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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Heildr 8VII

Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Heilags anda drápa 8’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 458.

Anonymous PoemsHeilags anda drápa

text and translation

Hvert mein þváið, hirtir
hugar sjúks, liði mjúku,
gegn, sá er góðu magnar,
glöðum brunni miskunnar.
Siðlátum eykr sætan
sá bekkr, þeim er af drekka,
(linar brysti þrá) þo*sta
(þekkr elskugi) rekkum.

Gegn hirtir, sá er góðu magnar, þváið hvert mein sjúks hugar mjúku liði glöðum brunni miskunnar. Sá bekkr eykr sætan þo*sta siðlátum rekkum, þeim er af drekka; þekkr elskugi linar þrá brysti.
‘Fitting chastiser, who strengthens righteousness, you wash every stain of the sick mind with gentle help in the clear spring of mercy. That spring intensifies sweet thirst in those morally upright men who drink from it; delightful love alleviates longing in the breast.

notes and context

[5-8]: There seems to be a curious reversal here of Christ’s promise in John IV.13-14: ei omnis qui bibit ex aqua hac sitiet iterum qui autem biberit ex aqua quam ego dabo ei non sitiet in aeternum sed aqua quam dabo ei fiet in eo fons aquae salientis in vitam aeternam ‘Whosoever drinketh of this water, shall thirst again; but he that shall drink of the water that I will give him, shall not thirst for ever: But the water that I will give him, shall become in him a fountain of water, springing up into life everlasting’.



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 8: AII, 161, BII, 177, Skald II, 93, NN §1407; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 54, Rydberg 1907, 2, 46, Attwood 1996a, 56-7, 152.


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