Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ESk Geisl 2VII/2 — heims ‘of the world’

þeirars heims (í heimi)
(heims) myrkrum brá (þeima)
ok (ljós meðan) var vísi
veðr- (kallaðisk) -hallar.
Sá lét bjartr frá bjartri
berask maðr und skýjaðri
(frægr stóð af því) flœðar
(fǫrnuðr) rǫðull stjǫrnu.

þeirar [sólar], [e]s brá myrkrum heims, ok var vísi veðr-hallar, meðan kallaðisk ljós heims í þeima heimi. Sá maðr, bjartr rǫðull, lét berask frá bjartri stjǫrnu flœðar und skýjaðri; frægr fǫrnuðr stóð af því.

of that [sun] which destroyed the darkness of the world, and was the prince of the wind-hall [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)], while he called himself the light of the world in this world. That man, the bright sun, caused himself to be born from the bright star of the sea under the cloud-rim [SKY/HEAVEN]; renowned prosperity proceeded from that.


[1-2] heims ... heimi ... heims: In dróttkvætt metre aðalhending is not appropriate in an odd-numbered l., hence Kock’s emendation of l. 1 (Skald) to þeirar húms í heimi. But exceptions were tolerated, and the rhyming pattern here is iðurmælt, one of the special effects explained in Ht (SnE 1999, 22). The repetition of heims/heimi/heims is also an echo of the prologue to the Gospel of John: erat lux vera quae inluminat omnem hominem venientem in mundum / in mundo erat et mundus per ipsum factus est et mundus eum non cognovit ‘That was the true light, which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world. He was in the world: and the world was made by him: and the world knew him not’ (John I.9-10). The Bb reading bjartr frá bjartri (l. 5) follows a similar pattern and echoes the lumen de lumine ‘light from light’ of the Credo; it is probably a better reading than Flat’s bert ‘clearly’. See NN §2051 for a discussion of the use of identical rhyme in this st. and elsewhere in skaldic poetry.


case: gen.
number: sg.


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