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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Brúðv 1VII/4 — aldar ‘of men’

Jöfurr giefi upphaf
óðar, sá er skóp þjóð,
ella verðr orðfall
aldar; er hans traust vald.
Æsta vil eg yðr, Krist
(einn stýrðu gramr hreinn
sólar) um satt mál
(salar, hvað eg kveða skal).

Jöfurr aldar, sá er skóp þjóð, giefi upphaf óðar, ella verðr orðfall; hans vald er traust. Eg vil æsta yðr, Krist, um satt mál; hreinn gramr sólar salar, stýrðu einn hvað eg skal kveða.

May the prince of men [= God], who created people, provide the beginning of the poem, else there will be a lack of words; his power is firm. I want to ask you, Christ, for true speech; pure king of the sun’s hall [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)], govern alone what I shall compose.


[1, 4] jöfurr aldar: The poet asks that God provide the first words of the poem, thus linking it to John I.1: In principio erat Verbum et Verbum erat apud Deum et Deus erat Verbum ‘In the beginning was the word: and the word was with God: and the word was God’.



case: gen.
number: sg.


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