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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Lil 34VII

Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Lilja 34’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 602-3.

Anonymous PoemsLilja

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.

Eingin heyrðuz; jöfn tíðindin vurðu eingi fyrr nie síðar, því trúan bauð að sanna senn bæði mær og móður, mann og guð. Loftin sungu kunnigt lof komnum kóngi, þar er hirðar runnu; dýrðin himna 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.

Mss: Bb(114va), 99a(7v), 622(29), 713(8-9), Vb(250), 41 8°ˣ(116) (ll. 5-8), 41 8°ˣ(116) (ll. 1-4), 705ˣ(9v), 4892(30r)

Readings: [1] Eingin: Eingi 713;    heyrðuz: heyrði og 99a, 622, 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, 4892;    eingi: eingin 99a, 622, Vb, 41 8°ˣ    [2] tíðindin: tíðindi 713;    nie: so 99a, 622, 713, 705ˣ, 4892, om. Bb, og Vb, 41 8°ˣ;    síðar: so 99a, 622, 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, 4892, om. Bb    [3] bæði: að bæði Vb, 41 8°ˣ;    því: að 99a, 705ˣ, var 622, Vb, 41 8°ˣ;    mær: mey 99a, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, því að 4892    [4] mann: og mann Vb, 41 8°ˣ;    trúan: trúað 622, truna 4892;    að: om. Vb, 41 8°ˣ    [6] kunnigt: kunnugt Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 4892, kunnig 705ˣ;    er: om. 99a, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 4892;    hirðar: so 99a, 622, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, hirðir Bb, ‘h[...]’ 713;    runnu: unnu Vb, 4892    [7] dýrðin: dýrð er 99a, 622, 713, 705ˣ, 4892, dýrð var Vb, 41 8°ˣ;    hneigð: hengið 41 8°ˣ;    á: að 99a, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ

Editions: Skj AII, 374, Skj BII, 399, Skald II, 217.

Notes: [1] eingin heyrðuz ‘none have been heard’: See Curtius 1953, 162-6 on topics of outdoing. — [2] nie síðar ‘nor since’: fyrr occurs at the end of a l. in Bb, and the omission of nie síðar appears to be a careless error. Without the words the l. lacks three syllables. — [4]: Cf. trúa mann ok guð sannan (Líkn 24/8). — [5-8]: Cf. Luke II.8-14: et pastores erant in regione eadem vigilantes et custodientes vigilias noctis supra gregem suum et ecce angelus Domini stetit iuxta illos et claritas Dei circumfulsit illos et timuerunt timore magno … et subito facta est cum angelo multitudo militiae caelestis laudantium Deum et dicentium gloria in altissimis Deo et in terra pax in hominibus bonae voluntatis ‘And there were in the same country shepherds watching and keeping the night watches over their flock. And behold an angel of the Lord stood by them and the brightness of God shone round about them: and they feared with a great fear … And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest: and on earth peace to men of good will’. — [5-8]: In Vb, 41ˣ, and 4892, ll. 1-4 of st. 35 follow ll. 1-4 of st. 34, followed by ll. 5-8 of st. 34 and ll. 5-8 of st. 35. — [5] kóngi ‘king’: The form is necessary for the rhyme with sungu ‘sang’. — [6] hirðar ‘shepherds’: It is necessary to adopt hirðar here (rather than Bb’s hirðir, nom. sg.), as the verb is pl. — [6] runnu ‘ran about’: Lit. ‘ran’, but the sense is ‘moved about’, ‘performed their work’. — [7] himna dýrðin hneigð á jörðu ‘of the heavens the glory [has] sunk down on earth’: This is the reading of Bb, and lacks a finite verb. Skj B and Skald follow a number of mss in reading himna dýrð er hneigð at jǫrðu ‘the glory of the heavens has sunk down to the earth’.


  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. Curtius, Ernst R. 1953. European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages. Trans. Willard R. Trask. Bollingen Ser. 36. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Originally published 1948. Europäische literatur und lateinisches Mittelalter. Bern: Francke.
  5. Internal references
  6. George S. Tate (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Líknarbraut 24’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 254-5.

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