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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

VII. Máríuvísur II (Mv II) - 24

not in Skj

Máríuvísur II (‘Vísur about Mary II’) — Anon Mv IIVII

Kari Ellen Gade 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Máríuvísur II’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 701-17.

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Skj: [Anonyme digte og vers XIV]: [B. 5]. En digt om et andet Maria-jærtegn, Máríuvísur II (AII, 492-6, BII, 532-38)

SkP info: VII, 705

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

5 — Anon Mv II 5VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Máríuvísur II 5’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 705.

Erfingja ógndjarfr
aungvan við gullspaung
gietið hafði; góðlátr
gjarna vildi ala barn.
Hennar í hvert sinn
harmr tók að gjöraz armr,
önnur þá er frúin fann
fljóðin plaga sín jóð.

Ógndjarfr hafði aungvan erfingja gietið við {gullspaung}; góðlátr vildi gjarna ala barn. Armr harmr hennar tók að gjöraz í hvert sinn, þá er frúin fann önnur fljóðin plaga jóð sín.

The battle-brave one had begotten no heir with {the gold-clasp} [WOMAN]; the good-natured man wanted very much to have a child. Her miserable grief started to arise every time when the lady saw the other women nursing their offspring.

Mss: 713(85-86), 721(13v)

Readings: [2] við: með 721;    gull‑: gulls 721

Editions: Skj: [Anonyme digte og vers XIV], [B. 5]. En digt om et andet Maria-jærtegn 5: AII, 492-3, BII, 533-4, Skald II, 292, NN §3361; Kahle 1898, 38, Sperber 1911, 10, Wrightson 2001, 57.

Notes: [2] við ‘with’: Með ‘with’ (so 721) is an equally good reading. — [2] gullspaung ‘gold-clasp [WOMAN]’: Spaung was a thin metal clasp used to hold garments together. Spaung gulls ‘the clasp of gold’ (i.e. ‘woman’; so 721) is also possible. See also Meissner 411. — [3] góðlátr (m. nom. sg.) ‘the good-natured man’: Skj B assigns this adj. to the preceding cl. (góðlátr ógndjarfr ‘the good-natured battle-brave man’) and supplies an understood ‘she’ as the subject of the second cl.: ‘she wanted very much to bear a child’ (see NN §3361). While such an interpretation is certainly possible, it remains ambiguous because the subject of the cl. is missing. It could well be that the woman’s sorrow, which is discussed in the subsequent helmingr, resulted from the fact that she was unable to fulfill her husband’s desire to bear him a child. The corresponding place in Mar (1871, 977) is of little help and reads as follows: Þessi kona var obyria, harmadi hun þat miok, er hun matti eigi barn geta ‘This woman was barren, and she lamented it very much that she was not able to bear a child’. However, according to the story in Mar about Joachim and Anna, Mary’s parents, it was a cause of shame for a married man not to sire offspring (see Mar 1871, 3): En fyrir því þótti mest brigzli ok svívirðing at barnleysi í Moyses lögum, at þat var vitat, at eigi mundi guþs sonr frá þeim manni koma, er barnlauss væri ‘And the reason that it was deemed to be the most blame and shame concerning childlessness in the laws of Moses was because it was known that the son of God could not issue from a man who was childless’.

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