skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

Lilja — Anon LilVII

Anonymous Poems

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.

 

Almáttigr guð allra stietta,
yfirbjóðandi eingla og þjóða,
ei þurfandi staða nie stunda,
staði haldandi í kyrrleiks valdi,
senn verandi úti og inni,
uppi og niðri og þar í miðju,
lof sie þier um aldr og æfi
eining sönn í þrennum greinum.
 
‘Almighty God of all orders of things, supreme ruler of angels and peoples [= God], not dependent on places or times, holding places in the power of tranquility, at once being without and within, above and below and there in the middle, praise be to you forever and ever, true unity in three parts.
Æski eg þín hin mikla miskunn
— mier veitiz, ef eg eftir leita
klökkum hug — því að inniz ekki
annað gott, en af þier til, drottinn.
Hreinsa brjóst og leið með listum
líflig orð í stuðla skorðum
steflig gjörð, að vísan verði
vunnin yðr af þessum munni.
 
‘I ask for your great mercy — may it be granted to me, if I seek with a humble spirit — because there cannot be talk of anything good other than from you, Lord. Cleanse my heart and lead with artistry lively words, within the supports of the stuðlar, a belt with refrains, so that a poem comes about, uttered for you from this mouth.
Beiði eg þig, mær og móðir,
mínum að fyrir umsjá þína
renni mál af raddartólum
riettferðugt í vísum sliettum,
skýr og sæt af vörrum várum
vorðin svá, að mætti orðin
laugaz öll í glóanda gulli;
guði væri eg þau skyldr að færa.
 
‘I ask you, maiden and mother, that with your overseeing proper speech may flow in smooth verses from my voice-tools [ORGANS OF SPEECH], clear and sweet from our [my] lips, fashioned so that all the words might be washed in shining gold: I would be bound to bring them to God.
Fyrri menn, er fræðin kunnu
forn og klók af sínum bókum
slungin, mjúkt af sínum kóngum
sungu lof með danskri tungu.
Í þvílíku móðurmáli
meir skyldumz eg en nökkurr þeira
hrærðan dikt með ástarorðum
allsvaldanda kóngi að gjalda.
 
‘Men of old, who from their books knew complex learning, ancient and profound, sang in the Nordic tongue elegant praise of their kings. In just such a mother tongue I am more obliged than any of them to present the all-ruling king with a poem, composed with loving words.
Skapan og fæðing, skírn og prýði,
skynsemd full, að betri er gulli,
dreyrinn Krists af síðusári,
syndalíkn og dagligt yndi,
háleit ván á himnasælu,
hrygðin jarðar neztu bygðar
bjóða mier í frásögn færa
fögr stórmerkin drottins verka.
 
‘Creation and birth, baptism and glory, complete reason, which is better than gold, the gore from the wound in Christ’s side, mercy for sins and daily happiness, exalted hope of heavenly bliss, the sorrow of the lowliest dwelling on earth compel me to present the beautiful wonders of the Lord’s deeds in a narrative.
Herra guð sá er hverjum dýrri,
himin og jörð í fyrstu gjörði;
prýddi hann með þrysvar þrennum
— það er riett trúa mín — eingla stiettar.
Áðr, var hann þó jafn og síðan
ærinn sier, en skepnan væri;
gjörði hann heim og teygði tíma
tvá jafnaldra í sínu valdi.
 
‘The Lord God, who is more precious than everyone, made in the begining heaven and earth; he adorned them with three times three orders of angels; that is truly my belief. Before creation existed, and afterwards, he was nevertheless the same, sufficient in himself; he made the world and stretched out time, two [entities] of the same age in his power.
Mektarfullr, er af bar öllum
í náttúruskærleik sínum,
skapaður góðr og skein í prýði
skapara næstr í vegsemd hæstri.
Eigi liet sier alla nægjaz
eingill mekt, þá er hafði feingið;
með ofbeldi öðlaz vildi
æðra sess og virðing bæði.
 
‘The one full of might, who in his natural brightness surpassed all, [was] created good and shone in glory, in highest honour next to the Creator. The angel did not let all the might, which he had received, be a source of contentment to him; with pride he wanted to win for himself both a higher seat and regard.
Fýstiz hann með ofsa æstum
að viðrlíkjaz yfrið ríkum
guðs eingetnum syni, en síðan,
sier nægjandi en eingum vægja.
Fúll metnaðrinn er með öllu;
óvarliga, svá ritning próvar;
ætlar sier við dýran drottin
deila megni, hversu er vegnar.
 
‘With raging hubris he wanted to match himself with God’s abundantly powerful only-begotten son [= Christ], and then, sufficient to himself, to yield to no one. Foul presumption is utterly careless; thus Scripture proves; he intends to pit his strength against the splendid Lord however it turns out.
Svá er greinanda; á samri stundu
sem eingillinn tók að spillaz,
söktiz hann með sínum grönnum
sem blývarða í djúpleik jarðar,
blindan þar sem föður sinn fjandann
feikt ofbeldið kvelr í eldi;
fávíss er sá, er feðgin þessi
faðma vill en siðunum spilla.
 
‘So it is to tell at the very moment when the angel began to destroy himself, he sank down like a plumb bob with his comrades into the depth of the earth, where terrible pride torments her blind father, the fiend, in fire; ignorant is he who wants to embrace this father and daughter and destroy his morals.
Dagarnir sex að vísu vuxu
veltiligir um sjávarbelti,
áðr en feingi alla prýði
jörð og loft, það er drottinn gjörði:
pressað vatn í himininn hvassa,
hjörn og eld sem merkistjörnur,
hagl og dýr sem fiska og fugla,
fagran plóg sem aldinskóga.
 
‘Truly, the six rolling days spread across the sea-belt, before earth and air received all the glory that the Lord made: the water compressed into the stormy sky, ice and fire as well as fixed stars, hail and animals along with fish and birds, fair crop and fruit-bearing woods.
Breytti guð og brá til hætti
blóð og hold af vatni og moldu,
liettan blástr af lofti næsta,
lífs heitleika af sólar reitum,
önd og þar til síðan sendi;
sú er skiljandi drottins vilja;
leið kunnandi um líkams æðar,
líf skínanda af helgum anda.
 
‘God transformed and changed his behaviour, blood and flesh from water and soil, the light breath from the nearest air, the warmth [lit. warmths] of life from the paths of the sun [SKY/HEAVEN], and then he sent a soul there; it is discerning the Lord’s will, knowing the path through the body’s blood vessels, the shining life from the Holy Spirit.
Svá er líðandi maðr af móður-
moldu — þó er með skæru holdi —
Ádám nefndur, er alls í heimi
átti ráð með frelsi og náðum.
Höfginn rann svá hægr á þenna
heims stýranda; fekk hann skýra
andagift, og síðan sýndi,
svá vorðinna spádómsorða.
 
‘Thus a man proceeds from mother-earth, named Adam, though he is with unsullied flesh, who had power over everything in the world, with freedom and peace. Then a light slumber came upon that ruler of the world [= Adam]: he received a clear spiritual gift — and later demonstrated [it] — of prophetic words which came to fulfilment.
Út leiðandi af Ádáms síðu
Évam brátt, sem Móises váttar;
vist og æru, vald og ástir
vísa gaf hann þeim paradísar,
þangað til, er þau með einglum
— það er blíðan mest — lifði síðan
með afspringi alt, það er feingi,
ævinliga og þakkir gæfi.
 
‘Quickly leading Eve out of Adam’s side, as Moses attests, he gave them a secure dwelling in paradise and honour, power and love, until they later were to live forever with angels with all the offspring they would beget and [for which they] would give thanks; that is the greatest joy.
En að verðleikrinn vís á jörðu
vyrði sök til himna dýrðar,
boðorðið liet fram blíður drottinn;
býður þeim í skyldu að hlýða:
‘Eplið eitt eg banna að bíta
báðum ykkr, en þið munuð ráða,
deyja skuluð, ef efnið eigi
einfalt boð með dyggleik hreinum.’
 
‘And so that their merit on earth should become a sure basis for the glory of the heavens, the kindly Lord propounded the commandment; he commands them to obey dutifully: ‘One apple I forbid you both to take a bite of, but you may decide for yourselves; you must die if you do not keep the single command with pure fidelity.’
Þrútnar, svellr og unir við illa
eingill, bann það er hafði feingið,
fyrða sveitin fædd á jörðu
fái þar vist, er sjálfr hann misti,
og bruggandi dauðans dreggjar,
duldiz hann fyrir augsjón manna;
fjölkunnigr í einum innan
ormi tók hann mál að forma.
 
‘The angel who had received that ban swells, puffs up, and is displeased that the company of men born on earth should receive a dwelling there where he himself lost one, and, brewing the dregs of death, he concealed himself from the sight of men; knowing magic, he set about forming speech from inside a serpent.
Sem próvandi segir, að ‘Éva,
svara mier skjótt! En hví hefir dróttinn
sætast ykkur blóm að bíta
bannað, lofað en flest alt annað?’
Svá fór það, er svaraði Éva,
sem margbrugðinn fjandinn hugði:
‘að ei fari við lífs af leiðum,
liettliga hröpum í dauðans stiettir.’
 
‘As one testing, he says, that ‘Eve, answer me quickly! Why has the Lord forbidden you to eat the sweetest fruit, but allowed almost everything else?’ So it went, that Eve answered, as the shifty fiend had expected: ‘So that we do not wander off the paths of life, perhaps rush into the ways of death.’
Liettliga þar — svá ljósin vátta
liettleika í svaranna reikan —
því treystiz hann framt að freista
flærðum settr og talar með prettum:
‘Eigi munu þið Ádám deyja
andlitshvít, þóað eplið bítið,
heldur munuð með heiðr og valdi
hosk og rík við guðdóm líkjaz.’
 
‘Easily there — thus the lights affirm the levity in the wavering of her replies —, he dared this, filled with deceit, to tempt impertinently and speaks with tricks: ‘You and Adam, bright of face, will not die, though you eat the apple, rather, wise and powerful, you will be like the Godhead with honour and might.’
Auðgint mjög, því að Éva trúði,
át hon blóm, en tapaði sóma,
og þar með sier Ádám teygði;
át hann nú það, er vissi bannað.
Ugði hann, að Éva stygðiz,
ef neitaði bæn að veita;
fjandinn gat svá í fyrstu blindað
feðgin vár með nógu dári.
 
‘Eve, very easily beguiled because she trusted, ate the fruit, but she lost honour and enticed Adam there with her; now he ate that which he knew was banned. He feared that Eve would be offended if he refused to grant her request; thus the fiend in the beginning managed to blind our parents with much deceit.
Refsar þeim að riettum dómi
ríkr herra fyr ódygð slíka;
rak þau braut af sæmdarsæti
snauð og nökt í myrkr og dauða.
Veltuz aum í veslum heimi
víða lands, þar er nær öll síðan
lýða kind af sárum syndum
sendiz fram af Ádáms lendum.
 
‘For such faithlessness the powerful Lord punishes them with a just judgement: he drove them away, poor and naked, from the seat of honour into darkness and death. They wandered wretched far and wide about the land in the woeful world, where nearly all of the race of men because of painful sins have been sent forth since from Adam’s loins.
Remman brast af rót í kvistu;
rann þá glæpr af hverjum til annars;
leið svá heimr um langan tíma
lífs andvani en fullr af grandi.
Liettir hvörki ugg nie ótta,
eftir mest en þó er að lesti;
opið helvíti búið með bölvi
bauð sig fram við hvers manns dauða.
 
‘The bitterness sprang forth from root to twigs; then sin ran from one to the next; the world proceeded thus for a long time, devoid of life and full of injury. Neither dread nor fear lets up, yet the worst is what comes at the last; gaping hell, provided with misfortune, presented itself at each man’s death.
Heimr er dauðr, en hvað er til ráða?
Hvar gietr þann, er sier megi bjarga?
Hvergi, því að í synda saurgan
sannliga, hverr að þyngir annan.
Eitt er til, það er eg skal vátta,
— á eg grátandi frammi að standa —
attú sjálfr, inn dýri drottinn,
dugir nú ferð, svá lífguð verði.
 
‘The world is dead, and what remedy is there? Where is to be found the one who can save himself? Nowhere, because in the defilement of sins truly [it is] that each weighs down the other. There is one thing to be done, that which I shall attest — I must stand forth weeping —, that you yourself, the dear Lord, will now help mankind, so that it may be revived.
Veitt er líf, það er varð, er mátti;
veitt er líf, það er Ádám neitti;
sú miskunn á settum tíma
sendiz fram af guðdóms hendi,
ljós í heim að lifanda kæmi;
lifandi víst og kvaldar andir
tæki burt ór djöfla díki;
dýrð einglanna slíku stýrði.
 
‘Life is given, that which came into being when it had to; life is given, that which Adam refused; that mercy was sent forth at the appointed time from the hand of the Godhead, so that a living light might come into the world; it would take away truly living and tormented souls from the devils’ pit; the glory of angels controlled such [a thing].
Tendraz öll og tala með snilli,
tunga mín, af herra þínum!
Um stórmerkin áttu að yrkja
yfirspennanda heima þrennra.
Bjúg og sár í bandi værir,
bandi riett ins nezta fjanda,
nema hjálpræði guðs ið góða
giefið á jörð mig leystan hefði.
 
‘My tongue, be all kindled and speak with skill of your Lord! You must compose poetry about the miracles of the over-spanner of three worlds [= God]. You would be bent and bound in a fetter, right in the fetter of the lowest devil, except that the good salvation of God, given on earth, had released me.
Nær og firr með skygnleik skýrum
skapandi alt með syni og anda
föðurpersónan, eingli einum
erindi býðr, en þessi hlýðir:
‘Fljúg, og seg það Máríu meyju
mætri, þeirri er eg skal gæta,
minn einkason holdi hennar
hlýðinnar vill björtu skrýðaz.’
 
‘The Father-person, creating with the Son and the Spirit everything near and far with clear vision, assigns an angel a mission, which he obeys: ‘Fly and say to the worthy maiden Mary, to the one whom I shall care for, [that] my only son wants to clothe himself with her, the obedient one’s, bright flesh.’
Móðir oss er Máría þessi,
mektarblóm en full af sóma,
glæsilig sem roðnuð rósa
runnin upp við lifandi brunna,
rót ilmandi lítillætis,
logandi öll með skírleiks anda,
guði unnandi og góðum mönnum,
guði líkjandi í dygðum slíkum.
 
‘This Mary, flower of might and full of honour, is a mother to us, magnificent as a reddened rose sprung up beside living springs, the fragrant root of humility, all aflame with the spirit of purity, loving God and good people, like God in such virtues.
Eingin sé eg, að jarðlig tunga,
inn háleiti stjörnu reitar
drottinn, þier, sem verðugt væri,
vandað fái nú stef til handa.
Sie þier dýrð með sannri prýði
sunginn heiðr af öllum tungum
eilífliga með sigri og sælu;
sæmd og vald það minkaz aldri.
 
‘I see, the sublime Lord of the path of the star [SKY/HEAVEN > = God], that no earthly tongue could now work out a stef for you that would be worthy. Let there be to you glory with true beauty, honour sung from all tongues, eternally with victory and blessing; honour and that power will never be diminished.
Leið sigrandi páfugls prýði
pentað innan firmamentum
Gabriél sem geisli sólar
gleðiligur í loft in neðri.
Sendiboði kom sjaufalds anda
— svá er greinanda — að húsi einu;
sannr meydómrinn sat þar inni
sjálft hreinlífið gimsteinn vífa.
 
‘Gabriel, excelling the peacock’s beauty, moved like a joyful ray of the sun through the ornamented firmament into the lower air. The messenger of the sevenfold Spirit [ANGEL = Gabriel] came to a house; therein sat the true maidenhood, purity itself, the jewel of women; so it is to be told.
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.’
 
‘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.
Heyrði og trúði, en undraz orðin
jungfrú kyrr, því vissi hun fyrri
aldri kvaddan mann á moldu
með þvílíkri tígnarkveðju.
Fyrirbjóðandi henni að hræðaz,
höfuðeingillinn talaði leingra:
‘Guð himnanna fram mun fæðaz,
frúin skínandi, af holdi þínu.’
 
‘The calm virgin listened and believed, but she was amazed at the words, because she knew that never before was anyone on earth addressed with such a majestic greeting. The archangel spoke further, forbidding her to be afraid: ‘Radiant woman, the God of the heavens [= God (= Christ)] will be brought forth from your flesh.’
Friettir nú, með hverjum hætti
henni bæri til fögnuð þenna,
borgarmúrr svá að brysti hvergi
bygð geymandi hreinleiks dygða.
Eingill segir, að ei mun syngaz
jungfrú blíð, þá er sveinn er smíðaðr
haglig myndan heilags anda
hold og bein af líkam hreinum.
 
‘She asks now by what means this joy might befall her, so that the guarding wall, protecting the dwelling of the virtues of chastity, should nowhere break. The angel says that the gentle virgin will not commit sin, when the boy, the proper image of the Holy Spirit [= God (= Christ)], is formed, flesh and bone from the pure body.
Loftin öll af ljósi fyllaz;
legir á grundu stóðu og undraz;
kúguð sjálf af nærri nógu
náttúran sier ekki mátti.
Giftiz öndin guðdóms krafti
góð og huldiz Máríu blóði;
glaðrar dvelz í jungfrú iðrum
ein persóna þrennrar greinar.
 
‘All the heavens are filled with light, the waters on the earth stood and were amazed; nature itself, all but sufficiently compelled, was unable to help itself. The good soul was wed to the power of the Godhead and hid itself in the blood of Mary; one person of the threefold branch takes up dwelling in the womb of the joyful virgin.
Hjörtun játi; falli og fljóti
fagnaðarlaug af hvers manns augum;
æ þakkandi miskunn mjúka
minn drottinn, í holdgan þinni;
Sie þier dýrð með sannri prýði,
sunginn heiðr af öllum tungum
eilífliga með sigri og sælu;
sæmd og vald það minkaz aldri.
 
‘Let hearts confess; let a hot spring [TEARS] of joy fall and flow from every man’s eyes, forever thanking mild mercy in your Incarnation, my Lord. Let there be to you glory with true beauty, honour sung from all tongues, eternally with victory and blessing; honour and that power will never be diminished.
Fimm mánuðum og fjórum síðar
fæddiz sveinn af meyju hreinni,
skygnast sem þá er glerið í gegnum
geislinn brár fyrir augum várum.
Glóar þar sól af glerinu heilu;
gleðiligt jóðið skínn af móður,
að innsigli höldnu hennar
hreinferðugstra meydóms greina.
 
‘Five months and four later a boy was born of the pure maiden, just as when the sunbeam breaks through the clearest glass before our eyes. There sun shines from intact glass; the joyful boy shines from the mother, the seal of the purest marks of her virginity having been preserved.
Eingin heyrðuz eingi vurðu
jöfn tíðindin fyrr nie síðar,
bæði senn því mær og móður,
mann og guð, bauð trúan að sanna.
Loftin sungu komnum kóngi
kunnigt lof, þar er hirðar runnu;
himna dýrðin hneigð á jörðu;
hier samteingduz menn og einglar.
 
‘None have been heard; the same tidings have not happened before nor since, because faith affirmed at the same time both maid and mother, man and God. The heavens sang well-known praise for the king who had come, where shepherds ran about; the glory of the heavens [has] sunk down on earth; here men and angels were united.
Þó var ei svá rík, að reifa
ríkust móðir ætti góða;
því var kóngrinn hörðu heyvi
huldr, að mætti firraz kulda.
Umsníðningar Jésú prýði
átti dagr að fæðing váttar
æsiz blóð á líkam ljósan;
lagaz minnilig tár af kinnum.
 
‘Yet the richest mother was not so rich that she had good swaddling clothes; therefore the king was covered with harsh hay, so that he could be kept from the cold. The eighth day after the birth shows the glory of Jesus’ circumcision; blood spurts over the bright body; memorable tears run down his cheeks.
Á þrettánda dag til drottins
dýrðarmenn, er ríkjum stýrðu
austr í heim, með offri kómu
ungan mann að prísa á þannveg.
Umrennandi sex að sinnum
sex daga grein og fjórum einum
offraz kaus fyrir oss að vísu
Jésús sjálfr í musteris hválfi.
 
‘On the thirteenth day came glorious men, who ruled kingdoms in the eastern part of the world, to the Lord with offering, to honour the young man in that way. When a period of six times six days plus just four more had run its course, Jesus himself indeed chose to be offered for us in the vault of the temple.
Vígðiz oss, þá er vatni dögðiz,
valdr himnanna á þrítugsaldri,
í Jórdán við æðar hreinar;
Jón baptista drottni þjónar.
Þessi ástvinr Jésú Kristi
er nú váttr, er þann dag mátti
sjá skínandi á grænni grundu
guðs þrenning með lýðum kennaz.
 
‘The ruler of the heavens [= God (= Christ)] consecrated himself to us at the age of thirty, when he was sprinkled with water by the pure springs in the Jordan; John the baptist serves the Lord. This, the belovedfriend of Jesus Christ [= John], is now the witness, who that day could see God’s Trinity, shining on the green earth, make itself known among men.
Finn eg, alt að manvit manna
mæðiz, þegar er um skal ræða
máttrinn þinn, inn mikli drottinn;
meiri er hann en gjörvalt annað.
Sie þier dýrð með sannri prýði,
sunginn heiðr af öllum tungum
eilífliga með sigri og sælu;
sæmd og vald það minkaz aldri.
 
‘I find that all the understanding of men becomes exhausted as soon as your might shall be spoken about, great Lord; it is greater than all else. Let there be to you glory with true beauty, honour sung from all tongues, eternally with victory and blessing; honour and that power will never be diminished.
Undraz tók inn forni fjandi
fæddan mann, er skilja var bannað,
og þvílíkt, sem andinn segði
orðin slík af tungu forðum:
‘Þykki mier, sem nýjung nökkur
nálgiz heim og ættir beima;
eitthvað klókt mun drottinn dikta:
duldr em eg, því að ferr af huldu.
 
‘The old fiend was amazed at the newborn man, whom he was prohibited from understanding, and it was as if the spirit spoke words like these with his tongue long ago: ‘It seems to me that some new thing draws near to the world and families of men [MANKIND]; the Lord will be devising something clever; I am ignorant, because it is being kept secret.
‘Jésúm tígna eingla rásir
upp og niðr af himni þriðja;
stjörnuljós og færðar fórnir,
friðar samband á hverju landi,
slík afla mier sóttarauka,
sönn stórmerkin veitt hjá mönnum;
kvíðig, að hans remming ráða
ríði mier að báðum síðum.
 
‘‘Hosts of angels honour Jesus [travelling] up and down from the third heaven; starlight and presented offerings, union of peace in every land, such true signs granted among men cause me an increase of woe; I fear that his strengthening through counsels will press me from all [lit. both] sides.
‘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.
 
‘‘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.
‘Þystir hann og er fölr af föstum,
firriz hlátr, en kann að gráta;
mæðiz hann og er móður sinnar
mjólku fæddr, en reifum klæddiz.
Finn eg þó, að í slíku sannar
sjálf náttúran, manndóm váttar;
fýsir mig því framm að æsa
flein ódygðar honum að meini.
 
‘‘He thirsts and is pale from fasts, avoids laughter, but knows how to weep; he grows weary and is fed with the milk of his mother and was clothed in swaddling clothes. And yet I find that nature itself gives proof in such a thing, attests to his humanity; therefore I long to shoot forward the dart of faithlessness to his harm.
‘Mier virðiz, sem miklu hærra
mætur guði hann Ádám sæti,
áðr eg sveik þau Évun bæði
ærusnauð í myrkr og dauða.
Satt er, að fæstir sjá við prettum;
svá mun enn um Jésúm þenna,
því treystumz eg framt að freista;
forðum hefir eg slægvitr vorðið.’
 
‘‘It seems to me that this Adam, dear to God, sat much higher, before I betrayed the two of them, him and Eve bereft of honour, in darkness and death. It is true that very few watch out for deceit; it will go likewise for this Jesus; therefore I trust that I can tempt boldly; in the past I have shown myself to be wily of mind.’
Sonr Máríu, sonr inn dýri,
sonr menniligr guðs og hennar,
kenndu mier að forðaz fjandann
fjölkunnigan, en þier að unna.
Sie þier dýrð með sannri prýði,
sunginn heiðr af öllum tungum
eilífliga með sigri og sælu;
sæmd og vald það minkaz aldri.
 
‘Son of Mary [= Christ], the precious son, human son of God and her [= Christ], teach me to avoid the clever enemy, and to love you. Let there be to you glory with true beauty, honour sung from all tongues, eternally with victory and blessing; honour and that power will never be diminished.
Friett hefir eg, að freistar drottins
föstumóðs á ýmsum löstum
púkans slægð, er hvern mann hugðiz
hrekkjum vanr, í synd að blekkja.
Vielakrings á vöfðum streingjum
vundin oft, en sneruz á lofti,
skeytin öll hin flærðarfullu
fjandans brjóst í gegnum standa.
 
‘I have heard that the sleight of the devil tempts the Lord, weary from fasting, in various faults, he who, accustomed to tricks, thinks to entice every man to sin. All the treacherous darts of the enemy, deft at deceit, often fired with twisted bow-strings pierce his own breast and turn in the air.
Þessu næst hins kæra Kristi
kenning tók um bygð að renna;
lífþjónandi lærisveina
leitar, finnr og þar með veitir
blindum, hrjúfum, dumbum, daufum,
dauðum, krömdum, ærum, lömdum:
augu, græðing, orð, að hlýða,
andir, heilsu, vizku, að standa.
 
‘After this news of the dear Christ began to spread through the district; he seeks life-serving disciples, finds [them], and thereby gives the blind, lepers, the dumb, the deaf, the dead, the plagued, the insane, the lame: eyes, healing, words, hearing [lit. to hear], spirits, health, wisdom, [strength] to stand.
Þetta sér hann fjandi, að fættiz
fólkið hans, og líz það vansi,
dæmin góð að vaxa víða;
verri brögð og lýtin þverra.
Púkinn kvaldr og þeygi þoldi
þenna leik, er hafðan kennir,
því flýtandi sínar sveitir
synda brjót að drepa sem skjótast.
 
‘The enemy sees this, that his army grows smaller, and it seems to him a shame that good examples grow widely; worse tricks and sins diminish. The devil [is] tormented and by no means would accept this contest, which he recognises has been held, [and] therefore hastens [lit. hastening] his troops to kill the breaker of sins [= God (= Christ)] as quickly as possible.
Leiðan dreing að ljótum ráðum
lokkar hann, sá er Jésú manna,
yfirmorðinginn innan hirðar
Júdás nefndr, er óvænt stefndi.
Mildan guð við silfri seldi
sveitum þeim er Júðar heita,
fullum upp af grimdar galli;
grenjaði þjóstr í þeira brjóstum.
 
‘He entices a nasty fellow to an ugly plan; he is the chief murderer of the men of Jesus from within his retinue, called Judas, who was on a desperate course. He sold the gentle God for silver to those people who are called Jews, filled with the gall of bitterness; rancour howled in their breasts.
Fúsir hlupu og fundu Jésúm;
fundinn hröktu, lömdu og bundu;
bundinn leiddu; hæðnir hæddu;
hæddan, rægðan, slógu klæddan
fjandans börnin; þraungum þyrni
þessir spenna um blessað ennið;
þessir negldu Krist á krossinn;
keyra járn, svá að stökk um dreyrinn.
 
‘Frenzied men ran and found Jesus; having found him, they abused him, struck him, and bound him; when he had been bound, they led him; those fond of mocking mocked him; when he had been mocked, reviled, and clothed the offspring of the fiend [= Jews] struck him; they wind a tight [crown of] thorn around the blessed forehead; they nailed Christ to the cross; they drive iron [nails] so that the blood spurted around [them].
Ættim vier á Jésúm drottin
ifunarlaust með fullu trausti
út af hjartans instum rótum
allir senn með gráti að kalla.
Sie þier dýrð með sannri prýði;
sunginn heiðr af öllum tungum
eilífliga með sigri og sælu;
sæmd og vald það minkaz aldri.
 
‘Without a doubt, all of us at once with full confidence, should call with weeping on the Lord Jesus from the heart’s deepest roots. Let there be to you glory with true beauty, honour sung from all tongues, eternally with victory and blessing; power and that honour will never be diminished.
Yfirmeistarinn allra lista,
Jésús góðr, er lífgar þjóðir,
veittu mier að stilla og stýra,
steflig orð megi tungan efla.
Æfinliga með lyftum lófum,
lof ræðandi, á knie sín bæði
skepnan öll er skyld að falla,
skapari minn, fyrir ásjón þinni.
 
‘Highest master of all arts, good Jesus, who gives people life, grant me to compose and arrange, [that] my tongue might be able to command words for a stef. Unceasingly, with lifted hands, uttering praise, all creation should fall on both its knees, my Creator, before your face.
Er æ minnilig eftirdæmi
yfirvaldanda himins og landa;
hneigði nú sinn háls og beygði
hverjum þræl, er lysti að berja,
fátalaðr með lítillæti,
lágraustaðr með ásjón fagri,
svá bjóðandi sínum dauða
sína önd fyrir nauðsyn mína.
 
‘The example of the supreme ruler of heaven and lands [= God (= Christ)] is forever memorable; he now bent his neck and bowed before every slave who desired to strike, saying little with humility, softly spoken with a fair face, thus offering his soul in his death on account of my need.
Hrækjandi mjög höfuðin skóku
heiðingjar sem Júðar leiðir;
flestir allir flýðu Kristi
fylgdarmenn við storminn þenna.
Minnaz verð eg — má eg ei annað —
móður guðs, er í tárum flóði;
mætti verða, að minna sótta
minnaz vildi hun eitthvert sinni.
 
‘Spitting much, they shook their heads, heathens as well as loathsome Jews; nearly all the followers of Christ fled in the face of that storm. I must remember — I cannot do otherwise — the mother of God [= Mary] who was flooded with tears; it could come about that she would at some time want to be mindful of my sorrows.
Höfuðdrotningin, harmi þrungin,
hneigð og lút, er skálf af sútum,
færðiz nær, þá er fell ór sárum
fossum blóðið niðr á krossinn.
Þrútnar brjóst, en hjartað hristiz;
hold er klökt, en öndin snöktir;
augun tóku að drukna drjúgum
döpr og móð í tára flóði.
 
‘The supreme queen, filled with grief, who trembled with sorrows, bowed and bent, moved close, when the blood from the wounds fell in torrents down over the cross. The breast swells, and the heart trembles; the flesh is weak, and the spirit sobs; the eyes began to drown terribly, sad and weary in a flood of tears.
Rödd eingilsins kvenmann kvaddi;
kvadda af eingli drottinn gladdi;
gladdiz mær, þá er föðurinn fæddi;
fæddan sveininn reifum klæddi.
Klæddan með sier laungum leiddi;
leiddr á krossinn faðminn breiddi;
breiddr á krossinn gumna græddi;
græddi hann oss, en helstríð mæddi.
 
‘The voice of the angel greeted the woman; she who was greeted by the angel, the Lord made glad; the maiden rejoiced when she gave birth to the Father, the boy who was born, she clothed in swaddling clothes. The one clothed in swaddling, she carried with her for a long time. Led onto the cross, he opened his embrace; arms opened on the cross, he healed men; he healed us, but agony harmed him.
Þó griet hun nú, sárra súta
sverði nist í bringu og herðar;
sitt einbernið, sjálfan drottin,
sá hun hanganda á nöglum stangaz.
Armar sviddu á brýndum broddum;
brjóst er mætt með þessum hætti;
særðiz bæði sonr og móðir
sannheilög fyrir græðing manna.
 
‘Nevertheless she now wept, pierced in breast and back by a sword of grievous sorrows; her only begotten child, the Lord himself, she saw hanging, being pierced on nails. The arms burned from the sharpened points; the breast is enervated in this way; the truly holy son and mother are both wounded for the salvation of men.
Fyrir Máríu faðminn dýra,
fyrir Máríu grátinn sára,
lát mig þinnar lausnar njóta,
lifandi guð með feðr og anda.
Æfinliga með lyftum lófum,
lof ræðandi, á knie sín bæði
skepnan öll er skyld að falla,
skapari minn, fyrir ásjón þinni.
 
‘For the sake of Mary’s precious embrace, for the sake of Mary’s sorrowful weeping, let me experience your salvation, living God with Father and Spirit. Unceasingly, with lifted hands, uttering praise, all creation should fall on both its knees, my creator, before your face.
Syni Máríu svartir færa
seggir blandið gall með dreggjum;
fulla smán og flestar pínur
fundu þeir, en heimrinn stundi.
Fölnar skinn en fellr að enni;
fættuz orð en þurru mættir;
öndin leið af Jésúm píndum,
yfirvaldanda himins og landa.
 
‘Black men bring the son of Mary gall mixed with dregs; they worked utter debasement and very many torments, and the world groaned. The skin pales and grows slack at the forehead; his words became fewer and his powers diminished; the soul departed from the tortured Jesus, supreme ruler of heaven and lands [= God (= Christ)].
Eg segi riett, að einginn mætti
ógrátandi vörrum láta,
Jésú minn, ef letrið læsi,
linhjartaðr, af píslum þínum,
því að náttúran æpti af ótta
öll skjálfandi, en himnar sjálfir
týndu ljós, þá er berr var bundinn;
bifaðiz hauðr í þínum dauða.
 
‘I say rightly that no one could speak without weeping, my Jesus, if, tenderhearted, he were to read the record of your sufferings, because nature cried out with fear, all quaking, and the heavens themselves lost light, when you were bound naked; the earth trembled at your death.
En í andláti Jésú sæta
oss var flutt, að gægz á krossinn
fjandinn hafi og friett að syndum,
færaglöggr, ef nökkur væri.
Hlægir mig, að hier mun teygjaz
hans forvitni honum til vansa;
eigi mun nú ormr hinn bjúgi
agn svelgjandi á króki fagna.
 
‘And at the death of sweet Jesus, we were told that the opportunistic fiend has kept an eye on the Cross and asked about sins, whether there were any. I am delighted that here his curiosity would lead him to disgrace; now the coiled serpent, swallowing the bait, will not rejoice on the hook.
Öll helvítis járnhlið skjálfa;
undraz myrkr, er ljós er styrkra;
hlaupa fjandr og ætla undan;
ódæmin þeir sögðu að kæmi.
Hræzlan flaug um heljar bygðir;
helga menn, er fjötrar spenna,
hlaut óvinrinn laust að láta
lamdr og meiddr, er valdið beiddi.
 
‘All the iron gates of hell shake; darkness is amazed that light is stronger; devils leap and think to flee; they said that the unthinkable had come to pass. Terror flew through the abodes of hell; the enemy, lamed and injured, was obliged to let loose holy men whom fetters clasp, when might commanded.
Hvað er tíðinda? Hraktr er fjandinn.
Hverr vann sigrinn? Skapari manna.
Hvað er tíðinda? Helgir leiðaz.
Hvert? Ágætir í tígnarsæti.
Hvað er tíðinda? Hjálpaz lýðir.
Hví nú? Því liet Jésús pínaz.
Hvað er tíðinda? Himnar bjóðaz.
Hverjum? Oss, vier prísum krossinn.
 
‘What is the news? The enemy is vanquished. Who won the victory? The Creator of men [= God (= Christ)]. What is the news? The holy are led. Where? Distinguished ones, to a seat of honour. What is the news? People are saved. Why now? Because Jesus caused himself to be tormented. What is the news? The heavens are offered. To whom? To us — we praise the Cross.
Signað ljós, hinn sæti Jésú,
sannr lífgari dauðra manna,
dragðu mig frá djöfla bygðum,
drottinn blíðr, og halt mier síðan.
Æfinliga með lyftum lófum,
lof ræðandi, á knie sín bæði
skepnan öll er skyld að falla,
skapari minn, fyrir ásjón þinni.
 
‘Blessed light, the sweet Jesus, true life-giver of dead men [= God (= Christ)], draw me from devils’ abodes, gentle Lord, and keep me henceforth. Unceasingly, with lifted hands, uttering praise, all creation should fall on both its knees, my Creator, before your face.
Sé eg ei þann, að út megi inna
orðasnild, þó gjarna vildi,
alla gleði, þá er fekk að fullu
forn Ádám í Jésú kvámu,
sjálfr hann einn þvíað batt með bölvi
börn sín öll í dauðans pínu,
en nú leysti oss öll ór banni
eitt hans barn, er miskunn veitti.
 
‘I do not see the one who could utter forth eloquent speech, much as he would like to, all the joy that old Adam experienced in full at the coming of Jesus, because he himself alone bound all his children with a curse to the torments of death, but now one of his children, who granted mercy, loosed us all from the ban.
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.
 
‘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.
Þú fyrirdæmdir auma Évam,
Éva mann fyrir epli bannað,
maðr bannsettr um allar ættir,
ættin Krist, er spjóti nisti.
Kristr þig þó, er fant í fystu
fystan prett og manndráp settir;
svá ódygðar brandrinn bjúgi
beygiz aftr í þína kjafta.
 
‘You doomed to death wretched Eve, Eve [doomed] the man with the forbidden apple, man was cursed through all his descendants, his descendants [doomed] Christ, whom they pierced with a spear. Christ nevertheless [doomed] you, who, in the beginning, conceived the first fraud and established murder; thus the recoiling sword of faithlessness is turned back into your mouth.
Síðan reis með sigri af dauða
sunnudag og gjörði kunnan
sinn ódauðleik mörgum manni
mildin sjálf, þó að deyja vildi.
Tvennar gieingu tvisvar sinnum
tíu dægranna rásir hægar,
áðr en upp yfir himnahæðir
hæfi hann blóð, það er tók af móður.
 
‘Then rose goodness itself with victory from death on a Sunday and made known his immortality to many a man, though he had chosen to die [lit. wanted to die]. Two times two calm streams of ten days passed, before he would raise the blood, which he took from his mother, up over the heights of the heavens.
Umrennandi sjau að sinnum
sjau daga grein og þar til einum,
hingað sendi hann helgan anda
hreinferðugastan lærisveinum.
Vegsamligr til handar hægri
hann er guðs með virðing sannri;
sinn bjóðandi faðminn fríða
fyrða laðar til himna dýrðar.
 
‘When a period of seven times seven days plus one had run its course, he sent hither to his disciples the most pure Holy Spirit. He is glorious at the right hand of God with true worship; offering his fair embrace, he invites men to the glory of the heavens.
Máríu son, fyrir miskunn dýra
manns náttúru og líkam sannan
kennztu við, svá að mín þú minniz,
minn drottinn, í ríki þínu.
Æfinliga með lyftum lófum,
lof ræðandi, á knie sín bæði
skepnan öll er skyld að falla,
skapari minn, fyrir ásjón þinni.
 
‘Son of Mary [= Christ], for the sake of precious mercy acknowledge your human nature and your true body, so that you are mindful of me, my Lord, in your kingdom. Unceasingly, with lifted hands, uttering praise, all creation should fall on both its knees, my Creator, before your face.
Enn mun koma í öðru sinni
allsvaldandi kóngr að gjalda
seggja ferðum sínar gerðir
sómaörr á efsta dómi.
Svá geisar þá eldr og eisa
jörð og fjöll, að í heimi öllum
eigi finz hier upp ór skýjum
óbrunnið og niðr að grunnum.
 
‘Again the all-ruling king will come, generous with honour, a second time, at the Last Judgement, to repay crowds of men for their deeds. Then fire and flames will so rage over earth and mountains, that in all the world there is nothing unburned there up above the clouds and down on the ground.
Upprísöndum allra landa
íbyggjurum við dóminn hryggva
Jésú munu þá sárin sýnaz
súthrærandi og píslarfæri.
Orð og hugsan, allar gjörðir,
eru kannaðar hvers sem annars;
bjóðaz hvörki blót nie eiðar;
byrgjaz úti gjafir og mútur.
 
‘At the sorrowful Judgement, then the grievous wounds and torture-tools of Jesus will be shown to the rising inhabitants of all lands. All deeds, words and thoughts of each man as well as the next will be probed; neither sacrifices nor oaths will be offered; gifts and bribes will be excluded.
Eingi finz á þessu þingi
þrætugjarn nie klókar varnir
orðahreimr, er á drottins dómi
dreifaz menn í flokka tvenna.
Aðra sveit með hæstum heiðri
hefr hann langt yfir spéras efri;
steypir þá með eymd og ópi
öðrum niðr í fjandann miðjan.
 
‘At this assembly is found no quarrelsome noise of words nor ingenious defences, when at the Lord’s judgement men are separated into two flocks. The one group he raises up with highest honour far above the higher spheres; then casts down the others with misery and shrieking into the midst of hell [lit. into the middle of the fiend].
Reknir brott í dauðans drukknan
drepnir menn, er þar skulu brenna,
gnísta tennr í fýlu og frosti;
fjandr í kring um búka standa.
Brigsli og hróp er að gjörvum glæpum,
grimmlig sótt í myrkri og ótta;
eingi er ván á öðru en pínu,
eilíf nauð, en kvikr er dauðinn.
 
‘Slain men, who there must burn, driven away to the drowning of death, gnash their teeth in foulness and frost; devils stand in a ring around their bodies. There is scoffing and hooting at their committed sins, hideous grief in darkness and terror; there is no hope of anything other than torment, eternal distress, and death is alive.
Þessu í gegn munu finna fögnuð;
fyrðum heim til sinnar dýrðar
herrann bauð með hæstri prýði,
heimleiddir því að verða beimar
ungir, glaðir, frjálsir, fríðir,
færir, máttkir, vitrir, skærir;
hátíð gild um allar aldir
alda þeim er virðing haldin.
 
‘On the other hand, they will find joy; the Lord invited men home to his glory with the highest splendour, because the people, having been led home, become young, happy, free, beautiful, healthy, mighty, wise, radiant; a magnificent feast held through all ages to come is an honour to them.
Tárum rigni, en tungan þagni;
taki af mál, en þurftug sálin
beriz um fast, svá að búkinn hristi;
bið eg óttandi, ‘hjálp mier, dróttinn!’
Ævinliga með lyftum lófum,
lof ræðandi, á knie sín bæði
skepnan öll er skyld að falla,
skapari minn, fyrir ásjón þinni.
 
‘Let it rain with tears, but let the tongue be silent, let speech die away, and let the needy soul convulse hard, so that the body shakes; I pray fearfully, ‘help me, Lord!’ Unceasingly, with lifted hands, uttering praise, all creation should fall to both its knees, my Creator, before your face.
Tvá hræðumz eg: dóm og dauða;
deyr sá margr, er eingi bjargar;
mitt eitt veit eg líf hið ljóta
leiða mig í drottins reiði.
Af margfaldri synda saurgan
svíðir brjóst og hefndum kvíðir
fyrir afbrigðin flestra dygða;
fátt er það, er siðuna vátti.
 
‘Two things I fear: judgement and death; many a man dies, whom no one saves; I know that my utterly [lit. only] wicked life will bring me to the Lord’s wrath. My breast burns from the manifold defilement of sins and fears revenge for deviation from most virtues; there is little that may give evidence of good morals.
Vindi fult hefir veslan anda
várn ofbeldið laungum feldan;
blár og ljótr í öfundar eitri
jafnan hefir eg næsta kafnað.
Reiðigall með sárum sullum
sviðrar mier um blásin iðrin;
hrygðin slítr af hjartarótum
harðan styrk í sútamyrkri.
 
‘Puffed-up [lit. full of wind] pride has long felled our [my] wretched soul; black and ugly, I have constantly nearly choked on the venom of envy. The gall of wrath burns me with painful ulcers in my swollen bowels; sorrow tears the hard strength from the roots of the heart in the darkness of despair.
Festiz og með fjúki lasta
frost ágirni mier í brjósti;
græðgi drep með glæpum auðgum
grefz hier inn með krókum stinnum.
Hræðiliga með blindri blíðu
blekkiz hold af dauðans flekkum;
heldr af slíku ætti eg aldri
ugglauss vera, þó að miskunn huggi.
 
‘The frost of greed settles also in my breast with a snowdrift of vices; the rot of gluttony with abundant crimes digs in here with strong hooks. With blind delight flesh is cheated dreadfully by the stains of death; indeed I ought never be unafraid of such things, even though mercy should offer comfort.
Fyrirlátið mier, faðir hinn sæti,
fyrirlátið mier! Eg vil gráta
orð og hugsan allar gjörðir
auðmjúkligast og firraz dauða.
Því lýt eg nú þier að fótum
þraungdr og kvaldr af mæðing taldri;
klökkur, hræddr eg þurfa þykkjumz
þína vægð í nauðum mínum.
 
‘Forgive me, sweet Father, forgive me! I will most humbly bewail all my deeds, words and thoughts, and avoid death. Therefore I bow down now at your feet, oppressed and tormented by the trouble I have told; contrite, afraid, I feel in my distress that I need your compassion.
Svá fýsumz eg, sæti Jésú,
synda líkn, að þeira myndir
lítaz mier, sem liggi þrútið
linna eitr um hjartað innan.
Send hingað mier sjaufalds anda
sanna gift, er leysi ór banni
mína önd, svá að mættag þjóna,
Máríu blómi, fyrir yðarn sóma.
 
‘Sweet Jesus, I so long for mercy on my sins, that images of them appear to me as if serpents’ venom lies inside around my swollen heart. Send to me here the true gift of the sevenfold Spirit, which can loose my soul from its ban, so that I may serve to your honour, fruit of Mary [= Christ].
Laust aldrigi lát mig, Kristi,
lastavinds í byljakasti;
tyfta mitt og tem sem oftast
tendrað brjóst með líknar vendi,
svá að grátandi fúss að fótum,
faðir skínandi, krjúpa eg þínum
hvert það sinn, er eg kulda kenni
í kostalausu glæpa frosti.
 
‘Never let me loose, Christ, in the sudden squall of the wind of vices; chastise and tame as often as possible my burning breast with the rod of mercy, so that, weeping, I may eagerly kneel at your feet, shining father, every time I experience cold in the barren frost of sins.
Beiði eg nú fyrir Máríu móður
mjúka bæn og fagran tænað
á treystandi, Jésú Kristi,
yðra vægð, er týndum nægðiz.
Pín mig, áðr en detti á dauðinn,
dróttinn minn, í kvölum og sóttum,
að því minnur sie eg þá síðan
slitinn af fjandans króki bitrum.
 
‘Jesus Christ, I ask now for the gentle prayer and beautiful assistance of mother Mary, trusting in your mercy, which has been sufficient for the lost. Torment me with pains and sicknesses before death comes on, my Lord, that I may later be less torn apart by the fiend’s sharp hook.
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.
 
‘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.
Hræðumz eg, að sárt muni svíða
samvizkunnar bygð af grunnum
sundruð öll, þá er syndir kalla
sína eign á hjarta mínu.
Dökkvir munu þá fjandans flokkar
færaz að með ópi og kæru
búnir mig að brenna og pína,
bíta, kremja, rífa og slíta.
 
‘I fear that the seat of conscience [BREAST] will burn painfully, all sundered from its foundations, when sins claim their ownership of my heart. Then the swarthy flocks of the fiend will rush at me with hooting and complaint, ready to burn me and torment, bite, squeeze, tear and rip.
Muntu þetta, inn dýri drottinn,
djöfla sveitum nökkuð veita
mína önd að meiða og skeina,
Máríu barn, og hjálpir varna?
Heitu og rauðu hjartans blóði
hana leystir, og því má eg treysta;
Jésú, þinni ást, er mönnum
öllum bauð til lífs frá dauða.
 
‘Would you, the dear Lord, perhaps permit this to bands of devils, to harm and wound my soul, child of Mary [= Christ], and withold assistance? With warm and red blood of the heart, [you] freed it, and in this I must have confidence in your love, Jesus, [you] who summoned all men to life from death.
Heyrðu mig nú, himins og jarðar
háleit bygðin allra dygða,
megindrotningin manna og eingla,
móðir guðs og lækning þjóða;
þá er mæðumz í nógum nauðum,
nálæg vertu minni sálu;
vef þú ágætu verndarskauti,
ván mín sönn til hjálpar mönnum.
 
‘Hear me now, sublime dwelling of all the virtues of heaven and earth, great queen of men and angels [= Mary], mother of God [= Mary] and healing of people; when I suffer in great need, be near my soul; enfold [it] in your famous protecting mantle, my true hope for the help of men.
Máría, kreistu mjólk ór brjóstum,
mín drotning, fyrir barni þínu!
Dreyrug föðurnum sýn þú sárin,
sonr Máríu, er naglar skáru!
Eg vænumz, að ykkrum þjóni
eingi kvöl megi drotna leingi,
miskunnar þá er mjúkust renna
merkin slík um himnaríki.
 
‘Mary, press milk from your breasts, my queen, in the presence of your child! Son of Mary [= Christ], whom the nails cut, show the Father your bloody wounds! I hope that no torment may long rule over your servant, when such very gentle signs of mercy spread [lit. run] through the kingdom of the heavens.
Frammi stattu, er fæddir drottin,
fyrir skínanda barni þínu;
miskunn bið þú að mjúka finni
maðrinn hverr, en glæpir þverri!
Ber þá framm með blíðum vörrum
bænamál fyrir kristnum sálum,
Máría, Jésú móðir dýrust!
Mun þú, að eigi skiljumz eg undan!
 
‘Stand forth, you who gave birth to the Lord, before your radiant child! Ask that every man finds gentle mercy and sins dwindle away! Then bear forth with gentle lips prayers for Christian souls, Mary, dearest mother of Jesus [= Mary]! Remember, that I should not be separated out.
Þú ert hreinlífis dygðar dúfa,
dóttir guðs, og lækning sótta,
giftu vegr, og geisli lofta,
gimsteinn brúða og drotning himna,
guðs herbergi og gleyming sorga,
gleðinnar past og eyðing lasta,
líknar æðr og lífgan þjóða,
loflig mær, þú ert einglum hæri.
 
‘You are the dove of the virtue of chastity, daughter of God and healing of sicknesses, path of good fortune and light-beam of the skies, jewel of women and queen of the heavens, God’s lodging and forgetting of sorrows, nourishment of gladness and elimination of sins, vein of mercy and life-giver of peoples, praiseworthy maiden, you are higher than the angels.
Þú ert elskandi ein af sprundum,
ágætust fyrir lítillæti,
um bætandi bragna syndir;
blessuð mær, þú ert drotni kærust.
Þú ert hitnandi heilags anda
höll og prýdd með dáðum öllum,
ei kennandi, kvitt af syndum,
krafta þraung en löstinn aungvan.
 
‘You alone are to be loved among women, most famous for your humility, ameliorating the sins of men; blessed maid, you are most dear to the Lord. You are the warm hall of the Holy Spirit and ornamented with all virtuous deeds, not knowing oppression of powers, free from sins and [having] no fault.
Máría, ert þú móðir dýrust;
Máría, lifir þú sæmd í hári;
Máría, ert þú af miskunn kærust;
Máría, liet þú syndafari.
Máría, lít þú mein, þau er vóru,
Máría, lít þú klökk á tárin;
Máría, græð þú mein hin stóru;
Máría, ber þú smyrsl í sárin.
 
‘Mary, you are the dearest mother; Mary, you live in high honour; Mary, you are most beloved for your mercy; Mary, halt sinful behaviour. Mary, look at those sins that were; Mary, look tenderly on our tears; Mary, heal the great injuries; Mary, bring balm to our wounds.
Tungusætr ef einnhverr ýta,
orðum hygz í kvæði að skorða
mjúkan dikt að makligleikum,
mín drotning, af heiðri þínum,
því er líkast, sem rasi og reiki
ráðlauss seggr að ýmsum veggjum
fældr og byrgðr, og feti þó hvergi
fúss í burt ór völundarhúsi.
 
‘If some man, sweet of tongue, intends fittingly to support with words a supple poem about your honour in verse, my queen, it would be as if a bewildered man should stumble and stagger, panic-stricken and hemmed in, from wall to wall and was not at all able to make his way away out of a labyrinth, although he was eager to.
Hrærð af list þó að hvers manns verði
hold og bein að tungum einum,
vindur, leiftur, grænar grundir,
grös ilmandi, duft og sandar,
hagl og drif sem fjaðrir fugla,
fiskar, dýr sem holt og mýrar,
hár og korn sem heiðar stjörnur,
hreistur, ull, sem dropar og gneistar,
 
‘Even if every man’s flesh and bones, moved by artistry, might become nothing but tongues, [and so also] wind, lightning, green fields, sweet-smelling grass, dust and sands, hail and driven snow, along with feathers of birds, fish, animals, and woods and moors, hair and corn, as well as bright stars, scales, wool, and drops and sparks,
viðr og grjót sem steinar, stræti,
streingir, himnar, loft og einglar,
orma sveit og akrar hvítir,
jurtir, málmr sem laufgir pálmar,
augabragð þó aldri þegði
allar þær, af fyrnsku væri
móðar, fyrr en Máríu prýði
mætti skýra fullum hætti.
 
‘wood and rocks, and stones, streets, streams, the heavens, air and angels, hosts of serpents and bright fields, herbs, metal, and leafy palms, though all those were never silent for the twinkling of an eye, they would be weary with old age before they could proclaim Mary’s splendour in full measure.
Máría, vertu mier í hjarta,
mildin sjálf, því að gjarna vilda,
blessuð, þier, ef mætti eg meira,
margfaldaðan lofsaung gjalda.
Líflig orð í ljóðagjörðum
listuligrar móður Kristi
eingum tjóar að auka leingra;
einn er drottinn Máríu hreinni.
 
‘Mary, goodness itself, be in my heart, because I would willingly offer to you, blessed one, if I could manage more, a manifold song of praise. It is to no avail for anyone to continue to add [lit. to augment further] lively words in girdles of songs of the magnificent mother of Christ [= Mary]; the Lord alone is purer than Mary.
Inn krossfesti, kraftr inn hæsti,
Kristr, er fjórir broddar nistu,
þier býð eg og þinni móður
þetta verk, er í einn stað settag.
Þá látið mig þessa njóta
þraungskorðaðra kvæðisorða,
er þið sjáið mig öllu varða,
öndin mín að forðiz pínu.
 
‘You crucified one, highest power, Christ, whom four nails pierced, I offer to you and your mother this work, which I have assembled in one place. Then let me be helped by these tightly-set words of poetry, when you two see that it means everything to me, that my soul be spared torment.
Veri kátar nú, virða sveitir;
vætti þess, í kvæðis hætti,
várkunni, að verka þenna
vanda eg minnr, en þætti standa.
Varðar mest, að allra orða
undirstaðan sie riettlig fundin,
eigi glögg þó að eddu regla
undan hljóti að víkja stundum.
 
‘Hosts of men, be glad now; I expect this, that they will excuse, that I execute this poem less well in poetic form than it would seem to merit. It is of great importance that the right meaning of all words be found, even though the obscuring rule of the Edda must at times give way.
Sá, er óðinn skal vandan velja,
velr svá mörg í kvæði að selja
hulin fornyrðin; trautt má telja;
tel eg þenna svá skilning dvelja.
Vel því að hier má skýr orð skilja,
skili þjóðir minn ljósan vilja;
tal óbreytiligt veitt að vilja;
vil eg, að kvæðið heiti Lilja.
 
‘He who must execute the elaborate poem chooses to put into the verse so many obscure archaisms one can hardly count them; I say that he thus impedes understanding. Because one here can understand clear words well, let people understand my transparent intent, this ordinary speech given freely; I desire that the poem be called ‘Lilja’.
Sannri ást af sætu brjósti
sinni riett fyrir hjálp og minni
segi Máríu hverr, er heyrir
hennar vess, á diktan þessa,
því vera kann, að mærin minniz
mín, þá er liggi eg kvaldr í pínum;
berr mig þar til ván, á vörrum
víst ef lieki dominus tecum.
 
‘With true love from a sweet breast, for the sake of his own salvation and mine, may whoever listens to this poem say clearly to Mary her verse, because it can happen that the maid will remember me, when I lie plagued by torments; I have hope of that, if Dominus tecum ‘The Lord is with you’ certainly plays on my lips.
Almáttigr guð allra stietta,
yfirbjóðandi eingla og þjóða,
ei þurfandi staða nie stunda,
staði haldandi í kyrrleiks valdi,
senn verandi úti og inni,
uppi og niðri og þar í miðju,
lof sie þier um aldr og æfi
eining sönn í þrennum greinum.
 
‘Almighty God of all orders of things, supreme ruler of angels and peoples [= God], not dependent on places or times, holding places in the power of tranquility, at once being without and within, above and below and there in the middle, praise be to you forever and ever, true unity in three parts.
Close

Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.

Close

Information about a text: poem, sequence of stanzas, or prose work

This page is used for different resources. For groups of stanzas such as poems, you will see the verse text and, where published, the translation of each stanza. These are also links to information about the individual stanzas.

For prose works you will see a list of the stanzas and fragments in that prose work, where relevant, providing links to the individual stanzas.

Where you have access to introduction(s) to the poem or prose work in the database, these will appear in the ‘introduction’ section.

The final section, ‘sources’ is a list of the manuscripts that contain the prose work, as well as manuscripts and prose works linked to stanzas and sections of a text.