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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Líkn 13VII

George S. Tate (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Líknarbraut 13’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 244-5.

Anonymous PoemsLíknarbraut

text and translation

Vilda ek vitra hölda
vegs gæti*, meinlætum,
hátt, þeim er hörðum mætti,
hvargóðum stef bjóða.
Krists vinnr krapt ins hæsta
krossmark viðum hnossa
alls bezt; lofar æztan
öll dýrð konung fyrða.

Ek vilda bjóða hátt stef {hvargóðum gæti* vegs vitra hölda}, þeim er mætti hörðum meinlætum. Krossmark ins hæsta Krists vinnr krapt alls bezt {viðum hnossa}; öll dýrð lofar {æztan konung fyrða}.
‘I would like to offer a sublime refrain to the ever-good guardian of the way of wise men [= God (= Christ)], who met with hard tribulations. The cross-sign of the most high Christ gains power best of all for trees of treasures [MEN]; all glory exalts the highest king of men [RULER = Christ].

notes and context

Having alluded to the Nativity in st. 12, the poet, as if present, now offers Christ a hátt stef ‘sublime refrain’ as a gift as he begins the refrain section (stefjabálkr). — [5]: A marginal ms. obelos (†) indicates occurrence of the stef here and at later occurrences.



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. 1. Líknarbraut 13: AII, 153, BII, 163-4, Skald II, 87; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 39, Rydberg 1907, 13-14, 49, Kock and Meissner 1931, I, 91, Tate 1974, 58.


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