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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

VII. Leiðarvísan (Leið) - 45

not in Skj

Leiðarvísan (‘Way-Guidance’) — Anon LeiðVII

Katrina Attwood 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Leiðarvísan’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 137-78.

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Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XII]: G [2]. Leiðarvísan, et digt fra det 12. årh. (AI, 618-26, BI, 622-33)

SkP info: VII, 147

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8 — Anon Leið 8VII

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Cite as: Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Leiðarvísan 8’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 147.

Sagði bréf, hvat brygði
bitr fár guma ári,
blakks skreytendum brautar
borðs frá dróttins orðum.
‘Hljóta víst’, kvað veitir
vegfróðr hluta góðra,
‘menn þeirs minn dag vinna,
mest angr af því flestir.’

Bréf sagði {skreytendum {blakks {brautar borðs}}} frá orðum dróttins, hvat bitr fár brygði ári guma. {Vegfróðr veitir góðra hluta} kvað: ‘Flestir menn, þeirs vinna dag minn, hljóta víst mest angr af því’.

The letter told {the furnishers {of the horse {of the path of the plank}}} [SEA > SHIP > SEAFARER] about the Lord’s words, what bitter harm could alter the good fortune of men. {The way-wise giver of good things} [= God] said: ‘Most men who work on my day will certainly gain the greatest sorrow from it’.

Mss: B(10v), 624(86), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [2] guma: gumna 624    [4] borðs: borð B, 624    [8] angr: so 624, 399a‑bˣ, ‘[...]gr’ B

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XII], G [2]. Leiðarvísan 8: AI, 619-20, BI, 624, Skald I, 303, NN §2140; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 59, Rydberg 1907, 5, Attwood 1996a, 61, 172.

Notes: [1] hvat ‘what’: Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) emends B’s ‘huad’ to hver, considering the phrase hver bitr fár to be pl. and the verb brygði (l. 1) also pl., translating hvilke bitre mén skadede mændenes lykke ‘what bitter injuries damaged peoples’ good fortune’. Brygði can also be 3rd pers. sg. pret. subj. and could thus have a sg. subject. Kock (NN §2140) reads hvat bitr fár (sg.) with a sg. verb, and this reading is followed here. — [2] guma ‘of men’: A rarer variant than gumna (so 624): see ANG §401.3. — [3-4] skreytendum blakks brautar borðs ‘furnishers of the horse of the path of the plank [SEA > SHIPS > SEAFARERS]’: That the apparent retention of B’s reading borð nom. or acc. ‘plank’ in Sveinbjörn Egilsson’s 1844 edn is a misprint is confirmed by Lbs. 1152 8°ˣ (Sveinbjörn’s print copy) which has borðs gen. Sveinbjörn himself first suggested the emendation to borðs in a note to 444ˣ. — [6] vegfróðr ‘way-wise’: Skj B understands as hæderkyndig ‘honour-wise’, which is further glossed in LP as i besiddelse af hæder ‘in possession of honour’ (cf. LP (1860)’s gloss gloriosus ‘famous, renowned’). Though this interpretation is perfectly possible, the first element of the cpd may also be understood as acc. of m. vegr ‘way, path’. Vegfróðr ‘way-wise’ is a suitable adj. to describe God; see Note to vegskrýðendr (5/6) above.

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