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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Leið 1VII

Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Leiðarvísan 1’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 141-2.

Anonymous PoemsLeiðarvísan

text and translation

Þinn óð sem ek inni
allskjótt, salar fjalla,
harðla brátt til hróðrar,
harri, munn ok varrar.
Mér gefi dǫglingr dýra
dœmistóls ok sólar,
enn svát ek mega, sanna
orðgnótt, lofa dróttin.

Ek sem inni þinn óð, munn ok varrar, allskjótt, harðla brátt til hróðrar, {harri {salar fjalla}}. {Dǫglingr dœmistóls ok sólar} gefi mér dýra, sanna orðgnótt, svát ek mega enn lofa dróttin.
‘I arrange your poem inwardly, [and] my mouth and lips very quickly, very briskly for praise, lord of the hall of the mountains [SKY/HEAVEN > = God]. May the king of the judgement-seat and of the sun [= God] give me precious, true word-abundance, so that I may again praise the Lord.

notes and context

Sts 1-5 constitute an appeal to God and the other members of the Trinity to help the poet compose his poem, represented as a praise-poem (hróðr, mærðr). Each st. marks a stage in the poet’s progression towards the realisation of his goal. In st. 1 he has barely begun to prepare his mind and the organs of speech for a quick composition; in st. 2 he asks God to give him plenty of words and predicts that his speech-organs will be stirred into action; in st. 3 he begs the Father and Son to straighten out the poem’s form, while asking the Holy Spirit to strengthen the work. St. 4 sees the poet more confident in his abundance of words, and ready to recite his poem before a human audience, while in st. 5 he asks his audience for a formal hearing and announces his subject: advice about Sunday.



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 [XII], G [2]. Leiðarvísan 1: AI, 618, BI, 622, Skald I, 302, NN §§1257, 1258, 2991D; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 57, Rydberg 1907, 4, Attwood 1996a 60, 171.


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