Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.



Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

Anon Mv I 23VII

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Máríuvísur I 23’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 695.

Anonymous PoemsMáríuvísur I

Máttr var móður dróttins
mjög ríkr um frú slíka
sýndr með sætleik reyndum
sveit í loganum heita.
Þann gaf þessi kvinnu
þrótt óskamey dróttins;
hosk sat Bil í báli
baugstalls um dag allan.

Mjög ríkr máttr {móður dróttins} var sýndr sveit með reyndum sætleik um slíka frú í loganum heita. {Óskamey dróttins} gaf þann þrótt þessi kvinnu; {hosk Bil {baugstalls}} sat í báli um allan dag.

The very mighty power {of the mother of the Lord} [= Mary] was revealed to the crowd with proven kindness concerning that lady in the hot flame. {The wish-maiden of the Lord} [= Mary] gave that fortitude to this woman; {the wise Bil <goddess> {of the ring-seat}} [ARM > WOMAN] remained in the fire all day.

Mss: 721(13r)

Readings: [7] Bil: brúðr 721;    báli: om. 721

Editions: Skj AII, 490-1, Skj BII, 531, Skald II, 291, NN §2867; Kahle 1898, 36, 98, Sperber 1911, 6, 60, Wrightson 2001, 51.

Notes: [6] óskamey dróttins ‘the wish-maiden of the Lord [= Mary]’: For terms of this type, see Schottmann (1973, 95). — [7, 8] Bil baugstalls ‘the Bil <goddess> of the ring-seat [ARM > WOMAN]’: This emendation is conjectural. Baugstalls ‘of the ring-seat’ (i.e. ‘of the arm’) is clearly a determinant in a kenning for woman (see Meissner 420). However, brúðr ‘woman’ (so 721) cannot function as a base-word in such a kenning. Skj B emends to brú ‘bridge’ and reads brú baugstalls ‘the bridge of the ring-seat’ (i.e. ‘woman’), but brú ‘bridge’ is unattested as a base-word in a kenning for woman (see LP: brú). Bil, on the other hand, is a common base-word in such kennings (see LP: Bil) and in keeping with the other woman-kennings in Mv I (see also st. 14/6: auðar-Bil ‘wealth-Bil’ i.e. ‘woman’). — [7] í báli ‘in the fire’: The noun is missing in 721 and must be supplied from the context. Skj B suggests í báli ‘in the fire’, which is supported by the parallel construction in st. 19/7-8 above: sat í báli miðju ‘sat in the middle of the fire’. The present emendations to Bil and í báli ‘in the bonfire’ have the advantage of restoring the missing internal rhymes. Kock (Skald; NN §2867) assumes that the alliteration in ll. 7-8 is on the letter h- (hosk ‘wise’) rather than on b- (alleged scribal confusion between <b> and <h>) and he restores the ll. as follows: hosk sat brúðr í háska | haukstalds um dag allan ‘the wise bride of the warrior sat in danger all day’.


  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. Meissner = Meissner, Rudolf. 1921. Die Kenningar der Skalden: Ein Beitrag zur skaldischen Poetik. Rheinische Beiträge und Hülfsbücher zur germanischen Philologie und Volkskunde 1. Bonn and Leipzig: Schroeder. Rpt. 1984. Hildesheim etc.: Olms.
  6. 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.
  7. Schottmann, Hans. 1973. Die isländische Mariendichtung. Untersuchungen zur volkssprachigen Mariendichtung des Mittelalters. Münchner germanistische Beiträge 9. Munich: Fink.
  8. Sperber, Hans, ed. 1911. Sechs isländische Gedichte legendarischen Inhalts. Uppsala Universitets årsskrift, filosofi, språkvetenskap och historiska vetenskaper 2. Uppsala: Akademische Buchdruckerei Edv. Berling.
  9. 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.
  10. Kahle, Bernhard, ed. 1898. Isländische geistliche Dichtungen des ausgehenden Mittelalters. Heidelberg: Winter.
  11. Internal references
  12. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘The Legendary Saga of S. Óláfr / Helgisaga Óláfs konungs Haraldssonar (ÓHLeg)’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. clxxiii.
  13. Kari Ellen Gade 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Máríuvísur I’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 678-700.

Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.


Stanza/chapter/text segment

Use the buttons at the top of the page to navigate between stanzas in a poem.

Information tab

Interactive tab

The text and translation are given here, with buttons to toggle whether the text is shown in the verse order or prose word order. Clicking on indiviudal words gives dictionary links, variant readings, kennings and notes, where relevant.

Full text tab

This is the text of the edition in a similar format to how the edition appears in the printed volumes.

Chapter/text segment

This view is also used for chapters and other text segments. Not all the headings shown are relevant to such sections.