Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.



Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

Anon Leið 22VII/6 — brands ‘of the fire’

Engill kom við unga
allheppinn mey spjalla,
burð ok buðlungs dýrðar
bauð hann frǫmum svanna.
Brims tók bjǫrk in fremsta
brands við helgum anda;
sú hefk frétt at dag dróttins
dýrð framm komin yrði.

Allheppinn engill kom spjalla við unga mey, ok hann bauð frǫmum svanna burð buðlungs dýrðar. In fremsta bjǫrk brands brims tók við helgum anda; hefk frétt, at sú dýrð yrði framm komin dróttins dag.

An altogether fortunate angel came to speak with a young maiden, and he announced to the foremost lady the birth of the king of glory [= God (= Christ)]. The foremost birch of the fire of the sea [GOLD > WOMAN] received the Holy Spirit; I have heard that this glory was brought about on the Lord’s day.


[6] brands: ‘banndz’ B, 624


[5-6] bjǫrk brims brands ‘birch of the fire of the sea [GOLD > WOMAN]’: A kenning for ‘woman’ is clearly required here. In that context, it has not been possible to make sense of B’s reading ‘banndz’, which could be gen. sg. of band ‘a bond, fetter, team, confederacy etc.’, sometimes used in pl. of the Norse gods. In a n. to Jón Sigurðsson’s transcript of 624 in 444(2)ˣ, Sveinbjörn Egilsson suggested emendation to beins, gen. sg. of beinn ‘ebony’, which is listed among heiti for ‘tree’ in a þula but is not attested elesewhere (LP: 1. beinn). Aside from its rarity, the noun does not work in a kenning which already has a tree-element, bjǫrk f. ‘birch’ in l. 5. Sveinbjörn rethought this emendation in preparing his printed edn (1844, 62 n. 10), in which he emended to brands gen. sg. of m. brandr ‘fire, flame’. This creates the gold-kenning, brandr brims ‘flame of the sea’, whose bjǫrk is a woman, in this case the Virgin Mary. Sveinbjörn’s second emendation has been adopted by all subsequent eds.



case: gen.


Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.


Word in text

This view shows information about an instance of a word in a text.