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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

III. Málsháttakvæði (Mhkv) - 30

not in Skj

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

Roberta Frank 2017, ‘(Introduction to) 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.

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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, 1230

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

16 — Anon Mhkv 16III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Roberta Frank (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Poems, Málsháttakvæði 16’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1230.

Engi þarf at hræðask hót;
heldr kømr opt við sáran fót;
hlutgjarn ferr með annars sǫk.
Nøkkvi ríkstr er heima hverr;
†ta† ek umb at síðr;
orðin fara, þegar munninn líðr.

Engi þarf at hræðask hót; heldr opt kømr við sáran fót; hlutgjarn ferr með sǫk annars. Nøkkvi ríkstr er hverr heima; ... †ta† ek umb at síðr; orðin fara, þegar munninn líðr.

No one needs to fear threats; rather often does something touch a sore foot; … a busybody conducts another’s suit. At home each man is something of a king; … I … about [it] the less; words travel as soon as they leave the mouth.

Mss: R(55r)

Readings: [2] við sáran fót: ‘[...]’ R, ‘v[...]fot’ RFJ, ‘[...]fot’ RJS    [4] ferr með: ‘f[...]’ R, ferr með RFJ    [5] er heima hverr: ‘[...]’ R, ‘[...] heima hv[...]’ RSkj, ‘heima h[...]’ RFJ, er heima hverr RJS    [7] †ta†: ‘[...]ta’ R, RSkj, ‘[...]da’ RFJ, RJS    [8] fara: ‘f[...]a’ R, RFJ, ‘fa[...]’ RJS

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], A. [1]. Málsháttakvæði 16: AII, 133-4, BII, 142, Skald II, 76; Möbius 1874, 8, Wisén 1886-9, I, 75.

Notes: [All]: Lines 3 and 6 are illegible in the ms. — [2] við sáran fót ‘a sore foot’: Lit. ‘against a sore foot’: The suggestion by Jón Sigurðsson has been followed in all subsequent eds. — [5] er hverr heima ‘at home each man is’: Lit. ‘is each at home’. No letters are now visible, but some were apparently legible to Finnur Jónsson and even more to Jón. Cf. Hávm 36/3, 37/3 (NK 22): halr er heima hverr ‘everyone’s someone at home’. — [7]: Skj B silently construes this line as øngu tala ‘(I) speak in no way’, a reconstruction that fits awkwardly with the ms. evidence, where all illegible letters precede -ta. — [8]: This line has nine syllables that occupy seven metrical positions: fara ‘travel’ is resolved in the second lift and þegar ‘as soon as’ is neutralised in the second dip. — [8] þegar munninn líðr ‘as soon as they leave the mouth’: Lit. ‘as soon as the mouth closes’. The clause is impersonal, with munninn ‘the mouth’ as the acc. object (see Fritzner: líða 4). Cf. Vápnfirðinga saga (Vápnf ch. 7, ÍF 11, 40): Ferr orð, er munn líðr ‘A word travels when it leaves the mouth’. Wisén (1886-9, I) emends the Mhkv line accordingly: orðit ferr þás of munn líðr ‘a word travels when it leaves the mouth’.

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