Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mv III 14VII

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Máríuvísur III 14’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 726-7.

Anonymous PoemsMáríuvísur III

‘Hvessu máttu í hendr oss,
himiríkis frú slík,
þennan eigna þier mann?’
þverinn mælti kvalaherr.
‘Fleygir gjörði fjarðlogs
flest, þar er hann gat vest,
svá var hann saurlífr
syndafullr og harðlyndr.

‘Hvessu máttu, {slík frú himiríkis}, eigna þier þennan mann í hendr oss?’ mælti {þverinn kvalaherr}. ‘{Fleygir {fjarðlogs}} gjörði flest, þar er hann gat vest; hann var svá saurlífr, syndafullr og harðlyndr.

‘How can you, {such a lady of the heavenly kingdom} [= Mary], appropriate for yourself this man against us?’ said {the obstinate torment-army} [DEVILS]. ‘{The flinger {of the fjord-flame}} [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN] did the most where he could do the worst; he was so depraved, sinful and ruthless.

Mss: 1032ˣ(149v), 721(16r)

Editions: Skj AII, 498, Skj BII, 541, Skald II, 297; Kahle 1898, 46, 101, Sperber 1911, 18, 66, Wrightson 2001, 73.

Notes: [6] þar er ‘where’: Skj A resolves the abbreviation as þat er ‘that which’ (so 1032ˣ), which renders the cl. as follows: ‘... did that the most which he could do the worst’ (so Skj B; Skald). Wrightson has ‘did most things the worst he could’.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj A = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15a. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. A: Tekst efter håndskrifterne. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1967. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  4. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. Sperber, Hans, ed. 1911. Sechs isländische Gedichte legendarischen Inhalts. Uppsala Universitets årsskrift, filosofi, språkvetenskap och historiska vetenskaper 2. Uppsala: Akademische Buchdruckerei Edv. Berling.
  6. 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.
  7. Kahle, Bernhard, ed. 1898. Isländische geistliche Dichtungen des ausgehenden Mittelalters. Heidelberg: Winter.

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