Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mey 35VII

Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Heilagra meyja drápa 35’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 913.

Anonymous PoemsHeilagra meyja drápa

Greifinn setti guðs mey ljúfa
grið bannandi í myrkvaranni;
drákons kom þar djöfull í líki,
deyddi hun hann en fleingdi annan.
Meina fjöld og þrautir mildust
mærin tók á líkam skæran;
Malkus einn af mönnum fylkis
mey óverða hjó með sverði.

Greifinn setti {ljúfa mey guðs} í myrkvaranni bannandi grið; djöfull kom þar í líki drákons; hun deyddi hann en fleingdi annan. Mildust mærin tók fjöld meina og þrautir á skæran líkam; Malkus, einn af fylkis mönnum, hjó óverða mey með sverði.

The count placed {the beloved maiden of God} [HOLY WOMAN] in a dungeon, prohibiting a truce; the devil came there in the shape of a dragon; she killed him and whipped another. The mildest maiden suffered a multitude of torments and tortures on her shining body; Malchus, one of the king’s men, slew the undeserving maiden with a sword.

Mss: 721(9r), 713(26)

Readings: [2] myrkvaranni: myrku ranni 713    [3] djöfull: djöfuls 721, ‘d[...]ull’ 713    [5] og þrautir mildust: og þrautir 721, og margar pínur 713    [6] skæran: skærum 713    [8] mey óverða: meyju verða 713

Editions: Skj AII, 533, Skj BII, 590-1, Skald II, 327.

Notes: [5] mildust ‘mildest’: Emendation proposed by Finnur Jónsson in Skj B. Something has clearly been omitted from the exemplars of both 721 and 713 at this point.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.

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