Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

VII. Vitnisvísur af Máríu (Vitn) - 26

not in Skj

Vitnisvísur af Máríu (‘Testimonial Vísur about Mary’) — Anon VitnVII

Kari Ellen Gade 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Vitnisvísur af Máríu’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 739-57.

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Skj: [Anonyme digte og vers XIV]: [B. 3]. Vitnisvísur af Maríu (AII, 483-7, BII, 520-6)

SkP info: VII, 739-57

notes: entered by TW 23/5/6, based on KG's original. Checked by MCR and updated by TW 9/6/6. Checked more and final corrections entered 10/4/7.

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files

 

1 Heyrðu til upphafsorða,
alls vinnandi, minna,
þrennr og einn í þinni
þrenning, er guð kenniz.
Láttu, líknar dróttinn,
lausnari minn, af þinni
greiðaz göfgað kvæði,
góðr, háleitri móður.
Listen to my opening words, maker of everything [= God], threefold and one in your Trinity, who is acknowledged as God. Lord of mercy [= God (= Christ)], my good redeemer, let a glorious poem be produced about your exalted mother.
2 Stýrðu, Andréas, orðum
yfirskínandi, mínum,
ást, því að eg vil treysta
jafnan þínu nafni,
því að Máríu meyjar
móður guðs í óði
enn vilda eg inna
jartegn firum bjarta.
Andrew, radiant [lit. over-shining] love, guide my words, because I will always trust in your name, because I would like yet again to tell men about a bright miracle of the Virgin Mary, mother of God [= Mary], in poetry.
3 Rieð í ríki góðu
— ritning berr svá vitni —
kóngr, sá átti unga,
óttlauss, framadóttur.
ðiz upp með Fríði
falds á bernskualdri
svinnr í sögðu ríki
sveinn af kynslóð hreinni.
A fearless king who had a young, outstanding daughter, ruled in a good realm; writing bears witness to that. A clever boy of pure lineage grows up in childhood with the Fríðr <goddess> of the head-dress [WOMAN] in the said realm.
4 Blíðu barnaæði
brátt kveikjaz þar leikar
enn með ungamanni
ótt og konungsdóttur.
Sjá má sveinn af meyju
sjaldan nær eða aldri;
það varð í ást af ástum
áfeingt, er þau gáfuz.
With the gentle mind of children, games are kindled there once more quickly, rapidly, between the young man and the king’s daughter. The boy can very rarely or never look away from the girl; that was vehemently turned into love from the loves which they gave each other.
5 Síðan nam sætar ástir
seggr við sprund að leggja;
Hlín má hrings af sveini
hvítust sjaldan líta.
Eina stund með yndi
enn var staddr hjá henni
— talaði svinnr við svanna
sveinn — í kirkju einni.
Then the man began to develop sweet love [lit. loves] for the woman; the fairest Hlín <goddess> of the ring [WOMAN] can seldom look away from the boy. One time [he] was again standing next to her with delight inside a church; the clever boy spoke to the girl.
6 ‘Ann eg fyrir allar kvinnur
ágætust, þier, sæta;
várr er víst svá fjarri
vili við yðr að skiljaz.’
Hun kvað sjálfrátt sveini
sett að styrkja þetta
— trú gaf tígnarmeyja
tállaust — festarmálum.
‘I love you above all women, most magnificent lady; our [my] wish is certainly so far from being to part from you.’ She said it was entirely up to the boy himself to confirm this with words of betrothal; the honourable maiden gave her trust without deceit.
7 Dreingr anzaði ungri:
‘Eg þori slíkt að segja
enn fyrir aungum manni’;
auðbrík svarar ríkust:
‘Víst eru váttar traustir
vel nær, ef þau bæri;
sitr hier móður mætrar
minn guð í knjám sinnar.’
The man answered the young one: ‘I do not yet dare to say such a thing before any person’; the noblest wealth-plank [WOMAN] replies: ‘There are certainly trusty witnesses very near, if they would testify; here my God is sitting on the lap of his glorious mother.’
8 Þá tók hann í hennar
hand með elskubandi,
framgreiðandi fríðust
festarorð á lesti:
‘Þú skalt, mektug meyja,
mín innilig kvinna;
virðiz okkr að verða
vóttr Máría og dróttinn.’
Then he took her hand with the bond of love, speaking forth the fairest words of betrothal at last: ‘You shall, mighty maiden, [be] my beloved wife; may Mary and the Lord deign to become [lit. see themselves as becoming] a witness for us two.’
9 Leið um langar tíðir;
lundr fór burt frá sprundi
auðs, því að arfrinn fríði,
alsæmdr, honum tæmdiz.
Burgeis var hann í borgum
brátt og nógligt átti
gull, en guðvefs þellu
gleymdi hann nú með eymdum.
Long times passed; the very honourable tree of wealth [MAN] went away from the woman because a [lit. the] fair inheritance was allotted him. He was soon a citizen in the cities and owned plenty of gold, but the fir of precious cloth [WOMAN] he now forgot miserably [lit. with miseries].
10 Brátt nam mikill að mætti
meyjar faðir að deyja;
tóku tígn og ríki
tiggja frændr að þiggja.
Eftir erfðaskifti
óttaz konungsins dóttir
mein og meðferð sína
— minkaz auðr — í nauðum.
Suddenly the maiden’s father, great in power, died; the ruler’s kinsmen received rank and realm. After the division of inheritance the king’s daughter fears trouble and her treatment in distress [lit. distresses]; her wealth diminishes.
11 Vitjar veglig sæta
virktafríð um síðir
sinn elskuga sannan,
— svá spyrr — er var fyrri:
‘Hví vartu svá, hirtir,
hverflyndr, að við fyndumz,
mjög reynir þú, manna,
mín, unnustu þína.’
The magnificent, very beautiful woman finally visits her true lover, the one who was [her lover] before; she asks thus: ‘Chastiser of men [RULER], why were you so fickle to me concerning the fact that we two should meet? You test your beloved very much.’
12 Rekkr með reiðiþokka
rjóðr anzaði fljóði:
‘Legg þú niðr, in leiða,
lygð á mig til blygðar;
brims ætla eg bríma
brík að fastna ríka,
en fielausa fýsaz
faldreið skal eg aldri.’
The red-faced champion answered the woman with a wrathful mind: ‘Cease, loathsome one, the lie about me to shame me [lit. for shame]; I intend to be engaged to a rich plank of the fire of the ocean [GOLD > WOMAN], and a penniless headdress-chariot [WOMAN] I shall never desire.’
13 Brátt nam byskup hitta
brúðr, er sorgin knúði,
satt og segir til vátta,
sár, og flóar í tárum:
‘Mettu, hvie mikil er hætta,
mann, ef eg fæ* annan,
en fastúðigr festi
formaðr konu aðra.’
The woman, whom the bitter sorrow oppressed, at once sought a bishop and tells the truth about the witnesses and is flowing with tears: ‘Assess how great the danger is if I should take another husband, and the firm-minded previous man should be engaged to another woman.’
14 Spurði hringa hirði
herra ríkr að slíku;
sætu sögn í móti
sór hann eiða stóra.
Guðs fyrir nýtar náðir
nefndur byskup stefndi
vænn til vátta sinna
virkr í Máríukirkju.
The powerful lord asked the keeper of rings [MAN] about this; he swore great oaths against the assertions of the woman. Because of the beneficial grace [lit. graces] of God, the afore-mentioned good, considerate bishop summoned [him] to his witnesses in the Church of Mary.
15 Brimglóða fór bæði
brík og maðrinn ríki
í musterið mesta;
mannfjöldi kom hölda.
Brúðr af treganum tjáði
tilkall við hal snjallan;
þrætir þegar á móti
þegn af öllu megni.
Both the plank of ocean-embers [GOLD > WOMAN] and the powerful man went into the very great church; a large crowd of men came. The woman brought charges against the clever fellow sorrowfully [lit. with sorrow]; the man immediately contests them with all his might.
16 ‘Veiztu, að váttar æztir
vóru hjá, þá er fóru
festarorð, en firðiz
flokkr kaupmála okkarn.
Riett hygg eg, að þá þætti
því ráðið vel báðum’;
línvang kvað hann leingi
ljúga hvert orð drjúgum.
‘You know that the highest witnesses were present when the words of betrothal were uttered, but the crowd stayed away from our agreement. I rightly believe that it then seemed to us both that it had been well decided in this matter’; for a long time he said that the linen-field [WOMAN] lied excessively with each word.
17 Griet in göfga sæta
gangandi nú þangað,
gjör er var skriftin skæra
skýrst Máríu dýrstrar.
Laut að ljúfum fótum
líkneski þar fesku;
miskunn bað hun manna
minnaz eymdar sinnar.
The glorious woman wept, now walking to where the clearest, shining image of most precious Mary was fashioned. She knelt at the beloved feet of the beautiful effigy there; she asked the mercy of men [= Mary] to be mindful of her misery.
18 ‘Veit eg, að mjög er í móti,
minn guð, skipan þinni
með sambandi synda
sett jáyrði þetta.
Verð eg bert fyrir borði,
blessuð hjálp, í þessu,
enn sem ykkr er kunnigt
áðr mæðginum báðum.
‘I know, my God, that this consent, given with the union of sins, is much against your decree. I am clearly wronged in this, blessed help; now as before it is known to you both, mother and son.
19 ‘Láttu, líknarmey dróttins,
leiðaz próf, þar er beiðig
þig, að eg þörfnumz eigi,
þín, riettinda minna.
Sýndu með sætleiks anda
sveit, er alt gott veitir,
hvárt, in hæsta birti,
hefir sannara við annað.’
‘Merciful Virgin of the Lord [= Mary], let your testimonies be brought forward because I beg you, so that I shall not be without my justice. You, the highest brightness, who offers everything good, show to the crowd with a spirit of sweetness which one has the law on their side against the other.’
20 Tók Máría mjúkust
mæla vörrum sælum
orð, svá að allir heyrðu
áhlýðandi lýðir:
‘Riett hermir þú hattar
hvert orð, vita skorða;
ósannindum undan
jungkærinn vill færaz.’
Gentlest Mary began to speak words with blessed lips, so that all listening people heard: ‘You repeat each word correctly, prop of the beacon of the hat [GOLD > WOMAN]; the young man wants to escape by means of untruths.’
21 Þagnar sætan signuð;
sonr hennar rieð þenna
fylla framburð allan
fríð sannindi þannin:
‘Það vitni ber eg brúði
bjart og gott,’ kvað dróttinn,
‘áðr sem mín bar móðir;
mær hefir satt að kæra.’
The blessed lady falls silent; her son did validate this entire statement, the splendid truth, thus: ‘That witness, bright and good, I bear about the woman,’ said the Lord, ‘which my mother bore before; the maiden has a true [cause] for complaint [lit. to complain].’
22 Varð af vitnisburði
virkur lýðr í kirkju
kveiktr til mestrar mektar
móður guðs að bjóða.
Flokkr gjörði þá þakkir
þannveg allr með svanna:
lofsaung unnu þau ljúfan
list Máríu og Kristi.
The caring people in the church were fired up by the testimony to offer the mother of God [= Mary] the mightiest worship [lit. splendour]. The entire crowd then gave thanks with the woman thus: they made a lovely song of praise artfully [lit. with skill] to Mary and Christ.
23 Runnu ríkamanni
reiðimál og eiðar;
beiðir giekk við brúðar
borða hverju orði.
Lýsti ljúfliga ástir
lundur silkigrundar
auðs, og unni síðan
ágætt víf sem lífi.
The wrathful speech and the oaths left the powerful man; the demander of shields [WARRIOR] admitted to the woman’s every word. The tree of wealth [MAN] fondly declared love [lit. loves] for the silk-ground [WOMAN], and the famous lady later loved [him] like her own life.
24 Hier mátti nú heyra
hitnað elskuvitni,
það er sannindin sýndi
sönn fyrir guði og mönnum.
Þá mun bjarga beimum
blíð Máría tíðast,
mest í meinum læstir
menn er þurfa hennar.
Here one now could hear the heated testimony of love, which revealed the real truth before God and men. Gentle Mary will most often save people, when men, locked in misery, need her the most.
25 Þú ert margföldust mildi
mjúklætis hásæti
grundin guðdóms anda
góð og Jésús móðir.
Brjóst eilífrar ástar,
óflekkuð, gaftu drekka,
full af fögnuð öllum,
frú mín, syni þínum.
You are the most manifold mercy, the high-seat of humility [= Mary], virtuous land of the spirit of the Godhead and mother of Jesus [= Mary]. You gave the breast of eternal love to your son to drink, my unblemished lady, full of all joy.
26 Væri eg skyldr að skýra,
skínandi mey, þína
dýrð jartegnar orðum,
ynnilig, sem eg kynni.
Taktu ór sárum sektum,
sönn hjálparvón mönnum,
andir sviftar syndum,
sætt víf, að eilífu.
I should be obliged to explain, loveable, shining Virgin, your virtue of miracles with words, as well as I could. Take, true salvation-hope for men, the spirits, snatched from sins, out of bitter outlawry, sweet lady, forever.
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