Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Pét 3VII/1 — báli ‘flame’

Hulin* mín hyggju báli
hrekkjóttu jörð slóttig
hefir mest hrunið í ástar
hyr með glæpum fyrri.
Fals, ágirni og fúlust
flærð mig þannveg lærði,
synd mier sæt að kendiz
seimvín líkt hjá eimi.

Fyrri hefir slóttig hyggju jörð mín, hulin* hrekkjóttu báli, mest hrunið í ástar hyr með glæpum. Fals, ágirni, og fúlust flærð lærði mig þannveg, að synd kendiz mier sæt, líkt seimvín hjá eimi.

Formerly my cunning land of thought [HEART], enveloped in treacherous flame, has plunged altogether into love’s fire through sins. Deceit, cupidity and foulest guile taught me in such a way that sin seemed sweet to me, like honeyed wine in comparison with smoke.


[1-2]: Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) emends ms. ‘hyggiu’ to hyggja and ‘jord’ to mjǫk, and translates: Min meget snedige sjæl, skjult under rænkefuld ild ‘My very cunning soul, hidden under crafty fire’. Kock (NN §1711) keeps the ms. readings and translates: Höljd i svekfull sinnesbrånad har min mark förrädisk sjunkit ... i älskogsglöd ‘Wrapped in deceitful mental ardour my land has sunk treacherous(ly) ... into the fire of love’ (taking jörð mín as an incomplete kenning for ‘land [of the heart/mind]’?). At NN §3371 he revises this interpretation to take hyggju jörð (as here) as a kenning for ‘breast or heart’ (cf. SnE 1998 I, 108/25, jǫrð ... hugarins, and, e.g., Anon Mv III 2/4 hugar land; GunnLeif Merl I 82/6-7VIII jarðir geðs).



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