Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

Anon Mdr 23VII

Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Máríudrápa 23’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 497-8.

Anonymous PoemsMáríudrápa

Heil sierðu, mildra meyja
mildust, en þier vildi
fylgja hugr … helgum
hirðar himna dýrðum.
Hef eg alls konar illum
afgerðum mig vafðan;
sönn, kom þú sálu minni
…gnótt, í frið dróttins.

Heil sierðu, mildust mildra meyja, en hugr … vildi fylgja þier helgum dýrðum {hirðar himna}. Eg hef vafðan mig alls konar illum afgerðum; sönn …gnótt, kom þú sálu minni í frið dróttins.

Hail be to you, most merciful of merciful maidens, and the mind … would wish to accompany you with the holy glories {of the retinue of the heavens} [ANGELS]. I have embroiled myself in all kinds of wicked deeds; true …-abundance, bring my soul into the peace of the Lord.

Mss: B(14r), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [1] meyja: mey B    [3] helgum: ‘m[...]elgum’ B, 399a‑bˣ    [4] hirðar: ‘hirdr’ B, 399a‑bˣ, BRydberg, hirð ok BFJ;    dýrðum: ‘dýrd[...]’ B, ‘dyrdụṃ’ 399a‑bˣ    [7] minni: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘[...]inne’ B    [8] gnótt: ‘[...]r gnott’ B, ‘[...]gnótt’ 399a‑bˣ, BFJ, ‘(s) [...] gnott’(?) BRydberg

Editions: Skj AII, 468, Skj BII, 501, Skald II, 274, NN §§1650, 2983; Rydberg 1907, 36, 56, Attwood 1996a, 107-8, 309.

Notes: [1-2] mildust mildra meyja ‘most merciful of merciful maidens’: The 399a-bˣ copyist corrects B’s reading mey acc. sing. to gen. pl. meyja. This correction has been adopted by all subsequent eds. The phrase is a calque on the Marian commonplace virgo virginum ‘virgin of virgins’. Both Skj and Skald reverse mildra meyja to meyja mildra. — [2-4]: There are numerous difficulties with B’s readings in these ll., and the full sense of the text is probably irrecoverable. — [3] : B is badly damaged here, and it is not possible to reconstruct the missing word, which must be monosyllabic, with any certainty. Initial <m> is visible, and Jón Sigurðsson (n. to 444ˣ transcript) suggested reconstruction to minn pron., qualifying hugr ‘soul’. Initial <h> in helgum is confirmed by the alliteration. — [4] hirðar himna ‘of the retinue of the heavens [ANGELS]’: B clearly reads ‘hírdr hímna’. It is not possible to make grammatical sense of hirðr, and the l. has over-alliteration on <h>. Sveinbjörn Egilsson (n. to the 444ˣ transcript) emended to hirðar gen. sg. of hirð ‘court’, forming the angel-kenning hirð himna ‘retinue of the heavens’, which also occurs in a fragment of a C12th Christian poem, Ekúl Kristdr 2/1III. — [5-8]: Cf. Gamlkan’s confession in Has 16/5-8 that ek, yðvarr aumligr þræll, hefi mik vafðan í ǫllum afgerðum ‘I, your wretched servant, have wrapped myself in all misdeeds’. Line 6 is identical to Has 16/8. — [8] …gnótt ‘…-abundance’: It is not possible to read more of the first syllable of the first word in B than an <r> preceding gnótt. Initial <s> is confirmed by the alliteration. Rydberg (1907, 36 n. 7) notes traces of possible s…grgnótt and tentatively reconstructs sigrgnótt ‘abundance of victory’. Jón Sigurðsson (note to 444ˣ transcript) suggests reconstruction to sælugnótt ‘abundance of bliss’.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. Attwood, Katrina. 1996a. ‘The Poems of MS AM 757a 4to: An Edition and Contextual Study’. Ph.D. thesis. University of Leeds.
  5. Rydberg, Hugo, ed. 1907. ‘Die geistlichen Drápur und Dróttkvættfragmente des Cod. AM 757 4to.’. Ph.D. thesis. University of Lund. Copenhagen: Møller.
  6. Internal references
  7. Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Eilífr kúlnasveinn, Kristsdrápa 2’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 132.
  8. Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Gamli kanóki, Harmsól 16’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 87-8.

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.