Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Líkn 6VII/5 — S… ‘[a perversion?]’

Þann, er af mínum munni
margr til andar bjargar
sér megi randa rýrir
röðuls framkvæmdan öðlaz.
S… látattu sveitir,
siðskjótr, af því hljóta
gumna kind at grandi,
guð minn, laga þinna.

Þann er margr rýrir randa röðuls megi öðlaz sér til andar bjargar framkvæmdan af mínum munni. Minn guð, siðskjótr, látattu sveitir hljóta af því s… þinna laga, at grandi kind gumna.

Such [fruit] that many a destroyer of shields’ sun [SWORDS > WARRIOR] might gain benefit from for his soul’s salvation [produced] from my mouth. My God, quick to promote virtue, let not men suffer from it [a perversion?] of your laws, to the injury of the race of men.


[5] S…: ‘s[...]’ B, 399a‑bˣ


[5] s...: Lacuna in B; a minim follows ‘s’, with perhaps the tip of a second (suggesting possible ‘u’). Judging from the space, the missing word is probably monosyllabic but could be disyllabic, in which case the suffixed pron. of látattu ‘let not’ would be dropped. (A suffixed 2nd pers. pron. is otherwise only metrically necessary in 5/1.) Sveinbjörn Egilsson conjectures svík, a nominal form of svíkja ‘to betray’; cf. Rydberg sveik (or sút ‘sorrow, affliction’). Skj B does not try to supply the missing letters, but speculates that the damaged word might mean ‘punishment’. Skald (cf. NN §1388) posits svarf (from svarfa [sverfa?] ‘to bring something out of its proper position’, i.e., here, a wrenching or twisting of the law). This proposal seems reasonable; hence ‘perversion’. As Kock (Skald) observes, the st. juxtaposes the good effects of inspired poetry (in the first helmingr) with the possible evil effects (in the second) if the poet’s prayer for divine help goes unanswered.



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