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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Lil 53VII

Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Lilja 53’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 623.

Anonymous PoemsLilja

Hrækjandi mjög höfuðin skóku
heiðingjar sem Júðar leiðir;
flestir allir flýðu Kristi
fylgdarmenn við storminn þenna.
Minnaz verð eg — má eg ei annað —
móður guðs, er í tárum flóði;
mætti verða, að minna sótta
minnaz vildi hun eitthvert sinni.

Hrækjandi mjög skóku höfuðin, heiðingjar sem leiðir Júðar; flestir allir fylgdarmenn Kristi flýðu við þenna storminn. Eg verð minnaz — má eg ei annað — {móður guðs}, er flóði í tárum; mætti verða, að hun vildi eitthvert sinni minnaz sótta minna.

Spitting much, they shook their heads, heathens as well as loathsome Jews; nearly all the followers of Christ fled in the face of that storm. I must remember — I cannot do otherwise — {the mother of God} [= Mary] who was flooded with tears; it could come about that she would at some time want to be mindful of my sorrows.

Mss: Bb(115ra-b), 99a(11r), 622(32), 713(10), Vb(252), 41 8°ˣ(122), 705ˣ(13v-14r), 4892(33v)

Readings: [1] mjög: þeir 99a, 622, þá 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, 4892    [2] leiðir: beiða Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 4892    [3] Kristi: Kristum 622, 713, 705ˣ, 4892    [4] þenna: þennan 41 8°ˣ, 4892    [5] verð eg: verðr og 99a, 622, verð eg og 713, 4892, verðr Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ;    eg: om. 4892;    ei: eigi 99a    [6] móður: móðir 4892;    guðs: guði 4892;    er: om. 99a, 622, 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 4892;    tárum: vatni 713, 4892, þessum Vb, 41 8°ˣ;    flóði: óði Vb, 41 8°ˣ    [7] mætti verða minna sótta: heilagrar því fljóða frægust Vb, það heilagrar því fljóða frægust 41 8°ˣ;    verða: virða 4892;    að: om. 622, 705ˣ, 4892;    minna: minnar 99a, 622, 713, 705ˣ, minnz 4892;    sótta: sóttar 99a, 622, 713, 705ˣ    [8] minnaz vildi hun eitthvert sinni: fæddi þann for meinin græddi Vb, 41 8°ˣ;    vildi: vildir 4892;    hun: om. 622, 4892;    eitthvert: nökkuru 99a, 705ˣ

Editions: Skj AII, 380, Skj BII, 404, Skald II, 221.

Notes: [1] hrækjandi ‘spitting’: An allusion to Matt. XXVII.30: et expuentes in eum acceperunt harundinem et percutiebant caput eius ‘and spitting upon him, they took the reed and struck his head’ and Isa. L.6: corpus meum dedi percutientibus et genas meas vellentibus faciem meam non averti ab increpantibus et conspuentibus ‘I have given my body to the strikers, and my cheeks to them that plucked them: I have not turned away my face from them that rebuked me, and spit upon me’. — [1] skóku höfuðin ‘shook their heads’: An allusion to Matt. XXVII.39: praetereuntes autem blasphemabant eum moventes capita sua ‘and they that passed by blasphemed him, wagging their heads’. The poet probably also had in mind Lam. II.15 and Ps. CIX.25, which are liturgically associated with the Passion. — [3-4]: The disciples fled when Jesus was arrested (Matt. XXVI.56, Mark XIV.50). — [5, 8] eg verð minnaz … hun vildi minnaz ‘I must remember … would that she would remember’: The parallel construction points to the poet’s hope for a reciprocal relationship: his meditation on Mary’s sorrows will lead to her awareness of his. Cf. 69/3-4 and 99/5-6. — [7] sótta ‘sorrows’: See Note to 40/5.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.

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