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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Lausavísa on Lawgiving — Anon LawVII

Anonymous Poems

Jonathan Grove 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Lausavísa on Lawgiving’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 965-6.


Lögmaðr skyldi röskr og riettr,
riettligr er það lögmanns stiettr;
sá mun þykkja lýðnum liettr,
er lögin segir, þá er hann er friettr.
Móyses kunni lögmáls list,
leingi talaði hann við Krist;
trautt fær mannfólk laganna mist;
minn guð fái oss himna vist.
‘The lawman should be brave and true, that is the lawman’s proper way; he will appear gracious to the people, who speaks the law, when he is asked. Moses was skilled in the art of law-giving, he spoke for a long time with Christ; unwillingly does mankind lose the laws; may my God give us an abode in the heavens.

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