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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mv III 21VII

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Máríuvísur III 21’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 731-2.

Anonymous PoemsMáríuvísur III
202122

Munni ‘mouth’

munnr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): mouth

[1] Munni: munnr 721

notes

[1] munni (m. dat. sg.) ‘through [his] mouth’: The ms. reading munnr (m. nom. sg.) ‘mouth’ has been emended to dat. to provide an instr. for lúkiz upp ‘may be revealed’ (l. 2).

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mart ‘much’

2. margr (adj.; °-an): many

[2] mart lúkiz: ‘[...]ar[...]kizt’ or ‘[...]ar[...]ítizt’ 721, ‘m.ar.s.. vizt’ 1032ˣ, ‘[...]ísizt’ 721FJ

notes

[2]: The beginning of the l. is defective. The first word must have alliterated on m- and rhymed with bjart (adv.) ‘brightly’. The top of the letter <m> and the ligature ar can still be seen. 1032ˣ has ‘m.ar.’. It is fairly safe to assume that the word in question is mart (n. nom. or acc. sg.) ‘much’. 721 reads ‘biort’ i.e. björt (f. nom. sg.) ‘bright’. If the ms. reading is retained, that adj. could modify either mekt ‘power’ or tungan ‘the tongue’. The second word must have been a verb, and the m.v. ending ‘-izt’ can still be read in 721. The letters preceding that ending can either be construed as <k> or <ít>. The latter is less likely because the accent is thicker than usual and looks more like the (damaged) top of a <k>. That verb cannot be reconstructed, but in light of the prose from Mar, lúkiz (3rd pers. sg. pres. subj.) ‘may be revealed’ seems likely. Skald suggests the following reading of ll. 1-2 (and see NN §1704): ‘Munnr hans,’ kvað mekt sǫnn | mart,lýsizt upp bjart!’ ‘May his mouth’, said the True Power friendly, ‘be brightened clearly!’ Wrightson follows that suggestion, but retains the ms. reading björt (f. nom. sg.) ‘bright’, which is taken with tungan (f. nom. sg.) ‘the tongue’ (l. 3). In her interpretation, mart (n. nom. or acc. sg.) is an adv. ‘greatly’, which is not possible (‘his mouth … is lit up greatly’).

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lúkiz ‘may be revealed’

1. lúka (verb): end, close

[2] mart lúkiz: ‘[...]ar[...]kizt’ or ‘[...]ar[...]ítizt’ 721, ‘m.ar.s.. vizt’ 1032ˣ, ‘[...]ísizt’ 721FJ

notes

[2]: The beginning of the l. is defective. The first word must have alliterated on m- and rhymed with bjart (adv.) ‘brightly’. The top of the letter <m> and the ligature ar can still be seen. 1032ˣ has ‘m.ar.’. It is fairly safe to assume that the word in question is mart (n. nom. or acc. sg.) ‘much’. 721 reads ‘biort’ i.e. björt (f. nom. sg.) ‘bright’. If the ms. reading is retained, that adj. could modify either mekt ‘power’ or tungan ‘the tongue’. The second word must have been a verb, and the m.v. ending ‘-izt’ can still be read in 721. The letters preceding that ending can either be construed as <k> or <ít>. The latter is less likely because the accent is thicker than usual and looks more like the (damaged) top of a <k>. That verb cannot be reconstructed, but in light of the prose from Mar, lúkiz (3rd pers. sg. pres. subj.) ‘may be revealed’ seems likely. Skald suggests the following reading of ll. 1-2 (and see NN §1704): ‘Munnr hans,’ kvað mekt sǫnn | mart,lýsizt upp bjart!’ ‘May his mouth’, said the True Power friendly, ‘be brightened clearly!’ Wrightson follows that suggestion, but retains the ms. reading björt (f. nom. sg.) ‘bright’, which is taken with tungan (f. nom. sg.) ‘the tongue’ (l. 3). In her interpretation, mart (n. nom. or acc. sg.) is an adv. ‘greatly’, which is not possible (‘his mouth … is lit up greatly’).

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upp ‘’

upp (adv.): up

[2] upp bjart: ‘vpp biort’ 721

notes

[2]: The beginning of the l. is defective. The first word must have alliterated on m- and rhymed with bjart (adv.) ‘brightly’. The top of the letter <m> and the ligature ar can still be seen. 1032ˣ has ‘m.ar.’. It is fairly safe to assume that the word in question is mart (n. nom. or acc. sg.) ‘much’. 721 reads ‘biort’ i.e. björt (f. nom. sg.) ‘bright’. If the ms. reading is retained, that adj. could modify either mekt ‘power’ or tungan ‘the tongue’. The second word must have been a verb, and the m.v. ending ‘-izt’ can still be read in 721. The letters preceding that ending can either be construed as <k> or <ít>. The latter is less likely because the accent is thicker than usual and looks more like the (damaged) top of a <k>. That verb cannot be reconstructed, but in light of the prose from Mar, lúkiz (3rd pers. sg. pres. subj.) ‘may be revealed’ seems likely. Skald suggests the following reading of ll. 1-2 (and see NN §1704): ‘Munnr hans,’ kvað mekt sǫnn | mart,lýsizt upp bjart!’ ‘May his mouth’, said the True Power friendly, ‘be brightened clearly!’ Wrightson follows that suggestion, but retains the ms. reading björt (f. nom. sg.) ‘bright’, which is taken with tungan (f. nom. sg.) ‘the tongue’ (l. 3). In her interpretation, mart (n. nom. or acc. sg.) is an adv. ‘greatly’, which is not possible (‘his mouth … is lit up greatly’).

Close

bjart ‘brightly’

bjartr (adj.; °compar. -ari, superl. -astr): bright

[2] upp bjart: ‘vpp biort’ 721

notes

[2]: The beginning of the l. is defective. The first word must have alliterated on m- and rhymed with bjart (adv.) ‘brightly’. The top of the letter <m> and the ligature ar can still be seen. 1032ˣ has ‘m.ar.’. It is fairly safe to assume that the word in question is mart (n. nom. or acc. sg.) ‘much’. 721 reads ‘biort’ i.e. björt (f. nom. sg.) ‘bright’. If the ms. reading is retained, that adj. could modify either mekt ‘power’ or tungan ‘the tongue’. The second word must have been a verb, and the m.v. ending ‘-izt’ can still be read in 721. The letters preceding that ending can either be construed as <k> or <ít>. The latter is less likely because the accent is thicker than usual and looks more like the (damaged) top of a <k>. That verb cannot be reconstructed, but in light of the prose from Mar, lúkiz (3rd pers. sg. pres. subj.) ‘may be revealed’ seems likely. Skald suggests the following reading of ll. 1-2 (and see NN §1704): ‘Munnr hans,’ kvað mekt sǫnn | mart,lýsizt upp bjart!’ ‘May his mouth’, said the True Power friendly, ‘be brightened clearly!’ Wrightson follows that suggestion, but retains the ms. reading björt (f. nom. sg.) ‘bright’, which is taken with tungan (f. nom. sg.) ‘the tongue’ (l. 3). In her interpretation, mart (n. nom. or acc. sg.) is an adv. ‘greatly’, which is not possible (‘his mouth … is lit up greatly’).

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fyst ‘first’

fyrstr (num. ordinal): first

[4] fyst: ‘f[...]st’ 721, ‘f..’ 1032ˣ, ‘fyst’ with y erased 721FJ

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hvað ‘what’

hvat (pron.): what

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Skýja ‘of clouds’

ský (noun n.; °-s; -): cloud

kennings

Laus skör skýja
‘The deceitful crowd of clouds ’
   = DEVILS

The deceitful crowd of clouds → DEVILS

notes

[5]: The last words in the l. (‘skv[…]lo’) are difficult to reconstruct. The last syllable must have a long vowel and rhyme with ský- ‘cloud-’. Skald suggests skuggsjá ‘mirror’ and construes it with skýjalaus ‘cloudless’ (skýjalaus skuggsjá ‘a spotless mirror’). The present reconstruction represents a modification of the reading proposed by Wrightson (see Note to ll. 5-6). Skýja ‘of the clouds’ is otherwise attested as a determinant in kennings for ‘God’ (see LP: ský), but ský can also be taken figuratively to mean ‘that which prevents one from seeing something’ (see Fritzner: ský 2), which would be an apt term for ‘devils’ (skör skýja ‘crowd of deceptions’).

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laus ‘The deceitful’

lauss (adj.; °compar. lausari): loose, free, without

kennings

Laus skör skýja
‘The deceitful crowd of clouds ’
   = DEVILS

The deceitful crowd of clouds → DEVILS

notes

[5] laus ‘deceitful’: For this sense of the adj. see Fritzner: lauss 10.

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skör ‘crowd’

skǫr (noun f.; °skarar; skarir): hair, planking

[5] skör ló: ‘skv[...]lo’ 721, ‘sku. lo’ 1032ˣ, ‘skul [...] lo’ 721FJ

kennings

Laus skör skýja
‘The deceitful crowd of clouds ’
   = DEVILS

The deceitful crowd of clouds → DEVILS

notes

[5]: The last words in the l. (‘skv[…]lo’) are difficult to reconstruct. The last syllable must have a long vowel and rhyme with ský- ‘cloud-’. Skald suggests skuggsjá ‘mirror’ and construes it with skýjalaus ‘cloudless’ (skýjalaus skuggsjá ‘a spotless mirror’). The present reconstruction represents a modification of the reading proposed by Wrightson (see Note to ll. 5-6). Skýja ‘of the clouds’ is otherwise attested as a determinant in kennings for ‘God’ (see LP: ský), but ský can also be taken figuratively to mean ‘that which prevents one from seeing something’ (see Fritzner: ský 2), which would be an apt term for ‘devils’ (skör skýja ‘crowd of deceptions’).

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‘lied’

ljúga (verb): lie

[5] skör ló: ‘skv[...]lo’ 721, ‘sku. lo’ 1032ˣ, ‘skul [...] lo’ 721FJ

notes

[5]: The last words in the l. (‘skv[…]lo’) are difficult to reconstruct. The last syllable must have a long vowel and rhyme with ský- ‘cloud-’. Skald suggests skuggsjá ‘mirror’ and construes it with skýjalaus ‘cloudless’ (skýjalaus skuggsjá ‘a spotless mirror’). The present reconstruction represents a modification of the reading proposed by Wrightson (see Note to ll. 5-6). Skýja ‘of the clouds’ is otherwise attested as a determinant in kennings for ‘God’ (see LP: ský), but ský can also be taken figuratively to mean ‘that which prevents one from seeing something’ (see Fritzner: ský 2), which would be an apt term for ‘devils’ (skör skýja ‘crowd of deceptions’).

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kantil ‘a song’

kantílía (noun f.; °; -ur): [a song]

[6] kantil: ‘k̄. til’ 721, ‘k̄i til’ 1032ˣ, ‘konung til’(?) 721FJ

notes

[6] kantil ‘song’: This reading is conjectural. The ON word for Lat. cantilena ‘song’ is kantilia, but kantil could be a colloquial form or shortened because of metrical requirements. Kantil ‘song’ mirrors saung ‘song’ (l. 3), and could have been used because it introduced the Lat. Áve Máría ‘Hail Mary’ (l. 7). Ms. 721 has ‘k̄. til’, a possible abbreviation for konung (m. acc. sg.) ‘king’ plus til (prep. or adv.) ‘to’, which makes no sense in the present context. Konung ‘king’ is otherwise not abbreviated as ‘k̄’ in 721. 1032ˣ has ‘k̄i’ i.e. konungi (m. dat. sg.) ‘king’. Sperber and Kock (NN §1704) resolve the abbreviation as kom (3rd pers. sg. pret. ind.) ‘came’, which is also an unprecedented abbreviation in 721. It looks as though the scribe failed to understand what he was copying.

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Áve ‘Hail’

ave: hail

notes

[5-6]: Wrightson construes these ll. as follows: Skýja laus skör ló, | skilja má að, kóng til ‘The reckless flock lied to the king of clouds [Christ] about it; one can perceive that…’. The reading creates an impossible w.o. and is ungrammatical (ljúga til e-s ‘lie about something’ cannot take a personal acc. object). — [7] Áve ... upphaf: For this internal rhyme, see Note to st. 7/1 above.

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Áve ‘Hail’

ave: hail

notes

[5-6]: Wrightson construes these ll. as follows: Skýja laus skör ló, | skilja má að, kóng til ‘The reckless flock lied to the king of clouds [Christ] about it; one can perceive that…’. The reading creates an impossible w.o. and is ungrammatical (ljúga til e-s ‘lie about something’ cannot take a personal acc. object). — [7] Áve ... upphaf: For this internal rhyme, see Note to st. 7/1 above.

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Máría ‘Mary’

María (noun f.): Mary

notes

[5-6]: Wrightson construes these ll. as follows: Skýja laus skör ló, | skilja má að, kóng til ‘The reckless flock lied to the king of clouds [Christ] about it; one can perceive that…’. The reading creates an impossible w.o. and is ungrammatical (ljúga til e-s ‘lie about something’ cannot take a personal acc. object).

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upphaf ‘the beginning’

upphaf (noun n.): beginning

notes

[5-6]: Wrightson construes these ll. as follows: Skýja laus skör ló, | skilja má að, kóng til ‘The reckless flock lied to the king of clouds [Christ] about it; one can perceive that…’. The reading creates an impossible w.o. and is ungrammatical (ljúga til e-s ‘lie about something’ cannot take a personal acc. object). — [7] Áve ... upphaf: For this internal rhyme, see Note to st. 7/1 above.

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upphaf ‘the beginning’

upphaf (noun n.): beginning

notes

[5-6]: Wrightson construes these ll. as follows: Skýja laus skör ló, | skilja má að, kóng til ‘The reckless flock lied to the king of clouds [Christ] about it; one can perceive that…’. The reading creates an impossible w.o. and is ungrammatical (ljúga til e-s ‘lie about something’ cannot take a personal acc. object). — [7] Áve ... upphaf: For this internal rhyme, see Note to st. 7/1 above.

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á ‘on’

3. á (prep.): on, at

notes

[5-6]: Wrightson construes these ll. as follows: Skýja laus skör ló, | skilja má að, kóng til ‘The reckless flock lied to the king of clouds [Christ] about it; one can perceive that…’. The reading creates an impossible w.o. and is ungrammatical (ljúga til e-s ‘lie about something’ cannot take a personal acc. object).

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var ‘was’

2. vera (verb): be, is, was, were, are, am

notes

[5-6]: Wrightson construes these ll. as follows: Skýja laus skör ló, | skilja má að, kóng til ‘The reckless flock lied to the king of clouds [Christ] about it; one can perceive that…’. The reading creates an impossible w.o. and is ungrammatical (ljúga til e-s ‘lie about something’ cannot take a personal acc. object).

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þar ‘it’

þar (adv.): there

notes

[5-6]: Wrightson construes these ll. as follows: Skýja laus skör ló, | skilja má að, kóng til ‘The reckless flock lied to the king of clouds [Christ] about it; one can perceive that…’. The reading creates an impossible w.o. and is ungrammatical (ljúga til e-s ‘lie about something’ cannot take a personal acc. object).

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skráð ‘written’

3. skrá (verb): [written]

[8] skráð: so 721FJ, ‘skr[...]d’ 721, ‘ski...’ 1032ˣ

notes

[5-6]: Wrightson construes these ll. as follows: Skýja laus skör ló, | skilja má að, kóng til ‘The reckless flock lied to the king of clouds [Christ] about it; one can perceive that…’. The reading creates an impossible w.o. and is ungrammatical (ljúga til e-s ‘lie about something’ cannot take a personal acc. object).

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þá ‘then’

2. þá (adv.): then

notes

[5-6]: Wrightson construes these ll. as follows: Skýja laus skör ló, | skilja má að, kóng til ‘The reckless flock lied to the king of clouds [Christ] about it; one can perceive that…’. The reading creates an impossible w.o. and is ungrammatical (ljúga til e-s ‘lie about something’ cannot take a personal acc. object).

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Interactive view: tap on words in the text for notes and glosses

721 contains a number of illegible places. The corresponding passage in Mar (1871, 607) reads as follows: Þvi (at) profazt enn um sinn, at þier kunnit at liuga, þa er þier saugdut, at i ydari þionustu hefdi þessi madr endat sina lifdaga, þa se lokinn upp munnr hans, ok siait, huat hans tunga starfadi næst sinum daudaSem klerkins munnr er upplokinn, finzt skrifat ꜳ hans tungu, þat sama privilegium sællar heilsanar iungfru sancte Marie, sem hann hafdi sungit fyrir tima sinnar framferdar ‘Because it can be proven yet again that you know how to lie, when you said that this man had ended his life-days in your service, so let his mouth be opened up, and see, what his tongue was doing just before its death … As the cleric’s mouth is opened up, that same privilegium of the blessed greeting of the Virgin Mary as he had sung before the time of his death, is found written on his tongue’.

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