Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mv I 20VII

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Máríuvísur I 20’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 693.

Anonymous PoemsMáríuvísur I

Hlóðu bál að brúði,
brann umhverfis svanna
allr, á víðum velli,
viðköstur í fasta.
Vald Máríu völdugt
vinnr syndugri kvinnu
bót, svá að hyrr inn heiti
hlífir frúinnar lífi.

Hlóðu bál að brúði á víðum velli; allr viðköstur brann í fasta umhverfis svanna. Völdugt vald Máríu vinnr bót syndugri kvinnu, svá að inn heiti hyrr hlífir lífi frúinnar.

They stacked a pyre about the lady on a wide field; the entire woodpile burned in flame around the woman. The powerful power of Mary provides help for the sinful woman so that the hot fire spares the life of the lady.

Mss: 721(13r)

Readings: [5] völdugt: ‘vollo᷎gt’ 721

Editions: Skj AII, 490, Skj BII, 530, Skald II, 291, NN §§1680B, 3360; Kahle 1898, 35, 98, Sperber 1911, 5-6, 59, Wrightson 2001, 49.

Notes: [4] í fasta ‘in flame’: Fasti means ‘fire’ (see LP: fasti 1) and Kock’s translation ‘powerfully, furiously’ from fasti ‘strength’ (NN §3360) has little support. Note the irregular rhyme -öst- : -ast-. — [5] völdugt ‘powerful’: The missing <d> is ensured by the internal rhyme (-ald : -öld-).


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  5. Sperber, Hans, ed. 1911. Sechs isländische Gedichte legendarischen Inhalts. Uppsala Universitets årsskrift, filosofi, språkvetenskap och historiska vetenskaper 2. Uppsala: Akademische Buchdruckerei Edv. Berling.
  6. 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.
  7. Kahle, Bernhard, ed. 1898. Isländische geistliche Dichtungen des ausgehenden Mittelalters. Heidelberg: Winter.

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