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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Lil 27VII

Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Lilja 27’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 593-4.

Anonymous PoemsLilja
262728

text and translation

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.

Gabriél, sigrandi páfugls prýði, leið sem gleðiligur geisli sólar innan pentað firmamentum í in neðri loft. {Sendiboði sjaufalds anda} kom að einu húsi; þar inni sat sannr meydómrinn, hreinlífið sjálft, gimsteinn vífa; svá er greinanda.
 
‘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.

notes and context

Gabriel’s willing descent at God’s command recapitulates Lucifer’s unhappy fall in st. 7. Schottmann (1973, 202) cites as a parallel a pseudo-Augustinian Christmas homily: Moxque uolatu rapido secat axem astriferum, nubesque profundas celer adiit, perculsitque lumine noctem. Ipse per medios caeli sinus flammeos artus vibrans, ignito aere fertur; et, ueluti cum pavo uersicolor obiectus radiis multifluos colores pinnis creptitantibus fundit, nunc aureo, nunc roseo nunc uiridi, nunc purpureo mixtus honori décor diem mutat picturis infectum et coloribus uariis ‘And soon, with rapid flight, he flew through the star-bearing heavens, and rapidly approached the dense clouds, and cast light through the night. He moved swiftly through the middle heaven, aflame with burning air, and just as a multicolored peacock displays many changing colors with its rustling wings, splendor mingled with honor transformed the day, coloring it with various hues’ (Barré 1963, 66). — [4]: The alliteration of the l. is on -ligr and lopt.

readings

sources

Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: Eysteinn Ásgrímsson, Lilja 27: AII, 372, BII, 397, Skald II, 216, NN §2629 D.

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