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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Lil 41VII

Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Lilja 41’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 611-12.

Anonymous PoemsLilja

text and translation

‘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.

‘Trúig, fá munu hitta föðurætt hans; móðernið finz hier með þjóðum; þó er atferðin burðar Jésú svá undarlig, að eg skil það varla. Ekki er mier þokki á þessum; þannin ferr þeim unga manni; aldri fyrr var sá maðr fæddur á foldu, er eg hræddumz næsta.
‘‘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.

notes and context

[1-2]: Cf. Note on st. 39 and Mar 1871, 186: Auðsynt er þat, at sv sem hann fęddi er senniliga hans moðir, enn þat er þvi oskilianlict, hverr hans er faðir, se ek bvrðinn, enn hvarki fę ek skilit fęðing ne getnat ‘It is clear that she who gave birth to him is truly his mother, but it is impossible to know who his father is: I see the birth, but I cannot understand either the birth or the conception’. — [4]: The rhyme is between -arl- (undarlig) and varl- (JH). — [5-8]: Cf. Mar 1871, 187.



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 41: AII, 276-7, BII, 401, Skald II, 218-9, NN §§1522, 2831C.


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