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, 581-2

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16 — Anon Lil 16VII

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Cite as: Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Lilja 16’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 581-2.

Sem próvandi segir, að ‘Éva,
svara mier skjótt! En hví hefir dróttinn
sætast ykkur blóm að bíta
bannað, lofað en flest alt annað?’
Svá fór það, er svaraði Éva,
sem margbrugðinn fjandinn hugði:
‘að ei fari við lífs af leiðum,
liettliga hröpum í dauðans stiettir.’

Sem próvandi segir, að ‘Éva, svara mier skjótt! En hví hefir dróttinn bannað ykkur að bíta sætast blóm, en lofað flest alt annað?’ Það fór svá, er Éva svaraði, sem margbrugðinn fjandinn hugði: ‘Að fari við ei af leiðum lífs, hröpum liettliga í stiettir dauðans.’

As one testing, he says, that ‘Eve, answer me quickly! Why has the Lord forbidden you to eat the sweetest fruit, but allowed almost everything else?’ So it went, that Eve answered, as the shifty fiend had expected: ‘So that we do not wander off the paths of life, perhaps rush into the ways of death.’

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

Readings: [1] Sem: Svá 622, 4892, senn Vb, 41 8°ˣ;    segir: seg 622;    að: til 720a VIII, 99a, 713, 705ˣ, 4892, mier 622, við Vb, 41 8°ˣ;    Éva: Évu 720a VIII, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 4892, Évam 622, 713    [2] En: og 622, er 713;    hví: því 720a VIII, 99a, 622, 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, 4892;    hefir: hefur 713    [4] bannað: bannað en 99a, 622, 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, 4892;    en: þó 99a, 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, om. 622, 4892;    flest alt: gjörvalt Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 4892    [5] fór: fer 705ˣ;    er: að 99a, 622, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, 4892    [7] ei: om. 99a, eigum 622, eigi 713, við Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, 4892;    fari: lefdi 720a VIII, om. 99a, 622, 713, eigum Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, 4892;    við: við eigum 99a, om. Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, 4892;    af: á 622    [8] liettliga: og liettliga 99a;    hröpum: hrapað 720a VIII, hrapa Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 4892;    í: á 99a, 622, 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, 4892;    dauðans: dauða 720a VIII, 705ˣ

Editions: Skj: Eysteinn Ásgrímsson, Lilja 16: AII, 368, BII, 394, Skald II, 214, NN §2629 B.

Notes: [All]: See Note on st. 15. — [1] : The later mss render the sentence as conventional direct discourse: Sem próvandi segir til Évu, ‘Svara mier skjótt!’ But as Nygaard attests (NS §280), mixed forms blending direct and indirect discourse are characteristic of ON, and there is no need to reject the slightly more difficult reading of Bb. — [5] er ‘that’: Bb’s reading is acceptable (so also 720a VIII and 713), alongside the majority mss’ (see NS §267a). — [6] margbrugðinn ‘shifty, often-changed’: Probably derived from the idiom bregða sier í líki ‘take on the form, appearance of something, somebody’ (see ONP: bregða), perhaps with the additional connotation ‘having made many winding, tortuous movements’ (JH). This is the earliest known occurrence of the word in ON: see Sigfús Blöndal 1920-4 for its use in MIcel. — [6] fjandinn ‘the enemy, the fiend’: The suffixed def. art. makes it clear that the reference is to the enemy, Lucifer. — [7-8]: Foote (1982, 120) observes that these ll., combined with the word-play of ll. 1-2 of the following st. (ei, liettliga, Liettliga, liettleika) echo the word-play of Geoffrey of Vinsauf: ‘Hoc ideo ne forte per hoc moriamur.’ Ad illud ‘Forte’ minus fortem credentem vidit; et inde Fortior his illam vicit ... ‘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 ...’. — [7] að við ei fari ‘so that we do not wander’: The various mss have different readings. Skj B and Skald follow 713 in reading at eigi við, omitting the verb. The final <m> of the 1st pers. pl. subj. farim is omitted in the presence of an immediately following pers. pron. (cf. ANG §531.3). — [8] liettliga ‘perhaps’: JH points out that Fritzner: léttliga 5 attests to this meaning, as distinct from the more usual ‘readily, easily’, which the word clearly has in the parallel passage in Stjórn, where Lat. ne forte moriamur is rendered lettliga fyrir þa sauk at vit dæim eigi þar af ‘lest perhaps we should die of it’ (Unger 1862, 350). See also Foote 1982, 121. — [8] stiettir ‘ways, stepping stones’: An echo of the first l. of Lil. If we take the second meaning, ‘stepping stones’, the implication is that Adam and Eve embark on a series of choices that lead from bad to worse.

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