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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Máríudrápa, 7 [Vol. 7, 484]

[1-4]: Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) emends orð (l. 2) to orðs, gen. sg. and paraphrases Jesu, beskyt din trivsel-berömte moder, så at vi guds ords tjænere kan undgå hæftig pine ‘Jesus, protect your prosperity-famous mother, so that we servants of the word of God may avoid violent torments’. As Kock (NN §3349) points out, this is somewhat clumsy and leaves þinnar ‘your’ (l. 3) somewhat isolated. As an evocation of Mary as intercessor, an image which recurs in st. 22, it is an acceptable arrangement, though, as Kock suggests, Finnur’s translation of geyma (l.1) as beskytte ‘to protect, guard’ is rather narrow in its range. Geyma has connotations of minding and heeding, as well as protecting, and may here enjoin Jesus to heed the concessions which Mary has extracted from God on mankind’s behalf as a result of her intercessions. Finnur’s emendation to orðs may be avoided, if B’s guðs orð (acc.) is taken as the object of geyma. Although geyma often takes a gen. object, as in 13/7-8, in the early period, several examples of geyma with acc. object (which anticipates modern usage) do occur (see Fritzner: geyma 2).

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