Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Lilja, 88 [Vol. 7, 661]

[8] eg skiljumz eigi undan ‘I should not be separated out’: An allusion to Matthew’s description of the Last Judgement: Enn þa manzins ſon mun koma i ſinu tignar velldi / og aller Helger Einglar med honum / hann mun þa ſitta i ſæti ſins velldis / og allar þioder munu ſaman ſafnazt fyre honum / og hann mun þa ſundr ſkilia huora fra odrum svo ſem hirder ſundr greiner ſaudi fra kidum ‘And when the Son of man shall come in his majesty, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the seat of his majesty. And all nations shall be gathered together before him: and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats’ (Hið Nya Testament 1540 [Sigurður Nordal 1933]; Matt. XXV.31-2). Cf. also the sequence Dies iræ from the mass for the dead: Inter oves locum præsta / Et ab hoedis me sequestra / Statuens in parte dextra ‘Give me a place among the sheep, and keep me away from the goats, standing on the right side’ (AH 54, 269). The st. evokes the visual image, familiar from medieval wall paintings in Nordic churches, of Mary interceding for sinners as her son divides the souls being judged into two groups.

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