Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Líkn 13VII l. 1

hölda — men


hǫlðr (noun m.; °-s; -ar): man



[1-2] gæti* vitra hölda vegs (dat.) ‘guardian of the way of wise men’: The ms. has gen. -gætis for gæti ‘guardian’ (dat. sg.). All eds emend: Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 39 to nom. gætir (speculating in a note that the <s> may derive from misreading an abbreviation stroke in an earlier ms.); all others to dat. gæti. Two strained readings are possible if the ms. gen. were retained. 1) the kenning could modify meinlætum ‘tribulations’ (l. 2) (as the scribe may have assumed), giving ‘I would like to offer a high refrain to that ever-good one who met with the hard torments of the guardian of the way of wise men’ (i.e. redundantly ‘to Christ who suffered Christ’s torments’. 2) The kenning could modify stef ‘refrain’ (l. 4), i.e. ‘I would like to offer the sublime stef of the guardian of the way of wise men who suffered hard torments’. In this case, ‘the guardian of the way of wise men’ might refer to the Cross. Both readings seem unsatisfactory.



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