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, 481-2

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

4 — Anon Mdr 4VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Máríudrápa 4’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 481-2.

Oss fel þú lastalausa,
líkn vel kend, á hendi,
komin upp á hæð himna,
hjálp mín, syni þínum.
Hrittu öllum ótta
undirgrefti og heiftum
flærða hart af fyrðum
fáröflugra djöfla.

Fel þú oss lastalausa á hendi syni þínum, vel kend líkn, hjálp mín, komin upp á hæð himna. Hrittu öllum ótta, undirgrefti og heiftum fáröflugra djöfla flærða hart af fyrðum.

Entrust us, free from faults, into the hand of your son, well-known mercy, my help, come up to the height of the heavens. Drive all fear, undermining and the malevolence of anger-strong devils of deceits forcefully away from men.

Mss: B(13v)

Readings: [4] hjálp mín: ‘híalpmín’ corrected from ‘híalmín’ B

Editions: Skj: [Anonyme digte og vers XIV], [B. 1]. En drape om jomfru Maria (Máríudrápa) 4: AII, 464, BII, 497, Skald II, 271, NN §§1636, 2669A; Konráð Gíslason 1860, 555, Rydberg 1907, 32-3, 54, Attwood 1996a, 103, 303.

Notes: [1] lastalausa ‘free from faults’: That is, ‘free from sin’. B’s reading is retained here, following Skj and Rydberg. The cpd adj. lastalauss ‘faultless, guileless’, from lǫstr ‘moral fault, blemish’ and lauss ‘free from, -less’ occurs in prose (see CVC: löstr) but is otherwise attested in poetry only in Egill St 3/1V, where it seems to describe the art of poetry. Kock (NN §2669) avoids the cpd, emending to lǫstum leysta, dat. pl. of lǫstr and m. acc. pl. of leystr ‘freed, redeemed’, construing oss fel af lǫstum leysta ‘entrust us, redeemed from faults’. This is theologically sound, and complements víst er lýðr af lǫstum leystr ‘the people is truly redeemed from faults’ in 15/3-4, but there is no reason to emend the ms. reading here on grounds of sense. — [6, 7, 8] og heiftum fáröflugra djöfla flærða ‘and the malevolence of anger-strong devils of deceit’: Skj B’s emendation to heptum (l. 6) provides full rhyme with -grepti, but causes problems of interpretation. Finnur appears to treat hept- as a synonym of B’s heift ‘war, conflict, feud, malevolence’. He takes heptum as dat. pl., in apposition with flærða (see below) and translates stød al frygt og de vrede-stærke djævles falskhed og forbitrelse med kraft bort fra menneskene ‘drive all fear and the anger-strong devils’ falsehood and bitterness forcefully away from men’. While hefti does not occur elsewhere with this meaning, such a noun might possibly derive from hepta ‘to bind, fetter, restrain, hobble, (metaphorically) to hinder’ (Fritzner: hepta). Kock (NN §1636) approves Finnur’s emendation to heptum, interpreting it with him as the dat. pl. of hefti ‘shaft of a weapon’. He assumes the weapon in question to be an arrow, and takes heftum flærða ‘with the weapons of deceits’ to be a reference to the arrows of deceit, with which devils assail mankind. This is a common motif in Christian exegesis, and probably has its origin in Paul’s account of spiritual armour in Eph. VI.16. Although Kock is correct in asserting that hefti usually refers to the shaft or haft of a weapon, it is invariably used of clutch-weapons, such as axes or knives (see CVC: hepti, heptisax), and is therefore unsuitable to the context he proposes. B’s heiftum (l.6) has been retained here, accepting the less than perfect rhyme, and interpreted as dat. pl. of f. heift ‘conflict, feud, malevolence’, parallel with ótta and undirgrefti as object of hrittu. Flærða is gen. pl. of flærð ‘deceit’, governed by fáröflugra djöfla (l. 8) ‘of anger-strong devils’, the wielders of heift.

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