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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þloft Glækv 8I/5 — beiðendr ‘petitioners’

Þar kømr herr,
es heilagr es
konungr sjalfr,
krýpr at gangi.
En beiðendr
blindir sœkja
þjóðir máls,
en þaðan heilir.

Herr kømr þar, es heilagr konungr sjalfr es, krýpr at gangi. En þjóðir, beiðendr máls, blindir, sœkja, en þaðan heilir.

A host comes there, where the holy king himself is, [and] bows down for access. And people, petitioners for speech [and] the blind, make their way [there], and [go] from there whole.


[5, 6] beiðendr … blindir ‘petitioners … the blind’: The second helmingr clearly refers to healings at Óláfr’s shrine, but the expression is somewhat cryptic and the syntax uncertain. (a) The construal above requires ‘and’ to be understood, but avoids the problems of (b) below, and unlike (c) takes beiðendr máls ‘petitioners for speech’ in its obvious sense as a reference to the dumb, forming a pair with blindir ‘the blind’. (b) Finnur Jónsson in Skj B also assumes that these two types of petitioner are paired, choosing ok ‘and’ rather than en ‘but, and’ as the conj. in l. 5 and taking it as a link between the two phrases. However, its position before both phrases at the beginning of the helmingr would suggest instead that it links clauses and helmingar. (c) Kock (NN §1130) takes blindir to be an adj. qualifying beiðendr, and takes beiðendr máls together, hence ‘blind petitioners for speech’. The apparent anomaly of blind people asking for speech (máls, l. 7) is avoided by assuming that máls refers to a conversation or interview, rather than the gift of speech, but this is less plausible in the context of healing miracles. See Note to l. 7 for Magerøy’s view of this word.



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