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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Brúðv 1VII

Valgerður Erna Þorvaldsdóttir (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Brúðkaupsvísur 1’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 529-30.

Anonymous PoemsBrúðkaupsvísur
12

Jöfurr giefi upphaf
óðar, sá er skóp þjóð,
ella verðr orðfall
aldar; er hans traust vald.
Æsta vil eg yðr, Krist
(einn stýrðu gramr hreinn
sólar) um satt mál
(salar, hvað eg kveða skal).

{Jöfurr aldar}, sá er skóp þjóð, giefi upphaf óðar, ella verðr orðfall; hans vald er traust. Eg vil æsta yðr, Krist, um satt mál; {hreinn gramr {sólar salar}}, stýrðu einn hvað eg skal kveða.

May the {prince of men} [= God], who created people, provide the beginning of the poem, else there will be a lack of words; his power is firm. I want to ask you, Christ, for true speech; {pure king {of the sun’s hall}} [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)], govern alone what I shall compose.

Mss: 721(14r), 1032ˣ(97v), 399a-bˣ(1), 2166ˣ(1)

Readings: [5] Æsta: Ásta 721

Editions: ÍM II, 129; Jón Þorkelsson 1888, 98.

Notes: [1, 4] jöfurr aldar: The poet asks that God provide the first words of the poem, thus linking it to John I.1: In principio erat Verbum et Verbum erat apud Deum et Deus erat Verbum ‘In the beginning was the word: and the word was with God: and the word was God’. — [1] jöfurr ‘prince’: The kenning jöfurr aldar ‘prince of men’ could refer to Christ, but the cl. sá er skóp þjóð ‘who created people’ indicates that it refers to God. — [1] upphaf ‘the beginning’: A technical term in skaldic parlance for the first part of a poem; if the poem had a refrain, which this one does not, the term referred to the sts from 1 to the first refrain. — [5] æsta ‘ask’: Jón Sigurðsson suggested the reading ‘æsta’ in the margin of 399a-bˣ. Jón Helgason adopted the reading in his edn. The verb æsta is cognate with ást ‘love’ (LP: æsta). — [5] Krist ‘Christ’: Jón Helgason emended to trausts, but that is not necessary. By naming the second person of the Trinity, the poet indicates that he is turning his prayer to Christ in the second helmingr.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  3. ÍM = Jón Helgason, ed. 1936-8. Íslenzk miðaldarkvæði: Islandske digte fra senmiddelalderen. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Munksgaard.
  4. Jón Þorkelsson [J. Thorkelsson]. 1888. Om digtningen på Island i det 15. og 16. århundrede. Copenhagen: Høst & søns forlag.
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