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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mey 1VII

Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Heilagra meyja drápa 1’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 892.

Anonymous PoemsHeilagra meyja drápa

Heyrðu ómælds himna veldis
herra guð, sem ei má þverra
ríki þitt, fyr miskun mjúka
mærðargrein í kvæði færða.
Til nefnandi ætta eg jafnan
Jésú næst og Máríu hæstri
yfirpostulann æzta lífi
Andréam, þann er guð hefir vandað.

Herra guð ómælds veldis himna, ríki þitt, sem ei má þverra, heyrðu fyr mjúka miskun mærðargrein færða í kvæði. Næst Jésú og hæstri Máríu ætta eg jafnan til nefnandi yfirpostulann, Andréam, æzta lífi, þann er guð hefir vandað.

Lord God of the unmeasured realm of the heavens, whose power [lit. your power which] will never diminish, listen for the sake of your gentle mercy to a portion of praise turned into a poem. After Jesus and the highest Mary I ought always to mention the chief Apostle, Andrew, most outstanding in life, whom God has chosen.

Mss: 721(8v), 713(23), 444ˣ, 2166ˣ(125-126)

Readings: [1] Heyrðu: Heyr 713, Heyr with ‘Heyrðu’ in margin 444ˣ;    ómælds: ómældur all    [2] ei: so 713, 444ˣ, eigi 721, ekki 2166ˣ;    má: so 713, 444ˣ, om. 721, 2166ˣ    [3] miskun: so 713, 444ˣ, 2166ˣ, om. 721    [7] æzta: æztu 713, 444ˣ, 2166ˣ

Editions: Skj AII, 526-7, Skj BII, 582, Skald II, 321, NN §1838; Jón Þorkelsson 1888, 87.

Notes: [3] miskun ‘mercy’: On the form of the noun without -nn, see ANG §285.4. — [7-8]: Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) adds lífi to the rel. cl. (þann er guð hefir lífi vandað ‘whose life God has honoured’); here Kock’s argument (NN §1838) that the expression æztu lífi is analogous with expressions such as fríðr sýnum ‘handsome in appearance’ is followed. — [7] yfirpostulann ‘the chief Apostle’: The same term is used of Andrew in Anon Andr 2/1. The conjunction of invocations to Mary and Andrew also occurs in Anon Vitn 2 and Anon Mv I-III (all in st. 2), and has prompted scholarly speculation on whether all these poems in honour of either the Virgin or holy women, might not have been composed for a single religious house, where the Virgin and S. Andrew were dedicatees. See further Introduction to Vitn.


  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. ANG = Noreen, Adolf. 1923. Altnordische Grammatik I: Altisländische und altnorwegische Grammatik (Laut- und Flexionslehre) unter Berücksichtigung des Urnordischen. 4th edn. Halle: Niemeyer. 1st edn. 1884. 5th unrev. edn. 1970. Tübingen: Niemeyer.
  6. Jón Þorkelsson [J. Thorkelsson]. 1888. Om digtningen på Island i det 15. og 16. århundrede. Copenhagen: Høst & søns forlag.
  7. Internal references
  8. Ian McDougall (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Andréasdrápa 2’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 847-8.
  9. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Vitnisvísur af Máríu 2’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 741.

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