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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Lil 7VII

Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Lilja 7’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 569-70.

Anonymous PoemsLilja

Mektarfullr, er af bar öllum
í náttúruskærleik sínum,
skapaður góðr og skein í prýði
skapara næstr í vegsemd hæstri.
Eigi liet sier alla nægjaz
eingill mekt, þá er hafði feingið;
með ofbeldi öðlaz vildi
æðra sess og virðing bæði.

Mektarfullr, er í sínum náttúruskærleik bar af öllum, skapaður góðr og skein í prýði í hæstri vegsemd næstr skapara. Eingill liet eigi alla mekt, þá er hafði feingið, nægjaz sier; með ofbeldi vildi öðlaz bæði æðra sess og virðing.

The one full of might, who in his natural brightness surpassed all, [was] created good and shone in glory, in highest honour next to the Creator. The angel did not let all the might, which he had received, be a source of contentment to him; with pride he wanted to win for himself both a higher seat and regard.

Mss: Bb(113va), 99a(2r), 622(24), 713(6), Vb(247), 41 8°ˣ(105), 705ˣ(3r-v), 4892(25v)

Readings: [1] er: sá að 99a, sá er 622, om. Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 4892    [2] náttúruskærleik: náttúru og skírleik 99a, náttúru og skærleik 622, 713, Vb    [3] skapaður: skaptur Vb, 41 8°ˣ;    og: om. Vb, 41 8°ˣ;    í: með 99a, Vb, 41 8°ˣ    [4] í: om. 622    [5] alla: allvel 622, 713, 4892;    nægjaz: nægja 99a, 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, 4892    [6] eingill: eingils 622, 4892;    mekt: so 622, 4892, mek Bb, makt 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ;    þá: om. Vb, 41 8°ˣ, að 4892;    er: om. 99a, 4892, eð 622, að 713;    hafði: hafði hann 99a    [7] með: meðr 622, 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ    [8] æðra: æðri 4892

Editions: Skj AII, 365, Skj BII, 392, Skald II, 213, NN §§1421A, B, 1517, 2358, Anm.

Notes: [1] mektarfullr (hap. leg.) ‘one full of might’: Cf. Stjórn’s comment on Lucifer and the rebel angels: þessir glodduz sua af sinni mekt ok ualldi ‘these ones rejoiced so from their might and power’ (Unger 1862, 8). Mekt is a late loan into ON, beside makt and máttr. Cf. also mekt (l. 6) and mektarblóm ‘flower of might’ 25/2. — [3] skapaður góðr ‘created good’: The question of whether Lucifer was originally created good was long a matter of theological debate (could a good God create evil?). The precision here reflects the pronouncement of the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215: ‘God created the devil and other demons good by nature’ (Denzinger and Schönmetzer 1965, §800). — [4] í hæstri vegsemd næstr skapara ‘in highest honour next to the Creator’: cf. Gamlkan Has 30/3: víst með vegsemð hæstri ‘certainly with the highest honour’. — [5] eigi ... nægjaz ‘not … content himself, be a source of contentment to him’: The rhyme is accurate: both words would have been pronounced with palatalized <g> in C14th; cf. 14/7 and 17/5 (JH). The use of the m.v. form of nægja with reflexive pron. is not uncommon (cf. Fritzner: nægjast 1). — [7] ofbeldi ‘pride, overbearing’: Translates superbia, one of the seven deadly sins. Cf. 9/6, 77/2, and Stjórn: utan alla freistni nema at eins af sinni eiginligri aufund ok ofbelldi ... ofbelldiss fullir ok aufundsiukir ‘without all temptation except only from his own personal jealousy and arrogance ... full of arrogance and sick with envy’ (Unger 1862, 8).


  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. Denzinger, Heinrich and Adolf Schönmetzer, S. J., eds. 1965. Enchiridion Symbolorum: Definitionum et Declarationum de rebus fidei et morum. 36th edn. Freiburg in Breisgau: Herder.
  6. Fritzner = Fritzner, Johan. 1883-96. Ordbog over det gamle norske sprog. 3 vols. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske forlagsforening. 4th edn. Rpt. 1973. Oslo etc.: Universitetsforlaget.
  7. Internal references
  8. Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Gamli kanóki, Harmsól 30’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 99.
  9. Not published: do not cite ()

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