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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Heildr 8VII/2 — hugar ‘mind’

Hvert mein þváið, hirtir
hugar sjúks, liði mjúku,
gegn, sá er góðu magnar,
glöðum brunni miskunnar.
Siðlátum eykr sætan
sá bekkr, þeim er af drekka,
(linar brysti þrá) þo*sta
(þekkr elskugi) rekkum.

Gegn hirtir, sá er góðu magnar, þváið hvert mein sjúks hugar mjúku liði glöðum brunni miskunnar. Sá bekkr eykr sætan þo*sta siðlátum rekkum, þeim er af drekka; þekkr elskugi linar þrá brysti.

Fitting chastiser, who strengthens righteousness, you wash every stain of the sick mind with gentle help in the clear spring of mercy. That spring intensifies sweet thirst in those morally upright men who drink from it; delightful love alleviates longing in the breast.

notes

[2] sjúks hugar ‘of the sick mind’: This phrase may also be construed with hirtir (l. 1), giving the kenning-like periphrasis hirtir sjúks hugar ‘chastiser of the sick mind’ for the Holy Spirit; cf. 14/2, 3 lundgóðr hirtir böls ‘benevolent chastiser of sin’. This is however, a less preferable reading, as the Holy Spirit (and Christ) are usually represented as healers, not chastisers, of the sick mind.

grammar

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