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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Líkn 8VII

George S. Tate (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Líknarbraut 8’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 238-9.

Anonymous PoemsLíknarbraut
789

Beiðandi kveð ek bæði
bræðr ok systr at kvæði;
öll veiti þér ítran
yðarn tænað mér bæna,
vizku stærðr at virðiz
veðrskríns jöfurr mínum
— nýtr er, náð sem heitir —
nálægr vera málum.

Beiðandi kveð ek bæði bræðr ok systr at kvæði; veiti þér öll mér yðarn ítran tænað bæna, at {jöfurr {veðrskríns}}, vizku stærðr, virðiz vera nálægr mínum málum; nýtr er, sem heitir náð.

Entreating, I summon both brothers and sisters to my poem; may you all grant me your excellent help of prayers, that {the prince {of the storm-shrine}} [HEAVEN > = God], very great in wisdom, might deign to be close to my utterances; potent is [he] who promises grace.

Mss: B(11v), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [5] stærðr: ‘s[...]dr’ B, ‘stịṛḍr’ 399a‑bˣ    [6] veðrskríns: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘v[...]d[...]skrins’ B    [7] náð sem: nauð sem B, 399a‑bˣ

Editions: Skj AII, 152, Skj BII, 162, Skald II, 86, NN §1389; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 37, Rydberg 1907, 12-13, 48, Tate 1974, 53.

Notes: [1-2] bæði bræðr ok systr at kvæði ‘both brothers and sisters to my poem’: Metrically the first couplet is unusual on two grounds: the runhenda-like end-rhyme of bæði and kvæði, and aðalhending of historical <œ> (brœðr < bróðir) and <æ> (kvæði) in l. 2. Troubled by these features, and noting that in all other instances the poem is consistent in matching historical <œ>-rhymes (3 times, including tœnað: bœna (l. 4)) and <æ>-rhymes (8 times), Konráð Gíslason 1869, 146 suggested emending kvæði to frœði ‘learning, history’, which Rydberg adopts and Skj B cites as an alternative in the prose arrangement. Even though the aðalhending here is anomalous, emendation is unnecessary. By C13th, the distinction in ligatures was lost in Iceland; <œ> was absorbed into <æ> (Halldór Halldórsson 1950, 47; cf. CVC: æ). B does not differentiate, using <e᷎> for both. Addressing a congregation as ‘brothers and sisters’ is common in homilies (e.g. HómÍsl 1993, 4v, 22r, 40r; HómÍsl 1872, 10, 45, 87); cf. systkyn ‘brothers and sisters’ 46/7. — [5] stærðr ‘increased, very great’: B ‘s[...]dr’; 399a-bˣ stirðr ‘stiff’, but in a n. possibly stirðum even though the final ‘r’ is clear. The ‘t’ was visible at the time of the 399a-bˣ transcription; a remnant of a hook, suggesting ‘e᷎’ or ‘o᷎’, can still be seen; and skothending with virð- requires <r> before <ð>. In a marginal note to 444ˣ, Sveinbjörn Egilsson first suggested skýrðr ‘made clear’ (so Skj B), but crossed it out and replaced it with stærðr, which he employs in his edn (1844, 37); so also Rydberg 1907, 48 and Skald (cf. NN §1389). In poetry stærðr often functions as an intensive of stórr ‘great’, i.e. ‘very great’ (cf. afli stærðr ‘very strong’ Ólhv Hryn 12/1II and þrekstærðr ‘very powerful’ Bjbp Jóms 34/5I, Sturl Hrafn 12/5II), and this sense seems appropriate here. — [6] veðrskríns ‘of the storm-shrine [HEAVEN]’: Restoration based on 399a-bˣ. Here and at 25/2, 31/6, and 48/4, -skrín has been translated with its cognate ‘shrine’, resonant with holy connotation (so also LP: skrín; CVC; Meissner, 378: ‘Schrein’, and Attwood 1996b, 229-30), recognising that its more limited sense is ‘casket’ (Guðrún Nordal 2001, 294, 381). On God as keeper of the winds, see Jer. XLIX.36. — [7] náð ‘grace’: B, 399a-bˣ nauð. Sveinbjörn Egilsson emends to náð ‘grace’, adopted by Rydberg and here. Salvaging ms. nauð ‘need’ would require a stretched meaning of heita – ‘useful is he (i.e. the poet) who names (i.e. points out)/promises need’ – but this is not very satisfactory. Skj B (followed by Skald), having emended ms. nauð sem to nauðsyn ‘necessity’ construes er nauðsyn heitir to mean ‘as necessity demands’, but no ON dictionary gives ‘demand’ as a meaning for heita. (Despite this emendation in Skj B, LP under nýtr has nýtr es nð sem heitir, i.e., as here, ‘useful, potent is he who promises grace’.) In its theological sense, náð ‘grace’ (otherwise ‘rest, peace’, both of which could also work here) appears rather late in Icel. CVC dates it to C14th, but Fritzner gives some C13th instances. If the emendation is correct, this would be the earliest such use in poetry; cf. Anon Lil 12/4, Kálf Kátr 48/6, EGils Guðkv 28/7IV, Árni Gd 41/4IV, and Anon Vitn 14/4 (nýtar náðir).

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. Meissner = Meissner, Rudolf. 1921. Die Kenningar der Skalden: Ein Beitrag zur skaldischen Poetik. Rheinische Beiträge und Hülfsbücher zur germanischen Philologie und Volkskunde 1. Bonn and Leipzig: Schroeder. Rpt. 1984. Hildesheim etc.: Olms.
  6. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  7. CVC = Cleasby, Richard, Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and W. A. Craigie. 1957. An Icelandic-English Dictionary. 2nd edn. Oxford: Clarendon.
  8. Attwood, Katrina. 1996b. ‘Intertextual Aspects of the Twelfth-Century Christian drápur’. SBVS 24, 221-39.
  9. Guðrún Nordal. 2001. Tools of Literacy: The Role of Skaldic Verse in Icelandic Textual Culture of the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries. Toronto, Buffalo and London: University of Toronto Press.
  10. Rydberg, Hugo, ed. 1907. ‘Die geistlichen Drápur und Dróttkvættfragmente des Cod. AM 757 4to.’. Ph.D. thesis. University of Lund. Copenhagen: Møller.
  11. Tate, George S. 1974. ‘Líknarbraut: A Skaldic Drápa on the Cross’. Ph.D. thesis. Cornell University. DAI 35:6112A.
  12. Fritzner = Fritzner, Johan. 1883-96. Ordbog over det gamle norske sprog. 3 vols. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske forlagsforening. 4th edn. Rpt. 1973. Oslo etc.: Universitetsforlaget.
  13. Halldór Halldórsson. 1950. Íslenzk málfræði handa æðri skólum. Reykjavík: Ísafold.
  14. HómÍsl 1872 = Wisén, Theodor, ed. 1872. Homiliu-bók: Isländska homilier efter en handskrift från tolfte århundredet. Lund: Gleerup.
  15. HómÍsl 1993 = de Leeuw van Weenen, Andrea, ed. 1993. The Icelandic Homily Book: Perg. 15 4° in the Royal Library, Stockholm. Íslensk handrit/Icelandic Manuscripts Series in quarto 3. Reykjavík: Stofnun Árna Magnússonar á Íslandi.
  16. Konráð Gíslason. 1869. ‘De ældste runeindskrifters sproglige stilling’. ÅNOH, 35-148.
  17. Sveinbjörn Egilsson, ed. 1844. Fjøgur gømul kvæði. Boðsrit til að hlusta á þá opinberu yfirheyrslu í Bessastaða Skóla þann 22-29 mai 1844. Viðeyar Klaustri: prentuð af Helga Helgasyni, á kostnað Bessastaða Skóla. Bessastaðir: Helgi Helgason.
  18. Internal references
  19. Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Kálfr Hallsson, Kátrínardrápa 48’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 961.
  20. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Vitnisvísur af Máríu 14’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 749-50.
  21. Not published: do not cite (Árni Gd 41IV)
  22. Emily Lethbridge (ed.) 2012, ‘Bjarni byskup Kolbeinsson, Jómsvíkingadrápa 34’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 989.
  23. Not published: do not cite (EGils Guðkv 28IV)
  24. Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Lilja 12’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 575-7.
  25. Lauren Goetting (ed.) 2009, ‘Óláfr hvítaskáld Þórðarson, Hrynhenda 12’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 669-70.
  26. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Sturla Þórðarson, Hrafnsmál 12’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 737.
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