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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mey 50VII

Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Heilagra meyja drápa 50’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 922.

Anonymous PoemsHeilagra meyja drápa
495051

er ‘whom’

2. er (conj.): who, which, when

notes

[2] er Skotland tignar ‘whom Scotland praises’: The cult of S. Brigid was certainly practised in Scotland, if that is what the poet means (rather than Ireland). Here the stem vowel of tignar ‘praises’ is short, to give aðalhending with sign-, but in 54/1 the poet accords it its normal long <í>.

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Skotland ‘Scotland’

Skotland (noun n.): [Scotland]

notes

[2] er Skotland tignar ‘whom Scotland praises’: The cult of S. Brigid was certainly practised in Scotland, if that is what the poet means (rather than Ireland). Here the stem vowel of tignar ‘praises’ is short, to give aðalhending with sign-, but in 54/1 the poet accords it its normal long <í>.

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tignar ‘praises’

tígna (verb): honour

notes

[2] er Skotland tignar ‘whom Scotland praises’: The cult of S. Brigid was certainly practised in Scotland, if that is what the poet means (rather than Ireland). Here the stem vowel of tignar ‘praises’ is short, to give aðalhending with sign-, but in 54/1 the poet accords it its normal long <í>.

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Brígiða ‘Brigid’

Brigiða (noun f.): [Brigid]

[3] Brígiða: ‘Brígide’ 713

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hielt ‘preserved’

halda (verb): hold, keep

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bernsku ‘childhood’

bernska (noun f.; °-u): child, childhood

[3] bernsku: so 713, ‘bernku’ 721

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blóm ‘flower’

blóm (noun n.; °-s; -): flower

notes

[4] greinanda blóm ‘an exuberant flower’: cf. NN §1848. Another interpretation is offered by Skj B: ‘she preserved from childhood her pure virginity with its flower’.

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greinanda ‘exuberant’

greina (verb): explain, divide

notes

[4] greinanda blóm ‘an exuberant flower’: cf. NN §1848. Another interpretation is offered by Skj B: ‘she preserved from childhood her pure virginity with its flower’.

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jafnan ‘always’

jafnan (adv.): always

[6] jafnan: so 713, ‘jafan’ 721

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Interactive view: tap on words in the text for notes and glosses

Stanzas 50-1 celebrate S. Brigid of Kildare, the second patron saint of Ireland (after S. Patrick), who is said to have lived in the early C6th and to have founded the first monastery in Ireland. She was a popular saint in the North Sea littoral, and there is a certain amount of evidence for her cult in Iceland, though her feast day was removed from the list of Holy Days of Obligation in 1275 (Cormack 1994, 24). — [5-6]: The meaning of these ll. is not entirely clear, but they possibly refer to Brigid’s practice of giving away local agricultural produce to feed the poor. A number of the miracles attributed to her refer to her ability to give away food (e.g. butter, bacon) to the needy and still have those things remain in stock undiminished (see Connolly and Picard 1987, 13-15). — [7-8]: The reference is to the basilica at Kildare, in the southeast of Ireland, Brigid’s monastery and the resting place of her body until it was removed for reburial with the remains of SS. Patrick and Columba some time before 1185.

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