Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Lil 61VII/7 — laust ‘loose’

Öll helvítis járnhlið skjálfa;
undraz myrkr, er ljós er styrkra;
hlaupa fjandr og ætla undan;
ódæmin þeir sögðu að kæmi.
Hræzlan flaug um heljar bygðir;
helga menn, er fjötrar spenna,
hlaut óvinrinn laust að láta
lamdr og meiddr, er valdið beiddi.

Öll járnhlið helvítis skjálfa; myrkr undraz, er ljós er styrkra; fjandr hlaupa og ætla undan; þeir sögðu, að ódæmin kæmi. Hræzlan flaug um bygðir heljar; óvinrinn, lamdr og meiddr, hlaut að láta laust helga menn, er fjötrar spenna, er valdið beiddi.

All the iron gates of hell shake; darkness is amazed that light is stronger; devils leap and think to flee; they said that the unthinkable had come to pass. Terror flew through the abodes of hell; the enemy, lamed and injured, was obliged to let loose holy men whom fetters clasp, when might commanded.


[7] laust: lausa Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ


[7] laust ‘loose’: Here and in 81/1, the n. form of the adj. is used without respect to its object: lauss is normally declined so that there is congruence (JH). In 81/1, the poet uses the same idiom to pray that Christ never let him loose: the juxtaposition of the two statements recalls the paradox pointed out by S. Paul: by being freed from the bondage of sin, we become slaves of God (cf. Rom. VI.18-22).



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