Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

VII. Pétrsdrápa (Pét) - 54

not in Skj

Pétrsdrápa (‘Drápa about the Apostle Peter’) — Anon PétVII

David McDougall 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Pétrsdrápa’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 796-844.

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Skj: [Anonyme digte og vers XIV]: [B. 7]. En drape om apostlen Peder, Pétrsdrápa (AII, 500-8, BII, 545-58)

SkP info: VII, 841-2

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51 — Anon Pét 51VII

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Cite as: David McDougall (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Pétrsdrápa 51’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 841-2.

Vekr, á síðu sækir
sannleiks Pétrum, þannveg,
lýstr, en báðir bresta
brátt sundr fjötrar, dundu.
Flytr með fagnað brautu
fljótt eingill hjálp meingis,
myrkvastofa að merkiz
morni læst in forna.

{Sækir sannleiks} lýstr Pétrum á síðu, vekr þannveg, en báðir fjötrar bresta brátt sundr, dundu. Eingill flytr {hjálp meingis} brautu fljótt með fagnað, að morni merkiz in forna myrkvastofa læst.

{The seeker of truth} [ANGEL] strikes Peter on the side, wakes him that way, and both fetters instantly break asunder; they clattered down. The angel conveys {the help of the multitude} [APOSTLE] away quickly with joy, so that in the morning the ancient prison is found locked.

Mss: 621(59v)

Editions: Skj: [Anonyme digte og vers XIV], [B. 7]. En drape om apostlen Peder 51: AII, 507, BII, 557, Skald II, 305, NN §1755; Kahle 1898, 89, 112.

Notes: [1-2] sækir sannleiks ‘the seeker of truth’: Meissner, 387 notes that this is an unusual angel-kenning and would be more appropriate as a circumlocution for a saint. — [1, 2, 3] lýstr Pétrum á síðu ‘strikes Peter on the side’: Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) reads lystr adj., emends en (l. 3) to at, and translates: (englen) vækker villig Petrum således (at) bægge lænkerne om hans side brast itu ‘(the angel), willing, wakes Peter in such a way (that) both the chains about his side broke apart’. As Kock points out (NN §1755), the actual sense of the text is made clearer by comparing the parallel gospel passage, Acts XII.7: et ecce angelus Domini adstitit ... percussoque latere Petri suscitavit eum dicens, ‘surge velociter’ et ceciderunt catenae de manibus eius ‘and behold an angel of the Lord stood by him ... and he striking Peter on the side, raised him up, saying: Arise quickly. And the chains fell off from his hands’. Cf. Pétr 72/30-73/2: Þa stoð engill guðs yfir Petro ... Þessi engill laust ꜳ siðu Petri ok vakti hann sva mælandi: “Ris upp skiott!” Við þessi orð engilssins fellu fio᷎trarnir af honum. ‘Then the angel of God stood over Peter … This angel struck on Peter’s side and woke him saying thus: “Rise up quickly!” With these words of the angel the fetters fell from him.’ — [5] flytr ... brautu ‘conveys ... away’: Cf. Acts XII.8-10; Pétr 73/14-24. — [7-8] að morni merkiz in forna myrkvastofa læst ‘so that in the morning the ancient prison is found locked’: Acts XII.18 has only facta autem die erat non parva turbatio inter milites quidnam de Petro factum esset ‘Now when day was come, there was no small stir among the soldiers, what was become of Peter’. Pétr 74/20-3 expands on this: Um morgininn eptir varð eigi litit rugl milli riddara ok myrkvastofuvarðmanna ok eptirleitan, hvat af Petro væri vorþit. Fyrir þvi er eigi efanligt, at hann hefir af luktri myrkvastofunni ut farit. En ef hun hefði opin verit, þa mætti þeim auðsynt vera, at hann mundi i brottu vera. ‘The following morning there arose no small disturbance among the soldiers and prison-guards, and a search for what had become of Peter. For that reason there is no doubt that he went out of a closed prison-cell. If it had been open, then it would have been obvious to them that he was likely to have escaped.’ Cf. [Pseudo-] Petrus Comestor, Historia actuum apostolorum, col. 1688: Unde apparet, quia clausum reliquerat carcerem, alioquin non esse ambiguum eum evasisse ‘Wherefore it is apparent that he had left a closed prison-cell, otherwise there would be no doubt that he had escaped’. Cf. the parallel account of the divinely assisted prison-break at Acts V.22-3: ministri ... nuntiaverunt dicentes ‘carcerem quidem invenimus clausum cum omni diligentia et custodes stantes ad ianuas, aperientes autem neminem intus invenimus’ ‘The ministers … told, saying: The prison indeed we found shut with all diligence, and the keepers standing before the doors; but opening it, we found no man within’.

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