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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gamlkan Has 1VII/7 — miska ‘for misdeeds’

Hár stillir, lúk heilli
hreggtjalda, mér, aldar,
upp, þús allar skaptir,
óðborgar hlið góðu,
mjúk svát mættik auka
môl gnýlundum stála
miska bót af mætu
mín fulltingi þínu.

Hár stillir hreggtjalda, þús skaptir allar aldar, lúk mér upp hlið óðborgar góðu heilli, svát mættik auka mjúk môl mín, bót miska, stála gnýlundum af mætu fulltingi þínu.

High ruler of the storm-tents [SKY/HEAVEN > = God], you who created all humans, open up for me the gate of the fortress of poetry [BREAST > MOUTH] with good grace, so that I might augment my soft words, the remedy for misdeeds, for trees of the din of swords [(lit. ‘din-trees of swords’) BATTLE > WARRIORS] with your excellent help.


[7] miska bót ‘the remedy for misdeeds’: Sveinbjörn Egilsson and Finnur Jónsson both take bót as acc. sg. of bót ‘cure, remedy’ and connect it with miska, gen. sg. or pl. of miski ‘misdeed, offence’, as the object of auka, the subject of which is mjúk mál mín. In this, they are followed by Kock and Black (1971, 134). The present edn follows Kempff (1867, 1) in taking miska bót with mjúk mál mín as parallel objects of auka. It is clear from the general tone of Has, as well as from the lengthy confession in sts 7-17, that the entire poem is an act of penance, principally for Gamli but also for his hearers.



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