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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mgr 40VII

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Drápa af Máríugrát 40’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 787.

Anonymous PoemsDrápa af Máríugrát

Prúðlig verk fyrir píslar marki
pátris déí formið gráti;
sonar guðs oft í saung og bænum
sára minniz þjóð með tárum.
Hneigið yðr fyrir lærðum lýðum
langa stund með skriftagangi;
bekkr iðranar ór brjósti klökku
bragna* laugi kinnr og augu.

Formið prúðlig verk gráti fyrir {marki píslar pátris déí}; þjóð minniz oft sára {sonar guðs} með tárum í saung og bænum. Hneigið yðr langa stund fyrir lærðum lýðum með skriftagangi; {bekkr iðranar} ór klökku brjósti laugi kinnr og augu bragna*.

Perform glorious deeds with weeping before {the sign of the Passion of God the father} [CROSS]; may people often recall the wounds {of the son of God} [= Christ] with tears in song and prayers. Prostrate yourselves for a long time before learned people in confession; may {the brook of repentance} [TEARS] from the agitated breast wash the cheeks and eyes of men.

Mss: 713(127)

Readings: [7] bekkr: beiskr 713    [8] bragna*: bragnar 713

Editions: Skj AII, 480, Skj BII, 516, Skald II, 283; Kahle 1898, 64, 104, Sperber 1911, 39, 76, Wrightson 2001, 20.

Notes: [All]: This admonition seems to come from the poet (not from Mary; see Notes to 40), and the st. forms the transition from the lament of Mary as told in Mar to the enumeration of her five joys (see Introduction). — [7] bekkr iðranar ‘the brook of repentance [TEARS]’: Beiskr (m. nom. sg.) ‘bitter’ (so 713) makes no sense, because iðranar ‘of repentance’ is f. gen. sg. Furthermore, the adj. beiskr leaves the l. without internal rhyme. The present edn has adopted the emendations of Sperber, Skj B and Skald. Wrightson emends to beiskrar (f. gen. sg.) ‘of bitter’ which is taken with iðranar ‘of repentance’, and she retains bragnar (m. nom. pl.) ‘people’ as the subject of laugi ‘wash’ (‘may people bathe their cheeks and eyes out of a tearful breast of bitter repentance’). However, beiskrar ‘of bitter’ makes the l. hypermetrical.


  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. Sperber, Hans, ed. 1911. Sechs isländische Gedichte legendarischen Inhalts. Uppsala Universitets årsskrift, filosofi, språkvetenskap och historiska vetenskaper 2. Uppsala: Akademische Buchdruckerei Edv. Berling.
  5. Wrightson, Kellinde, ed. 2001. Fourteenth-Century Icelandic Verse on the Virgin Mary: Drápa af Maríugrát, Vitnisvísur af Maríu, Maríuvísur I-III. Viking Society for Northern Research Text Series 14. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  6. Kahle, Bernhard, ed. 1898. Isländische geistliche Dichtungen des ausgehenden Mittelalters. Heidelberg: Winter.

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