Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Líkn 47VII/1 — Réðum ‘we [I] undertook’

Réðum krapt í kvæði
kross þíns fyr þjóð inna,
árs, þó at, eflir, værak
allítt til þess fallinn.
Sízt em ek samr of baztan
sýnt — öngrumz því löngum —
fyr lundfasta löstu,
líknfæðir, þik ræða.

Eflir árs, réðum inna fyr þjóð krapt kross þíns í kvæði, þó at værak allítt fallinn til þess. Sýnt em ek sízt samr, líknfæðir, ræða of þik baztan fyr lundfasta löstu; því öngrumz löngum.

Strengthener of year’s abundance [= God (= Christ)], we [I] undertook to relate to the people the power of your Cross in a poem, even though I was poorly equipped to do so. Clearly I am least suited, begetter [= God (= Christ)] of grace, to speak of you, the best, on account of mind-fixed sins; for that reason we are [I am] continuously troubled.


[1] Réðum: ‘re᷎dumwith very light tittle, poss. erased B, ink blotted obscuring accent or hook on ‘e’ 399a‑bˣ


[1] réðum ‘we [I] undertook’: Ms. ‘re᷎dum’ (ræðum ‘we speak’); all eds emend to (or read as, so Sveinbjörn Egilsson) réðum. The frequency of ráða + inf. ‘to undertake to’ (see LP: ráða 12), the lightness of the tittle (indicating possible attempted erasure), and the fact that (if restoration of kvæði is correct) the l. would be aðalhent rather than skothent, all argue against ræðum.



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