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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

VII. Lilja (Lil) - 100

not in Skj

Lilja (‘Lily’) — Anon LilVII

Martin Chase 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Lilja’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 544-677.

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Skj: Eysteinn Ásgrímsson: Lilja (AII, 363-95, BII, 390-416)

SkP info: VII, 583-4

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17 — Anon Lil 17VII

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Cite as: Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Lilja 17’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 583-4.

Liettliga þar — svá ljósin vátta
liettleika í svaranna reikan —
því treystiz hann framt að freista
flærðum settr og talar með prettum:
‘Eigi munu þið Ádám deyja
andlitshvít, þóað eplið bítið,
heldur munuð með heiðr og valdi
hosk og rík við guðdóm líkjaz.’

Liettliga þar — svá vátta ljósin liettleika í reikan svaranna —, treystiz hann því, settr flærðum, að freista framt og talar með prettum: ‘Munu, þið, Ádám, andlitshvít eigi deyja, þóað bítið eplið, heldur, hosk og rík, munuð líkjaz við guðdóm með heiðr og valdi.’

Easily there — thus the lights affirm the levity in the wavering of her replies —, he dared this, filled with deceit, to tempt impertinently and speaks with tricks: ‘You and Adam, bright of face, will not die, though you eat the apple, rather, wise and powerful, you will be like the Godhead with honour and might.’

Mss: Bb(114ra), 720a VIII(2r), 99a(4r-v), 622(26), 713(7), Vb(248), 41 8°ˣ(109), 705ˣ(5v-6r), 4892(27r)

Readings: [1] þar svá: þann er 720a VIII, fann sem 99a, það sem 622, sem 713, svá Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 4892, fann svá 705ˣ;    ljósin: ljósið 713, ljósan Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 4892;    vátta: so 99a, 622, 705ˣ, váttar Bb    [2] liettleika: liettleikan 720a VIII, 713, Vb, 4892, lítilleikan 99a, 4892;    svaranna: svarannar 720a VIII;    reikan: reiki 720a VIII, 99a, 622, 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, 4892    [3] treystiz hann framt: om. 622;    hann: eg 720a VIII, og 622    [4] prettum: pretta 622    [5] Eigi: ei 99a, 705ˣ;    munu: skulu Vb, 41 8°ˣ, muni 705ˣ, munuð 4892;    deyja: deiga 4892    [6] andlitshvít: andlitshvíts 622;    þóað: því að 720a VIII, þó 99a, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ;    bítið: bíti 622, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ    [7] munuð: munu þið 713;    með: í 720a VIII, 705ˣ;    heiðr: heiðri Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 4892    [8] guðdóm: so 720a VIII, 99a, 622, 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, 4892, guðdómi Bb

Editions: Skj: Eysteinn Ásgrímsson, Lilja 17: AII, 369, BII, 394-5, Skald II, 214-5, NN §§1513, 1520.

Notes: [All]: See Note on st. 15. — [1-2]: See Note on 16/7-8. — [1] liettliga ‘easily’: Here the word has its more usual sense (see Foote 1982, 121). — [1] svá vátta ljósin ‘as the lights affirm’: ljós may be here be used metaphorically of the theologians and exegetes who analyse Eve’s reply. Cf. e.g. HomÍsl, which refers to the apostles as ‘lights’: Maclega kallaſc poſtolar lióſ. þuiat keɴingar. þeirra lýſto of allan heim ‘It is fitting that the apostles are called lights, because their teachings illumine the whole world’ (HomÍsl 1993, 7v). Finnur Jónsson (1772-8, II, 407) translates teste Scriptura; Kock suggests lumina ecclesiæ, dvs. kyrkofäderna eller andra stormän inom kyrkan ‘Lights of the church, i.e. the Fathers of the Church or other important men in the church’ (NN §1520). Cf. the Lat. Eluc: Primo igitur sacerdotes, si bene vixerint, exemplo sunt lux mundi; si recte docuerint, verbo sunt sal terrae. Reliqui vero ministri sunt fenestrae in domo Domini, per quos lumen scientiae splendet his qui sunt in tenebris ignorantiae ‘Priests, if they live well, are by example the light of the world; if they teach well, they are by word the salt of the earth. Other ministers are windows in the house of the Lord, through whom the light of knowledge shines on those who are in the shadows of ignorance’ (LeFꜵvre 1954, 427). Hill (1969) points out that according to commentators like Hugh of S. Victor, ‘Eve doubted God’s command even before the devil came to tempt her’. Hill suggests that in Lil, Eve’s casual disregard for God’s command is contrasted with Mary’s trust and obedience. Cf. Mary’s response to Gabriel: Heyrði og trúði, en undraz orðin ‘she heard and believed, though she was amazed at the words’ 29/1. Skj B adopts a reading of l. 1 found in no single ms., and construes Léttliga fann þar í reiki svaranna ljósa váttan léttleika ‘Easily he found there in the uncertainty of the answers clear evidence of freedom from care’. — [2] liettleika (m. acc. pl.) ‘levity’: Foote (1982, 121) suggests that the word reflects Geoffrey of Vinsauf’s minus fortem credentem ‘unstable in faith’ (Faral 1924, 242; Nims 1967, 68). — [2] reikan svaranna ‘the wavering of her replies’: The account in Stjórn provides an excellent parallel. Eve concludes her reply, Ok efandi madr uikr higat ok þigat ok er i o᷎ngu o᷎ruggr. þa þottiz fiandinn o᷎ruggr at faa þat er hann uilldi ‘and the undecided man moves back and forth and is in no way certain. Then the enemy knew clearly that he would get what he wanted’ (Unger 1862, 35). — [3] framt ‘impertinently’: Foote (1982, 121) suggests that the word may be equated with Geoffrey of Vinsauf’s fortior ‘gaining assurance’. — [5] deyja … eigi ‘die … not’: The rhyme is accurate: eigi would have been pronounced with palatalized <g> in C14th. Cf. 7/5 and 14/7 (JH). — [6] andlitshvít ‘white or bright of face’: Perhaps in contrast to the devil. — [7] með heiðr ‘with honour’: Some mss record the more common dat. sg. heiðri, but the form without an ending is also found. Heiðr is a m. a-stem noun, with -r belonging to the stem; -ri is the expected dat. sg. form (after með), but sometimes a-stems are inflected like i-stems, with no ending in the dat. sg. (see ANG §358.3, which does not, however, cite this noun). Fritzner: heiðr gives examples in the dat. sg. both with and without (see last three examples) the -i ending.

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