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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, 1236

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

22 — Anon Mhkv 22III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Roberta Frank (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Poems, Málsháttakvæði 22’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1236.

Grandvarr skyldi inn góði maðr;
Gizurr varð at rógi saðr;
etja vildi jǫfrum saman;
ekki er mér at stúru gaman.
Kunna vildak sjá við snǫrum;
sjaldan, hykk, at gyggvi vǫrum;
vel hefr hinn, er sitr of sitt;
svartflekkótt er kvæði mitt.


The good man should be circumspect; Gizurr proved true in slander; he wanted to incite kings against each other; I have no delight in gloom. I would like to be able to avoid snares; I think the wary man is seldom startled; he comes off well who tends his own; black-flecked is my poem.

notes: [3]: On Óðinn’s self-described role as whetter, using the same formula as here, see Hárb 24/3 (NK 82): atta ec iǫfrom ‘I incited the chieftains’. See also RvHbreiðm Hl 45/8. — [6]: Cf. Hávm 6/6 (NK 18): sialdan verðr víti vorom ‘seldom does woe befall the wary’.

editions: Skj Anonyme digte og vers [XIII]: A. [1]. Málsháttakvæði 22 (AII, 135; BII, 143); Skald II, 77; Möbius 1874, 10, Wisén 1886-9, I, 75-6.


GKS 2367 4° (R) 55r, 15 - 55r, 17 (Mhkv)  transcr.  image  image  image  
GKS 2367 4° (RFJ) -  
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