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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, 597-8

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30 — Anon Lil 30VII

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Cite as: Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Lilja 30’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 597-8.

Friettir nú, með hverjum hætti
henni bæri til fögnuð þenna,
borgarmúrr svá að brysti hvergi
bygð geymandi hreinleiks dygða.
Eingill segir, að ei mun syngaz
jungfrú blíð, þá er sveinn er smíðaðr
haglig myndan heilags anda
hold og bein af líkam hreinum.

Friettir nú, með hverjum hætti þenna fögnuð bæri til henni, svá að borgarmúrr, geymandi bygð dygða hreinleiks, brysti hvergi. Eingill segir, að blíð jungfrú mun ei syngaz, þá er sveinn, {haglig myndan heilags anda}, er smíðaðr, hold og bein af hreinum líkam.

She asks now by what means this joy might befall her, so that the guarding wall, protecting the dwelling of the virtues of chastity, should nowhere break. The angel says that the gentle virgin will not commit sin, when the boy, {the proper image of the Holy Spirit} [= God (= Christ)], is formed, flesh and bone from the pure body.

Mss: Bb(114rb-va), 720a VIII(2v), 99a(6v-7r), 622(28), 713(8), Vb(249), 41 8°ˣ(114), 705ˣ(8v-9r), 4892(29r-v)

Readings: [1] Friettir: Frietti 720a VIII, Friettir hun 99a, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, Hun friettir 713, 4892;    nú: þá 99a, 705ˣ, 4892, að Vb, 41 8°ˣ    [2] bæri: bærið 4892;    fögnuð: fagnað 705ˣ;    þenna: þennan 720a VIII, 99a, 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 4892    [3] borgar‑: bœgar‑ 720a VIII, om. 622;    svá: om. 622;    að: om. 720a VIII, 99a, 622, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ;    hvergi: hugi 720a VIII    [4] geymandi: geymanda 720a VIII;    dygða: dygðar 720a VIII    [5] Eingill: eingillinn Vb, 41 8°ˣ;    segir: talar 622, 713;    að: om. 720a VIII, Vb, 41 8°ˣ;    ei: eigi 99a, Vb, 41 8°ˣ;    mun: muni 720a VIII, 99a, 622, 713, 4892;    syngaz (‘synngazt’): ‘syndgast’ 99a, 622, 713, 705ˣ, spillaz Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 4892    [6] jungfrú: jómfrúin Vb, 41 8°ˣ;    þá er: þó 720a VIII, 622, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 4892, því 99a, 705ˣ, þótt 713;    sveinn: sveininn 720a VIII, 99a, 622, 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, 4892;    er: om. 720a VIII, 99a, 622, 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, 4892;    smíðaðr: smíði 720a VIII, 622, 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 4892, smíðar 99a, 705ˣ    [7] haglig: hagleiks 720a VIII, 4892;    myndan: myndi 720a VIII, myndinn 713, 705ˣ, 4892, myndgan Vb, 41 8°ˣ;    heilags: hagleiks heilags 720a VIII    [8] hold: með hold Vb, 41 8°ˣ;    líkam: líkama 720a VIII, 99a, 622, 713, Vb, 41 8°ˣ, 705ˣ, 4892;    hreinum: hreinsum 720a VIII

Editions: Skj: Eysteinn Ásgrímsson, Lilja 30: AII, 373, BII, 398, Skald II, 217.

Notes: [All]: The st. summarizes the story of the Annunciation from Luke I.34-5: dixit autem Maria ad angelum quomodo fiet istud quoniam virum non cognosco et respondens angelus dixit ei Spiritus Sanctus superveniet in te et virtus Altissimi obumbrabit tibi ideoque et quod nascetur sanctum vocabitur Filius Dei ‘And Mary said to the Angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man? And the Angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God’. — [3-4] borgarmúrr, geymandi bygð dygða hreinleiks ‘the guarding wall, protecting the dwelling of the virtues of chastity’: An awkward rendition of Lat. epithets such as claustra pudoris ‘enclosure of chastity’ (thus Schottmann 1973, 196, cf. AH 2, 36; 15, 109; 20,167; 35, 138; 48, 429; 50, 14; 54, 323), cella castitatis ‘cell of chastity’ (AH 20, 193; 32, 174, 237; 37, 83), arca castitatis ‘ark of chastity’ (AH 34, 130; 42, 108). — [5] syngaz ‘commit sin’: The form syngaz (rather than syndgaz) is necessary for the rhyme. — [6-7] er sveinn er smíðaðr, haglig myndan heilags anda ‘when a boy is formed, the proper image of the Holy Spirit [= God (= Christ)]’: This is the reading of Bb, which alone has þá er sveinn er smíðaðr. Most other mss have þó () sveininn smíði, and this reading is adopted by Finnur Jónsson in Skj B, who understands þó at sveininn smíði | haglig myndun heilags anda to mean fordi den helligånds kunstfærdige skabekraft skaber drengen ‘because the Holy Spirit’s ingenious creative power creates the boy’. Aside from the difficulty of understanding þó () as ‘because’, there is also the problem of the noun myndan or myndun. In LP Finnur understands myndan, the reading of Bb, as a f. noun meaning ‘formation, creation’, which is nowhere else exemplified in ON poetry, and takes haglig myndan heilags anda as a circumlocution for Christ. However, it is possible that Bb’s myndan is a variant form of myndun, f. nom. sg. (cf. ANG §137 Anm. 3) in the sense ‘prototype, image, type’ (cf. Sigfús Blöndal 1920-4: myndun; ONP: myndan; Orðabók Háskólans: myndan, though their earliest citation is from C17th; Schottmann 1973, 230 n. 8). This is the sense adopted here, and myndan is regarded as in apposition to sveinn (l. 6). The variant readings of other mss appear to understand mynd f. ‘form, image’ with suffixed def. art., giving a sense þótt haglig myndin heilags anda smíði sveininn ‘although the deft image of the Holy Spirit fashions the boy’. Kock (Skald) emends to myndum here, but this unexplained reading may in fact be a typographical error for myndun (he has no NN on this subject). — [6] sveinn ‘boy’: Cf. 33/2, where the same word is used of the newborn Jesus. — [8]: Cf. the Icel. homily for the Circumcision: likama tk haɴ af hoʟde móþor ſiɴar ‘[the] body he took from the flesh of his mother’ (HómÍsl 1993, 26v) Cf. also 83/6 and Note.

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