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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mdr 35VII

Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Máríudrápa 35’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 507-8.

Anonymous PoemsMáríudrápa

text and translation

Veittu oss, hæstr, hitta
hreint líf, konungr vífa;
búðu veg, bragna græðir,
brunnr hreinar miskunnar.
Gief oss, árb… jöfra,
ítran Krist að líta,
þar er allir frið fullan
im vier guði kærir.

str konungr vífa, veittu oss hitta hreint líf; búðu veg, græðir bragna, brunnr hreinar miskunnar. Árb… jöfra, gief oss að líta ítran Krist, þar er vier allir, kærir guði, im fullan frið.
‘Highest king of women, grant us to experience a pure life; prepare the way, healer of men, spring of pure mercy. … of princes, grant us to see glorious Christ, where we all, dear to God, may obtain complete peace.

notes and context

The basic sense of st. 35 is confirmed by comparison with the sixth v. of the Lat.: Vitam praesta puram, / iter para tutum; / ut videntes Iesum, / semper collaetemur ‘Show us pure life, prepare a safe way so that, seeing Jesus, we may always rejoice’. This and the four following sts are badly mutilated by extensive damage to the lower half of fol. 14 in B. Helpful work to stabilise the ms.’s decline was undertaken by Mette Jacobsen of Den Arnamagnæanske Samling, Nordisk Forskningsinstitut, University of Copenhagen. The reconstructed text here is a conflation of Attwood’s transcription, made in 1994-6, with those of previous copyists, most importantly the 399a-bˣ copyist and Hugo Rydberg, whose 1907 thesis provides painstaking documentation of the deterioration of the manuscript in the late C19th and early C20th. Finnur Jónsson’s transcription in Skj A is heavily dependent on Rydberg, and he also reproduces the 444ˣ transcription of sts 35-40 (Skj AII, 471), incorporating Jón Sigurðsson’s suggested reconstructions. — [5-8]: Finnur Jónsson makes no attempt to salvage this helmingr in Skj B, and it is not the subject of comment by Kock. The words ítran (l. 6), frið fullan (l. 7) and guði (l. 8) are confirmed by the 399a-bˣ copyist, who reads these forms with certainty.



Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: [Anonyme digte og vers XIV], [B. 1]. En drape om jomfru Maria (Máríudrápa) 35: AII, 470, BII, 504, Skald II, 275; Rydberg 1907, 39, 57, Attwood 1996a, 111-12, 312.


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