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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mv II 10VII/4 — lands ‘of the country’

Mjúkust heyrði mál slík
Máría og fögr tár;
kæran varð kynstór
kviðuð eftir lands sið.
Fæðingar á frumtíð
fögr bar sinn mög;
gjörðiz þá gullskorð
gleðitími kominn með.

Mjúkust Máría heyrði slík mál og fögr tár; kynstór kæran varð kviðuð eftir sið lands. Á frumtíð fæðingar bar fögr mög sinn; þá gjörðiz gullskorð gleðitími kominn með.

Most merciful Mary heard such pleas and fair tears; the high-born wife became pregnant according to the custom of the country. At the due time of birth the fair one bore her son; then the time of joy had arrived thereby for the gold-prop [WOMAN].


[4] kviðuð eftir sið lands ‘pregnant according to the custom of the country’: This must refer to the fact that the woman became pregnant by her husband and not by immaculate conception. According to ON tradition, Mary herself was not born as the result of immaculate conception. Cf. Mar (1871, 6): Ok var þat barn getit með hinni gömlu synd sem hvert annat, þat er af karlmanni ok konu gezt ‘And that child was conceived with the old sin just like every other [child] that issues from a man and a woman’. For a discussion of the controversy surrounding the conception of Mary, see Wolf 2001, xvi-xix, xxii.



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