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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Pét 6VII

David McDougall (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Pétrsdrápa 6’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 8001.

Anonymous PoemsPétrsdrápa

Brott ryði þyrni þiettum
þjósts sármeiddu brjósti
mær og móðir dýrust
Máría guðs váru.
Önd með hjálpar hendi
heilagr stjörnudeilir
seði og sæmdum greiði
siðsterkan brag verkum.

Máría, mær og dýrust móðir guðs, ryði brott þiettum þyrni þjósts sármeiddu brjósti váru. {Heilagr stjörnudeilir} seði önd með hendi hjálpar og greiði siðsterkan brag sæmdum verkum.

May Mary, maid and most precious mother of God, clear away the dense thorn-bush of rage from our [my] sorely injured breast. May {the holy star-ruler} [= God] satisfy the soul with the hand of help, and deliver the faith-strong poem with celebrated deeds.

Mss: 621(57v) (Pétr)

Editions: Skj AII, 501, Skj BII, 546, Skald II, 299, NN §§1714, 3372; Konráð Gíslason 1860, 557, Kahle 1898, 79, 109.

Notes: [4] Máría ‘Mary’: Kock (NN §3372) argues that the name must be bisyllabic and that the preposition ór has been omitted before váru (cf. Skald: sármeiddu brjósti ... úr váru). He compares Kolb Lv 9/4-8IV: ryð þú ... hǫlds hverri sorg ór hjarta borg ‘eradicate ... every sorrow from the stronghold of the heart [BREAST]’. — [5] með hendi hjálpar ‘with the hand of help’: Cf. Stjórn (Unger 1862, 252/15) medr hialparhendi. — [6] stjörnudeilir ‘star-ruler’: Cf. EGils Guðv 3/7IV stjǫrnu stillir ‘controller of the star’; Meissner, 376. — [7] sæmdum ‘celebrated’: Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) emends to sæmdar to produce a genitival compound with verkum l. 8 (= herligheds gærninger ‘deeds of glory’). As Kock points out (NN §1714), the emendation is unnecessary, since ms. sæmdum makes good sense as a p.p. dat. pl. of sæma ‘to honour, celebrate’, in agreement with verkum. The ‘celebrated deeds’ are the deeds of Peter, which will be celebrated in the poem.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. Unger, C. R., ed. 1862. Stjorn. Gammelnorsk bibelhistorie fra verdens skabelse til det babyloniske fangenskab. Christiania (Oslo): Feilberg og Landmarks forlag.
  6. Meissner = Meissner, Rudolf. 1921. Die Kenningar der Skalden: Ein Beitrag zur skaldischen Poetik. Rheinische Beiträge und Hülfsbücher zur germanischen Philologie und Volkskunde 1. Bonn and Leipzig: Schroeder. Rpt. 1984. Hildesheim etc.: Olms.
  7. Kahle, Bernhard, ed. 1898. Isländische geistliche Dichtungen des ausgehenden Mittelalters. Heidelberg: Winter.
  8. Internal references
  9. Not published: do not cite (EGils Guðv 3IV)
  10. Not published: do not cite (Kolb Lv 9IV)
  11. Not published: do not cite ()

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