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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, ‘ Anonymous, Lilja’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 544-677. <> (accessed 21 May 2022)

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

SkP info: VII, 636-7

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

65 — Anon Lil 65VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Lilja 65’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 636-7.

Hví stundaðir, inn forni fjandi
fremdar snauðr, á Jésú dauða?
Eða þóttiz þú meiri að mætti,
máttrinn hans er guðdóm váttar?
Eða hugðir þú líkams lygðir?
Líkam tók hann meyjar ríkrar;
óverðugan hann fleingdu fyrðar
flekklaustan; hann vann til ekki.

Hví stundaðir á Jésú dauða, inn forni fjandi, snauðr fremdar? Eða þóttiz þú meiri að mætti, er máttrinn hans váttar guðdóm? Eða hugðir þú lygðir líkams? Hann tók líkam ríkrar meyjar; fyrðar fleingdu hann óverðugan, flekklaustan; hann vann ekki til.

Why were you zealous for Jesus’ death, old fiend, bereft of honour? Or did you think yourself greater in strength, when his power attests to divinity? Or did you believe the lies of the body? He took the body of a powerful maiden; men whipped him, not deserving, spotless; he had not earned it.

Mss: Bb(115va), 99a(13r-v), 622(34-35), 713(11), Vb(253), 41 8°ˣ(126), 705ˣ(16v), 4892(35r-v)

Readings: [1] Hví: Því 99a, 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, 4892;    inn: þú 99a, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, þú enn 713, 705ˣ, 4892;    forni: feigi 99a    [2] á: í Vb, 41 8°ˣ;    Jésú: so 622, 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, Jésús Bb, 99a, 705ˣ, Kristi 705ˣ, 4892    [3] þóttiz: hugðiz 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, hugðaz 4892;    meiri: meir 4892;    að: om. 622;    mætti: mættar 622    [4] máttrinn: enn máttrinn 99a, 705ˣ;    hans: þín 713;    er: þó 99a, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, að 622, enn 713, 4892;    váttar: váttir Vb, 41 8°ˣ    [5] hugðir: hugðiz 713, 4892;    líkams: líkamans Vb, 41 8°ˣ;    lygðir: lygðum 713, lygði 4892    [6] Líkam: líkama 99a, 4892, að líkama Vb, 41 8°ˣ;    tók: tæki Vb, 41 8°ˣ    [7] hann: að 99a, 622, 713, om. Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ;    fleingdu: fleingdu hann 99a, 705ˣ    [8] flekklaustan: flekklausastir 99a, 705ˣ, flekklaustur 622, flekklausan 713, flekklausastur Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 4892;    hann: so 99a, 622, 713, 705ˣ, om. Bb, Vb, 41 8°ˣ

Editions: Skj: Eysteinn Ásgrímsson, Lilja 65: AII, 384, BII, 407, Skald II, 223, NN §2629 E.

Notes: [All]: The st. contrasts Lucifer’s inflated idea of his power with the greater might of both Jesus and Mary. Peter Foote (1982, 118) points out that much of the content of this st. and the following is ‘clearly a verbatim transfer of the Poetria nova’ of Geoffrey of Vinsauf. Cf. Geoffrey on subjectio and gradatio: Serpens invidiae nostraeque propaginis auctor, / Cur cruce damnasti Christum? Meruitne? Sed expers / Omnis erat maculae. Corpus fantasma putasti? / Sed veram carnem sumpsit de virgine. Purum / Credebas hominem? Sed de virtute probavit / Esse Deum. Quare merita damnare ‘Serpent of envy and foe of our race, why did you seek Christ’s death on the cross? Did he deserve it? But he was free of all guilt. Did you think his body a phantom? But he assumed true flesh of a virgin. Did you think him mere man? But by his power he proved himself God...’ (Nims 1967, 57; Faral 1924, 232). — [1, 2] stundaðir … á ‘[you] were zealous for’: The idiom stunda á means ‘strive after, aspire to, trust in’. — [4]: Skj B reads máttrinn hans at guðdóm váttar and translates uagtet hans styrke vidner om goddomsnatur? ‘although his strength attests to his divine nature?’. JH points out that ‘although’ is Finnur’s editorial addition and suggests that Bb’s er is preferable to the of 622. He translates når hans magt vidner om guddom ‘when his might attests to divinity’. — [5] lygðir líkams ‘the lies of the body’: I.e. the body’s apparent weakness. This is a return to the theme of st. 60: the seemingly mortal Jesus on the Cross as bait in a trap. — [7] fleingdu ‘whipped’: Cf. Mark X.34: þeir munu og ſpotta hann / og fleingia ſpyta a hann ‘they will mock him and whip and spit on him’ (Hið Nya Testament 1540 [Sigurður Nordal 1933]); see also Matt. XX.19, XVII.36; Mark XV.15; Luke XVIII.32-3; and John XIX.1.

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