Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

VII. Brúðkaupsvísur (Brúðv) - 33

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Brúðkaupsvísur (‘Vísur about a Wedding’) — Anon BrúðvVII

Valgerður Erna Þorvaldsdóttir 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Brúðkaupsvísur’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 527-53.

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SkP info: VII, 533-4

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

6 — Anon Brúðv 6VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Valgerður Erna Þorvaldsdóttir (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Brúðkaupsvísur 6’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 533-4.

Æstri unni meyju mest
Máríu siðknár,
og mætri sig snót
sjálfan gaf, bóka álmr.
Húfa vandiz hreint líf
halda vel skíð-Baldr
(brúða hiet því brandrjóðr
blóma) með sveindóm.

{Siðknár álmr bóka} unni mest æstri meyju, Máríu, og gaf sjálfan sig mætri snót. {{Húfa skíð}-Baldr} vandiz halda vel hreint líf með sveindóm; {brandrjóðr} hiet {blóma brúða} því.

{The well-behaved elm-tree of books} [MAN] loved most the highest Virgin, Mary, and gave himself to the glorious woman. {The Baldr <god> {of the plank of hulls}} [(lit. ‘plank-Baldr of hulls’) SHIPS > SEAFARER] was accustomed to follow fully a chaste life with virginity; {the sword-reddener} [WARRIOR] promised it {to the flower of brides} [= Mary].

Mss: 721(14r), 1032ˣ(99v), 399a-bˣ(3), 2166ˣ(3)

Readings: [3] sig: so 2166ˣ, sif 721, 1032ˣ, 399a‑bˣ    [4] álmr: álfr 2166ˣ    [7] brúða: brúði 721

Editions: ÍM II, 130.

Notes: [All]: Sts 6-7, and to a lesser extent st. 5, suggest that the young man may be a klerkr, although this does not appear to affect his marriageability. Schottmann (1973, 355-6) sees this rather mixed representation of the protagonist as a consequence of the poet’s drawing upon more than one version of the miracle story, but it may rather reflect the uncertain status of marriage, and clerical marriage in particular, in Iceland in the later Middle Ages (Auður Magnúsdóttir 2001). The justification for his eventual reneging on his secular marriage in D turns on the fact that he had dedicated himself to Mary in chastity for his whole life before he entered into a betrothal arrangement with an earthly woman, even though he had not declared this to his family (Mar 1871, 120). — [1] æstri (sup. adj.) ‘highest’: Jón Helgason (ÍM II, 130n) suggested that this could be a development from hæstri (sup. adj. f. of hár ‘high’), if the poem was old enough to allow the rhyme zt : st; æztri could also be f. acc. sg. sup. of æðri ‘higher’ (œðri comp.; the adj. has no positive degree). — [1] meyju ‘Virgin’: Jón Helgason thought, on metrical grounds, that mey was the original reading, as in hálfhneppt one cannot have a long-stemmed disyllabic word preceding the final monosyllable. — [3] sig ‘himself’: Jón Sigurðsson suggested the reading sik for sif in the margin in 399a-bˣ, which the scribe of 2166ˣ adopted, mentioning the original reading in the margin. — [4] bóka (f. gen. pl.) ‘books’: Jón Helgason thought that bók was the original reading, on the same metrical grounds as with meyju (l. 1). — [4] álmr ‘elm-tree’: Jón Sigurðsson suggested álfr ‘elf’ in the margin in 399a-bˣ, which gives a full rhyme with sjálfan. The scribe of 2166ˣ adopted that reading in the main text, mentioning the original one in the margin. Both words are typical base-words in a man-kenning. — [7] brúða ‘of brides’: The mss all have brúði (f. acc. sg.) but if blóma (m. acc. sg. of blómi) ‘flower’ is the base-word, the determinant, brúðr ‘bride’, has to be in gen. pl. brúða. Jón Helgason proposed this emendation.

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