Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Lil 35VII/7 — æsiz ‘spurts’

Þó var ei svá rík, að reifa
ríkust móðir ætti góða;
því var kóngrinn hörðu heyvi
huldr, að mætti firraz kulda.
Umsníðningar Jésú prýði
átti dagr að fæðing váttar
æsiz blóð á líkam ljósan;
lagaz minnilig tár af kinnum.

Þó var ríkust móðir ei svá rík, að ætti góða reifa; því var kóngrinn huldr hörðu heyvi, að mætti firraz kulda. Átti dagr að fæðing váttar prýði Jésú umsníðningar; blóð æsiz á ljósan líkam; minnilig tár lagaz af kinnum.

Yet the richest mother was not so rich that she had good swaddling clothes; therefore the king was covered with harsh hay, so that he could be kept from the cold. The eighth day after the birth shows the glory of Jesus’ circumcision; blood spurts over the bright body; memorable tears run down his cheeks.


[7] æsiz: geysiz 622


[7] æsiz blóð á líkam ljósan ‘blood spurts over the bright body’: The shedding of his blood when Jesus was circumcised was traditionally thought to prefigure his Passion. Cf. the Meditaciones Vite Christi of Iohannis de Caulibus: Secundum quod hodie factum fuit, eciam quia incepit Dominus Iesus suum sacratissimum sanguinem pro nobis effundere. Tempestiue enim cepit pro nobis pati. Qui peccatum non fecit pro nobis penam hodie portare incepit ... Audis et hodie quia sanguinem suum fudit. Fuit enim caro ipsius cum cultello lapideo a matre incisa. Nonne ergo campati debet ei? ‘Today our Lord Jesus began shedding his most sacred blood for us, for he very early began to suffer for us. He who committed no sin himself, today began paying its penalty for us … You hear also that he shed his blood today; for his flesh was cut by his mother with a little stone knife. Is it not fitting to suffer along with him?’ (Stallings-Taney 1997, 37-8; Taney 2000, 30).



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