Tuesday, October 4, 2011

An Interim Post!

While I'm working on the next poem, a brief interlude. In browsing Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages, vol. 7, Poetry on Christian Subjects, for inspiration, I came across these two verses in Latin, but written in dróttkvætt. The editor of this section, Jonathan Grove, says that these Stanzas Addressed to Fellow Ecclesiastics are "the only known examples of medieval Scandinavian Lat. poetry composed in skaldic metres." (SPSMA, vol. 2, p. 471). It appears that these two verses may have been written by the same author, and may date from early 14th century.
Latin Verses English Translations
Verse 1

Ad te, care ave, mitto;
audi nostrum carmen laudis:
factus esto fratrum recte
flore decus seniorum.
Presta, summe Pater, castam
plene fidem Audoeno
† aminaui † ut tu, Numen,
isto uiro prebuisti

Verse 2

Esto, consors caste,
cura mente purus;
sume tibi, Thoma,
tutum fide scutum
Vive intus, ave,
ortus celi porta;
inde gregis grandis
gaude Christi laude.
Verse 1

I send [this] to you, dear grandsire
hear our song of praise;
flowering may you be rightly made
a splendour of the senior brethren.
Bestow, Highest Father, spotless
faith abundantly upon Audenus
just as you Godhead,
have granted to that man "aminuai."

Verse 2

Chaste colleague, through attentiveness
be pure in thought;
take upon yourself, Thomas,
the sheltering shield of faith.
Having arisen, grandsire,
dwell in the gateway of Heaven;
Then rejoice in the great congregation's
praise of Christ
One thing I find interesting about these verses is the ease with which they fit into the skaldic meter. I believe that the inflected nature of Latin is the reason why Latin works so well in dróttkvætt meter. I also have found the Latin phrase celi porta "Heaven's gateway" appears in a later set of verses in Icelandic, himinríkis which is used as a kenning for the Virgin Mary. (Máríudrápa, verse 30, SPSMA, vol. 2, p. 30-31). Next time, the promised flokkr on "A Journey". Enjoy,


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