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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Líkn 3VII

George S. Tate (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Líknarbraut 3’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 232-3.

Anonymous PoemsLíknarbraut

text and translation

Hneig, er veitir vægðir
vígrunni, miskunnar
hreina hugðubænum
heyrn þína, guð, mínum;
allr týnumz ek ella,
ítr, sem þú mátt líta,
guð, nema gæzku saðrar
gipt þín of mér skíni.

Guð, er veitir vægðir {vígrunni}, hneig þína hreina heyrn miskunnar mínum hugðubænum; ella týnumz ek allr, sem þú, ítr guð, mátt líta, nema þín gipt saðrar gæzku skíni of mér.
‘God, [you] who grant mercies to the battle-bush [WARRIOR], incline your pure ear [lit. hearing] of mercy to my loving prayers; otherwise I am completely lost, as you, glorious God, can see, unless your gift of true grace shine upon me.

notes and context

The movement of the st., in which guð ‘God’ and the idea of mercy or grace appear in each helmingr, is from the aural image heyrn ‘hearing’ (l. 4) of the first half-st. to the visual líta ‘see’ (l. 6), skíni ‘shine’ (l. 8) of the second. Following upon the ‘tongue’s offences’ in the previous st., it is as if sound now resolves in quietude. The final word skíni ‘shine’ anticipates the light imagery of the next st., in which the verb skína is repeated (4/2).



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 3: AII, 151, BII, 161, Skald II, 85, NN §3277B; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 35-6, Rydberg 1907, 11-12, 47, Tate 1974, 48.


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