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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mdr 3VII

Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Máríudrápa 3’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 480-1.

Anonymous PoemsMáríudrápa

text and translation

Þú ert, Máría, meira
metin allri þjóð betri;
þier sýnir guð greinir
gjarna, sjóvar stjarna.
Lofar, þá er öllum er efri
ein riett í veg hreinum,
— Kristr skipar hjá sier hæsta
heims drottning — lið* beima.

Þú, Máría, ert meira metin betri allri þjóð; guð sýnir þier gjarna greinir, stjarna sjóvar. Lið* beima lofar, þá er ein er riett efri öllum í hreinum veg; Kristr skipar {hæsta drottning heims} hjá sier.
‘You, Mary, are more valued [and you are] better than all people; God eagerly shows you discernment [lit. discernments], star of the sea. The company of men praises the one who alone, rightly, is higher than all in pure honour; Christ establishes the highest queen of the world [= Mary] beside himself.

notes and context

[1-4]: Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) follows Rydberg (1907, 53) in construing betri adj. as part of the second cl., agreeing with greinir (f. acc. pl.) to give guð sýnir þér gjarna, sjóvar-stjarna, betri greinir, translated as gud viser dig gærne, sø-stjærne, bedre ting ‘God eagerly shows you, sea-star, better things’. The present edn follows Kock (NN §1635) in taking meira metin ‘more valued’ (ll. 1-2) and betri ‘better’ (l. 2) as parallel. Greinir acc. pl. is interpreted in the sense ‘discernment’. — [5-8]: This is the first occurrence of the first of the three refrains in Mdr. The helmingr is written out in full, and is marked by an obelos in the left-hand margin. The refrain is repeated in sts 12 and 21, being abbreviated in B both times (13v, 42; 14r, 7).



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) 3: AII, 464, BII, 497, Skald II, 271; Konráð Gíslason 1860, 555, Rydberg 1907, 32, 53, Attwood 1996a, 102, 303.


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