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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mv II 22VII

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Máríuvísur II 22’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 716.

Anonymous PoemsMáríuvísur II

Máría, ertu mey skær
móðir og líkn góð
öllum, þeim er ákall
jafnan veita á þitt nafn.
Þjóðin öll þig biðr;
þú heitir vár frú,
en vier segjumz syndug
sveitir þínar, háleit.

Máría, ertu skær mey, móðir og góð líkn öllum, þeim er jafnan veita ákall á nafn þitt. Öll þjóðin biðr þig; þú heitir vár frú, en vier, syndug, segjumz sveitir þínar, háleit.

Mary, you are the pure Virgin, mother and good mercy to all those who always call upon your name. All the people worship you; you are called our Lady, and we, the sinful, call ourselves your followers, exalted one.

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

Editions: Skj AII, 495, Skj BII, 537, Skald II, 295, NN §1697, Metr. §14C; Kahle 1898, 42, 100, Sperber 1911, 14, 64, Wrightson 2001, 65.

Notes: [2] góð líkn ‘good mercy’: For comparable expressions, see Schottmann (1973, 66-7). — [7-8] vier, syndug, segjumz sveitir þínar, háleit ‘we, the sinful, call ourselves your followers, exalted one’: This interpretation follows NN §1697. Skj B and Wrightson take sveitir þínar ‘your followers’ in apposition to vier ‘we’ and syndug ‘sinful’ with segjumz ‘call ourselves’ (vi, dine skarer, erkender vor synd ‘we, your hosts, acknowledge our sin’, so Skj B; ‘we, your followers, declare ourselves sinful’, so Wrightson). That interpretation is less satisfactory from the point of view of grammar: syndug (n. nom. or acc. pl.) ‘sinful’ can modify vier ‘we’ if the pron. refers to ‘mixed company’ (i.e. men and women), but sveitir ‘followers’ is f., so we should have expected a f. ending on the adj. (syndugar f. acc. pl.). Skj B also takes háleit ‘exalted’ as an adj. modifying vár frú ‘our Lady’ (l. 6), which complicates the w.o. unnecessarily.


  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. Schottmann, Hans. 1973. Die isländische Mariendichtung. Untersuchungen zur volkssprachigen Mariendichtung des Mittelalters. Münchner germanistische Beiträge 9. Munich: Fink.
  6. Sperber, Hans, ed. 1911. Sechs isländische Gedichte legendarischen Inhalts. Uppsala Universitets årsskrift, filosofi, språkvetenskap och historiska vetenskaper 2. Uppsala: Akademische Buchdruckerei Edv. Berling.
  7. 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.
  8. Kahle, Bernhard, ed. 1898. Isländische geistliche Dichtungen des ausgehenden Mittelalters. Heidelberg: Winter.

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