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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mv I 21VII

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Máríuvísur I 21’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 693-4.

Anonymous PoemsMáríuvísur I

Öld af fjandskap fyldiz
fljótt, er sýndi dróttinn
vægð, og virðar sögðu
villir sín á milli:
‘Eldsneyti hafa ýtar
oflítið gjört rítar,
því hefir minst in mjóva
mengrund af kvöl brunnið.’

Öld fyldiz fljótt af fjandskap, er dróttinn sýndi vægð, og villir virðar sögðu á milli sín: ‘{Ýtar rítar} hafa gjört oflítið eldsneyti, því hefir {in mjóva mengrund} brunnið minst af kvöl.’

People were quickly filled with animosity when the Lord showed mercy, and erring men said among themselves: ‘{The impellers of the shield} [WARRIORS] have prepared too little firewood, therefore {the slender necklace-ground} [WOMAN] has burned the least with torment.’

Mss: 721(13r)

Readings: [6] rítar: rítri 721    [8] ‑grund: ‘grvd’ 721

Editions: Skj AII, 490, Skj BII, 530, Skald II, 291, NN §2764; Kahle 1898, 35, Sperber 1911, 6, 60, Wrightson 2001, 50.

Notes: [All]: The corresponding passages in Mar (1871, 278, 1203) read as follows: heldr segia þeir sva litit elldzneytið orðit hafa, at konan møtti eigi brenna ‘rather, they say that the firewood had been so scant that the woman could not burn’; helldr segia þeir, at elldrinn var oflitill ‘rather, they say that the fire was far too small’. See also Schottmann (1973, 363). — [5, 6] ýtar rítar ‘the impellers of the shield [WARRIORS]’: ‘rítri’ (so 721) is not an ON word. The form has been emended to rítar (f. gen. sg.) ‘of the shield’ to provide a determinant for ýtar ‘impellers, pushers’ in keeping with other eds. For rítar ‘of the shield’ as a determinant in a kenning for ‘man’, see Mv III 4/1. Otherwise, ýtar in itself can mean ‘men’ in general. — [8] mengrund ‘necklace-ground [WOMAN]’: No nasal stroke is visible over the <v> in 721. Note that the internal rhyme is imperfect (-und : -unn-), which could indicate an approximation in the pronunciation of the two consonant clusters (see NN §2764).


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. Schottmann, Hans. 1973. Die isländische Mariendichtung. Untersuchungen zur volkssprachigen Mariendichtung des Mittelalters. Münchner germanistische Beiträge 9. Munich: Fink.
  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.
  8. Internal references
  9. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Máríuvísur III 4’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 720-1.

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