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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Leið 25VII/3 — sléttum ‘the smooth’

Enn vilda ek annat
alfríðustum smíða
hátt í hróðri sléttum
himins gotna stef dróttni.
Gramr skóp hauðr ok himna
hreggranns sem kyn seggja;
einns salkonungr sólar
snjallr hjalpari allra.

Enn vilda ek smíða annat hátt stef í sléttum hróðri alfríðustum dróttni gotna himins. Gramr hreggranns skóp hauðr ok himna sem kyn seggja; snjallr sólar salkonungr [e]s einn hjalpari allra.

Further I would like to fashion another exalted refrain in the smooth praise-poem for the altogether fairest lord of the men of heaven [ANGELS > = God]. The king of the storm-house [SKY/HEAVEN > = God] created land and heavens, as well as the race of men; the excellent king of the hall of the sun [(lit. ‘hall-king of the sun’) SKY/HEAVEN > = God] is alone the helper of all.


[3] sléttum: so 624, 399a‑bˣ, ‘sle[...]’ B


[3] í sléttum hróðri ‘in the smooth praise-poem’: Cf. the poet’s prayer for a slétt óðarlag ‘smooth poem-form’ in 3/2. These comments on the ‘smoothness’ of the poem are presumably intended to call attention to its apparently effortless artistry, though in fact much about the poem is rather self-conscious. Cf. the introductions to the refrains in 13/1-4 and 25/1-4, the prayers for inspiration and a hearing which occupy almost half of the upphaf and the expression of gratitude to prestr… Rúnolfr in st. 43



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