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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Lil 26VII

Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Lilja 26’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 592-3.

Anonymous PoemsLilja

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.

Eg sé, {inn háleiti drottinn {reitar stjörnu}}, að eingin jarðlig tunga fái nú vandað stef þier til handa, sem verðugt væri. Sie þier dýrð með sannri prýði, heiðr sunginn af öllum tungum, eilífliga með sigri og sælu; sæmd og það vald 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.

Mss: Bb(114rb), 720a VIII(2v), 99a(6r), 622(27), 713(8), Vb(249), 41 8°ˣ(113), 705ˣ(7v-8r), 4892(28v)

Readings: [1] Eingin: Eingi 713;    sé: trú 99a, segi 713, 705ˣ, 4892, seg Vb, 41 8°ˣ;    eg: om. 4892;    jarðlig: ‘iardnesk’ 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, ‘jarþnesc’ 4892;    tunga: tungan Vb, 41 8°ˣ    [2] inn: nie Vb, 41 8°ˣ, og ei 4892;    háleiti: háleita 720a VIII, háleitir 713, háleitri Vb, 41 8°ˣ, háleitr 4892;    reitar: reita 720a VIII, 99a, 705ˣ, reitir 4892    [3] þier: þar 720a VIII    [4] vandað: vanda 720a VIII;    fái: fái eg 720a VIII, fáist Vb, 41 8°ˣ;    nú: om. Vb    [6] sunginn: og sunginn 99a, 705ˣ    [7] eilífliga: so 99a, 622, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, æfinliga Bb, ‘ilífliga’ 713, ælífliga 4892;    sigri: sigr 720a VIII, 99a, 622, 705ˣ    [8] það: þitt 622, 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, 4892;    minkaz: minkiz 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, 4892

Editions: Skj AII, 372, Skj BII, 397, Skald II, 216.

Notes: [All]: This st. begins the section of stefjabálkar. There is a cross within a square in the left-hand margin of fol. 114rb of Bb marking the beginning of the first stef at l. 5. — [2] reitar stjörnu ‘of the path of the star [SKY/HEAVEN]’: Cf. reitum sólar ‘the paths of the sun’ 11/4 and Note. — [5-8]: The stef is reminiscent of Rev. V.11-13: et vidi et audivi vocem angelorum multorum in circuitu throni et animalium et seniorum et erat numerus eorum milia milium dicentium voce magna dignus est agnus qui occisus est accipere virtutem et divinitatem et sapientiam et fortitudinem et honorem et gloriam et benedictionem … audivi dicentes sedenti in throno et agno benedictio et honor et gloria et potestas in saecula saeculorum ‘And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the living creatures and the ancients (and the number of them was thousands of thousands), Saying with a loud voice: The Lamb that was slain is worthy to receive power and divinity and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and benediction ... I heard all saying: To him that sitteth on the throne and to the Lamb, benediction and honour and glory and power, for ever and ever’ (cf. Hið Nya Testament 1540 [Sigurður Nordal 1933]: Lof, heiður og dýrð og vald um aldir og að eilífu) and 1 Chr. XXIX.11: tua est Domine magnificentia et potentia et gloria atque victoria et tibi laus cuncta enim quae in caelo sunt et in terra tua sunt tuum Domine regnum et tu es super omnes principes ‘Thine, O Lord, is magnificence, and power, and glory, and victory: and to thee is praise: for all that is in heaven, and in earth, is thine: thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art above all princes’. — [8] sæmd og það vald minkaz aldri ‘honour and that power will never be diminished’: This is the reading of Bb, with það qualifying vald, and the two nouns serving as a pl. subject for the verb minkaz ‘will be diminished’ (3rd pers. pl. pres. indic. m.v.). Skj B and Skald choose Bb’s minkaz with the majority mss’ reading þitt, rather than það, construing din hæder og magt forringes aldrig (Skj B) ‘your honour and power will never be reduced’.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. Sigurður Nordal, ed. 1933. Hið Nya Testament 1540: Oddur Gottskálksson’s Translation of the New Testament (Roskilde, Hans Barth, 1540). Monumenta typographica Islandica 1. Facsimile edn. Copenhagen: Levin & Munksgaard.

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