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, 595-6

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28 — Anon Lil 28VII

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Cite as: Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Lilja 28’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 595-6.

Og svá veik að meyju mjúkri:
‘Máría, hlýð nú orðum várum!
Frægast víf, þier færeg áve,
full miskunnar sætleiks brunna.
Samangeypnandi sína skepnu
sannr höfðinginn eingla og manna
byggir þier fyr brjósti skæru,
blessuð mær; þú ert sprundum hæri.’

Og veik svá að mjúkri meyju: ‘Máría, hlýð nú orðum várum! Frægast víf, full sætleiks brunna miskunnar, þier færeg áve. {Sannr höfðinginn eingla og manna}, samangeypnandi skepnu sína, byggir fyr skæru brjósti þier, blessuð mær; þú ert sprundum hæri.

And he turned thus to the gentle maiden: ‘Mary, listen now to our [my] words! Most glorious woman, full of the sweetness of the fountains of mercy, I bring you a greeting. {The true chieftain of the angels and men} [= God], holding his creation together in his hand, takes up dwelling in your pure breast, blessed maiden; you are higher than [other] women.

Mss: Bb(114rb), 720a VIII(2v), 99a(6v), 622(28), 713(8), Vb(249), 41 8°ˣ(113-114), 705ˣ(8r-v), 4892(29r)

Readings: [2] hlýð: hlyði 720a VIII;    nú: þú 99a, 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, 4892;    várum: ‘vorim’ 713    [3] Frægast: frægasta 720a VIII, Vb, 41 8°ˣ    [4] miskunnar: miskunn af 622, 713, 4892, miskunnar af Vb, 41 8°ˣ;    sætleiks: sætum 720a VIII, 99a, 622, 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, 4892;    brunna: brunni 720a VIII, 99a, 622, 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, 4892    [5] ‑geypnandi: ‑gaupnandi 99a, 705ˣ, 4892, ‑gúpnandi Vb, 41 8°ˣ;    sína: sínar Vb, 41 8°ˣ;    skepnu: skepnur Vb, 41 8°ˣ    [6] höfðinginn: höfðingi 622    [7] skæru: skæra 720a VIII    [8] sprundum: einglum Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 4892;    hæri: æðri 720a VIII, Vb, 41 8°ˣ

Editions: Skj: Eysteinn Ásgrímsson, Lilja 28: AII, 372, BII, 398, Skald II, 216.

Notes: [2] várum ‘our’: The form is necessary to provide a rhyme with Mária, but note that all mss read vorum. See Hreinn Benediktsson’s (1964) discussion of á / rhymes in early skaldic poetry. — [4] full sætleiks brunna miskunnar ‘full of the sweetness of the fountains of mercy’: This is the reading of Bb, which alone has sætleiks brunna ‘of the sweetness of the fountains’, against the other mss’ full sætum brunni miskunnar ‘full of the sweet fountain of mercy’. (Fullr adj. in the sense ‘full [of]’ may take either the gen. or the dat.) Skj B and Skald prefer the majority reading, which is arguably superior to Bb’s, where brunna must be gen. pl. The Lat. epithet fons misericordiae was used of both Christ and Mary, though here it must refer to Christ. It occurs frequently in the works of Cistercians like Anselm of Canterbury, Aelred of Rievaulx, and Bernard of Clairvaux. See e.g. Anselm’s Oratio 5: O tu illa pie potens et potenter pia MARIA, de qua fons est ortus misericordiae ‘O piously powerful and powerfully pious Maria, from whom the fount of mercy sprang’ (Schmitt 1946-1961, III, 14, cf. also I, 107 and III, 49). Fons misericordiae is also used of Mary, especially in the later Middle Ages; see e.g. Ramon Llull (in Garí and Reboiras 2003, 138); the Soliloquium animae of Thomas ꜳ Kempis (in Pohl 1902-22, I, 329). It became a commonplace in Marian hymns from C13th onward. It occurs in Arngr Gd 9/2IV full hjartans brunni miskunnar ‘[Mary] full of the heart’s fountain of mercy’. — [5] samangeypnandi sína skepnu ‘holding his creation together in his hands’: The spelling of the pres. part. is either in <ey> or <au>. See the Note on yfirspennanda heima þrennra ‘over-spanner of three worlds’ (23/4). The phrase here is not in the form of a kenning: sína skepnu, the object of the nomen agentis, is in the acc. rather than the gen. (cf. the analogous gen. constructions cited in the Note to 23/4). — [8] blessuð mær; þú ert sprundum hæri ‘blessed maiden; you are higher than [other] women’: An echo of Luke I.28: et ingressus angelus ad eam dixit ave gratia plena Dominus tecum benedicta tu in mulieribus ‘And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women’, also familiar from the popular prayer Ave, Maria.

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