Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Líkn 19VII/2 — kannar ‘ponders’

Hvat megi heldr of græta
hvern mann, er þat kannar,
röðla býs en ræsis
ríks píningar slíkar,
er dýrr á sik sáran
siklingr ept kvöl mikla
hreinn til hjálpar mönnum
hauðrfjörnis tók dauða?

Hvat megi heldr of græta hvern mann, er kannar þat, en slíkar píningar ríks ræsis röðla býs, er dýrr, hreinn siklingr hauðrfjörnis tók sáran dauða á sik ept kvöl mikla til hjálpar mönnum?

What could be more able to make weep each man who ponders it than such torments of the mighty ruler of suns’ dwelling [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)], when the precious, pure king of earth’s helmet [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)] took bitter death upon himself after great torture for the salvation [lit. help] of men?


[2] kannar ‘ponders’: The usual meaning of the verb is to search through/out something in order to gain knowledge of it (Fritzner). Here the sense seems to be ‘to ponder, contemplate’, perhaps even imaginatively to share in the sufferings of Christ through compassion. The verb is used again in 22/4 in the sense ‘to explore, search out’ with reference to the Harrowing of Hell.



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