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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

VII. Máríuvísur III (Mv III) - 30

not in Skj

Máríuvísur III (‘Vísur about Mary III’) — Anon Mv IIIVII

Kari Ellen Gade 2007, ‘ Anonymous, Máríuvísur III’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 718-38. <> (accessed 30 June 2022)

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Skj: [Anonyme digte og vers XIV]: [B. 6]. Et digt om et tredje Maria-jærtegn, Máríuvísur III (AII, 496-500, BII, 538-45)

SkP info: VII, 731-2

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

21 — Anon Mv III 21VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Máríuvísur III 21’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 731-2.

‘Munni hans,’ kvað mekt sönn,
mart lúkiz upp bjart;
tungan endi sinn saung,
og sjái fyst, hvað það má.’
Skýja laus skör ló;
skilja má, að kantil
Áve Máría upphaf
á var þar skráð þá.

‘Munni hans,’ kvað sönn mekt, ‘lúkiz mart upp bjart; tungan endi saung sinn, og sjái fyst, hvað það má.’ {Laus skör skýja} ló; má skilja, að kantil, Áve Máría upphaf, var þá skráð þar á.

‘Through his mouth,’ said the True Power, ‘much may be revealed brightly; the tongue ended its song, and let us first see, what that can do.’ {The deceitful crowd of clouds} [DEVILS] lied; one can discern that a song, Hail Mary, the beginning, was then written on it.

Mss: 721(16v), 1032ˣ(152v)

Readings: [1] Munni: munnr 721    [2] mart lúkiz: ‘[...]ar[...]kizt’ or ‘[...]ar[...]ítizt’ 721, ‘ vizt’ 1032ˣ, ‘[...]ísizt’ 721FJ;    upp bjart: ‘vpp biort’ 721    [4] fyst: ‘f[...]st’ 721, ‘f..’ 1032ˣ, ‘fyst’ with y erased 721FJ    [5] skör ló: ‘skv[...]lo’ 721, ‘sku. lo’ 1032ˣ, ‘skul [...] lo’ 721FJ    [6] kantil: ‘k̄. til’ 721, ‘k̄i til’ 1032ˣ, ‘konung til’(?) 721FJ    [8] skráð: so 721FJ, ‘skr[...]d’ 721, ‘ski...’ 1032ˣ

Editions: Skj: [Anonyme digte og vers XIV], [B. 6]. Et digt om et tredje Maria-jærtegn 21: AII, 499, BII, 543, Skald II, 297-8, NN §1704; Kahle 1898, 47, 102, Sperber 1911, 20, 68, Wrightson 2001, 77.

Notes: [All]: 721 contains a number of illegible places. The corresponding passage in Mar (1871, 607) reads as follows: Þvi (at) profazt enn um sinn, at þier kunnit at liuga, þa er þier saugdut, at i ydari þionustu hefdi þessi madr endat sina lifdaga, þa se lokinn upp munnr hans, ok siait, huat hans tunga starfadi næst sinum daudaSem klerkins munnr er upplokinn, finzt skrifat ꜳ hans tungu, þat sama privilegium sællar heilsanar iungfru sancte Marie, sem hann hafdi sungit fyrir tima sinnar framferdar ‘Because it can be proven yet again that you know how to lie, when you said that this man had ended his life-days in your service, so let his mouth be opened up, and see, what his tongue was doing just before its death … As the cleric’s mouth is opened up, that same privilegium of the blessed greeting of the Virgin Mary as he had sung before the time of his death, is found written on his tongue’. — [1] munni (m. dat. sg.) ‘through [his] mouth’: The ms. reading munnr (m. nom. sg.) ‘mouth’ has been emended to dat. to provide an instr. for lúkiz upp ‘may be revealed’ (l. 2). — [2]: The beginning of the l. is defective. The first word must have alliterated on m- and rhymed with bjart (adv.) ‘brightly’. The top of the letter <m> and the ligature ar can still be seen. 1032ˣ has ‘’. It is fairly safe to assume that the word in question is mart (n. nom. or acc. sg.) ‘much’. 721 reads ‘biort’ i.e. björt (f. nom. sg.) ‘bright’. If the ms. reading is retained, that adj. could modify either mekt ‘power’ or tungan ‘the tongue’. The second word must have been a verb, and the m.v. ending ‘-izt’ can still be read in 721. The letters preceding that ending can either be construed as <k> or <ít>. The latter is less likely because the accent is thicker than usual and looks more like the (damaged) top of a <k>. That verb cannot be reconstructed, but in light of the prose from Mar, lúkiz (3rd pers. sg. pres. subj.) ‘may be revealed’ seems likely. Skald suggests the following reading of ll. 1-2 (and see NN §1704): ‘Munnr hans,’ kvað mekt sǫnn | mart,lýsizt upp bjart!’ ‘May his mouth’, said the True Power friendly, ‘be brightened clearly!’ Wrightson follows that suggestion, but retains the ms. reading björt (f. nom. sg.) ‘bright’, which is taken with tungan (f. nom. sg.) ‘the tongue’ (l. 3). In her interpretation, mart (n. nom. or acc. sg.) is an adv. ‘greatly’, which is not possible (‘his mouth … is lit up greatly’). — [5]: The last words in the l. (‘skv[…]lo’) are difficult to reconstruct. The last syllable must have a long vowel and rhyme with ský- ‘cloud-’. Skald suggests skuggsjá ‘mirror’ and construes it with skýjalaus ‘cloudless’ (skýjalaus skuggsjá ‘a spotless mirror’). The present reconstruction represents a modification of the reading proposed by Wrightson (see Note to ll. 5-6). Skýja ‘of the clouds’ is otherwise attested as a determinant in kennings for ‘God’ (see LP: ský), but ský can also be taken figuratively to mean ‘that which prevents one from seeing something’ (see Fritzner: ský 2), which would be an apt term for ‘devils’ (skör skýja ‘crowd of deceptions’). — [5-6]: Wrightson construes these ll. as follows: Skýja laus skör ló, | skilja má að, kóng til ‘The reckless flock lied to the king of clouds [Christ] about it; one can perceive that…’. The reading creates an impossible w.o. and is ungrammatical (ljúga til e-s ‘lie about something’ cannot take a personal acc. object). — [5] laus ‘deceitful’: For this sense of the adj. see Fritzner: lauss 10. — [6] kantil ‘song’: This reading is conjectural. The ON word for Lat. cantilena ‘song’ is kantilia, but kantil could be a colloquial form or shortened because of metrical requirements. Kantil ‘song’ mirrors saung ‘song’ (l. 3), and could have been used because it introduced the Lat. Áve Máría ‘Hail Mary’ (l. 7). Ms. 721 has ‘k̄. til’, a possible abbreviation for konung (m. acc. sg.) ‘king’ plus til (prep. or adv.) ‘to’, which makes no sense in the present context. Konung ‘king’ is otherwise not abbreviated as ‘k̄’ in 721. 1032ˣ has ‘k̄i’ i.e. konungi (m. dat. sg.) ‘king’. Sperber and Kock (NN §1704) resolve the abbreviation as kom (3rd pers. sg. pret. ind.) ‘came’, which is also an unprecedented abbreviation in 721. It looks as though the scribe failed to understand what he was copying. — [7] Áve ... upphaf: For this internal rhyme, see Note to st. 7/1 above.

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