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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Líkn 31VII

George S. Tate (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Líknarbraut 31’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 261-2.

Anonymous PoemsLíknarbraut
303132

text and translation

Heill ver kross, er kallaz,
Krists mark, himins vistar
lýðs af læknis dauða
lykill mannkyni syknu;
örr því at upp lauk* harri
élskríns fyr þik sínum,
áðr þá er læst var lýðum,
lífs höll vinum öllum.

Heill ver kross, {Krists mark}, er kallaz lykill himins vistar mannkyni syknu af dauða {lýðs læknis}; því at {örr harri {élskríns}} lauk* upp fyr þik {lífs höll} öllum sínum vinum þá er áðr var læst lýðum.
 
‘Hail Cross, Christ’s sign [CROSS], which is called the key of heaven’s dwelling for mankind, acquitted through the death of mankind’s healer [= Christ]; for the generous lord of the storm-shrine [HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)] opened by means of you life’s hall [SKY/HEAVEN] for all his friends, which was earlier locked to men.

notes and context

This st. is the first in a catalogue (sts 31-7) devoted to figures of the Cross: as key, blossom, ship, ladder, bridge, scales and altar. Several of these figures, with attendant details, appear in Pange lingua and Vexilla regis, the famous Cross hymns of Venantius Fortunatus (C6th) used in Good Friday liturgy as well as in feasts of the Cross (Connelly 1957, 79). Almost all of them occur in the Lat. hymns collected by Dreves and Blume in AH, which range from mid C11th to early C13th, as well as in exegetical texts and iconography. (Such analogues are pointed out in the Notes to the individual sts.) The late medieval Gimsteinn (102-15) contains a similar catalogue of figurur (102/1): ladder, road, altar, Noah’s ark, ointment, key, rod of Aaron, David’s staff (ÍM I.2, 327-30).

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. 1. Líknarbraut 31: AII, 156, BII, 168, Skald II, 89; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 44-5, Rydberg 1907, 16, 51, Kock and Meissner 1931, I, 91, Tate 1974, 76.

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