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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, 237

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

7 — Anon Líkn 7VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: George S. Tate (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Líknarbraut 7’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 237.

Hauðrs, veit helgar ræður,
hildingr, ok kenningar,
mána hvéls, ór mínu,
mannvandr, hugar ranni.
Öll eru orð þín gulli,
alhreinn, ok gimsteinum
vísi sæll, ór völlum,
vegs, bjartari ok fegri.

{Hildingr {hauðrs {mána hvéls}}}, mannvandr, veit helgar ræður ok kenningar ór {mínu ranni hugar}. Alhreinn, sæll vísi vegs, öll þín orð eru bjartari ok fegri gulli ok gimsteinum ór völlum.

{King {of the land {of the moon’s wheel}}} [MOON > SKY/HEAVEN > = God], exacting of man, direct holy discourses and doctrines out of {my house of thought} [BREAST]. Completely pure, blessed prince of glory, all your words are brighter and fairer than gold and gems from the fields.

Mss: B(11v), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [3] hvéls: ‘huols’ 399a‑bˣ

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], C. 1. Líknarbraut 7: AII, 151, BII, 160-17, Skald II, 86, NN §3278; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 37, Rydberg 1907, 12, 48, Tate 1974, 52.

Notes: [3] mána hvéls ‘of the moon’s wheel’: A tautological kenning in which the determinant contains the same concept as its referent: ‘moon’s wheel [MOON]’. The idea of a heavenly body as wheel may depend in part upon the celestial wheels in Ezek. I and X; cf. the common Lat. phrase solis rota ‘wheel of the sun’ and Has 36/7 sunnu hvéls ‘of the sun’s wheel’. — [4] mannvandr ‘exacting of man’: Vandr has a range of meanings, including ‘difficult, painstaking, zealous, chosen’. In this context, the cpd suggests both ‘zealous or painstaking on man’s behalf’ and ‘exacting of man’, i.e. dissatisfied until human beings become what they should become; cf. hirðvandr (of Christ) ‘careful in selecting his following’ Anon Pl 7/8. — [7, 8] sæll vísi vegs ‘blessed prince of glory’: Cf. Ps. XXIII.10 rex gloriae ‘king of glory’, with further liturgical instances in Manz 1941, 424, no. 854; as a kenning type, see Meissner, 371. NN §3278 rejects LP’s suggestion of possible tmesis (LP: vegssæll ‘blessed with glory’). — [7] ór völlum ‘from the fields’: Sveinbjörn Egilsson, followed by Rydberg, emends to gjørvøllum ‘all’, adj. modifying gimsteinum ‘gems’; Skj B and Skald emend to ok vellum ‘and (than) golden things’ (i.e. pl. redundancy with gulli). But the ms. reading makes sense if the poet is implicitly contrasting earthly riches (extracted from the ground) with the heavenly riches alluded to in such biblical passages as Jer. XLI.8 quia habemus thesauros in agro ‘for we have treasures in the field’ and Matt. XIII.44 in which the kingdom of heaven is likened to a thesauro abscondito in agro ‘treasure hidden in a field’. — [8, 5, 6] bjartari ok fegri ... gulli ok gimsteinum ‘brighter and fairer than gold or gems’: Cf. gimsteinum fegra ‘fairer than gems’ 36/2, of Christ as the ‘price of the world’ and Ps. XVIII.11 desiderabilia super aurum et lapidum pretiosum multum ‘more to be desired than gold or many precious gems’.

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