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Runic Dictionary

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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

III. Málsháttakvæði (Mhkv) - 30

5: Málsháttakvæði (‘Proverb poem’) — Anon MhkvIII

Roberta Frank 2017, ‘ Anonymous, Málsháttakvæði’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1213. <https://skaldic.org/m.php?p=text&i=1029> (accessed 22 September 2021)

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Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII]: A. [1]. Málsháttakvæði, Et orknøsk(?) digt, omkr. 1200. (AII, 130-6, BII, 138-45)

SkP info: III, 1224

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

10 — Anon Mhkv 10III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Roberta Frank (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Poems, Málsháttakvæði 10’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1224.

Sitt mein þykkir sárast hveim;
sáttargǫrð er ætluð tveim;
oddamaðr fæsk opt inn þriði;
jafntrúr skal sá hvárra liði.
Engi of dœmir sjálfan sik;
slíkt ætlak nú henda mik;
ýta lið þótt alt fari byrst,
engi læzk því valda fyrst.

Mein sitt þykkir hveim sárast; sáttargǫrð er ætluð tveim; oddamaðr fæsk opt inn þriði; jafntrúr skal sá hvárra liði. Engi of dœmir sjálfan sik; ætlak slíkt nú henda mik; þótt alt lið ýta fari byrst, læzk engi valda því fyrst.

His own pain seems the sorest to each man; it takes two to arrange terms of settlement; often an arbitrator is brought in as a third; he must be equally fair to both sides. No one passes sentence on himself; I suppose such will happen to me now; though all the troop of men go bristling, no one allows that he caused that first.

Mss: R(54v)

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], A. [1]. Málsháttakvæði 10: AII, 132, BII, 140, Skald II, 75; Möbius 1874, 6, Wisén 1886-9, I, 74.

Notes: [1]: For similar proverbs, see Ísl. Málsh.: mein, sár. — [2-4]: The compounds beginning each of these three lines are not attested elsewhere in verse but are staples of C13th legal and homiletic prose. — [2] sáttargǫrð er ætluð tveim ‘it takes two to arrange terms of settlement’: Lit. ‘terms of settlement are assigned to two’. — [5]: For other examples of this proverb, see Ísl. Málsh.: dæma. — [5] of: Correct use of the expletive particle; see also sts 13/1, 19/7, 28/5 and Introduction above. Fidjestøl (1989b) largely confirms the conclusion of Kuhn (1929a) that the of-um particle is used with declining frequency between C9th and C13th; if so, Mhkv and Bjbp JómsI, not to mention Þry, are exceptional. — [7] byrst ‘bristling’: Adj., p. p. of byrsta ‘with raised hackles, angry’ (ONP: byrsta 2). This is the only time in verse that the verb refers to a person.

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