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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Jónsvísur — Kolb JónvVII

Kolbeinn Tumason

Beatrice La Farge 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Kolbeinn Tumason, Jónsvísur’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 223-7.

 

Angrfellir, vast ǫllum
einn postolum hreinni
heilags Krists í hæstu,
happskeytr, fǫruneyti.
Unni engum manni
jafnheitt friðar veitir
þýðr sem þér ok móður
— þats minniligt — sinni.
 
‘Lucky-shooting sorrow-feller [APOSTLE], you were alone purer than all the Apostles in the highest company of holy Christ. The friendly granter of peace [= God (= Christ)] loved no-one as ardently as you and his mother — that is worthy of remembrance.
Miðr gekt einn an aðrir
ǫðlings frá píningu,
svikbannandi, sunnu,
snjallr, postolar allir,
þvít drengr í styr strǫngum
stótt þú hjá kvǫl dróttins
blíð ok bragnings móðir
byrstrandar grátandi.
 
‘Courageous one, you who bans falsity [APOSTLE], alone fled from the torment of the king of the sun [= God (= Christ)] less than all the other Apostles, for you, a valiant man in the hard battle, and the weeping gentle mother of the ruler of the wind-beach [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ) > = Mary] stood close by at the torture of the Lord.
Sjalfr kallaði sællar
sólknarrar þik harri
son Máríe særir
sundhyrs, í kvǫl bundinn.
Ráð fal ræsir lýða
risnu kendr á hendi,
díks, áðr dauðann tœki,
dagrennir, þér hennar.
 
‘The lord of the sun-ship [SKY/HEAVEN] himself [= God (= Christ)], bound in torment, called you the son of the blessed Mary, wounder of strait-fire [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN]. The impeller of peoples [= God (= Christ)], known for his munificence, placed her wellbeing in your hands before he took death, mover of the day of the ditch [(lit. ‘day-mover of the ditch’) GOLD > GENEROUS MAN].
Kœnn, lé*zt þú hag hreinnar
hǫfðingi, drótningar,
hafs meðan hyrþǫll lifði,
hugat blíðliga síðan.
Þér var hón, sem hárar
hildingr skipa vildi
(ykr lofar) éla þekju,
(ǫll þjóð) í stað móður.
 
‘Wise chieftain, you let the circumstances of the pure queen be attended to kindly thereafter, as long as the fir sapling of the fire of the sea [(lit. ‘sea’s fire-fir sapling’) GOLD > WOMAN = Mary] lived. She was in the position of a mother to you, as the warlord of the high thatch of snowstorms [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)] wanted it arranged; all people praise you.
Frami gengr hátt, sás himna
herteitir þér veitir,
snardeilandi sólar
sunds, á margar lundir.
Hárs á hvern veg meiri
hyrbjóðr, an kyn þjóðar,
Alda garðs, með orðum
yðra dýrð geti skýrða.
 
‘That distinction which the gladdener of the host of the heavens [(lit. ‘host-gladdener of the heavens’) ANGELS > = God (= Christ)] grants you rises high in many ways, speedy distributer of the sun of the sound [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN]. The high offerer of the fire of the fence of Alden <island> [(lit. ‘high fire-offerer of the Alden-fence’) SEA > GOLD > GENEROUS MAN] is greater in every way than the family of people [MANKIND] are able to expound your glory with words.
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