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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mey 4VII

Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Heilagra meyja drápa 4’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 894.

Anonymous PoemsHeilagra meyja drápa

text and translation

Aðrar þoldu Jésú brúðir
ýmsa nauð í grimmum dauða,
sætur Krists og sjaldan grietu
sárligt mein í þrautum neinum.
Saklausust við mótgjörð mikla
Máría þoldi gjörvöll sárin
öndin hrein, þau er Jésús kendi
yfirvoldugr á sínu holdi.

Aðrar brúðir Jésú þoldu ýmsa nauð í grimmum dauða, og sætur Krists grietu sjaldan sárligt mein í neinum þrautum. Máría, saklausust hrein öndin, þoldi við mikla mótgjörð gjörvöll sárin, þau er yfirvoldugr Jésús kendi á sínu holdi.
‘Other brides of Jesus endured various kinds of suffering in a cruel death, and the women of Christ seldom bewailed painful harm in any tortures. Mary, most innocent pure soul, endured in the face of great assault all the wounds which all-powerful Jesus felt in his flesh.

notes and context

The scribe of 721 wrote ll. 1-7 (öndin) on fol. 8v and continued at the top of what is now – erroneously – fol. 11r (see Introduction). — [6-8]: The poet plays here on the commonplace medieval motif of Mary as the mater dolorosa, watching and taking upon herself the agony of her son on the Cross. The notion that Mary suffered a parallel passion to Christ was a significant theme of late medieval devotion (see LM: ‘Compassio BVM’).



Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: [Anonyme digte og vers XIV], [B. 12]. Af heilogum meyjum 4: AII, 527, BII, 583, Skald II, 322, NN §3389C.


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