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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, 1237

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

24 — Anon Mhkv 24III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Roberta Frank (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Poems, Málsháttakvæði 24’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1237.

Engi knettr of annars mein;
aldri lætk at munni sein;
heimi, heyrik sagt, at snúi;
sumir einir, hykk, at mér trúi.
Erfitt verðr, þeim er illa kann;
engan þarf at hjúfra mann;
þannig hefr mér lagzk í lund:
langviðrum skal eyða grund.

Engi knettr of mein annars; aldri lætk sein at munni; heyrik sagt, at heimi snúi; hykk, at sumir einir trúi mér. Erfitt verðr, þeim er illa kann; þarf at hjúfra engan mann; þannig hefr mér lagzk í lund: langviðrum skal eyða grund.

No one bemoans another’s misfortune; I never rein in my mouth; I hear tell that the world is turning; I think only some believe me. Life is difficult for him who understands poorly; one need not lament any man; thus it has lodged itself in my mind: with long-lasting storms shall the earth be laid waste.

Mss: R(55r)

Readings: [8] grund: ‘g[...]n[...]’ R, grund RFJ

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], A. [1]. Málsháttakvæði 24: AII, 135, BII, 144, Skald II, 77; Möbius 1874, 10, Wisén 1886-9, I, 76.

Notes: [1] knettr ‘bemoans’: The verb knetta ‘bemoan, lament’ is a hap. leg. For cognates in other Germanic languages, see AEW: knetta. — [2] lætk sein ‘rein in’: Lit. ‘put delay’; sein (f. acc. sg.) ‘delay’. The rhyme sein : mein also occurs in Gamlkan Has 41/8VII. — [4] hykk ‘I think’: Ms. R reads ‘hyck ek’, but the pers. pron. has been cliticised (as in ll. 2 and 3) in order to make the line metrical (so Wisén 1886-9, I and Skald; Skj B omits the pron. and normalises to hygg). — [6] hjúfra ‘lament’: The verb occurs in Old Norse only here and in the eddic Guðr I 1/5 and Guðr II 11/5; see Kommentar VI, 224. For other Germanic cognates, see AEW: hjúfra. — [8] langviðrum ‘with long-lasting storms’: This cpd, which here refers to a catastrophic emptying of the world (lang ‘long’ plus viðri < veðr ‘wind, weather’), is used as an adv. (langviðris ‘extremely’) in its only other occurrence in poetry (Þorv Lv 1/5IV). The Mhkv cpd in its apocalyptic sense is found in C16th Icelandic prophetic literature.

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