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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mdr 16VII

Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Máríudrápa 16’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 491-2.

Anonymous PoemsMáríudrápa

text and translation

Viðir Fenris og flæðar
fyrri merkja spyrja
†mier í hyggju harri
hátt faðmandi sátta†,
þvíað, fylling ins fulla
friðar, af þínum iðrum
sýndir, geisla grundar,
guð og mann borinn sannan.

Og {viðir {flæðar Fenris}} spyrja fyrri merkja †mier í hyggju harri hátt faðmandi sátta†, þvíað fylling ins fulla friðar {grundar geisla}, sýndir sannan guð og mann, borinn af iðrum þínum.
‘And trees of the river of Fenrir <wolf> [BLOOD > WARRIORS] ask about former signs †…†, because, fulfilment of the absolute peace of the land of sun-beams [SKY/HEAVEN], you revealed true God and man, born of your womb.

notes and context

[1-4]: The interpretation of these ll, as they stand in B, is problematic, and eds have resorted to various emendations to make sense of them. In this edn, ll. 3-4 have been regarded as corrupt to the point of being unemendable and incomprehensible. It is possible, however, that ll. 1-4 refer to the Annunciation. — [2-4]: The first word of l. 2, abbreviated in B, has been read as fyrri adj. ‘former, earlier’ (so Skj B, Skald and here) or as the prep. fyrir (so Rydberg), construed with mier (l. 3). Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) offers the following paraphrase of ll. 1-2: man spörger om tidligere tegn ‘people enquire about earlier signs’ but does not attempt an interpretation of ll. 3-4. Kock (NN §1641), partly anticipated by Rydberg emends l. 3 to meir á hyggju hári and paraphrases: Bärare av guldets strålglans / söka tidigare tecken / och omfatta sedan högvist / sättet for försoningen ‘Carriers of gold’s radiance seek earlier signs and thus embrace, with high certainty, the manner of the agreement’.



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. 1]. En drape om jomfru Maria (Máríudrápa) 16: AII, 467, BII, 500, Skald II, 273, NN §§1641, 2997; Rydberg 1907, 35, 55, Attwood 1996a, 106, 306.


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