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, 655-6

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83 — Anon Lil 83VII

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Cite as: Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Lilja 83’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 655-6.

Lífið sjálft, að luktri æfi
leys mitt bann fyrir iðran sanna;
óléo smurður, vænti, að eg verða
viðrkennandi mjúkleik þenna.
Hreinast gief þú hjarta mínu
hold og blóð, það er tókt af móður,
listuliga að leiðarnesti;
leysiz önd af holdsins böndum.

Lífið sjálft, leys bann mitt að luktri æfi fyrir sanna iðran; smurður óléo, vænti, að eg verða viðrkennandi þenna mjúkleik. Gief þú hjarta mínu hreinast hold og blóð, það er tókt af móður, listuliga að leiðarnesti; leysiz önd af böndum holdsins.

Life itself, loose my ban at the close of my life for the sake of my true repentance; annointed with oil, I hope that I will be in a position to acknowledge this consolation. Give my heart the most pure flesh and blood, which you took from your mother, wonderfully, for Viaticum; may the soul be freed from the bonds of the flesh.

Mss: Bb(116rb), 99a(16v), 622(38), 713(13), Vb(254-255), 41 8°ˣ(132), 705ˣ(20r-v), 4892(38r-v)

Readings: [2] iðran: ykran 4892    [3] smurður: so all others, smurður að eg Bb;    vænti: veittu 99a, 622, 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, veitt 705ˣ, 4892;    að: om. Vb, 41 8°ˣ;    verða: verði 99a, 622, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ    [4] viðrkennandi: viðrkennandist 705ˣ;    mjúkleik: mildileik 99a, 622, fögnuð 713, 4892, mildleik Vb, 705ˣ, ‘illdleik’ corrected from ‘merðleik’ 41 8°ˣ;    þenna: þennan Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, 4892    [6] það: om. 99a, 713, 705ˣ, 4892, sem Vb, 41 8°ˣ;    er: om. 622, Vb, 41 8°ˣ;    tókt: tókstu 99a, 705ˣ, tókst Vb    [7] listuliga: listigazta 622, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, listiligt 705ˣ;    að: om. 622, Vb, 41 8°ˣ    [8] leysiz: þá lokkazt 99a, 705ˣ, lokkiz 622, þá er leysiz Vb, 41 8°ˣ;    af: frá 99a, Vb, 41 8°ˣ

Editions: Skj: Eysteinn Ásgrímsson, Lilja 83: AII, 389-90, BII, 412, Skald II, 225-6, NN §§1531, 2633.

Notes: [All]: The order of sts 82 and 83 is reversed in 622. The st. is a conventional prayer that the poet not die without the opportunity to receive Extreme Unction and Viaticum. Because the sacrament provided remission of sins, it was believed to ensure rapid entrance into heaven. — [1] lífið sjalft ‘life itself’: Christ. Cf. mildin sjálf ‘goodness itself’, applied to Christ in 67/4 and to Mary in 95/2. — [2] leys mitt bann ‘loose my ban’: Excommunication can be loosed by the absolution of Extreme Unction. Here, the meaning is most likely metaphorical rather than precisely juridical – the speaker is not literally excommunicated, but feels cut off from grace by his sinful life. Cf. 15/2, 64/7 and 80/6. — [6] hold og blóð, það er tókt af móður ‘flesh and blood which you took from your mother’: Here, a reference both to the Eucharist, for which hold og blóð is the standard designation in ON (cf. e.g. the homily In cena domini, HómÍsl 1993, 31r-32r), and the Incarnation (likama tk haɴ af hoʟde móþor ſiɴar ‘the body he took from the flesh of his mother’ HómÍsl 1993, 26v). Cf. 30/8 on the Incarnation (hold og bein af hreinum líkam ‘flesh and bone from her pure body’) and 67/8 on the resurrected body of Jesus (blóð, það er tók af móður ‘the blood which he took from his mother’). Lil’s account of the Incarnation says that Christ’s soul was united to ‘Mary’s blood’. The use of the same words to describe creation of the first human (blóð og hold af vatni og moldu ‘blood and flesh from water and earth’ (11/2) draws attention to the typological relationship between Jesus and Adam. — [7] að leiðarnesti ‘for Viaticum’: This became the ON term for Viaticum ‘provisions for the journey’, i.e the Eucharist administered just before death in the sacrament of Extreme Unction (see Fritzner: leiðarnest). — [8] leysiz önd af böndum holdsins ‘the soul is freed from the bonds of the flesh’: The idiom occurs both as leysa band and leysa ór böndum (ONP: band 6). Cf. the prayer of S. Blaise: Nu miɴiſc dróttiɴ miín nu er tękilig tiþ ſu er mer byriar at leyſac or bondom licamſ oc fara til criſtz ‘Now I think, my Lord, the time is fitting when I should be released from the bonds of the body and go to Christ’ (Finnur Jónsson 1927, 35).

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