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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Heildr 7VII

Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Heilags anda drápa 7’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 457-8.

Anonymous PoemsHeilags anda drápa
678

text and translation

Réttvísum kant, ræsir
regnbýs, hugum lýsa,
svát skynjar veg vizku
vakr herr með trú spakri;
glaðir hrinda því grandi
guðs menn, þeir er vel renna
— fremsk helgat lið — lymsku,
lífs braut, djöfuls skrauti.

{Ræsir {regnbýs}}, kant lýsa réttvísum hugum, svát vakr herr skynjar veg vizku með spakri trú; því hrinda glaðir menn guðs, þeir er renna vel braut lífs, grandi, djöfuls lymsku skrauti; helgat lið fremsk.
 
‘King of the rain-dwelling [SKY/HEAVEN > = God], you are able to illuminate righteous minds, so that the watchful army understands the way of wisdom with serene faith; therefore, cheerful men of God, who run life’s way well, cast away harm, the devil’s treacherous finery; the holy troop gains honour.

notes and context

[1-4]: Rydberg takes vakr (l. 4) as an adj. meaning ‘watchful, alert’, qualifying ræsir regnbýs ‘king of the rain-dwelling [SKY/HEAVEN > = God]’. He reconstructs bezt at the beginning of l. 3. His prose arrangement is Vakr ræsir regnbýs, þú kannt bezt skynja réttvísum hugum hér með spakri trú [ok] lýsa vizku veg ‘Watchful king of the rain-dwelling, you are best able to understand righteous minds here with unassuming faith [and] illuminate the way of wisdom’. This edn adopts Finnur Jónsson’s arrangement in Skj B (also Skald), kant lýsa réttvísum hugum, svát vakr herr skynjar ‘you are able to illuminate righteous minds, so that the watchful army understands ...’, which requires construal of B’s her as m. herr ‘army’ and emendation of skynja to skynjar, 3rd pers. sg. pres. indic. of skynja ‘to understand’. — [5-8]: Rydberg and Finnur Jónsson assume skrauti dat. sg. of n. skraut ‘ornament’ (l. 8) to be part of an intercalated phrase helgat lið fremsk skrauti, which Finnur (Skj B) paraphrases de hellige mænd iføres skrud ‘the holy people dress in finery’. The significance of this phrase is not altogether clear and the interpretation seems inappropriate in context. Kock (NN §1406) suggests that grandi (l. 5) and djǫfuls skrauti (l. 8) be interpreted as parallel expressions, and that lymsku be taken as gen. sg. of f. lymska ‘treachery’, functioning adjectivally and qualifying lífs braut (l. 8) ‘life’s way of treachery, life’s treacherous way’. However, lymsku is more easily construed as an adj., lymskr ‘wily, cunning, treacherous’, here understood as the strong dat. sg. n. form, qualifying skrauti.

readings

sources

Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], C. [3]. Heilags anda vísur 7: AII, 161, BII, 176-7, Skald II, 92, NN §§1406, 2338; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 53-4, Rydberg 1907, 2, 45-6, Attwood 1996a, 56, 152.

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