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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mdr 43VII

Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Máríudrápa 43’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 514.

Anonymous PoemsMáríudrápa

text and translation

Heil vertu, drottning dýrðar
dýr, gief þú mier að sra
ljós — vil eg frelsi fýsaz —
friðar; þess skal eg biðja.
Sæll laði oss og alla
óttlaust með sier dróttinn
(Krist* lofi herr) í hæsta
hirðvist (fira) skírða.

Heil vertu, drottning dýrðar; dýr gief þú mier að sra ljós friðar; eg vil fýsaz frelsi; þess skal eg biðja. Sæll dróttinn laði oss og alla með sier óttlaust í hæsta, skírða hirðvist; {herr fira} lofi Krist*.
‘Hail to you, queen of glory; precious one, grant to me to expound the light of peace; I want to be eager for freedom; I will pray for that. May the blessed Lord lead us [me] and everyone with him without fear into the highest, purified court lodging; let the host of men [MANKIND] praise Christ.

notes and context

The second helmingr of Mdr 43 recalls Gamlkan’s account of the Last Judgement in Has 36/5-8. — [7-8]: There have been several suggestions for interpreting the last couplet. Rydberg appears to take skírða (m. acc. pl.) in the ecclesiastical sense of ‘baptised’, qualifying fira ‘men’ and construes dróttinn sæll laði oss ok alla skírða fira með sér ‘may the blessed Lord lead us [me] and all baptised men with him’. The remainder of the helmingr is treated as an intercalated phrase Krists ens hæsta herr lofi hirðvist ‘may the army of the highest Christ praise [its] court lodging’. Rydberg’s reading has the merit of preserving the ms. readings Krists and ens (l. 7), although there is considerable syntactic fragmentation. Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) emends to Krist* acc. sg. in l. 7, and to í ‘in’ for ens and takes hirðvist f. acc. sing. in its usual sense of ‘court lodging, place where an army is quartered’, qualified by hæsta ‘highest’ and skírða ‘purified, cleansed’. The intercalated phrase is herr fira lofi Krist* ‘may the host of men praise Christ’. This reading has been followed here. Kock (NN §1662) and Skald reads an intercalary krist* lofi herr! in l. 7 and emends skírða in l. 8 to skírðra to give í hæsta hirðvist fira skírðra ‘into the highest court lodging of baptised men’.



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) 43: AII, 472, BII, 505, Skald II, 276, NN §§1661, 1662, 1905, Anm. 2, 2113, 2983, 2997A; Rydberg 1907, 41, 58, Attwood 1996a, 114-15, 313.


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