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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

VII. Máríudrápa (Mdr) - 43

not in Skj

Máríudrápa (‘Drápa about Mary’) — Anon MdrVII

Katrina Attwood 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Máríudrápa’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 476-514.

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Skj: [Anonyme digte og vers XIV]: [B. 1]. En drape om jomfru Maria (Máríudrápa), Begyndelsen mangler åbenbart. (AII, 464-72, BII, 496-505)

SkP info: VII, 487-8

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

11 — Anon Mdr 11VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Máríudrápa 11’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 487-8.

Heil, þú er hjálpar sálum,
heims prýði og líf beima
dýrð himneskrar hirðar
heiðskírt … deilis.
Þú ert makligast miklu
miskunnar ker funnið,
… hjálp og sæla
hrein, m guði einum.

Heil, þú er hjálpar sálum, prýði heims og heiðskírt líf beima, dýrð {deilis … himneskrar hirðar}. Hrein hjálp og … sæla, þú ert funnið miklu makligast ker miskunnar m guði einum.

Hail, you who help souls, world’s adornment and clear life of men, glory {of the provider … of the heavenly court} [= God]. Pure help and … bliss, you are revealed as by far the most deserving vessel of mercy with the one God.

Mss: B(13v), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [2] beima: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘be[...]a’ B    [4] …: ‘[...]’ B, ‘[...]ar’ 399a‑bˣ    [6] miskunnar: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘miskun[...]ar’ B;    funnið: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘f[...]nn[...]t’ B    [7] …: ‘[...]’ B, 399a‑bˣ    [8] m: ‘m[...]’ B, 399a‑bˣ

Editions: Skj: [Anonyme digte og vers XIV], [B. 1]. En drape om jomfru Maria (Máríudrápa) 11: AII, 466, BII, 499, Skald II, 272, NN §§1638, 1639; Rydberg 1907, 34, 54, Attwood 1996a, 104, 305.

Notes: [4] heiðskírt ‘clear, unclouded’: Kock (NN §1639) suggests that the cpd be divided heið skírt, with heið being taken as nom. sg. n. ‘the vault of the sky’, qualified by skírt, n. nom. sg. skírr ‘bright, clear, pure’. Skírt heið, which Kock translates rena klarhet ‘pure brightness’ is then interpreted as an epithet for Mary, in apposition to dýrð ‘glory’ (l. 3), prýði ‘embellishment, adornment’ and líf ‘life’ (l. 2). He construes: Heil þú er hjálpar sálum, prýði heims ok líf beima, dýrð himneskrar hirðar [ok] skírt heið friðar beiðis ‘Hail, you who help souls, world’s adornment and life of men, glory of the heavenly court and pure brightness of the one who asks for peace (i.e. God)’. The helmingr structure is thus considerably simplified, and the epithets in ll. 3 and 4, dýrð himneskrar hirðar and heið friðar beiðis, balance one another rather well. However, although heið is a fairly common determinant in heaven-kennings (see, e.g., Líkn 25/2: heiðtjald ‘tent of the vault of heaven’, which probably derives from tjald hyrjar heiðs ‘tent of the fire of the sky’ in Has 14/6-8), it is difficult to understand why Mary should be represented figuratively as God’s ‘heaven’ here. This edn follows Rydberg (1907, 54) in taking heiðskírt as the n. nom. sg. of the adj. heiðskírr ‘clear, unclouded’, which is common in MIcel. The prefix heið- serves as an intensifier here, as in the similar adj. heiðbjartr, which is used of the sun in Geisl 67/8. Heiðskírt must qualify líf (l. 2), making the more convincing Marian epithet heiðskírt líf beima ‘clear, i. e. pure life of men’. The hymn Salve Regina eulogises Mary as vita, dulcedo et spes nostra ‘our life, our sweetness and our hope’, although there is admittedly not a close parallel here. Finnur Jónsson appears to have been in some doubt as to the interpretation of heiðskírt, though he agrees with Rydberg’s assumption that it is a cpd adj. His translation in Skj B makes for a simpler cl. arrangement than Rydberg’s, but requires the emendation of heiðskírt to the f. nom. sg. heiðskír to agree with dýrð (l. 3). He appears to revise his opinion in LP: heiðskírr, where Rydberg’s arrangement heiðskírt líf beima is quoted. — [4] : Rydberg (1907, 34 n. 6) suggested a reconstruction of the lost word as friðar gen. sg. ‘peace’. This reconstruction has been adopted by Skj and Skald. Although violating the metre, which requires aðalhending with heið-, B’s deilis gen. sg. ‘dealer, provider’, makes perfect sense here. Kock (NN §1638) suggests emendation to beiðis gen. sg. ‘asker’, forming the God-kenning beiðir friðar ‘one who asks for peace’. He quotes the God-kenning friðbeiðir in Pl 39/1 in support of this. Finnur Jónsson follows Rydberg in emending to greiðis gen. sg. of greiðir, m. ‘furtherer, advancer’. — [7] : It has not been possible to reconstruct the missing word in B. Initial ‘h’ is required for alliteration, and skothending with sæla should be provided. Finnur Jónsson supplies hǫlda gen. pl. ‘of men’, which he takes with sæla, forming the Marian epithet sæla hǫlda ‘bliss of men’ which he takes in apposition to hrein hjálp ‘pure help’; cf. líf beima ‘life of men’ (l. 2). Kock (NN §1639) rightly objects that hǫlda does not rhyme satisfactorily with sæla, and suggests reconstruction to either heilug or hálig ‘holy’, which he construes with hrein hjálp ok sæla ‘holy pure help and bliss’.

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