Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mgr 8VII

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Drápa af Máríugrát 8’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 765.

Anonymous PoemsDrápa af Máríugrát

Branda hlynr má eingi undra,
— Ögustínus rieð slíkt að tína
lýða sveit — að mær og móðir
mildum lausnara fylgja vildi.
Treysti eg því, og trúir það presta*
tíginn valdr, að skildiz aldri
ágætt sprund, er Júðar píndu
eingason, við himna þeingil.

{Eingi hlynr branda} má undra, að mær og móðir vildi fylgja mildum lausnara; Ögustínus rieð að tína sveit lýða slíkt. Eg treysti því, og {tíginn valdr presta*} trúir það, að ágætt sprund skildiz aldri við {þeingil himna}, er Júðar píndu eingason.

{No maple of swords} [WARRIOR] can marvel that the Virgin and mother wanted to accompany the merciful redeemer; Augustine told such to a host of people. I trust in that, and {the esteemed ruler of priests} [BISHOP = Augustine] believes it, that the splendid woman never parted from {the lord of the heavens} [= God (= Christ)] when the Jews tortured her only son.

Mss: 713(124)

Readings: [5] trúir: trúi 713;    presta*: prestar 713

Editions: Skj AII, 474, Skj BII, 507, Skald II, 277; Kahle 1898, 57, 104, Sperber 1911, 32, 74, Wrightson 2001, 4.

Notes: [2] Ögustínus ‘Augustine’: For the form of this word, see Note to 4/2. — [4] vildi (3rd pers. sg. pret. subj.) ‘wanted’: Pl. subject with the verb in the sg. (see NS §70). — [5-8]: Earlier eds take the second helmingr as direct speech, uttered by S. Augustine. Such an interpretation is unnecessary if we assume that the poet merely refers to the content of Augustine’s message. — [5] trúir ‘believes’: The 3rd pers. sg. pres. indic. is required here, according to the present interpretation, not the 1st pers. sg. pres. indic. trúi. — [5] það (n. acc. sg.) ‘it’: Lit. ‘that’. Trúa ‘believe’ normally takes the dat. Skj B and Skald emend to kvað ‘said’ with tíginn valdr presta ‘the esteemed ruler of priests’ (i.e. Augustine) (ll. 1-2) as the subject. That emendation is unnecessary (see Fritzner: trúa 3). — [5] presta* (m. gen. pl.) ‘of priests’: In the present edn, this is the determinant in the kenning tíginn valdr presta ‘esteemed ruler of priests’ (so Skj B; Skald). For a similar kenning for ‘Augustine’, see 5/1-2. Wrightson retains the ms. reading prestar (m. nom. pl.) ‘priests’ which is treated as a form of address. According to that interpretation, tíginn valdr ‘esteemed ruler’ refers to Augustine, translated as ‘I, a noble ruler’ as the subject of trúi ‘believe’. It is unlikely that Augustine would refer to himself as an ‘esteemed ruler’, and, furthermore, he is said to have addressed a host of people (sveit lýða, l. 3), not priests. Wrightson alternatively interprets the phrase as a form of address. — [8] við ‘from’: Wrightson takes this prep. with eingason ‘only son’. That construction is unmetrical: við ‘from’ is unstressed, and an enclitic prep. must receive stress (see the prep. á ‘on’ in 7/5).


  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. Fritzner = Fritzner, Johan. 1883-96. Ordbog over det gamle norske sprog. 3 vols. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske forlagsforening. 4th edn. Rpt. 1973. Oslo etc.: Universitetsforlaget.
  7. NS = Nygaard, Marius. 1906. Norrøn syntax. Kristiania (Oslo): Aschehoug. Rpt. 1966.
  8. Kahle, Bernhard, ed. 1898. Isländische geistliche Dichtungen des ausgehenden Mittelalters. Heidelberg: Winter.

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