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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, 1232

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

18 — Anon Mhkv 18III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Roberta Frank (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Poems, Málsháttakvæði 18’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1232.

Efnum þykkir bezt at búa;
brǫgðótt reyndisk gemlu fúa;
margar kunni hon slœgðir sér;
svá nǫkkvi gafsk Rannveig mér.
Illa hefr, er annan sýkr;
eigi veit, áðr hefndum lýkr;
bráðfengr þykkir brullaups frami;
brigða lengi er hverr inn sami.


It seems best to live with resources; the vixen proved cunning to the year-old ewe; she knew many tricks for herself; so Rannveig somewhat showed herself to me. The one who betrays another comes off badly; the outcome is not known until vengeance ends; the glory of the wedding feast seems quickly won; exceedingly long is every man the same.

notes: [1]: This proverb is no. 27 in ms. AM 604 4° (Kålund 1886, 146; Eirikr Magnússon 1888, 343), an indication perhaps that the C16th compiler of that proverb collection may have read Mhkv. — [3]: Wisén (1886-9, I) removes the pron. hon ‘she’ as unmetrical; eds who preserve the ms. reading attain the correct number of syllables in the line by eliding kunni and hon.

editions: Skj Anonyme digte og vers [XIII]: A. [1]. Málsháttakvæði 18 (AII, 134; BII, 142); Skald II, 76, NN §2581C; Möbius 1874, 8, Wisén 1886-9, I, 75.


GKS 2367 4° (R) 55r, 6 - 55r, 8 (Mhkv)  transcr.  image  image  image  
GKS 2367 4° (RFJ) -  
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