Cite as: Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Stanzas from the Fourth Grammatical Treatise 36’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 614.
|Hugsan flýtir lysting ljóta,
lysting fæðir samþykt skæða,
samþykt fæðir synd og nauðir,
synd spenr á sig illa venju,
|ill venja dregr nauðsyn nóga, |
nauðsyn leiðir sál í dauða,
dauði spillir æði öllu
andar lífs með beisku grandi.
Hugsan flýtir ljóta lysting, lysting fæðir skæða samþykt, samþykt fæðir synd og nauðir, synd spenr á sig illa venju, ill venja dregr nóga nauðsyn, nauðsyn leiðir sál í dauða, dauði spillir öllu æði lífs andar með beisku grandi.
Thought hastens ugly desire, desire feeds noxious consent, consent feeds sin and sufferings, sin attracts to itself a bad habit, a bad habit brings with it compulsion aplenty, compulsion leads the soul to death, death destroys the whole nature of the life of the soul with bitter injury.
Mss: W(117), W(120) (FoGT)
Readings:  fæðir: flýtir W(120)  spenr: spennir W(120)  æði: eðli W(120)
Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], [C]. D. Religiøse og moraliserende vers af den 4. grammatiske afhandling 12: AII, 165, BII, 182-3, Skald II, 95, NN §2587; SnE 1848-87, II, 234-7, FoGT 1884, 144, 288-9, FoGT 2004, 52, 76, 149, 38-9, 127-8.
Context: Stanza 36 is the third illustrative example of the figure onopomenon in FoGT. It is introduced with the comment that this figure can also be called brachilogia, and that some scholars (svmer meistarar) say that climax is a form (species) of this figure. Climax is defined as sv er vm iafnar gradvr leiðer hveria maals greín af annaʀ̇i, sem her ‘that which leads every sentence from another by equal steps, as here’. The stanza then follows.
Notes: [All]: This stanza has been written in a later, probably C15th hand on the verso side (p. 120) of the last leaf of W that contains FoGT. — [All]: The metre of this
highly didactic if not homiletic stanza is hrynhent. — [All]: The association between brachilogia and climax can be found in the Graecismus (Wrobel 1887, 7, ll. 84-5), and it is likely that the author of FoGT was thinking of Évrard of Béthune when he referred to the opinion of ‘some scholars’. In a different part of the Graecismus (Wrobel 1887, 13, ll. 49-51), Évrard describes the figure of gradatio, with examples, as de uoce in uocem descende, gradatio fiet ‘[if you] descend from word to word, it produces gradatio’. This is very similar to the strategy of st. 36. —  æði ‘nature’: The version of this stanza on W(120) reads eðli,
which has the same meaning. — : All previous eds except Kock (NN §2587) have taken lífs ‘of life’ (l. 8) with með beisku grandi ‘with bitter injury’, and, while that is possible, much better sense in a Christian context is produced by taking lífs with andar ‘[the whole nature] of the life of the soul’. For the sinner, death destroys the whole nature of the life of the soul if the soul is damned in Hell.