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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)

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30 

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, sá er annan sýkr;
eigi veit, áðr hefndum lýkr;
bráðfengr þykkir brullaups frami;
brigða lengi er hverr inn sami.

Þykkir bezt at búa efnum; fúa reyndisk gemlu brǫgðótt; hon kunni sér margar slœgðir; svá nǫkkvi gafsk Rannveig mér. Illa hefr, sá er sýkr annan; eigi veit, áðr hefndum lýkr; frami brullaups þykkir bráðfengr; 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.

Mss: R(55r)

Readings: [1] Efnum: ‘[…]fnvm’ R, ‘Efnvm’ RFJ    [7] bráðfengr: ‘braðfen[…]’ R, ‘braðfengr’ RFJ

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.

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. — [2] fúa ‘the vixen’: OIcel. fóa ‘vixen’. The [u:] for usual WN [o:] has been interpreted as an Orcadian feature (Barnes 1998, 13-14). — [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. — [4] Rannveig: The real or fictive name of the speaker’s dark lady. — [5] sýkr ‘betrays’: This is 3rd pers. sg. pres. indic. (= svíkr) of svíkja ‘betray, deceive’. — [7] bráðfengr ‘quickly’: An adj. meaning ‘quick off the mark, immediate’, attested in poetry only here. — [8] brigða ‘exceedingly’: The gen. pl. of the n. noun brigð ‘change’ used as an intensifying adv. (see LP: brigð 3). There may be a playful contradiction between brigð in the sense ‘change’ and inn sami ‘the same’.

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