Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Lil 75VII

Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Lilja 75’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 647-8.

Anonymous PoemsLilja

Tárum rigni, en tungan þagni;
taki af mál, en þurftug sálin
beriz um fast, svá að búkinn hristi;
bið eg óttandi, ‘hjálp mier, dróttinn!’
Ævinliga með lyftum lófum,
lof ræðandi, á knie sín bæði
skepnan öll er skyld að falla,
skapari minn, fyrir ásjón þinni.

Rigni tárum, en tungan þagni; mál taki af, en þurftug sálin beriz um fast, svá að búkinn hristi; eg bið óttandi, ‘hjálp mier, dróttinn!’ Ævinliga með lyftum lófum er öll skepnan, ræðandi lof, skyld að falla á bæði knie sín, skapari minn, fyrir ásjón þinni.

Let it rain with tears, but let the tongue be silent, let speech die away, and let the needy soul convulse hard, so that the body shakes; I pray fearfully, ‘help me, Lord!’ Unceasingly, with lifted hands, uttering praise, all creation should fall to both its knees, my Creator, before your face.

Mss: Bb(115vb-116ra), 99a(15r), 622(36), 713(12), Vb(254), 41 8°ˣ(129), 705ˣ(18v), 4892(37r)

Readings: [1] Tárum: Tungan 713, 4892;    rigni: þagni 713, 4892;    en: om. 705ˣ;    tungan: tárum 713, tárinn 4892;    þagni: rigni 713, 4892    [2] taki: tekið 713, tekr Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 4892;    þurftug: ‘þurtug’ 4892    [3] beriz: berz 622;    fast: ‘[...]azt’ 4892;    svá að: og 99a, 705ˣ, þá 622, svá 713, Vb, enn 4892;    búkinn: búkrinn 622, 713, 4892;    hristi: hristiz 622, 713, 4892, hristiz 622, 713, 4892, hristir Vb, 41 8°ˣ    [4] óttandi: óttandi þú 99a, 705ˣ, óttandi að 713, óttandi eg 4892    [5-8] abbrev. as ‘Ævinliga med lyptvm lofum lof’ Bb, ‘æfinliga med’ 99a, ‘Æfenliga’ 622, ‘æuen liga med l. l.’ 713, ‘Æfinliga med lyptum lofum’ 705ˣ    [7] falla: falli Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 4892    [8] ásjón: ástan Vb

Editions: Skj AII, 387, Skj BII, 409-10, Skald II, 224.

Notes: [3] beriz um ‘convulse’: The idiom means ‘to hit right and left, to flail (with one’s arms and legs)’ (see ONP: berja E.). — [3] að búkinn hristi ‘that the body shakes’: Hrista can be used both impersonally and transitively. JH reads the phrase here as an impersonal construction, but it is also possible to understand sálin as subject and búkinn as the direct object: the trembling body reflects the agitated soul. Búkinn is the reading of Bb. Other mss have búkrinn (m. nom. sg.) with ‘the body’ as subject and the verb hristiz in m.v. — [4] hjálp mier, dróttinn ‘help me, Lord’: Reminiscent of the psalmist’s cry, adiuva me Domine ‘help me, Lord’ (Pss. LXIX.6 and CVIII.26), as well as of the terrified disciples’ Herra hialpa þu os ‘Lord, help us’ during a storm at sea (Hið Nya Testament 1540 [Sigurður Nordal 1933]; Matt. VIII.25) and of the Canaanite woman’s plea for help for her daughter: hialpa þu mier Herra ‘help me, Lord’ (Sigurður Nordal 1933; Matt. XV.25). — [5-8]: The final repeat of the second stef.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. Sigurður Nordal, ed. 1933. Hið Nya Testament 1540: Oddur Gottskálksson’s Translation of the New Testament (Roskilde, Hans Barth, 1540). Monumenta typographica Islandica 1. Facsimile edn. Copenhagen: Levin & Munksgaard.
  4. ONP = Degnbol, Helle et al., eds. 1989-. A Dictionary of Old Norse Prose / Ordbog over det norrøne prosasprog. 1-. Copenhagen: The Arnamagnæan Commission.

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