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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Leið 23VII

Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Leiðarvísan 23’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 161-2.

Anonymous PoemsLeiðarvísan
222324

Dag ‘The day’

dagr (noun m.; °-s, dat. degi/dag/dagi(Thom¹ 332¹‡n.); -ar): day < dagmærir (noun m.)

notes

[1] dagmærir ‘the day-glorifier’: Skj B emends -mærir, the reading of 624 (B has ‘-męriʀr’), to mærri* and takes this as the fem. dat. sg. comp. form of mærr ‘glorious, great’. He regards this as parallel with beztri ‘best’ (l. 3) qualifying meyju ‘maiden’ (l. 3) and construes mæztr mildingr dýrðar lét berask hingat fyr óttu tíð dróttins dag frá mærri, beztri meyju ‘the most praiseworthy prince of glory allowed himself to be born here before dawn on the Lord’s day from the most glorious, best maiden’. Kock (NN §1264) objects to Finnur’s w.o. and reinstates B’s reading, commenting that the kenning-like expression ‘day-glorifier’ is appropriate in the context of a poem seeking to show how God allowed all great and remarkable things to happen on Sundays in order to endow that day with holiness and lustre. Sveinbjörn Egilsson (1844, 63 n. 11) emended to dagmærar, f. gen. sg. of dagmærr, hap. leg., which he regarded as a heiti for ‘heaven’ (LP (1860): dagmærr), construing it with mildingr dýrrar (retaining B’s reading for the second word) to give the God-kenning mildingr dýrrar dagmærar glossed as rex almi cæli ‘king of the bountiful heaven’.

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mærir ‘-glorifier’

mæra (verb): praise < dagmærir (noun m.)

[1] ‑mærir: so 624, ‘męriʀr’ B

notes

[1] dagmærir ‘the day-glorifier’: Skj B emends -mærir, the reading of 624 (B has ‘-męriʀr’), to mærri* and takes this as the fem. dat. sg. comp. form of mærr ‘glorious, great’. He regards this as parallel with beztri ‘best’ (l. 3) qualifying meyju ‘maiden’ (l. 3) and construes mæztr mildingr dýrðar lét berask hingat fyr óttu tíð dróttins dag frá mærri, beztri meyju ‘the most praiseworthy prince of glory allowed himself to be born here before dawn on the Lord’s day from the most glorious, best maiden’. Kock (NN §1264) objects to Finnur’s w.o. and reinstates B’s reading, commenting that the kenning-like expression ‘day-glorifier’ is appropriate in the context of a poem seeking to show how God allowed all great and remarkable things to happen on Sundays in order to endow that day with holiness and lustre. Sveinbjörn Egilsson (1844, 63 n. 11) emended to dagmærar, f. gen. sg. of dagmærr, hap. leg., which he regarded as a heiti for ‘heaven’ (LP (1860): dagmærr), construing it with mildingr dýrrar (retaining B’s reading for the second word) to give the God-kenning mildingr dýrrar dagmærar glossed as rex almi cæli ‘king of the bountiful heaven’.

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dýrðar ‘of glory’

dýrð (noun f.; °-ar/-a(NoDipl(1279) 44²ˆ); -ir): glory

[1] dýrðar: so 624, ‘dyrrar’ B

kennings

mæztr mildingr dýrðar,
‘the most praiseworthy prince of glory, ’
   = God

the most praiseworthy prince of glory, → God
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mæztr ‘the most praiseworthy’

2. mærr (adj.): famous

kennings

mæztr mildingr dýrðar,
‘the most praiseworthy prince of glory, ’
   = God

the most praiseworthy prince of glory, → God

notes

[3] mæztr frá meyju: Cf. Has 19/1: Þú vast mæztr frá meyju. This st. is also concerned with the birth of Christ.

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frá ‘from’

frá (prep.): from

notes

[3] mæztr frá meyju: Cf. Has 19/1: Þú vast mæztr frá meyju. This st. is also concerned with the birth of Christ.

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meyju ‘maiden’

mær (noun f.; °meyjar, dat. meyju; meyjar): maiden

notes

[3] mæztr frá meyju: Cf. Has 19/1: Þú vast mæztr frá meyju. This st. is also concerned with the birth of Christ.

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beztri ‘the best’

betri (adj. comp.; °superl. beztr/baztr; pos. „ góðr adj.): better, best

[3] beztri: so 624, 399a‑bˣ, ‘bezt[...]’ B

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mildingr ‘prince’

mildingr (noun m.; °-s): ruler, generous one

kennings

mæztr mildingr dýrðar,
‘the most praiseworthy prince of glory, ’
   = God

the most praiseworthy prince of glory, → God
Close

kallim ‘we should call’

kalla (verb): call

[6] kallim: ‘kalle’ 624

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gerðisk ‘was prepared’

1. gera (verb): do, make

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The birth of Christ is described in detail only in Luke II.1-20, though there is also a reference to it in Matt. I.25.

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