Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mgr 6VII/3 — af ‘by’

Guðs son drakk þín brjóstin bæði,
blessuð mær, að tóktu að færa
tírargjörn af tungu fornri
taldra daga í musterið valda.
Máttugt víf og móðir dróttins,
mætan ofrar himna gæti;
son þinn taldi Síméon þenna
sannan guð og in helga Anna.

Guðs son drakk bæði brjóstin þín, blessuð mær, að tóktu, tírargjörn, að færa í musterið valda daga taldra af fornri tungu. Máttugt víf og móðir dróttins, ofrar mætan gæti himna; Síméon og in helga Anna taldi þenna son þinn sannan guð.

God’s son [= Christ] drank from both your breasts, blessed Virgin, whom you, glory-eager, brought into the excellent temple in the days stipulated by the ancient tongue. Mighty lady and mother of the Lord [= Mary], you hand over the glorious guardian of the heavens [= God (= Christ)]; Simeon and the holy Anna declared this son of yours the true God.


[3] af fornri tungu ‘by the ancient tongue’: This refers to the Old Testament, and, more specifically, to the Mosaic law stipulating the period of purification of women after childbirth (see Lev. XII.2-8). See also Mar (1871, 1004): eptir Moyses logum, ok fertugta dag af hans fædzludeigi offradi hann i helgu musteri ‘according to the laws of Moses, and on the fortieth day after his birth handed him over in the holy temple’. Skj B emends fornri ‘ancient’ to fórnir ‘sacrifices’ to provide an object for the verb færa ‘bring’ (l. 2), and translates tírargjörn af tungu as ælskende tungens hæder ‘loving the tongue’s honour’, which makes little sense (see NN §2682).



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