Cite as: Carolyne Larrington and Peter Robinson (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Sólarljóð 28’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 314-15.
|Æsta þykkir einkum vandliga,
þess er þykkir vant vera;
alls á mis verðr,
| sá er einskis biðr;|
fár hyggr þegjanda þörf.
Þykkir æsta einkum vandliga, þess er þykkir vant vera; sá er einskis biðr, verðr alls á mis; fár hyggr þörf þegjanda.
It seems [right] to ask especially carefully for what seems to be lacking; he who asks for nothing, will go amiss in everything; few consider the need of the one who is silent.
Mss: 166bˣ(46v), papp15ˣ(3v), 738ˣ(81r), 214ˣ(150r), 1441ˣ(583), 10575ˣ(4v), 2797ˣ(233)
Readings:  Æsta: ‘æsca’ papp15ˣ, ‘æskia’ 10575ˣ, æstandi 2797ˣ; þykkir: þarftu 1441ˣ  vand‑: var‑ papp15ˣ  þykkir vant: vant þykkir 2797ˣ; vera: om. 2797ˣ  á mis: ‘a væl’ 166bˣ, 214ˣ, ‘ami’ papp15ˣ, á vil 738ˣ, ‘a ne’ 1441ˣ, ‘a nei’ 10575ˣ, ‘ani’ 2797ˣ  sá er: þeir 214ˣ  þegjanda: so 1441ˣ, 10575ˣ, 2797ˣ, þegjandi 166bˣ, papp15ˣ, 738ˣ, 214ˣ
Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XII], G . Sólarljóð 28: AI, 632, BI, 639-40, Skald I, 311, NN §2149; Bugge 1867, 361-2, Falk 1914, 13, Björn M. Ólsen 1915, 12, Fidjestøl 1979, 63, Njörður Njarðvík 1991, 62-3, Njörður Njarðvík 1993, 34, 110.
Notes: [1, 3] þykkir ‘it seems’: The repetition of þykkir has tempted eds, following Bugge, to emend the first þykkir to dugir ‘it helps, is of advantage’ (so Falk, Björn M. Ólsen, Skj B, Skald, Fidjestøl) but þykkir is found in 166bˣ and 58 other mss; þarftu ‘you need’ in 1441ˣ looks like an intelligent scribal emendation. —  a mis: The mss have a variety of readings, providing variants on ‘væl’, ‘mi’ and ‘ne’. Skj B’s conjecture mis (followed by Björn M. Ólsen and Njörður Njarðvík) is supported by papp15ˣ and possibly by the various ‘ne’ readings. Verða á mis(s) + gen. means ‘to go wrong, go amiss’ and suits the context well. Á víl (which is suggested by the readings of 738ˣ and 166bˣ) does not take the gen. of what goes astray or amiss, as is required here. Kock (NN §2149 and Skald) conjectures áveill ‘wretched, miserable’. Bugge emended to án æ ‘always without’; some support for this may be offered by 7 mss reading ‘an’, ‘ani’ or ‘a nei’, as 10575ˣ does. Falk, followed by Fidjestøl, emended to án ‘alone’, als án verðr ‘he will get nothing’. This emendation provides an effective contrast with asking for nothing (l. 5); cf. Matt. VII.7-8: petite et dabitur vobis quaerite et invenietis pulsate et aperietur vobis / omnis enim qui petit accipit et qui quaerit invenit et pulsanti aperietur ‘ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you. For every one that asketh, receiveth: and he that seeketh, findeth: and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened’ (cf. Luke XI.9-10). —  þegjanda ‘of the one who is silent’: 166bˣ has þegjandi, but a nom. case can scarcely be correct. About 10 mss have þegjanda however, probably by independent emendation; no doubt nom. fár ‘few’ has encouraged the use of þegjandi in agreement. Cf. Hávm 104: fátt gat ek þegjandi þar ‘little did I get there by being silent’, and Hsv 46 for a similar sentiment.