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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Líknarbraut, 18 [Vol. 7, 248-9]

[3] hýr ‘mild’: Construing the adj. as predicate and translating it as ‘glad’, Skj B and Skald add the neg. particle ‘-a’ to var ‘was’ (l. 1), i.e., ‘[Mary] was not happy at the death ...’. This is unnecessary if the adj. is considered attributive to mær ‘maid’; and, indeed, adding the particle runs the danger of making l. 1 seem initially to suggest that ‘God’s mother was not a maiden’. The sense ‘mild’ or ‘kindly disposed’ is not uncommon; hýrr can be synonymous with mildr and hlýrr, both of which qualify Mary elsewhere (e.g. Mdr 1/1 and Geisl 32/6-7). This meaning is also found in the OIcel. homily on the Circumcision: bergia oc siá hve hyʀ drótteɴ es ‘taste and see how mild/kind the Lord is’ (HómÍsl 1993, 27v; HómÍsl 1872, 56).


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