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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Líkn 21VII

George S. Tate (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Líknarbraut 21’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 251-2.

Anonymous PoemsLíknarbraut

Lýsti miskunn mesta
mildr, þá er saklauss vildi
einn fyr öllum mönnum,
eyhjálms konungr, deyja.
Krists vinnr krapt ins hæsta
krossmark viðum hnossa
alls bezt; lofar æztan
öll dýrð konung fyrða.

{Mildr konungr {eyhjálms}} lýsti mesta miskunn, þá er einn vildi deyja saklauss fyr öllum mönnum. Krossmark ins hæsta Krists vinnr krapt alls bezt {viðum hnossa}; öll dýrð lofar {æztan konung fyrða}.

{The tender king {of the island-helmet}} [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)] showed the greatest mercy when he alone willed to die guiltless for all men. 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].

Mss: B(11v), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [2] saklauss: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘saklau[...]s’ B    [5-8] abbrev. as ‘Kristr vinnr kr‑’ B, 399a‑bˣ

Editions: Skj AII, 154, Skj BII, 166, Skald II, 87; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 41, Rydberg 1907, 15, 50, Tate 1974, 66.

Notes: [2] saklauss ‘guiltless’: Restoration of ‘s’ based upon 399a-b and grammatical need (m. nom. sg.). — [4] eyhjálms ‘of the island-helmet’: This is the only instance in skaldic poetry of ey ‘island’ in a sky-kenning.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. Rydberg, Hugo, ed. 1907. ‘Die geistlichen Drápur und Dróttkvættfragmente des Cod. AM 757 4to.’. Ph.D. thesis. University of Lund. Copenhagen: Møller.
  4. Tate, George S. 1974. ‘Líknarbraut: A Skaldic Drápa on the Cross’. Ph.D. thesis. Cornell University. DAI 35:6112A.
  5. Sveinbjörn Egilsson, ed. 1844. Fjøgur gømul kvæði. Boðsrit til að hlusta á þá opinberu yfirheyrslu í Bessastaða Skóla þann 22-29 mai 1844. Viðeyar Klaustri: prentuð af Helga Helgasyni, á kostnað Bessastaða Skóla. Bessastaðir: Helgi Helgason.

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