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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Líkn 52VII

George S. Tate (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Líknarbraut 52’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 286.

Anonymous PoemsLíknarbraut

text and translation

Mæztr, lát merki crúcis,
minn lausnari, skína,
örr, í atferð várri
alla stund á grundu,
svá at eilífrar, jöfra,
óttlaust með þér, dróttinn,
eigniz æztan fögnuð
unaðs vistar lið kristit.

Mæztr, örr lausnari minn, lát merki crúcis skína í várri atferð alla stund á grundu, svá at kristit lið eigniz óttlaust með þér, {dróttinn jöfra}, æztan fögnuð eilífrar vistar unaðs.
‘My most glorious, bountiful Saviour, let the sign of the Cross shine in our conduct every hour on earth, so that the Christian host might obtain without fear along with you, lord of princes [= God], the highest joy of the eternal abode of happiness.

notes and context

This prayer for the sign of the cross to shine in all our atferð ‘conduct’ is reminiscent of the first 45 ll. of Bonaventure’s famous poem (also C13th) Laudismus de sancta cruce (1882-1902, VIII, 667) in which the audience is exhorted to let the Cross be present in – and govern – body, tongue, heart, mouth, limbs, mind, meditation – in short, to be active in one’s whole conduct: In praeclara cruce stude / Et in ipsa te reclude / Magna cum laetitia ‘Desire to repose in the radiant Cross, and enclose yourself in it, with great gladness’ (43-5).



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 52: AII, 159, BII, 174, Skald II, 91, NN §2113; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 51, Rydberg 1907, 20, 53, Tate 1974, 97.


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