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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 22 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, 1240

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

27 — Anon Mhkv 27III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Roberta Frank (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Poems, Málsháttakvæði 27’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1240.

Gullormr á sér brennheitt ból;
bjartast skínn í heiði sól;
undrum þykkir gagnsætt gler;
glymjandi fellr hrǫnn of sker.
Allar girnask ár í sjá;
ekki er manni verra en þrá;
fýsa munk ins fyrra vara;
flestr mun sik til nǫkkurs spara.

Gullormr á sér brennheitt ból; sól skínn bjartast í heiði; gler þykkir undrum gagnsætt; hrǫnn fellr glymjandi of sker. Allar ár girnask í sjá; ekki er manni verra en þrá; munk fýsa ins fyrra vara; flestr mun spara sik til nǫkkurs.

The gold-serpent has for itself a burning-hot den; the sun shines brightest in a cloudless sky; glass seems wondrously transparent; the wave falls roaring over the skerry. All rivers yearn to run to the sea; nothing is worse for a man than longing; I shall urge prior caution; most men will save themselves for something.

Mss: R(55r)

Readings: [2] bjartast: ‘bialltað’ R    [7] ins: enn R

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], A. [1]. Málsháttakvæði 27: AII, 135-6, BII, 144-5, Skald II, 77-8; Möbius 1874, 11, Wisén 1886-9, I, 76.

Notes: [1]: Cf. ESk Geisl 41/4VII ból dreka ‘dwelling of the dragon [GOLD]’. The kenning alludes to the dragon Fáfnir and his hoard (Skm, SnE 1998, I, 47): gullit er kallat ból eða bygð Fáfnis ‘gold is called the lair or dwelling of Fáfnir’. — [1] brennheitt ‘burning-hot’: The adj. is attested only once more in poetry, in ESk Geisl 35/6VII, where it refers to oven-baked bread. The image here suggests gold glowing like hot fire. — [2] bjartast ‘brightest’: Emendation by Jón Sigurðsson (Möbius 1874, 11 n.). Cf. Alain de Lille, Liber parabolarum, 33-4: clarior est solito, post maxima nubila, Phebus ‘the sun is usually more brilliant after many clouds’; the conclusion: ‘after quarrels, love too is more radiant’. — [2] í heiði ‘in a cloudless sky’: Möbius (1874, 40, 66) has heiðr f. ‘heath’ (corrected by Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, II 142). Cf. Gamlkan Has 14/7-8VII hyrr heiðs ‘fire of the clear sky [SUN]’. — [3] undrum ‘wondrously’: Dat. pl. used adverbially. The adv. is rare in poetry, but cf. SnSt Ht 4/7. — [3] gler ‘glass’: The word is infrequent in verse, but see Anon Lil 33/3VII on the image of the incarnation as a ray of sunlight shining through glass. — [5]: Cf. Eccles 1.7: omnia flumina intrant in mare ‘all rivers run to the sea’. See also ÚlfrU Húsdr 12/1, 3 and Sveinn Frag ll. 1, 4.

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