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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Lil 86VII

Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Lilja 86’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 658-9.

Anonymous PoemsLilja
858687

Heyrðu mig nú, himins og jarðar
háleit bygðin allra dygða,
megindrotningin manna og eingla,
móðir guðs og lækning þjóða;
þá er mæðumz í nógum nauðum,
nálæg vertu minni sálu;
vef þú ágætu verndarskauti,
ván mín sönn til hjálpar mönnum.

Heyrðu mig nú, háleit bygðin allra dygða himins og jarðar, {megindrotningin manna og eingla}, {móðir guðs} og lækning þjóða; þá er mæðumz í nógum nauðum, vertu nálæg sálu minni; vef þú ágætu verndarskauti, sönn ván mín til hjálpar mönnum.

Hear me now, sublime dwelling of all the virtues of heaven and earth, {great queen of men and angels} [= Mary], {mother of God} [= Mary] and healing of people; when I suffer in great need, be near my soul; enfold [it] in your famous protecting mantle, my true hope for the help of men.

Mss: Bb(116rb), 99a(17r-v), 622(38), 713(13), Vb(255), 41 8°ˣ(132-133), 705ˣ(21r), 4892(38v)

Readings: [2] bygðin: frygðin 713, 4892, dygðin 41 8°ˣ;    allra: læknir Vb, 41 8°ˣ;    dygða: hrygða Vb, 41 8°ˣ    [3] ‑drotningin: ‑kóngur Vb, 41 8°ˣ    [4] móðir: meistari Vb, 41 8°ˣ;    guðs og: fróður Vb, 41 8°ˣ;    lækning: blessan 99a, 622, 713, 705ˣ, blessan Vb, 41 8°ˣ;    þjóða: fljóða 713    [5] er: eg 99a, 713, Vb, 705ˣ, 4892;    í: og 622;    nógum: miklum 622    [6] nálæg: nálægr Vb, 41 8°ˣ, nálægri 4892    [7] þú: mig Vb, 41 8°ˣ;    verndarskauti: verndarskarti 713    [8] til: er 622, 713, þú Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 4892

Editions: Skj AII, 390-1, Skj BII, 412-3, Skald II, 226, NN §2983.

Notes: [All]: Sts 86-96, consisting of lyrics in praise of Mary, were often circulated separately under the title Máríúvísur úr Lilju. — [2] bygðin allra dygða ‘dwelling of all virtues’: The kenning-like epithet is reminiscent of titles for Mary used in Lat. hymns (e.g. vas virtutum omnium ‘vessel of all virtues’ [AH 46, 157] and virtutum sacrarium ‘sacrarium of virtues’ [AH 32, 210], gemma virtutum ‘jewel of virtues’ [AH 4, 47], receptaculum virtutum ‘receptacle of virtues’ [AH 15, 51], cella virtutum ‘cell of virtues’ [AH 32, 191]). The section on the Sacrament of Confirmation in Kristinn réttr Árna biskups (Kristinn réttr hinn nýi) uses this term for the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit (NGL V, 22). — [3] megindrotningin manna og eingla ‘great queen of men and angels [= Mary]’: Cf. megindrotningin himins og gotna ‘great queen of heaven and of men’ (Árni Gd 3/2IV). The cpd megindrotningen also appears in Heyr Mig Bjartast Blómsturið Mæta 2/4 (ÍM II, 78). — [4] lækning þjóða ‘healing of peoples’: Cf. such conventional epithets for Mary as salus populi ‘healing of the people’ (AH 15, 51; 32, 88), salus gentium ‘healing of peoples’ (AH 15, 51; 34, 120; 37, 69; 54, 101), salus omnium ‘healing of all’ (AH 30,128), and salus hominum ‘healing of men’ (AH 15, 30, 31, 32). — [7] verndarskauti ‘protecting mantle’: Lit. ‘cloak-hem of protection’. A skaut is a corner at the edge of a garment or a piece of cloth. The image recalls the popular Lat. prayer to Mary: Sub tuum presidium confugimus, sancta Dei genitrix: nostras deprecationes ne despicias in necessitatibus: sed a periculis cunctis libera nos semper virgo benedicta ‘Under your protection we flee, holy mother of God: do not despise our prayers in our need, but free us always from all perils, blessed virgin’ (Brev. Nidr. h.iiiir). The image occurs in visual art in the familiar Madonna misericordiae ‘Our Lady of Mercy’ motif, where Mary is depicted sheltering people under her cloak or veil (see Perdrizet 1908; Cinthio et al. 1966; Belting-Ihm 1976). Devotion to the ‘virgin of the mantle’ arose among the Cistercians in C13th. It was taken up by the Dominicans and other friars, and by C14th it had spread throughout Europe. Visual representations of the sheltering Virgin appeared on the seals of the Cistercian order, the monastery of Cteaux, and other Cistercian foundations (see Perdrizet 1902, pl. II) and the image spread through northen Europe in mss of the popular Speculum Humanae Salvationis. The word verndarskaut also occurs in Stjórn’s description of the saved (Unger 1862, 3): Jesus Kristus ... samnandi sonum Hierusalem. þat er rettruaðum monnum kristnum ok val friðsomum undir sealfs sins valld ok verndar skaut upp á þann hátt sem hænan samnar sinum ungum undir sina vængi ‘Jesus Christ ... gathering the sons of Jerusalem, that is, faithful and truly peaceful Christian men, under his own authority and his protecting mantle up in that height, like a hen gathers her young under her wings’. It occurs as a variant of skauti in Mar 1871, 716: Ef hinn forni manzins ovin will þier skada gera, fel þig vndir hennar uerndarskauti ‘If the ancient enemy of mankind wishes to do you harm, hide yourself under her protecting mantle’. — [8] ván mín ‘my hope’: A popular epithet for Mary, familiar from the antiphon Salve Regina misericordiae. Vite dulcedo et spes nostra salue ‘Hail, Queen of Mercy, hail, our life, our sweetness, and our hope’ (Brev. Nidr. h.iiiir).

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. Unger, C. R., ed. 1862. Stjorn. Gammelnorsk bibelhistorie fra verdens skabelse til det babyloniske fangenskab. Christiania (Oslo): Feilberg og Landmarks forlag.
  5. AH = Dreves, G. M., C. Blume and H. M. Bannister, eds. 1886-1922. Analecta hymnica medii aeui. 55 vols. Leipzig: Reisland. Rpt. 1961. New York: Johnson.
  6. Belting-Ihm, Christa. 1976. ‘Sub matris tutela’: Untersuchungen zur Vorgeschichte der Schutzmantelmadonna. Abhandlung der Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften. Phil.-Hist. Kl. 1976. Abhandlung 3. Heidelburg: Winter.
  7. Brev. Nidr. = [Anonymous] Breviarium Nidrosiense. 1519. Paris: Jean Kerbriant and Jean Bienayse. Rpt. facsimile edn 1964. Oslo: Børsum.
  8. NGL = Keyser, R. et al., eds. 1846-95. Norges gamle love indtil 1387. 5 vols. Christiania (Oslo): Gröndahl.
  9. ÍM = Jón Helgason, ed. 1936-8. Íslenzk miðaldarkvæði: Islandske digte fra senmiddelalderen. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Munksgaard.
  10. Internal references
  11. Not published: do not cite (Árni Gd 3IV)
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