Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mdr 39VII

Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Máríudrápa 39’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 510-11.

Anonymous PoemsMáríudrápa

Heil - vertu, - drottning - dýrðar,-
dagsbrún - ljós* ins fagra
heims …

sálna fjöld og sæla,
synda líkn og …

… konungs jöfra.

Heil vertu, drottning dýrðar, ljós* dagsbrún ins fagra heims …, fjöld og sæla sálna, líkn synda og … {konungs jöfra}.

Hail to you, queen of glory, shining daybreak of the beautiful world …, multitude and bliss of souls, salve of sins and … {of the king of princes} [= God (= Christ)].

Mss: B(14r), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [1] Heil: ‘[...]’ B, 399a‑bˣ, ‘[...]eil’ BRydberg, ‘[...]l’ BFJ    [2] dagsbrún: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘dags[...]’ B, ‘da(g)s bru[...]’(?) BRydberg, ‘dag[...]r[...]’ BFJ;    ljós*: ‘[...]iss’ B, ‘ḷịọ́ss’ 399a‑bˣ, ‘(lio)ss’(?) BRydberg;    ins: ‘e[...]’ B, ‘eṇ’ 399a‑bˣ, ‘en(s)’(?) BRydberg;    fagra: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘fa[...]’ B, BFJ, ‘fa(gra)’(?) BRydberg    [3] heims: ‘[...]e[...]’ B, ‘hę[...]’ 399a‑bˣ, ‘heim(s)’(?) BRydberg, ‘hei[...]’ BFJ    [4] …: ‘[...]e[...]yg[...]’ B, ‘[...]traust [...] rygd’ 399a‑bˣ, ‘[...]ryg(d)’(?) BRydberg, ‘[...]rygg[...]’ BFJ    [5] fjöld: hvild 399a‑bˣ, BRydberg, ‘[...]ulld’ BFJ, ‘hialld’ BKA;    sæla: ‘s[...]la’ B, BRydberg, ‘sę̣la’ 399a‑bˣ    [6] synda: so 399a‑bˣ, BRydberg, BFJ, ‘sýn[...]a’ B;    líkn: ‘l[...]kn’ B, BRydberg, BFJ, ‘l[...]’ 399a‑bˣ    [8] …: ‘[...]a’ B, ‘[...]dr’ 399a‑bˣ, ‘[...]r’ BRydberg;    jöfra: so 399a‑bˣ, BFJ, ‘io᷎[...]ra’ B, ‘oo᷎(fra)’(?) BRydberg

Editions: Skj AII, 470-1Rydberg 1907, 40, 58, Attwood 1996a, 113.

Notes: [1] Heil ‘Hail’: This word is no longer legible in B, but is supplied from sts 37 and 40-3. — [2-3] ljós* dagsbrún ins fagra heims ‘shining daybreak of the beautiful world’: This striking epithet for the Virgin Mary is one of many comparing her to sources of light, often heavenly bodies (cf. Schottmann 1973, 34-46). However, as Schottmann also remarks (1973, 36-7) the characterisation of Mary as dagsbrún, that is, the first streak of daylight between the end of night and the beginning of morning, has a special Christian significance, because it symbolises her role as the dawn before the coming of the true light, Jesus Christ, before whom the night of spiritual darkness will disappear. — [5] fjöld ‘multitude’: It is difficult to read B here, but ‘fiolld’, rather than ‘hvild’, ‘rest’, or ‘hialld’ (so Attwood 1996a = BKA), corresponds best to the visible evidence. Thanks are due to Ólafur Halldórsson and Valgerður Erna Þorvaldsdóttir for checking the ms. reading.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Attwood, Katrina. 1996a. ‘The Poems of MS AM 757a 4to: An Edition and Contextual Study’. Ph.D. thesis. University of Leeds.
  3. Rydberg, Hugo, ed. 1907. ‘Die geistlichen Drápur und Dróttkvættfragmente des Cod. AM 757 4to.’. Ph.D. thesis. University of Lund. Copenhagen: Møller.
  4. Schottmann, Hans. 1973. Die isländische Mariendichtung. Untersuchungen zur volkssprachigen Mariendichtung des Mittelalters. Münchner germanistische Beiträge 9. Munich: Fink.

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