Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mv III 9VII

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Máríuvísur III 9’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 724.

Anonymous PoemsMáríuvísur III

Tíða sinna tregbjóðr
trúar hafði ei gáð nú;
heyriliga hann hefr þær;
henni boðaz dýrð tvenn.
Lítið fekk hann lesið út;
líðr svá að honum stríð;
‘Áve Máría,’ hann upp hóf
óttafullr og dó skjótt.

Nú hafði {tregbjóðr trúar} ei gáð tíða sinna; hann hefr þær heyriliga; tvenn dýrð boðaz henni. Lítið fekk hann lesið út; stríð líðr svá að honum; ‘Áve Máría,’ hóf hann upp, óttafullr, og dó skjótt.

Now {the slow-preacher of faith} [NEGLIGENT PRIEST] had not observed his hours; he begins them audibly; a double glory is proclaimed to her. Little was he able to read out; the toil afflicts him so; ‘Hail Mary,’ he began, fearful, and died at once.

Mss: 721(16r), 1032ˣ(146v-147v)

Readings: [8] óttafullr: ‘[...] óttafullr’ 721, í óttafullr 1032ˣ

Editions: Skj AII, 497, Skj BII, 540, Skald II, 296, Metr. §8B; Kahle 1898, 44-5, 100, Sperber 1911, 17, 65, Wrightson 2001, 71.

Notes: [3] heyriliga ‘audibly’: Heyriliga can also mean ‘properly, fittingly’. — [4] tvenn dýrð ‘a double glory’: According to Mar (1871, 605), the cleric recited some verses of Venite (Ps. XCV) and ‘Hail Mary’. — [6] stríð líðr svá að honum ‘the toil afflicts him so’: I.e. his difficulties in trying to save himself in the river. The cl. could also refer to his spiritual distress (stríð). — [7] Áve ... hóf: For this internal rhyme, see ANG §§240.1, 250. — [8] óttafullr ‘fearful’: A letter seems to be erased before this word in 721, and 1032ˣ has í ‘in’. The l. as it stands is both metrically and syntactically correct.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. ANG = Noreen, Adolf. 1923. Altnordische Grammatik I: Altisländische und altnorwegische Grammatik (Laut- und Flexionslehre) unter Berücksichtigung des Urnordischen. 4th edn. Halle: Niemeyer. 1st edn. 1884. 5th unrev. edn. 1970. Tübingen: Niemeyer.
  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. Kahle, Bernhard, ed. 1898. Isländische geistliche Dichtungen des ausgehenden Mittelalters. Heidelberg: Winter.

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