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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 20 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, 1233

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

19 — Anon Mhkv 19III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Roberta Frank (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Poems, Málsháttakvæði 19’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1233.

Lýtin þykkja skammæ skarar;
skrautligt kǫllum nafnit farar;
trautt kallak þann valda, er varar;
verða menn, þeir er uppi fjarar.
Ógipt verðr í umbúð skjót;
élin þykkja mǫrgum ljót;
engi of sér við ǫllum rokum;
jafnan spyrja menn at lokum.

Lýtin skarar þykkja skammæ; kǫllum nafnit farar skrautligt; trautt kallak þann, er varar, valda; menn verða, þeir er uppi fjarar. Ógipt verðr skjót í umbúð; élin þykkja mǫrgum ljót; engi of sér við ǫllum rokum; menn spyrja jafnan at lokum.

A haircut’s flaws seem of short duration; we call the name of an expedition ‘glorious’; I scarcely declare the one who warns to be the cause; men there are who end up high and dry. Misfortune is quick in preparation; snowstorms seem ugly to many; no one avoids all sudden gusts; people always ask about a conclusion.

Mss: R(55r)

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], A. [1]. Málsháttakvæði 19: AII, 134, BII, 142-3, Skald II, 76, NN §3274; Möbius 1874, 9, Wisén 1886-9, I, 75.

Notes: [2] skrautligt ‘“glorious”’: For skraut ‘splendour, magnificence’ associated with a naval expedition, see SnSt Ht 70/7 skrautfǫr ‘splendour-expedition’ and Anon Pl 38/7VII skrautvalr ‘adornment-horse [SHIP]’. — [2] kǫllum ‘we call’: The ms. has kǫllum vér (‘kavllum ver’) and Skj B and Skald, following Wisén (1886-9, I), delete the following pron. vér as unmetrical. — [3]: Cf. Njáls saga (Nj ch. 41, ÍF 12, 106): veldrat sá, er varar ‘he who gives warning is not the cause’; Hrafnkels saga (Hrafnk ch. 3, ÍF 11, 102): eigi veldr sá, er varar annan ‘he who warns another is not the cause’. — [4]: Wisén (1886-9, I) adopts the emendation of Jón Þorkelsson (in Möbius 1874, 615), who substituted þar’s (þar er) ‘where’ for þeir’s ‘who’. For fjara e-n uppi ‘strand (sby or sth.), leave high and dry’ used impersonally with the acc., see Fritzner: fjara. Fjara (f.) is the part of the beach left dry at ebb tide. — [7]: A known proverb: see, e.g., Grettis saga (Gr ch. 52, ÍF 7, 169): eigi má nú við ǫllu sjá ‘one can’t guard against everything now’. — [7] of: Correct use of the expletive particle (see Note to st. 10/5). — [8]: The same proverb occurs as an addition to the Latin source in Anon Hsv 99/6VII æ spyrr lýðr at lokum ‘people always find out about a conclusion’. Lok (pl.) ‘conclusions, ends’ comes just before the final stanza of the stefjabálkr; cf. SnSt Ht 102/4 þats kvæðis lok ‘that is the end of the poem’; Anon Leið 45/1, 4VII lok bragar þessa ‘[the company shall now look on] the end of this poem’.

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