Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ESk Geisl 33VII/3 — lim ‘the limb’

Ǫld hefr opt inn mildi
unnar bliks frá miklum
— Krists mærik lim — leysta
litrauðs konungr nauðum.
Greitt má gumnum létta
guðs ríðari stríðum;
rǫskr þiggr allt, sem œskir,
Óláfr af gram sólar.

Konungr inn mildi litrauðs bliks unnar hefr opt leysta ǫld frá miklum nauðum; mærik lim Krists. Guðs ríðari má greitt létta stríðum gumnum; rǫskr Óláfr þiggr allt, sem œskir, af gram sólar.

The king, generous with the red-coloured light of the wave [GOLD], has often rescued men from great need; I praise the limb of Christ [SAINT = Óláfr]. God’s knight [SAINT = Óláfr] can easily alleviate afflictions for men; brave Óláfr gets all he desires from the king of the sun [= God].


[3] lim: ‘lin’ Bb


[3] mærik lim Krists ‘I praise the limb of Christ’: Previous eds (Cederschiöld, Skj B and Skald) have emended ms ‘lin’ to lim and ‘Krist’ to Krists, creating a kenning, ‘limb of Christ’, for Óláfr (cf. lim konungs himna sals ‘limb of the king of the hall of heaven’, 66/6). A recent suggestion in Chase 2005, 83 and 149 has been to emend to linan and construe Krist mærik linan ‘I praise merciful Christ’. However, the l. then becomes unmetrical, as the word in question must be monosyllabic (there is no resolution on a word in position 4 in an XE l. until C14th; for the terminology see Gade 1995).




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