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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mv II 21VII

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Máríuvísur II 21’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 715.

Anonymous PoemsMáríuvísur II

Þegar gjörðu þá mjög
þjóðir og göfugt fljóð
að lofa ljúft víf
listuga, er bar Krist.
Og með þrifum þaðan af
þjóna tóku guði hjón;
þeira var blíðr burr
bráðgjörr og heilráðr.

Þegar gjörðu þá þjóðir og göfugt fljóð að lofa mjög ljúft víf, listuga, er bar Krist. Og þaðan af tóku hjón þjóna guði með þrifum; blíðr burr þeira var bráðgjörr og heilráðr.

At once, then, the people and the splendid woman began to praise greatly the gentle lady, the graceful one, who bore Christ. And from then on the couple began to serve God with prosperity; their cheerful son was early mature and wise in counsel.

Mss: 713(87), 721(14r)

Editions: Skj AII, 495, Skj BII, 537, Skald II, 294, Metr. §§14D, 18B; Kahle 1898, 42, Sperber 1911, 14, Wrightson 2001, 65.

Notes: [2] göfugt fljóð (n. nom. sg.) ‘the splendid woman’: Skj B and Skald emend to göfug fljóð (n. nom. pl.) ‘the splendid women’, taken to mean that both men (þjóðir) and women praised Mary. However, þjóðir means ‘people’ in general, not ‘people of the male gender’. — [4] listuga (adj., f. or n. acc. sg.) ‘the graceful one’: Skj B and Wrightson treat this as an adj. qualifying víf (n. acc. sg.) ‘lady’. That construction is ungrammatical, because víf ‘lady’ is n., and the adj. ending must be strong (-t; see ljúft ‘gentle’). Listuga is therefore better interpreted as a substantival adj. with a weak ending (see NS § 56, Anm.).


  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. NS = Nygaard, Marius. 1906. Norrøn syntax. Kristiania (Oslo): Aschehoug. Rpt. 1966.
  7. Kahle, Bernhard, ed. 1898. Isländische geistliche Dichtungen des ausgehenden Mittelalters. Heidelberg: Winter.

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