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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Lil 72VII

Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Lilja 72’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 643-4.

Anonymous PoemsLilja

text and translation

Eingi finz á þessu þingi
þrætugjarn nie klókar varnir
orðahreimr, er á drottins dómi
dreifaz menn í flokka tvenna.
Aðra sveit með hæstum heiðri
hefr hann langt yfir spéras efri;
steypir þá með eymd og ópi
öðrum niðr í fjandann miðjan.

Á þessu þingi finz eingi þrætugjarn orðahreimr nie klókar varnir, er á dómi drottins dreifaz menn í tvenna flokka. Aðra sveit hefr hann með hæstum heiðri langt yfir efri spéras; þá steypir niðr öðrum með eymd og ópi í fjandann miðjan.
‘At this assembly is found no quarrelsome noise of words nor ingenious defences, when at the Lord’s judgement men are separated into two flocks. The one group he raises up with highest honour far above the higher spheres; then casts down the others with misery and shrieking into the midst of hell [lit. into the middle of the fiend].

notes and context

The model for this st. is the evangelist Matthew’s account of the Last Judgement: cum autem venerit Filius hominis in maiestate sua et omnes angeli cum eo tunc sedebit super sedem maiestatis suae et congregabuntur ante eum omnes gentes et separabit eos ab invicem sicut pastor segregat oves ab hedis et statuet oves quidem a dextris suis hedos autem a sinistris tunc dicet rex his qui a dextris eius erunt venite benedicti Patris mei possidete paratum vobis regnum a constitutione mundi … tunc dicet et his qui a sinistris erunt discedite a me maledicti in ignem aeternum qui paratus est diabolo et angelis eius ‘and when the Son of man shall come in his majesty, and all the angels with him, then shall he sit upon the seat of his majesty. And all nations shall be gathered together before him: and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left. Then shall the king say to them that shall be on his right hand: Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world … Then he shall say to them also that shall be on his left hand: Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire, which was prepared for the devil and his angels’ (Matt. XXV.31-4, 41). — [1-3]: Cf. the similar syntactical pattern in Has 32/1-4: Engi mun alls á þingi | ísheims vesa þvísa | jóskreytandi ítrum | óttalauss fyr drótni ‘Not a single adorner of the horse of the ice-world [SEA > SHIP > SEAFARER] will be fearless before the glorious Lord at this assembly’. The representation of the Last Judgement as a þing ‘assembly’ also occurs in Líkn 26/6 and 27/1. — [4]: For the idea of dividing those to be judged into two flocks, cf. again Has 36/4-5.



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 72: AII, 386, BII, 409, Skald II, 224.


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