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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Líkn 22VII/3 — dægra ‘of days’’

Kvaliðr sté öllum æðri
ítr gramr til helvítis
dægra láðs ept dauða
djöfla rann at kanna.
Leysti sinn at sönnu
sólhallar gramr allan
lýð fyr lífstré þjóðar
líknarstyrkr frá myrkrum.

Kvaliðr ítr gramr dægra láðs, öllum æðri, sté ept dauða til helvítis at kanna rann djöfla. Líknarstyrkr gramr sólhallar leysti at sönnu allan sinn lýð frá myrkrum fyr lífstré þjóðar.

The tormented glorious king of days’ land [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)], higher than all, descended after death to Hell to explore the house of devils [HELL]. The mercy-strong king of sun’s hall [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)] freed truly all his people from darkness by means of the life-tree of mankind [CROSS].

notes

[3] dægra láðs ‘of days’ land’: Just as gramr could be associated either with Christ or devils, dægr, a twelve-hour period, may technically refer either to day or night, though more typically the former. While dagr ‘day’ is common in heaven-kennings (e.g. dags reitr ‘day’s path’ 32/6, dags grund ‘day’s land’ Leið 24/8), dægr, first used thus here, occurs subsequently in only two C14th heaven-kennings (dægra sæti ‘days’ seat’ Mgr 9/4 and dægra stallr ‘days’ ridge’ Arngr Gd 41/4IV).

kennings

grammar

number: pl.

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