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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Líknarbraut, 30 [Vol. 7, 260-1]

[1] krýp ek til kross ‘I creep to the Cross’: The phrase alludes to the Adoration of the Cross on Good Friday. See, e.g., the fragment (AM 266 4°, c. 1400) of the Gufudalr Ordinary, adapted from that of Nidaros: Þui næst skal prestr fara vr messu hökli ok af skoou[m] ok hosum ok kriupi til kross berrfættr ok syngia þad er til er skipat ‘Then shall the priest remove the chasuble and his shoes and hose and creep barefoot to the crucifix and sing that which is specified’ (Magnus Már Lárusson 1958, 209). The phrase ‘creep to the Cross’ only occurs in Germanic vernaculars (see OED: creep 3; cf. Swed. krypa till krysse (C16th), Ahnlund 1924, 180); Lat. employs less descriptive verbs (procedo, venio ad crucem salutandam), but more is meant by krjúpa here than LP’s ‘to prostrate oneself or fall upon one’s knees’. The verb denotes moving forward in veneration or penitence rather than static kneeling or prostration and is attested in skaldic verse as early as Þloft Glækv 8/4I (C11th).


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