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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Líkn 4VII

George S. Tate (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Líknarbraut 4’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 233-4.

Anonymous PoemsLíknarbraut

text and translation

Þrifgæðir, lát, þjóðar,
þíns anda mér skína
ástarljós, sem ek æsti,
albjart í sal hjarta,
þat er misverka myrkrum,
munar, hrindi, svá blindi
míns, ór mælsku túni,
móðs vandliga hrjóði.

{Þrifgæðir þjóðar} lát albjart ástarljós þíns anda skína mér í {hjarta sal}, sem ek æsti, þat er hrjóði vandliga myrkrum misverka ór {mælsku túni}, hrindi svá blindi míns móðs munar.
‘Prosperity-endower of the people [= God (= Christ)], let the wholly radiant light of love of your spirit shine in my heart’s hall [BREAST], as I entreat that which may clear away completely the darkness of misdeeds from my field of eloquence [BREAST], [and] so drive out the blindness of my despondent mind.

notes and context

The plea for divine light to dispel the soul’s darkness is a Psalmic motif (e.g. XVII.29 Deus meus, illumina tenebras meas ‘O my God, enlighten my darkness’) occurring also in liturgical hymns: e.g. Ambrose’s Aufer tenebras mentium ‘remove the darkness of our minds’ and Tu lux, refulge sensibus ‘You light, shine upon our senses’ (AH 51, 28 and 50, 10 respectively; cf. Brev. Nidr., fer iii ad mat., and off. dieb. ad laud., a.viii). — [5-8]: The words of the helmingr can be (and have been) arranged in a variety of ways, depending upon which of several meanings are assigned to munar (l. 6) and móðs (l. 8) and whether ór mælsku túni is taken with the first or second cl.



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 4: AII, 151, BII, 161, Skald II, 85, NN §1386; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 36. Rydberg 1907, 12, 48, Tate 1974, 49.


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