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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Líknarbraut, 16 [Vol. 7, 247-8]

[1] í frosti ‘in the frost’: LP translates as ved vintertid ‘in winter-time’, but winter does not square well with the season of Holy Week. Coldness is often glossed in a moral sense as infidelity or as malice or absence of charity (see Hill 1968, 522-32); cf. the prayer in the OIcel. ember-days homily that God might drive grimléics frost ‘the frost of cruelty’ from our hearts (HómÍsl 1993, 17r; HómÍsl 1872, 36). Later poetry extends the moral sense, e.g. frost glæpa ‘frost of sins’ Lil 81/8; related is C15th jockul synda ‘glacier of sins’ Máríublóm 3/8 (ÍM I.2, 173). Closest to Líkn, in the context of Passion narrative, is the late medieval Niðrstv 19/5, which refers to Christ’s being beaten bædi j grimd ok frosti ‘both in fierceness and frost’ (ibid. 228).


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