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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Lil 82VII

Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Lilja 82’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 654-5.

Anonymous PoemsLilja

text and translation

Beiði eg nú fyrir Máríu móður
mjúka bæn og fagran tænað
á treystandi, Jésú Kristi,
yðra vægð, er týndum nægðiz.
Pín mig, áðr en detti á dauðinn,
dróttinn minn, í kvölum og sóttum,
að því minnur sie eg þá síðan
slitinn af fjandans króki bitrum.

Jésú Kristi, eg beiði nú fyrir mjúka bæn og fagran tænað Máríu móður, treystandi á vægð yðra, er nægðiz týndum. Pín mig í kvölum og sóttum, áðr en dauðinn detti á, dróttinn minn, að eg sie þá síðan því minnur slitinn af bitrum króki fjandans.
‘Jesus Christ, I ask now for the gentle prayer and beautiful assistance of mother Mary, trusting in your mercy, which has been sufficient for the lost. Torment me with pains and sicknesses before death comes on, my Lord, that I may later be less torn apart by the fiend’s sharp hook.

notes and context

The order of sts 82 and 83 is reversed in 622. The first helmingr is missing in Vb and 41 8°ˣ. — [1-4]: An example of the complex piety of the later Middle Ages: the poet tells Jesus that he is asking Mary to intercede for him. This theme is developed more fully in sts 86-7. The words of Jesus to Mary in the Revelaciones of S. Birgitta are a typical manifestation of it: nulla erit petico tua ad me, que non exaudiatur, et per te omnes, qui petunt misericordiam cum voluntate emendandi, graciam habebunt. Quia sicut claor procedit a sole, sic per te omnis misericordia dabitur. Tu enim es quasi fons largifluus, de quo misericordia miseris fluit ‘no petition of yours will ever come to me without being heard. Any who ask for mercy through you and have the intention of mending their ways will win grace. As heat comes from the sun, so too all mercy will be given through you. You are like a free-flowing spring from which mercy flows to the wretched’ (I.50 in Searby 2006, 141; Undhagen and Jönsson 1977-2001, I, 399-400). — [4]: Cf. 1 Cor. XII.9, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee’ (Lát þér nægja mína náð in Sigurður Nordal 1933).



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 82: AII, 389, BII, 411-2, Skald II, 225, NN §2632.


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