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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, 1238

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

25 — Anon Mhkv 25III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Roberta Frank (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Poems, Málsháttakvæði 25’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1238.

Sjaldan hittisk feigs vǫk frørin;
fljóðin verða at ǫldrum kørin;
lengi hefr þat lýst fyr mér:
lítinn kost á margr und sér.
Sagt er frá, hvé neflauss narir;
verðr sumt, þat er mangi varir;
væri betr, at þegðak þoks;
þat hefr hverr, er verðr er, loks.

 

Seldom is a doomed man’s ice-hole found frozen; women are chosen at drinking parties; that has long been clear to me: many a one has little in his power. It is related how a noseless person languishes; now comes something that no one expects; it would be far better that I should be silent; each gets what he deserves in the end.

notes: [1]: Cf. Fáfn 11/6 (NK 182) alt er feigs forað ‘all is dangerous for the doomed man’; for parallels to this proverb in other Old Norse texts, see Ísl. Málsh.: feigur, feigð and Anon Sól 36/6VII frammi eru feigs götur ‘the doomed man’s roads lead away’. The sense here is that if a man is fated to drown in an ice-hole, the hole will not freeze over but be there waiting for him. — [6]: Cf. Anon Sól 8/4-5VII margan þat sækir, | er minst of varir ‘what he least expects comes upon many a man’; Orkneyinga saga (Orkn ch. 30, ÍF 34, 77): margan hendir þat, er minnst varir ‘what he least expects happens to many a man’; Grettis saga (Gr ch. 14, ÍF 7, 41): Verðr þat, er varir, ok svá hitt, er eigi varir ‘The expected happens and the unexpected too’.

editions: Skj Anonyme digte og vers [XIII]: A. [1]. Málsháttakvæði 25 (AII, 135; BII, 144); Skald II, 77, NN §3155; Möbius 1874, 11, Wisén 1886-9, I, 76.

sources

GKS 2367 4° (R) 55r, 23 - 55r, 25 (Mhkv)  transcr.  image  image  image  
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