Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.



Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

Anon Vitn 4VII

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Vitnisvísur af Máríu 4’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 742-3.

Anonymous PoemsVitnisvísur af Máríu

Blíðu barnaæði
brátt kveikjaz þar leikar
enn með ungamanni
ótt og konungsdóttur.
Sjá má sveinn af meyju
sjaldan nær eða aldri;
það varð í ást af ástum
áfeingt, er þau gáfuz.

Blíðu barnaæði kveikjaz leikar þar enn brátt, ótt, með ungamanni og konungsdóttur. Sveinn má nær sjaldan eða aldri sjá af meyju; það varð áfeingt í ást af ástum, er þau gáfuz.

With the gentle mind of children, games are kindled there once more quickly, rapidly, between the young man and the king’s daughter. The boy can very rarely or never look away from the girl; that was vehemently turned into love from the loves which they gave each other.

Mss: 713(83), 721(10v)

Readings: [1] ‑æði: æðu 721    [6] aldri: om. 721

Editions: Skj AII, 483, Skj BII, 520, Skald II, 285, NN §§1675, 3266C, 3358; Kahle 1898, 50, Sperber 1911, 24, 70, Wrightson 2001, 28.

Notes: [2, 4] brátt, ótt ‘quickly, rapidly’: The two adjs (used adverbially) are parallel (see NN §1675; Skj B translates it as tit og ofte ‘now and again’). — [4] konungsdóttur ‘the king’s daughter’: The l. is unmetrical because the second lift falls on a short syllable (suspended resolution). Skald emends to konungsins dóttur ‘the king’s daughter’ (with an enclitic def. art.; see NN §3358 and 10/6 below). Konungs ‘the king’s’ is abbreviated as ‘konungs’ (713) or ‘konvngs’ (721) (see Note to 3/3 above). — [7-8] það varð áfeingt í ást af ástum ‘that was vehemently turned into love from the loves’: Það ‘that’ refers to the fact that the boy could not keep his eyes off the girl: he looked at her, and fell in love because of their mutual attraction. Varð áfeingt lit. means ‘turned intoxicatingly’, an apt description of his state of mind. Sperber reads í ást ‘into love’ as jast (m. acc. sg.) ‘yeast’ in both mss and suggests a meaning ‘fermented drink’ (see Sperber 1911, 70; Schottmann 1973, 377 n. 7). However, í ást ‘into love’ is written as two distinct words in both mss. — [7] varð ‘was’: Lit. ‘became’. Skald emends to var ‘was’ to achieve neutralisation in the first dip (two short syllables var í rather than a long + a short syllable varð í). Because the poem is late and the metre irregular, that emendation is unnecessary.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. Schottmann, Hans. 1973. Die isländische Mariendichtung. Untersuchungen zur volkssprachigen Mariendichtung des Mittelalters. Münchner germanistische Beiträge 9. Munich: Fink.
  6. Sperber, Hans, ed. 1911. Sechs isländische Gedichte legendarischen Inhalts. Uppsala Universitets årsskrift, filosofi, språkvetenskap och historiska vetenskaper 2. Uppsala: Akademische Buchdruckerei Edv. Berling.
  7. Wrightson, Kellinde, ed. 2001. Fourteenth-Century Icelandic Verse on the Virgin Mary: Drápa af Maríugrát, Vitnisvísur af Maríu, Maríuvísur I-III. Viking Society for Northern Research Text Series 14. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  8. Kahle, Bernhard, ed. 1898. Isländische geistliche Dichtungen des ausgehenden Mittelalters. Heidelberg: Winter.

Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.


Stanza/chapter/text segment

Use the buttons at the top of the page to navigate between stanzas in a poem.

Information tab

Interactive tab

The text and translation are given here, with buttons to toggle whether the text is shown in the verse order or prose word order. Clicking on indiviudal words gives dictionary links, variant readings, kennings and notes, where relevant.

Full text tab

This is the text of the edition in a similar format to how the edition appears in the printed volumes.

Chapter/text segment

This view is also used for chapters and other text segments. Not all the headings shown are relevant to such sections.