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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Máríudrápa, 43 [Vol. 7, 514]

[7-8]: There have been several suggestions for interpreting the last couplet. Rydberg appears to take skírða (m. acc. pl.) in the ecclesiastical sense of ‘baptised’, qualifying fira ‘men’ and construes dróttinn sæll laði oss ok alla skírða fira með sér ‘may the blessed Lord lead us [me] and all baptised men with him’. The remainder of the helmingr is treated as an intercalated phrase Krists ens hæsta herr lofi hirðvist ‘may the army of the highest Christ praise [its] court lodging’. Rydberg’s reading has the merit of preserving the ms. readings Krists and ens (l. 7), although there is considerable syntactic fragmentation. Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) emends to Krist* acc. sg. in l. 7, and to í ‘in’ for ens and takes hirðvist f. acc. sing. in its usual sense of ‘court lodging, place where an army is quartered’, qualified by hæsta ‘highest’ and skírða ‘purified, cleansed’. The intercalated phrase is herr fira lofi Krist* ‘may the host of men praise Christ’. This reading has been followed here. Kock (NN §1662) and Skald reads an intercalary krist* lofi herr! in l. 7 and emends skírða in l. 8 to skírðra to give í hæsta hirðvist fira skírðra ‘into the highest court lodging of baptised men’.


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