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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. <> (accessed 18 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, 1234

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

20 — Anon Mhkv 20III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Roberta Frank (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Poems, Málsháttakvæði 20’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1234.

Ástblindir ’ró seggir svá
sumir, at þykkja mjǫk fás gá;
þannig verðr of mansǫng mælt;
marga hefr þat hyggna tælt.
Ekki var þat forðum farald;
Finnan gat þó œrðan Harald;
hánum þótti sólbjǫrt sú;
slíks dœmi verðr mǫrgum nú.

Sumir seggir ’ró svá ástblindir, at þykkja gá mjǫk fás; þannig verðr mælt of mansǫng; þat hefr tælt marga hyggna. Ekki var þat farald forðum; Finnan gat þó Harald œrðan; hánum þótti sú sólbjǫrt; mǫrgum verðr nú dœmi slíks.

Some men are so blinded by love that they seem to heed very little; so it is said about a love-song; it has entrapped many wise men. It wasn’t a malady in the old days; still, the Saami girl drove Haraldr out of his mind; to him she seemed bright as the sun; instances of such happen to many now.

Mss: R(55r)

Readings: [5, 6, 7, 8] Ekki var þat forðum farald Finnan gat þó œrðan Harald hánum þótti sólbjǫrt slíks dœmi verðr mǫrgum nú: abbrev. as ‘Ecki varþ a. f. f. f.’ R

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], A. [1]. Málsháttakvæði 20: AII, 134, BII, 143, Skald II, 76; Möbius 1874, 9, Wisén 1886-9, I, 75.

Notes: [1-4]: The opening couplet employs a rare enjambement (one of two in the poem), as if imitative of the speaker’s ‘heedlessness’ and distraction. On such lovesickness, see Anon Sól 10-14VII, especially st. 12/1VII hvárskis þeir gáðu ‘they paid no heed to anything’; the mental confusion of men in love is also described in Hávm 93-7, 114. See also Note to st. 11/5 above. — [1] ástblindir ‘blinded by love’: Lit. ‘love-blind’: Hap. leg. — [1] ’ró ‘are’: For this short form of the verb (usually eru), which is required by the metre here, see ANG §§122 Anm. 2, 158 Anm. 2 and 532.3 Anm. 1. — [3] mansǫng ‘a love-song’: As a neutral designation, the word occurs in skaldic verse only here and in Bjbp Jóms 42/4I. Gylf  (SnE 2005, 25) reports that Freyja was fond of mansǫngr, and in Egils saga (Eg ch. 56, ÍF 2, 149) a character refers to a lausavísa as a mansǫngr. The final medieval prose instance – Tristrams saga ok Ísǫndar (Kölbing 1878-82, 83) – associates mansǫngvar with love longing and music, as does the later mansǫngur or opening ‘love-complaint’ of rímur poetry. See Marold (2007, 256-7). — [5-8]: The words of the refrain are abbreviated in the ms. and the full text is here supplied from st. 11/5-8.

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