Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mv I 6VII

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Máríuvísur I 6’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 682-3.

Anonymous PoemsMáríuvísur I

Vóx hræðilig huxan,
hitt, er allir kvitta,
myndar margvíss fjandi,
milli fólksins illa.
Sagði sveit, að lagðiz
seimkennandi að henni;
því mundi svá sendi
sax kunnum frú unna.

Hræðilig huxan vóx milli fólksins illa; hitt, er allir kvitta, myndar margvíss fjandi. Sveit sagði, að {seimkennandi} lagðiz að henni; því mundi frú unna {kunnum sendi sax} svá.

A terrible thought grew among the wicked people; that, which they all gossip about, a very crafty devil creates. The crowd said that {the gold-tester} [MAN] lay with her; [and] therefore [that] the lady must love {the famous sender of the sword} [WARRIOR] so much.

Mss: 721(12v)

Readings: [3] myndar: ‘meyndar’ 721    [7] sendi: ‘semdí’ 721    [8] sax: ‘sa̋r’ 721

Editions: Skj AII, 488, Skj BII, 527, Skald II, 289; Kahle 1898, 32, 97, Sperber 1911, 2, 57, Wrightson 2001, 43.

Notes: [3] myndar ‘creates’: The ms. reading ‘meyndar’ is not an ON word. — [5]: The l. contains aðalhending (-agð- : -agð-) rather than the expected skothending. — [7-8] sendi sax ‘the sender of the sword [WARRIOR]’: ‘Semdí’ and ‘sa̋r’ (sár ‘wound’) (so 721) must be parts of a kenning for ‘man’. The emendation to sendi (m. dat. sg.) ‘sender’ is supported by the internal rhyme (-und- : -end-), and ‘sa̋r’ must be a corrupt version of the determinant (here: sax [n. gen. sg.] ‘of the sword’). The emendations follow those of Skj B and Skald. Sperber suggests sendi sárs ‘the sender of the wound’ i.e. ‘warrior, man’ (so also Wrightson).


  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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