Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mv III 12VII

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Máríuvísur III 12’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 725-6.

Anonymous PoemsMáríuvísur III

Hrópar hinn, er gaf glæp,
og greinir þegar klerks mein;
löstu berr á loft fast;
ló hann við mart þó,
áðr himins björt brúðr
borgið fekk hans sorg;
er af rótum riettlát
runnin upp við miskunn.

Hinn hrópar, er gaf glæp, og greinir þegar mein klerks; berr löstu fast á loft; hann ló við mart þó, áðr {björt brúðr himins} fekk borgið sorg hans; riettlát er runnin upp af rótum við miskunn.

The one who gave sin shouts, and at once explains the cleric’s offences; he spreads the sins ardently into the air; he lied about much, though, before {the bright bride of heaven} [= Mary] could mitigate the man’s misery; the just one is infused from the roots with mercy.

Mss: 721(16r)

Readings: [5] himins: ‘hímes’ 721

Editions: Skj AII, 498, Skj BII, 541, Skald II, 296, Metr. §§10B, 16, 18C; Kahle 1898, 45, 101, Sperber 1911, 17-18, 66, Wrightson 2001, 72.

Notes: [1] hrópar ‘shouts’: Hrópa can also mean ‘slander’ and it is not clear in which meaning the verb is used here. — [7, 8] er runnin upp af rótum við miskunn ‘is infused from the roots with mercy’: Lit. ‘has shot up from the roots with mercy’. The sense is that Mary was filled with mercy from head to toe.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. Sperber, Hans, ed. 1911. Sechs isländische Gedichte legendarischen Inhalts. Uppsala Universitets årsskrift, filosofi, språkvetenskap och historiska vetenskaper 2. Uppsala: Akademische Buchdruckerei Edv. Berling.
  4. 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.
  5. Kahle, Bernhard, ed. 1898. Isländische geistliche Dichtungen des ausgehenden Mittelalters. Heidelberg: Winter.

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