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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Líkn 28VII

George S. Tate (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Líknarbraut 28’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 258-9.

Anonymous PoemsLíknarbraut
272829

text and translation

Heim laðar hvern frá dómi
himins fyrða til dýrðar
— gipt þrýtrat þá — gætir
glyggranns með sér dyggra;
en veglausum vísar
vándum lýð til fjánda
birtiranns at brenna
byrjar valdr of aldir.

{Gætir {glyggranns}} laðar hvern dyggra fyrða heim með sér frá dómi til himins dýrðar; gipt þrýtrat þá; en {valdr {birtiranns byrjar}} vísar veglausum vándum lýð til fjánda at brenna of aldir.
 
‘The guardian of the storm-house [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)] invites each of the faithful men home with him from the Judgement to heaven’s glory; grace will not fail then; but the ruler of the radiant house of the wind [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)] consigns the inglorious, wicked host to devils to burn forever.

notes and context

The st.’s two heaven-kennings, each in a tvíkennt kenning for God and both employing rann ‘house’ as base-word, are somewhat in tension with their contexts. In the first helmingr, which deals with Christ’s mercy, glygg ‘gale, storm’ is the determinant; in the second, whose subject is the damnation of the wicked, byrr ‘favourable wind, breeze’ is used. One might expect these near synonyms to be inverted, forming a better match with the gentler gætir ‘guardian’ of the first helmingr and more forceful valdr ‘ruler’ of the second. As they stand, the two heaven-kennings seem ironic in their relative positions, unless they are meant, in conjunction with the contrastive words for ‘king’, to show potential wrath (‘gale’) at the moment of mercy, and mercy (‘gentle wind’) at the moment of wrath. — On the division of the multitudes at the Last Judgement, see Has 36-9 and the Icel. homily on All Saints (HómÍsl 1993, 21v; HómÍsl 1872, 45); the fullest ON account, based largely on Matt. XXV.32-46, is the ONorw. homily on Doomsday (HómNo, 168-71).

readings

sources

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 28: AII, 155, BII, 167, Skald II, 88; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 43-4, Rydberg 1907, 16, 50, Tate 1974, 73.

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