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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gamlkan Has 31VII/3 — mildi ‘gentle’

Enn mun ǫðru sinni
ǫðlingr koma hingat
mána tjalds inn mildi
meðr til dóms at kveðja.
Geisar eldr ok œsisk
ǫlna fold; ór moldu
ferð vaknar þá fyrða
flest við ugg inn mesta.

Enn mun inn mildi ǫðlingr tjalds mána koma hingat ǫðru sinni at kveðja meðr til dóms. Eldr geisar ok fold ǫlna œsisk; flest ferð fyrða vaknar þá ór moldu við inn mesta ugg.

Again the gentle ruler of the tent of the moon [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)] will come here a second time to call men to judgement. Fire will rage and the land of the mackerel [SEA] will surge; most of the troop of men will awaken then from the grave [lit. from the soil] with the greatest terror.

notes

[3] enn mildi ‘the gentle’: As Black (1971, 219) notes, it is interesting that Christ is described as mildr ‘gentle’ here, ‘a reiteration of the mercy of God at the moments which men fear most ... is not entirely what one might expect’. Given that Gamli repeatedly emphasizes the possibility of Christ’s mercy in even the most hopeless cases (the penitent thief, Mary Magdalene, Peter, David, Gamli himself), we should perhaps not be surprised at this.

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