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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Lil 94VII

Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Lilja 94’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 669-70.

Anonymous PoemsLilja

viðr og grjót sem steinar, stræti,
streingir, himnar, loft og einglar,
orma sveit og akrar hvítir,
jurtir, málmr sem laufgir pálmar,
augabragð þó aldri þegði
allar þær, af fyrnsku væri
móðar, fyrr en Máríu prýði
mætti skýra fullum hætti.

viðr og grjót sem steinar, stræti, streingir, himnar, loft og einglar, sveit orma og hvítir akrar, jurtir, málmr, sem laufgir pálmar, þó þær allar þegði aldri augabragð, væri móðar af fyrnsku fyrr en mætti skýra Máríu prýði fullum hætti.

wood and rocks, and stones, streets, streams, the heavens, air and angels, hosts of serpents and bright fields, herbs, metal, and leafy palms, though all those were never silent for the twinkling of an eye, they would be weary with old age before they could proclaim Mary’s splendour in full measure.

Mss: Bb(116va), 99a(18v), 622(40), 713(14), Vb(255-256), 41 8°ˣ(134-135), 41 8°ˣ(421), 705ˣ(22v-23r), 4892(40r)

Readings: [1] og: om. 4892;    grjót: gróðar 713;    steinar: steinar og 99a, staðir 622, staðir og 713, 41 8°ˣ(134), 41 8°ˣ(421), 705ˣ, 4892, staði og Vb    [2] streingir: so all others, streingr Bb;    himnar: so 99a, 622, 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ(134), 705ˣ, ‘himnana’ Bb, himna 41 8°ˣ(421), 4892    [3] orma: akra 41 8°ˣ(421);    og: sem 99a, 622, 713, 4892;    akrar: áðrar 41 8°ˣ(421);    hvítir: jurtir 41 8°ˣ(421)    [4] jurtir: ‘jurturs’ Vb, 41 8°ˣ(134), allur 41 8°ˣ(421), ‘itur’ 4892;    sem: og 99a, Vb, 41 8°ˣ(134), 4892, om. 41 8°ˣ(421);    laufgir: laufið Vb, 4892, laufin 41 8°ˣ(134);    pálmar: pálma 41 8°ˣ(134), 4892, ‘falma’ 41 8°ˣ(421)    [5] augabragð: um augnabragð 41 8°ˣ(421), augnabrögð 4892;    þó: þó að 622, 713, 4892, og Vb, 41 8°ˣ(134)    [6] allar: og andir 713, 4892;    þær: þær er 622, þar 705ˣ;    af: á 622, í Vb, 41 8°ˣ(134), 41 8°ˣ(421);    fyrnsku: himinum Vb, heim mönnum 41 8°ˣ(134), heiminum 41 8°ˣ(421)    [7] móðar: máðar 99a, 622, 713, 705ˣ, mæðast Vb, 41 8°ˣ(134), maðurinn 41 8°ˣ(421);    fyrr: ‘hvó’ 41 8°ˣ(421);    en: að 41 8°ˣ(421);    Máríu: meistarans Vb, 41 8°ˣ(134)    [8] skýra: greina 622, stýra 41 8°ˣ(134), skýra að 705ˣ, ‘scyrazt’ 4892

Editions: Skj AII, 393, Skj BII, 415, Skald II, 227-8, NN §3318.

Notes: [All]: The translation of Peter Comestor’s poem is spread across two sts. — [1] steinar, stræti ‘stones, streets’: Kock observes (NN §3318) that this helmingr contains an aabb pattern analogous to the abab pattern in the previous st., which would imply that the alternative reading steinar og stræti ‘stones and streets’ (or staðir og stræti ‘towns and streets’) is preferable. — [2] loft og einglar ‘air and angels’: Cf. Thomas Aquinas: et sic angeli assumunt corpora ex aëre ‘and thus the angels assume bodies of air’ (Foster 1968, 1a.51, 2 ad 3). — [5-8]: Cf. Peter Comestor: minime depromere possent, / Que sis vel quanta uirgo regina Maria. / Que tua sit pietas, nec littera nec dabit etas ‘they would hardly be able to express what and how great you are, virgin queen Mary; there could be neither words nor time enough to tell the extent of your piety’ (see Note to 93/[All]). — [6] þær ‘they’: The f. pron. refers back to tungum ‘tongues’ in the previous st.


  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. Foster, Kenelm O. P., ed. 1968. Summa Theologiæ. Summa Theologiæ: Latin text and English translation, Introductions, Notes, Appendices and Glossaries 9. Cambridge: Blackfriars.

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