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, 286

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52 — Anon Líkn 52VII

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Cite as: George S. Tate (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Líknarbraut 52’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 286.

Mæztr, lát merki crúcis,
minn lausnari, skína,
örr, í atferð várri
alla stund á grundu,
svá at eilífrar, jöfra,
óttlaust með þér, dróttinn,
eigniz æztan fögnuð
unaðs vistar lið kristit.

Mæztr, örr lausnari minn, lát merki crúcis skína í várri atferð alla stund á grundu, svá at kristit lið eigniz óttlaust með þér, {dróttinn jöfra}, æztan fögnuð eilífrar vistar unaðs.

My most glorious, bountiful Saviour, let the sign of the Cross shine in our conduct every hour on earth, so that the Christian host might obtain without fear along with you, {lord of princes} [= God], the highest joy of the eternal abode of happiness.

Mss: B(12r), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [5] eilífrar: eilifra B, 399a‑bˣ    [6] óttlaust: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘[...]ttlaust’ B    [7] eigniz: ‘eígnezt’ B, 399a‑bˣ    [8] vistar: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘[...]istar’ B

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], C. 1. Líknarbraut 52: AII, 159, BII, 174, Skald II, 91, NN §2113; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 51, Rydberg 1907, 20, 53, Tate 1974, 97.

Notes: [All]: This prayer for the sign of the cross to shine in all our atferð ‘conduct’ is reminiscent of the first 45 ll. of Bonaventure’s famous poem (also C13th) Laudismus de sancta cruce (1882-1902, VIII, 667) in which the audience is exhorted to let the Cross be present in – and govern – body, tongue, heart, mouth, limbs, mind, meditation – in short, to be active in one’s whole conduct: In praeclara cruce stude / Et in ipsa te reclude / Magna cum laetitia ‘Desire to repose in the radiant Cross, and enclose yourself in it, with great gladness’ (43-5). — [1] crúcis ‘of the Cross’: See Note to 39/1. — [2] minn : skína: The short/long rhyme i : í also occurs at 11/6 (minn : þína) and 47/2 (þíns : inna). — [5] eilífrar ‘eternal’: Ms. eilífra; the scribe apparently construed the adj. as gen. pl. modifying contiguous jöfra ‘princes’. Sveinbjörn Egilsson’s (1844, 51) emendation to gen. sg. modifying vistar ‘abode’ (l. 8), adopted by all subsequent eds, seems preferable to ‘lord of eternal princes’. The emendation (as well as 399a-bˣ’s clear reading of initial ‘v’ in vistar (l. 8)) finds further support from Leið 40/4 (eilífrar vistar), since the poet often borrowed directly from Leið. — [5-6] dróttinn jöfra ‘lord of princes [= God (= Christ)]’: The exact kenning occurs elsewhere only of an earthly king, in Sturl Hryn 13/3II, but cf. (of God) konungr jöfra ‘king of princes’ Líkn 20/4 and vísa dróttinn ‘lord of princes’ EGils Guðv 10/6IV. — [6] óttlaust með þér dróttinn ‘without fear with you, lord’: Restoration based upon 399a-bˣ; the ‘ó’ (all but the accent of which is now lost in a lacuna) was legible in 1973 when the present ed. first worked with the poem and can still be seen in photographs from that time. Cf. Óttlaust með sér dróttinn, Mdr 43/6. Kock (NN §2113) translates óttlaust as förvisso ‘assuredly’. — [7] eigniz ‘might obtain’: Ms. ‘eígnezt’; on <z> for <zt/st>, see Note to 35/8. — [8] kristit lið ... vistar unaðs ‘The Christian host ... of the abode of happiness’: Perhaps as a final acknowledgment of his debt to his two principal models, the poet combines in his last l. elements of the final ll. of Has and Leið: unaðs ‘of happiness’ (in same position) Has 65/8 and kristinn lýð til vistar ‘Christian people to [a heavenly] abode’ Leið 45/8.

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