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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Heildr 12VII

Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Heilags anda drápa 12’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 461-2.

Anonymous PoemsHeilags anda drápa

text and translation

Sanndyggra, mátt, seggja
snjallr huggari, kallask
harðla traust ins hæsta
heiðgjöf konungs jöfra.
Eldr ert elsku mildrar
eilífr brunnr ok heilagr
hinn er, andar sára
einsmurning, vit hreinsar.

Snjallr huggari sanndyggra seggja, mátt kallask harðla traust heiðgjöf {ins hæsta konungs jöfra}. Ert eldr mildrar elsku, eilífr ok heilagr brunnr, hinn er hreinsar vit, einsmurning sára andar.
‘Wise comforter of truly faithful men, you can be called the very trusty honour-gift of the highest king of kings [= God]. You are the fire of gracious love, the everlasting and holy spring, which purifies the conscience, the unique unction of wounds of the soul.

notes and context

The Lat. text of which this st. is a translation reads as follows: Qui paraclitus diceris / donum Dei altissimi / fons vivus, ignis, caritas / et spiritalis unctio ‘You who are called Paraclete, gift of highest God, living spring, fire, love and spiritual unction’. — [6-8]: Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) construes ertu … eilífr ok heilagr brunnr, er hreinsar vit ens andar-sára einsmurning ‘you are … an eternal and holy spring, which purifies the senses of the soul-sick with an excellent salve’. The Lat. text, however, lists four distinct attributes of the Spirit in apposition, confirming that brunnr ‘spring’ and einsmurning ‘unique unction’ must be treated as parallel: fons vivus, ignis, caritas et spiritalis unctio.



Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], C. [3]. Heilags anda vísur 12: AII, 162, BII, 178, Skald II, 93, NN §1409; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 55, Rydberg 1907, 2-3, 46, Attwood 1996a, 58, 153.


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