Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

VII. Lilja (Lil) - 100

not in Skj

Lilja (‘Lily’) — Anon LilVII

Martin Chase 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Lilja’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 544-677.

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Skj: Eysteinn Ásgrímsson: Lilja (AII, 363-95, BII, 390-416)

SkP info: VII, 580-1

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15 — Anon Lil 15VII

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Cite as: Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Lilja 15’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 580-1.

Þrútnar, svellr og unir við illa
eingill, bann það er hafði feingið,
fyrða sveitin fædd á jörðu
fái þar vist, er sjálfr hann misti,
og bruggandi dauðans dreggjar,
duldiz hann fyrir augsjón manna;
fjölkunnigr í einum innan
ormi tók hann mál að forma.

Eingill, er hafði feingið það bann, þrútnar, svellr, og unir við illa, sveitin fyrða fædd á jörðu fái vist þar, er hann sjálfr misti, og bruggandi dauðans dreggjar, duldiz hann fyrir augsjón manna; fjölkunnigr, tók hann að forma mál innan í einum ormi.

The angel who had received that ban swells, puffs up, and is displeased that the company of men born on earth should receive a dwelling there where he himself lost one, and, brewing the dregs of death, he concealed himself from the sight of men; knowing magic, he set about forming speech from inside a serpent.

Mss: Bb(113vb-114ra), 720a VIII(2r), 99a(3v-4r), 622(25), 713(7), Vb(248), 41 8°ˣ(108-109), 705ˣ(5r-v), 4892(26v-27r)

Readings: [1] Þrútnar: Þrumar 713;    svellr: svell 720a VIII    [2] eingill: eingils 622;    það: sá 720a VIII, Vb, 705ˣ, om. 41 8°ˣ;    er: om. 99a;    hafði: hafði hann 99a    [3] fyrða: að fyrða 99a, 705ˣ, ef fyrða Vb, 41 8°ˣ;    sveitin: sveit er 720a VIII, 99a, 622, 705ˣ, sveitin er 713, 4892, sveit sem Vb, 41 8°ˣ;    fædd: fædd er Vb, 41 8°ˣ    [4] fái: og fekk 99a, fær Vb, 41 8°ˣ, og fær 705ˣ;    þar: þá 99a, 705ˣ;    hann: om. 720a VIII    [5] og: om. 720a VIII, svá 622, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, og svá 705ˣ, senn 4892;    bruggandi: ‘obruggandi’ 720a VIII    [6] augsjón: so 622, augum sjón Bb, augsyn 720a VIII, 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, 4892, ásján 99a;    manna: sanna 4892    [7] fjölkunnigr: fjölkunnugr Vb    [8] hann: svá Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 4892

Editions: Skj: Eysteinn Ásgrímsson, Lilja 15: AII, 368, BII, 394, Skald II, 214.

Notes: [All]: Peter Foote (1982, 119-21) sees sts 15-18 as ‘not so much a translation as a re-creation in the Icelandic’ of a passage from Geoffrey of Vinsauf’s Poetria nova: Quid iste? / Vidit eos, et ad hoc formatos ut repararent / Angelicum numerum qui corruit et fruerentur / Deliciis illis quas perdidit angelus. Inde, / Quid faceret versans, serpentis imagine sumpta, / Rectus et erectus veniens clam venit ad Evam, / Affari non ausus Adam: ‘Cur, inquit, ab esu / Praefati ligni prohiberis?’ Subdidit illa: / ‘Hoc ideo ne forte per hoc moriamur.’ Ad illud / ‘Forte’ minus fortem credentem vidit; et inde / Fortior his illam vicit: ‘Non sic, ait, immo / Vescere, sicque sciens potes esse bonique malique, / Sicut dii.’ Tumefecit eam spes irrita tanti / Polliciti; vititum gustavit; idemque maritus, / Ne turbaret eam, quamvis sit conscius, egit ‘And what of Satan? He saw them, saw them fashioned for this purpose: to make up the number of the angelic host that had fallen, and to enjoy those delights which the angel lost. Then, pondering what he might do, taking the form of a serpent, advancing straight and erect, he came in secret to Eve, not daring to speak to Adam: “Why,” he said, “are you forbidden to eat of that tree which was mentioned?” She replied, “For this reason, indeed: lest perchance through it we die.” At that “perchance” he saw her unstable in faith; and then, gaining assurance, he overcame her with this: “Not so,” he said, “on the contrary, eat; and thus you can be, as the gods are, expert in good and evil.” Vain hope of a promise so great puffed her up; she tasted what was forbidden; and her husband, lest he distress her – although with full knowledge – did likewise’ (Faral 1924, 242; Nims 1967, 68). — [1-4]: Cf. the ON Eluc: hann ovunde þat es þau scvldo koma til þess uegs es hann uas fyr rekenn fyr ofmetnoþ augsjón ‘he resented that they should receive the honor he had lost because of his arrogance’ (Eluc 1992, 20-1). Stjórn (Unger 1862, 34) also tells the story: þiat hann var þegar samdægris fullr af fianda sem hann var skapadr. ok fyrir þann skylld at sua sem Lucifer uar brott rekinn af himneskri paradis. aufunadi hann manninum at uera i iardneskri paradis. uitandi þat at hann mundi þadan brott reckinn. ef hann gengi af guds bodordi ‘because he was thus filled with enmity the same day he was created, because as Lucifer was driven out of the heavenly paradise, he resented that the humans were in the earthly paradise, knowing that he would be driven away from there if he deviated from God’s command’. — [2] það bann ‘that ban, curse, excommunication’: There are overtones of the more precise, juridical meaning of the word. Cf. 64/7, 80/6, and 83/2. Other mss have where Bb has það; in that case, one must construe it with eingill (so Skj B and Skald), eingill sá er hafði feingið bann ‘the angel, who had received the ban’. — [5] og bruggandi dauðans dreggjar ‘and brewing the dregs of death’: The image has many associations. Dregg, a relatively uncommon word in ON, can mean ‘yeast, lees, dregs’ or possibly ‘vinegar’ (see ONP: dregg). Here the pres. part. bruggandi ‘brewing’ makes it clear that the reference is to a drink. The image of the poculum mortis ‘cup of death, deadly cup’ is a commonplace of medieval Germanic (as well as Lat.) literature and occurs in a variety of contexts, pagan as well as Christian (see Hall 1993). A widely-circulated text in which the topos is used in a manner similar to here is the Easter hymn Rex aeterne domine: quem diabolus deceperat, / hostis humani generis, / per pomum ligni vetiti / mortis propinans poculum ‘[Adam,] whom the devil, the enemy of humankind, had deceived, giving him the cup of death to drink by means of the fruit of the forbidden tree’ (DH, 175; cf. AH 51, 6). — [6] augsjón ‘eyesight’: Bb’s reading, augum sjón, may be due to a scribal lapse: the word augum comes at the end of a fol., and sjón begins the verso. Fyrir augum, fyrir sjón, and fyrir augsjón would all convey more or less the same meaning, but fyrir augum sjón is ungrammatical, redundant, and spoils the metre with an extra syllable.

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