Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mv III 16VII/5 — meiðs ‘of the tree’

‘Eg mun eigi það við þig
þræta,’ kvað meyin sæt;
‘guðs hefir banablóð
banni frá leyst hann.
Býð eg því mens meiðs
máli og klerks sál
að sönnu fyrir son minn;
sier hann, það er riett er.’

‘Eg mun eigi þræta það við þig,’ kvað sæt meyin; ‘banablóð guðs hefir leyst hann frá banni. Eg býð því máli meiðs mens og klerks sál að sönnu fyrir son minn; hann sier, það er riett er.’

‘I shall not argue that with you,’ said the sweet Virgin; ‘the death-blood of God has delivered him from damnation. I summon that case of the tree of the neck-ring [MAN] and the cleric’s soul truly before my son; he sees what is right.’


[5] meiðs: meið 721


[5] meiðs mens ‘of the tree of the neck-ring [MAN]’: Wrightson retains meið (m. acc. sg.) ‘tree’ and treats meið mens ‘tree of the necklace’ as a parallel construction to klerks sál ‘the cleric’s soul’. That requires that býð ‘summon’ is taken in the meaning ‘offer’ (which takes the acc. rather than the dat.; however, Wrightson still reads ‘summon’) and leaves því máli (n. dat. sg.) ‘that case’ as an unexplained adv. translated as ‘in this case’. It is likely that the reference to the cleric and his soul as two separate entities reflects the medieval notion of the separation of the soul of a dead person from his body.




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