Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mdr 22VII

Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Máríudrápa 22’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 496-7.

Anonymous PoemsMáríudrápa

Váttr ertu, seggja sættir,
sannhróðig guðs móðir;
lætr eigi lymskar mútur
ljúgorð af þier kúga.
En, ef gagns þurfa þegnar
þíns við nauðsyn sína,
góðs vitnis ber þú gotnum
greinir framm með einurð.

Váttr ertu, sættir seggja, {sannhróðig móðir guðs}; lætr eigi lymskar mútur kúga ljúgorð af þier. En, ef þegnar þurfa gagns þíns við nauðsyn sína, ber þú framm gotnum greinir góðs vitnis með einurð.

You are a witness, reconciler of men, {truly famous mother of God} [= Mary]; you do not allow cunning bribes to force lying words from you. But if men need your support in their neediness, you bear forth for men good testimony [lit. elements of good witness] with sincerity.

Mss: B(14r), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [4] ljúgorð: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘l[...]ugord’ B    [5] En: ‘[...]n’ B, e(n)(?) 399a‑bˣ;    gagns: gagn B;    þurfa: ‘þ[...]fa’ B, þ(ur)fa(?) 399a‑bˣ    [8] með: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘m[...]’ B

Editions: Skj AII, 468, Skj BII, 501, Skald II, 274, NN §§1649, 2983, 2997A, 3351; Rydberg 1907, 36, 56, Attwood 1996a, 107, 308.

Notes: [1] váttr ‘a witness’: Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) emends to vitr adj. ‘wise’, which he construes with seggja sættir (l. 1) ‘reconciler of men’. In this he is followed by Kock (Skald). Here B’s ‘vo᷎ttr’ is read as váttr. In the context of the remainder of the st., váttr makes thematic sense, and may be taken in apposition with seggja sættir. The figure of Mary as advocata nostra ‘our advocate’ is common in Christian Lat. poetry, and may derive from the antiphon Salve regina. — [3] eigi ‘not’: The l. is unmetrical, and presumably once had the form ei instead of eigi. — [5, 6] gagns þíns: It is necessary to emend both words (so Skj B), as þurfa ‘to need’ takes the gen. Kock (Skald) emends En ef gagns (l. 5) to Gǫgn ef.


  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. Attwood, Katrina. 1996a. ‘The Poems of MS AM 757a 4to: An Edition and Contextual Study’. Ph.D. thesis. University of Leeds.
  6. Rydberg, Hugo, ed. 1907. ‘Die geistlichen Drápur und Dróttkvættfragmente des Cod. AM 757 4to.’. Ph.D. thesis. University of Lund. Copenhagen: Møller.

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