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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Lil 23VII

Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Lilja 23’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 589-90.

Anonymous PoemsLilja
222324

Tendraz ‘kindled’

tendra (verb): kindle

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öll ‘all’

allr (adj.): all

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tala ‘speak’

3. tala (verb): speak, talk

[1] tala: talar 720a VIII, 622, 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, 4892

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tunga ‘tongue’

tunga (noun f.; °-u; -ur): tongue, language

[2] tunga: tungan 720a VIII, 99a, 705ˣ

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þínum ‘your’

þinn (pron.; °f. þín, n. þitt): your

[2] þínum: sínum 99a, 622, 713, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, 4892, fínum Vb

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áttu ‘You must’

2. eiga (verb; °á/eigr (præs. pl. 3. pers. eigu/eiga); átti, áttu; átt): own, have

[3] áttu: á hun 99a, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, á eg 622, 4892

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yrkja ‘compose poetry’

yrkja (verb): compose

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yfir ‘of the over’

yfir (prep.): over < yfirspennandi (noun m.)

[4] yfirspennanda: yfirspennandi 720a VIII, 99a, 622, 705ˣ, yfirspennandans Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 4892

kennings

yfirspennanda þrennra heima.
‘of the over-spanner of three worlds. ’
   = God

the over-spanner of three worlds. → God

notes

[4] yfirspennanda þrennra heima ‘over-spanner of three worlds [= God]’: The kenning recalls biblical texts like Isa. XL.12 (quis mensus est pugillo aquas et caelos palmo ponderavit ‘who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and weighed the heavens with his palm?’) and Ps. XCIV.4 (in cuius manu fundamenta terrae ‘In his hand are all the ends of the earth’). Cf. the following God-kennings: frónspennir fagrtjalda ‘clasper of the fair tents of the land’ (Has 44/5-6); heimspennir ‘world-spanner’ (Has 64/6); skríngeypnandi skýstalls ‘holder of the shrine of the cloud-platform’ (Has 29/7-8), umgeypnandi alls heims ‘holding the whole world in his hands’ (Geisl 16/7-8), umgaupnandi allrar skepnu ‘holding all creation’ (Anon Mgr 2), and umgeypnandi allrar skepnu ‘the holder [in his hands] of all creation’ (Kálf Kátr 36/3). The ‘three worlds’ could be either heaven, hell, and earth, or the three heavens mentioned elsewhere in the poem (11/3, 27/4, 40/2). This is the only recorded occurrence of the cpd yfirspennandi.

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spennanda ‘spanner’

spennandi (noun m.): spanner < yfirspennandi (noun m.)

[4] yfirspennanda: yfirspennandi 720a VIII, 99a, 622, 705ˣ, yfirspennandans Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 4892

kennings

yfirspennanda þrennra heima.
‘of the over-spanner of three worlds. ’
   = God

the over-spanner of three worlds. → God

notes

[4] yfirspennanda þrennra heima ‘over-spanner of three worlds [= God]’: The kenning recalls biblical texts like Isa. XL.12 (quis mensus est pugillo aquas et caelos palmo ponderavit ‘who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and weighed the heavens with his palm?’) and Ps. XCIV.4 (in cuius manu fundamenta terrae ‘In his hand are all the ends of the earth’). Cf. the following God-kennings: frónspennir fagrtjalda ‘clasper of the fair tents of the land’ (Has 44/5-6); heimspennir ‘world-spanner’ (Has 64/6); skríngeypnandi skýstalls ‘holder of the shrine of the cloud-platform’ (Has 29/7-8), umgeypnandi alls heims ‘holding the whole world in his hands’ (Geisl 16/7-8), umgaupnandi allrar skepnu ‘holding all creation’ (Anon Mgr 2), and umgeypnandi allrar skepnu ‘the holder [in his hands] of all creation’ (Kálf Kátr 36/3). The ‘three worlds’ could be either heaven, hell, and earth, or the three heavens mentioned elsewhere in the poem (11/3, 27/4, 40/2). This is the only recorded occurrence of the cpd yfirspennandi.

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heima ‘worlds’

heimr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i/-; -ar): home, abode; world

[4] heima: heim að 720a VIII

kennings

yfirspennanda þrennra heima.
‘of the over-spanner of three worlds. ’
   = God

the over-spanner of three worlds. → God

notes

[4] yfirspennanda þrennra heima ‘over-spanner of three worlds [= God]’: The kenning recalls biblical texts like Isa. XL.12 (quis mensus est pugillo aquas et caelos palmo ponderavit ‘who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and weighed the heavens with his palm?’) and Ps. XCIV.4 (in cuius manu fundamenta terrae ‘In his hand are all the ends of the earth’). Cf. the following God-kennings: frónspennir fagrtjalda ‘clasper of the fair tents of the land’ (Has 44/5-6); heimspennir ‘world-spanner’ (Has 64/6); skríngeypnandi skýstalls ‘holder of the shrine of the cloud-platform’ (Has 29/7-8), umgeypnandi alls heims ‘holding the whole world in his hands’ (Geisl 16/7-8), umgaupnandi allrar skepnu ‘holding all creation’ (Anon Mgr 2), and umgeypnandi allrar skepnu ‘the holder [in his hands] of all creation’ (Kálf Kátr 36/3). The ‘three worlds’ could be either heaven, hell, and earth, or the three heavens mentioned elsewhere in the poem (11/3, 27/4, 40/2). This is the only recorded occurrence of the cpd yfirspennandi.

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þrennra ‘of three’

þrennr (adj.): three(fold)

[4] þrennra: þrenna 622, 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ

kennings

yfirspennanda þrennra heima.
‘of the over-spanner of three worlds. ’
   = God

the over-spanner of three worlds. → God

notes

[4] yfirspennanda þrennra heima ‘over-spanner of three worlds [= God]’: The kenning recalls biblical texts like Isa. XL.12 (quis mensus est pugillo aquas et caelos palmo ponderavit ‘who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and weighed the heavens with his palm?’) and Ps. XCIV.4 (in cuius manu fundamenta terrae ‘In his hand are all the ends of the earth’). Cf. the following God-kennings: frónspennir fagrtjalda ‘clasper of the fair tents of the land’ (Has 44/5-6); heimspennir ‘world-spanner’ (Has 64/6); skríngeypnandi skýstalls ‘holder of the shrine of the cloud-platform’ (Has 29/7-8), umgeypnandi alls heims ‘holding the whole world in his hands’ (Geisl 16/7-8), umgaupnandi allrar skepnu ‘holding all creation’ (Anon Mgr 2), and umgeypnandi allrar skepnu ‘the holder [in his hands] of all creation’ (Kálf Kátr 36/3). The ‘three worlds’ could be either heaven, hell, and earth, or the three heavens mentioned elsewhere in the poem (11/3, 27/4, 40/2). This is the only recorded occurrence of the cpd yfirspennandi.

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Bjúg ‘bent’

bjúgr (adj.; °compar. -ari): bent

[5] Bjúg: bjúgr 622, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 4892

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bandi ‘a fetter’

band (noun n.; °-s; *-): band, bond

[5] bandi: banni Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, 4892

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værir ‘You would be’

2. vera (verb): be, is, was, were, are, am

[5] værir: væri 720a VIII, 99a, 622, 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, 4892

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bandi ‘in the fetter’

band (noun n.; °-s; *-): band, bond

[6] bandi: og bandi Vb, 705ˣ, 4892

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ins ‘of the’

2. inn (art.): the

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nema ‘except’

2. nema (conj.): unless

[7] nema: útan 4892

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hjálpræði ‘salvation’

hjalpræði (noun n.): [salvation]

[7] hjálpræði: hjálpræðið 720a VIII, 99a, 713, Vb, 705ˣ, hjálpinn 4892

notes

[7] hjálpræði ‘salvation’: The word originally meant ‘help’ or ‘assistance’, but in religious literature it took on grander connotations. Cf. HómÍsl, where it is used in reference to the promise of paradise to the good thief of Luke XXIII.43 (HómÍsl 1993, 32v), to the salvation people sought from John the Baptist (6r) and to God’s redemption of the fallen world (103r).

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‘that’

2. inn (art.): the

[7] ið: ins 720a VIII, 99a, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, 4892

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góða ‘the good’

góðr (adj.): good

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giefið ‘given’

gefa (verb): give

[8] giefið: hann giefi 720a VIII, giefur 713, giefi Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, giefinn 4892

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mig ‘me’

ek (pron.; °mín, dat. mér, acc. mik): I, me

[8] mig: eg Vb, 41 8°ˣ

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hefði ‘had’

hafa (verb): have

[8] hefði: verði Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 4892

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Interactive view: tap on words in the text for notes and glosses

The order of sts 22 and 23 is reversed in Bb. — [1-5]: The various mss treat these ll. as either the poet’s direct address to his tongue and poetic faculty (so Bb, Skald, NN §3312 and this edn), or (much less likely) as a 3rd-pers. statement about the same subject (so Skj B and various mss, though not consistently). This difference affects the following words: tala ‘speak’ (talar ‘it speaks’) (l. 1); þínum ‘your’ (sínum ‘its’) (l. 2); áttu ‘you must’ (á hon ‘it [the tongue] must’) (l. 3); værir ‘you would be’ (væri ‘it would be’) (l. 5). The apostrophe to the tongue is reminiscent of the many Lat. passion hymns beginning with the topos pange, lingua ‘sing, tongue’, e.g. the passion hymn Pange lingua, gloriosi / proelium certaminis ‘Sing, tongue, the strife of the glorious battle’ (AH 2, 44) and the Nordic hymn to S. Óláfr, Pange lingua, gloriose / Diei solemnia / Regum jubar pretiose / Rex Olave … ‘Sing, tongue, the solemnity of the glorious day, the precious splendour of kings, King Óláfr …’ (AH 11, 206). — [8]: The rhyme is between gef- and hef- . Cf. Ok þ- : teygð- 18/3.

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