Knittelvers

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Knittelvers or Knittel, is a kind of Germanic verse meter which originated in Germany during the Middle Ages. It requires rhymes or assonances. One can distinguish between strict knittel with eight or nine syllables on each line, and free knittel without this criterion.

In Swedish it is used in the Eufemiavisorna and in Erikskrönikan, as in the following example:

mangt eth gamalt fädernis swerd
wart tha nidher aff naglom kränkt
som ther haffdo manga dagha hengt
Them wart tha venlika fölgt til strand
helsados wel ok tokos j hand
marghin röder mwn ward tha kust
som aldrig kystes sydhan aff hiertans lust
thy at the saghos summi aldrig meer
aff tholkom skylnad tolkit skeer

Many an old father's sword
was lifted down from the nails,
where for a long time, it had been in peace.
They were followed courteously down to the shore,
with farewells and they grasped their hands.
There, many red lips were kissed,
which were never more kissed with love.
Because many were seen no more.
This happens when people part in this way.

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