Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál, 122 [Vol. 7, 433-4]

[All]: Lat. parallel: (Dist. IV, 18) Cum sapias animo, noli ridere senectam; / namquocumquesene, puerilis sensus in illo est ‘Since you are wise in mind, do not mock old age; for whoever is growing old, there is a childish mind in him’. The OIcel. version has a much more positive view of old age than the Lat. distich. Concerning the advice not to laugh at elderly people cf. also Hávm 134/5-9 (NK, 39): at három þul | hlæðu aldregi! | opt er gott, | þat er gamlir qveða; | opt ór scǫrpom belg | scilin orð koma ‘at a grey-haired sage you should never laugh! Often what the old say is good; often from a wrinkled bag come judicious words’ (Larrington 1996, 33).


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