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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Líkn 5VII/6 — alls ‘of all’

Dreifðu, láðs ok lofða
lífstýrir, mér dýru,
leyfðar kendr, í lyndis
láð himnesku sáði,
ár svá at ávöxt færak,
alls kannandi, sannan,
elsku kuðr, af yðru
óþornuðu korni.

Lífstýrir láðs ok lofða, kendr leyfðar, dreifðu mér í lyndis láð dýru himnesku sáði, svá at færak ár, sannan ávöxt af yðru óþornuðu korni, kannandi alls, elsku kuðr.

Ruler of land and the life of men [(lit. ‘life-ruler of land and men’) = God], acknowledged in praise, sprinkle my mind’s land [BREAST] with precious heavenly seed, so that I may bring forth an abundance, true fruit from your unwithered seed, tester of all [= God], renowned for love.


[6] kannandi alls ‘tester of all [= God]’: On the idea of God as tester, cf. reynir munka ‘tester of monks’ Anon Hafg 1IV, possibly the earliest of all ON Christian kennings; see Lange 1958a, 59 on the surprise the kenning must have evoked, even though reynir had a long history in pagan kennings.




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