose subject Skj takes to be an understood hann; this, however, agrees awkwardly with mín (l. 5), hence Skj B translates at han (jeg) skulde ‘that he (I) should’. NN §2332 attempts to improve agreement by arguing that ms. ‘skullde’ simply reflects the later 1st pers. sg. (Icel. skyldi) and should be ‘normalised’ to skylda. Both the awkwardness and emendation are avoided with the reading vísi ‘prince’.

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