skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Líkn 41VII/2 — þín ‘your’

Engr fær töld með tungu
tákn þín, er nú skína,
hjálpar hneigistólpi
heims alls, of kyn beima.
Æxtr ferr valt til vaxtar
vegr þinn, er berr fegri,
hreinn, en hugðu vinnim,
hverja dýrð, of skýrða.

Hneigistólpi alls heims hjálpar, engr fær töld með tungu tákn þín, er nú skína of kyn beima. Hreinn vegr þinn, er berr hverja dýrð fegri en vinnim of skýrða hugðu, ferr valt æxtr til vaxtar.

Inclining pillar of all the world’s salvation [CROSS], none can enumerate with tongue your signs, which now shine upon the race of men. Your pure honour, which bears every glory fairer than we might express in thought, grows continually greater.

notes

[1] engr fær töld með tungu tákn þín ‘none can enumerate with tongue your signs’: Cf. Arngr Gd 51/1, 3IV, a C14th poem which borrows from Líkn several details, táknin öll ... eingi fær þau talt með tungu ‘all the signs ... none can ennumerate them with tongue’. Ineffability is a topos of mystical poetry in particular, as in the Bernardine Jubilus (AH 19, 190) nec lingua potest dicere ‘nor can tongue express’. In order to achieve a six-syllable l. Rydberg, Skj B, and Skald normalise, as here, ms. ‘Eingí’ to the early variant engr.

grammar

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