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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Heilags anda drápa, 15 [Vol. 7, 465]

[4] traustan veg ‘trustworthy honour’: Kock (NN §2341) considers that, since the poet has spoken of driving the devil away langan veg ‘a long way’ (l. 2) and is about to speak of lífs þrǫngum veg ‘life’s narrow way’ (ll. 7-8), vegr m. should also here be taken in the sense of ‘way’ (LP: 1. vegr), rather than ‘honour, glory’ (LP: 2. vegr). The Lat. pacemque dones protinus confirms that the interpretation offered here, which accords with those of Finnur Jónsson and Rydberg, is correct. The poet is, of course, exploiting the dual resonances of vegr throughout the st. The word-play is only fully resolved in the parallel characterisation of the Spirit as fegrir siða ‘adorner of the faith’ and leiðtogi ‘guide’. The Spirit is able to guide men on the narrow path (vegr) to righteousness, which is marked by the gift of honour in the Christian sense of glory (vegr).


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