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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Líkn 40VII

George S. Tate (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Líknarbraut 40’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 275-6.

Anonymous PoemsLíknarbraut
394041

ljóna ‘men’s’

ljónar (noun m.): men

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hyggju ‘thought’s’

1. hyggja (noun f.; °-u; -ur): thought, mind

kennings

hyggju túns
‘thought’s enclosure ’
   = BREAST

thought’s enclosure → BREAST

notes

[3] hyggju túns ‘of thought’s enclosure [BREAST]’: Tún lit. ‘hedge’ is a ‘hedged plot, field’ or simply ‘enclosure’; Guðrún Nordal 2001, 256 translates the kenning ‘field of the mind’.

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túns ‘enclosure’

tún (noun n.; °-s; -): homefield, enclosure

kennings

hyggju túns
‘thought’s enclosure ’
   = BREAST

thought’s enclosure → BREAST

notes

[3] hyggju túns ‘of thought’s enclosure [BREAST]’: Tún lit. ‘hedge’ is a ‘hedged plot, field’ or simply ‘enclosure’; Guðrún Nordal 2001, 256 translates the kenning ‘field of the mind’.

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heims ‘World’s’

heimr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i/-; -ar): home, abode; world

kennings

Heims prýði,
‘World’s adornment, ’
   = CROSS

World’s adornment, → CROSS

notes

[4] heims prýði ‘world’s adornment’: Cf. Alcuin’s famous acrostic hymn Crux decus est mundi ‘The Cross is the adornment of the world’ (Szövérffy 1976, 25; Dümmler 1881, 224-5), and from a later hymn salve mundi gloria / ... dulce decus saeculi ‘hail, glory of the world, ... sweet adornment of the world’ (Mone 1853-5, I, 111). Mary is called heims prýði in Mdr 11/2.

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prýði ‘adornment’

prýði (noun f.): finery, honour

kennings

Heims prýði,
‘World’s adornment, ’
   = CROSS

World’s adornment, → CROSS

notes

[4] heims prýði ‘world’s adornment’: Cf. Alcuin’s famous acrostic hymn Crux decus est mundi ‘The Cross is the adornment of the world’ (Szövérffy 1976, 25; Dümmler 1881, 224-5), and from a later hymn salve mundi gloria / ... dulce decus saeculi ‘hail, glory of the world, ... sweet adornment of the world’ (Mone 1853-5, I, 111). Mary is called heims prýði in Mdr 11/2.

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við ‘against’

2. við (prep.): with, against

notes

[8, 6, 7] hlífiskjöldr við öllum meinum ok harðri freistni ‘a protective-shield against all injuries and hard temptation’: This follows the homily (above) closely: heilagr cros er hlífskioldr viþ méinom ... en ęfling viþ allre freístne ‘a protective shield against injuries ... and strength against all temptation’; cf. the late medieval Gimsteinn 117/8, in which the Cross is hlíf ok skiolldur mot fiandans golldrum ‘a protection and shield against the devil’s spells’. The Cross as protection (praesidium) is also a motif in hymns, e.g. Christi crux et passio / Nobis est praesidio, / Si credamus ‘Christ’s Cross and Passion are [lit. is] to us for a protection if we believe’ (AH 54, 223); it is described as a shield in a ME lyric: Crux est ... / a targe to weren fro detly woundes ‘The Cross is a shield to protect from deadly wounds’ (Brown and Robbins 1943, no. 23).

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öllum ‘all’

allr (adj.): all

notes

[8, 6, 7] hlífiskjöldr við öllum meinum ok harðri freistni ‘a protective-shield against all injuries and hard temptation’: This follows the homily (above) closely: heilagr cros er hlífskioldr viþ méinom ... en ęfling viþ allre freístne ‘a protective shield against injuries ... and strength against all temptation’; cf. the late medieval Gimsteinn 117/8, in which the Cross is hlíf ok skiolldur mot fiandans golldrum ‘a protection and shield against the devil’s spells’. The Cross as protection (praesidium) is also a motif in hymns, e.g. Christi crux et passio / Nobis est praesidio, / Si credamus ‘Christ’s Cross and Passion are [lit. is] to us for a protection if we believe’ (AH 54, 223); it is described as a shield in a ME lyric: Crux est ... / a targe to weren fro detly woundes ‘The Cross is a shield to protect from deadly wounds’ (Brown and Robbins 1943, no. 23).

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meinum ‘injuries’

mein (noun n.; °-s; -): harm, injury

notes

[8, 6, 7] hlífiskjöldr við öllum meinum ok harðri freistni ‘a protective-shield against all injuries and hard temptation’: This follows the homily (above) closely: heilagr cros er hlífskioldr viþ méinom ... en ęfling viþ allre freístne ‘a protective shield against injuries ... and strength against all temptation’; cf. the late medieval Gimsteinn 117/8, in which the Cross is hlíf ok skiolldur mot fiandans golldrum ‘a protection and shield against the devil’s spells’. The Cross as protection (praesidium) is also a motif in hymns, e.g. Christi crux et passio / Nobis est praesidio, / Si credamus ‘Christ’s Cross and Passion are [lit. is] to us for a protection if we believe’ (AH 54, 223); it is described as a shield in a ME lyric: Crux est ... / a targe to weren fro detly woundes ‘The Cross is a shield to protect from deadly wounds’ (Brown and Robbins 1943, no. 23).

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ok ‘and’

3. ok (conj.): and, but; also

notes

[8, 6, 7] hlífiskjöldr við öllum meinum ok harðri freistni ‘a protective-shield against all injuries and hard temptation’: This follows the homily (above) closely: heilagr cros er hlífskioldr viþ méinom ... en ęfling viþ allre freístne ‘a protective shield against injuries ... and strength against all temptation’; cf. the late medieval Gimsteinn 117/8, in which the Cross is hlíf ok skiolldur mot fiandans golldrum ‘a protection and shield against the devil’s spells’. The Cross as protection (praesidium) is also a motif in hymns, e.g. Christi crux et passio / Nobis est praesidio, / Si credamus ‘Christ’s Cross and Passion are [lit. is] to us for a protection if we believe’ (AH 54, 223); it is described as a shield in a ME lyric: Crux est ... / a targe to weren fro detly woundes ‘The Cross is a shield to protect from deadly wounds’ (Brown and Robbins 1943, no. 23).

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harðri ‘hard’

harðr (adj.; °comp. -ari; superl. -astr): hard, harsh

notes

[8, 6, 7] hlífiskjöldr við öllum meinum ok harðri freistni ‘a protective-shield against all injuries and hard temptation’: This follows the homily (above) closely: heilagr cros er hlífskioldr viþ méinom ... en ęfling viþ allre freístne ‘a protective shield against injuries ... and strength against all temptation’; cf. the late medieval Gimsteinn 117/8, in which the Cross is hlíf ok skiolldur mot fiandans golldrum ‘a protection and shield against the devil’s spells’. The Cross as protection (praesidium) is also a motif in hymns, e.g. Christi crux et passio / Nobis est praesidio, / Si credamus ‘Christ’s Cross and Passion are [lit. is] to us for a protection if we believe’ (AH 54, 223); it is described as a shield in a ME lyric: Crux est ... / a targe to weren fro detly woundes ‘The Cross is a shield to protect from deadly wounds’ (Brown and Robbins 1943, no. 23).

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freistni ‘temptation’

freistni (noun f.): trial, temptation

notes

[8, 6, 7] hlífiskjöldr við öllum meinum ok harðri freistni ‘a protective-shield against all injuries and hard temptation’: This follows the homily (above) closely: heilagr cros er hlífskioldr viþ méinom ... en ęfling viþ allre freístne ‘a protective shield against injuries ... and strength against all temptation’; cf. the late medieval Gimsteinn 117/8, in which the Cross is hlíf ok skiolldur mot fiandans golldrum ‘a protection and shield against the devil’s spells’. The Cross as protection (praesidium) is also a motif in hymns, e.g. Christi crux et passio / Nobis est praesidio, / Si credamus ‘Christ’s Cross and Passion are [lit. is] to us for a protection if we believe’ (AH 54, 223); it is described as a shield in a ME lyric: Crux est ... / a targe to weren fro detly woundes ‘The Cross is a shield to protect from deadly wounds’ (Brown and Robbins 1943, no. 23).

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hlífi ‘protective’

hlíf (noun f.; °-ar; -ar): shield, defence < hlífiskjǫldr (noun m.)

notes

[8, 6, 7] hlífiskjöldr við öllum meinum ok harðri freistni ‘a protective-shield against all injuries and hard temptation’: This follows the homily (above) closely: heilagr cros er hlífskioldr viþ méinom ... en ęfling viþ allre freístne ‘a protective shield against injuries ... and strength against all temptation’; cf. the late medieval Gimsteinn 117/8, in which the Cross is hlíf ok skiolldur mot fiandans golldrum ‘a protection and shield against the devil’s spells’. The Cross as protection (praesidium) is also a motif in hymns, e.g. Christi crux et passio / Nobis est praesidio, / Si credamus ‘Christ’s Cross and Passion are [lit. is] to us for a protection if we believe’ (AH 54, 223); it is described as a shield in a ME lyric: Crux est ... / a targe to weren fro detly woundes ‘The Cross is a shield to protect from deadly wounds’ (Brown and Robbins 1943, no. 23).

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skjöldr ‘shield’

skjǫldr (noun m.; °skjaldar/skildar, dat. skildi; skildir, acc. skjǫldu): shield < hlífiskjǫldr (noun m.)

notes

[8, 6, 7] hlífiskjöldr við öllum meinum ok harðri freistni ‘a protective-shield against all injuries and hard temptation’: This follows the homily (above) closely: heilagr cros er hlífskioldr viþ méinom ... en ęfling viþ allre freístne ‘a protective shield against injuries ... and strength against all temptation’; cf. the late medieval Gimsteinn 117/8, in which the Cross is hlíf ok skiolldur mot fiandans golldrum ‘a protection and shield against the devil’s spells’. The Cross as protection (praesidium) is also a motif in hymns, e.g. Christi crux et passio / Nobis est praesidio, / Si credamus ‘Christ’s Cross and Passion are [lit. is] to us for a protection if we believe’ (AH 54, 223); it is described as a shield in a ME lyric: Crux est ... / a targe to weren fro detly woundes ‘The Cross is a shield to protect from deadly wounds’ (Brown and Robbins 1943, no. 23).

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Interactive view: tap on words in the text for notes and glosses

[1]: The consonance of líkn ‘grace’ and lækn- ‘heal’ calls attention to their conceptual relationship, for it is through grace that healing is effected. (On Christ as læknir ‘healer’ see 31/3.) The subject of læknar is ambiguous, either líkn ‘mercy’ or the implied 2nd pers. þú ‘you’ (ms. veittu), but the tradition of the Cross as healer or medicine makes the latter perhaps more likely. In this st., the poet continues to draw upon the Icel. homily De sancta cruce (HómÍsl 1993, 18r; HómÍsl 1872, 39; cf. HómNo, 105), in which the Cross is called læcning viþ sóttom ‘a cure/medicine for illnesses’; cf. AH 8, 24 where the Cross is medicina corporalis / christianis et mentalis ‘physical and spiritual medicine for Christians’. These ideas probably depend upon Num. XXI.9, in which the brazen serpent with its healing power is a type of the Crucifixion; cf. Veraldar saga’s allegorical reading: Eitrormr sa er i tre hieck er hver vard heill er til leit. merkir Jesvm Christvm hanganda a krossinvm, er græder oll sär anda vora ‘The brazen serpent which hung on the wood, as each one was healed who looked upon it, signifies Jesus Christ hanging on the Cross, who heals all the wounds of our souls’ (Jakob Benediktsson 1944, 84). — [3-8]: The ‘h’-alliteration extends for 6 ll.; cf. 33/1-4, 37/5-8 (and 1-2).

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