Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

VII. Lilja (Lil) - 100

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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, 611-12

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41 — Anon Lil 41VII

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Cite as: Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Lilja 41’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 611-12.

‘Föðurætt hans, trúig, fá munu hitta;
finz móðernið hier með þjóðum;
þó er atferðin Jésú burðar
undarlig, svá að skil eg það varla.
Ekki er mier á þessum þokki;
þannin ferr þeim unga manni;
aldri var sá fyrr á foldu
fæddur maðr, er eg næsta hræddumz.

‘Trúig, fá munu hitta föðurætt hans; móðernið finz hier með þjóðum; þó er atferðin burðar Jésú svá undarlig, að eg skil það varla. Ekki er mier þokki á þessum; þannin ferr þeim unga manni; aldri fyrr var sá maðr fæddur á foldu, er eg hræddumz næsta.

‘I believe few will encounter his father’s kin; the maternal side is found here among people; nevertheless, the manner of Jesus’ birth is so wondrous, that I scarcely comprehend it. I take no pleasure in this one; thus it turns out for the young man; never before was that man born on earth whom I feared [so] much.

Mss: Bb(114vb), 99a(8v-9r), 622(30), 713(9), Vb(250), 41 8°ˣ(118), 705ˣ(11r), 4892(31r-v)

Readings: [1] trúig (‘true ek’): ‘tru ec’ 99a, 713, Vb, 4892;    fá: fáir 99a, 622, 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, 4892;    munu: menn 713, om. Vb, 4892    [2] finz: enn finnz 622    [3] þó: því 99a, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ;    Jésú: so 622, 4892, Jésús Bb, 99a, 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ    [4] undarlig: undarligt Vb, 41 8°ˣ;    að: om. 99a, 622, 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 4892;    varla: valla 4892    [6] þannin: þannveg 99a, 622, 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, 4892;    ferr: fyrir 41 8°ˣ;    þeim: so 99a, 622, 713, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, 4892, það Bb    [7] fyrr: fyrri 99a    [8] er: om. 99a, 622, 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, 4892

Editions: Skj: Eysteinn Ásgrímsson, Lilja 41: AII, 276-7, BII, 401, Skald II, 218-9, NN §§1522, 2831C.

Notes: [1-2]: Cf. Note on st. 39 and Mar 1871, 186: Auðsynt er þat, at sv sem hann fęddi er senniliga hans moðir, enn þat er þvi oskilianlict, hverr hans er faðir, se ek bvrðinn, enn hvarki fę ek skilit fęðing ne getnat ‘It is clear that she who gave birth to him is truly his mother, but it is impossible to know who his father is: I see the birth, but I cannot understand either the birth or the conception’. — [1] trúig fá munu hitta föðurætt hans ‘I believe few will encounter his father’s kin’: The conj. needs to be understood at the beginning of the subordinate cl. The statement here is typical skaldic understatement: ‘his father’ is the ineffable God. — [5-8]: Cf. Mar 1871, 187. — [5] ekki er mier þokki á þessum ‘I take no pleasure in this one’: Cf. LP: þokki 2 behag ‘pleasure, satisfaction’ and the idioms e-t ert mér vel í þokka ‘it seems good to me’, and leggja þokka á/til ‘to think well of, lend assent to’. — [6] þannin ferr þeim unga manni ‘thus it turns out for the young man’: Þeim unga manni is the reading of the majority mss and is likely original; Bb has þannin ferr þat unga manni, which is difficult grammatically, as fara e-m is usually impersonal, so one needs a dat. of interest. The weak form of the adj. unga is rare without a demonstrative (see NS §50 d). — [8] fæddur maðr, er eg ‘man, born whom I’: Kock (NN §1522) argues that normalisation to fæddur is unnecessary. — [8] næsta ‘[so] much’: According to Kock, næst used after a negation (here aldri ‘never’) means ‘in the least’ (NN §2831C), but there is little evidence to support him. Cf. LP: næri, næstr; with verbs, the meaning is ‘very, much’ and (JH) i høj grad ‘to a great extent’. The MIcel. eds of Guðbrandur Jónsson (1951, 167) and Gunnar Finnbogason (1988, 54) gloss sem ég hræddist mjög ‘whom I feared greatly’.

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