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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mdr 32VII

Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Máríudrápa 32’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 504-5.

Anonymous PoemsMáríudrápa

text and translation

Leystu með frelsi föstu
frek bönd af lýð sekjum;
bók …enda blindum
ber fram ljós að kjósa.
Braut rektu, frægðar flýtir,
fárs afgerðir várar;
yndis rót, en ýtum
alls bið ðs með kalli.

Leystu með föstu frelsi frek bönd af sekjum lýð; ber fram blindum ljós að kjósa …enda bók. {Flýtir frægðar}, rektu braut afgerðir várar fárs, en, rót yndis, bið ýtum alls ðs með kalli.
‘Release with certain freedom oppressive bonds from the guilty company; bring forward to the blind a light with which to choose … book. Deliverer of renown [= Mary], drive away our sins of fraud and, root of joy, ask for everything that is good for men with ardent prayer [lit. with shouting].

notes and context

The st. is a rendition of the third verse of Ave maris stella: Solve vincla reis, / profer lumen caecis, / mala nostra pelle, / bona cuncta posce ‘Loosen the chains of the guilty, offer light to the blind, drive away our evil, obtain all good things’. — [3] : It is not possible to read more than ‘...enda’ in B. It seems likely that the lost word is an adj. or a noun characterising bók ‘book’ (l. 3), perhaps a reference to the Bible. The corresponding Lat. text has profer lumen cæcis ‘offer light to the blind’. Rydberg suggests reconstruction to sanninda gen. of n. pl. sannindi ‘truths’. Kock (NN §1657) reconstructs heilenda, which he takes as f. acc. sg. ‘wholesome’, qualifying bók sg. (l. 4). Kock construes ber fram heilenda ljós blindum, at kjósa bók ‘bring to the blind a wholesome light, (with which) to choose a book’.



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) 32: AII, 470, BII, 503, Skald II, 275, NN §§1657, 2677, 2983; Rydberg 1907, 38, 57, Attwood 1996a, 110, 311.


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