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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 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, 1241

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

28 — Anon Mhkv 28III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Roberta Frank (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Poems, Málsháttakvæði 28’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1241.

Geta má þess, er gengit hefr;
gerir sá betr, er annan svefr;
veitkat víst, hvat verða kann;
villa er dælst of heimskan mann.
Fláráðum má trautt of trúa;
til sín skyldi inu betra snúa;
hugga skal, þann er harm hefr beðit;
hølzti mjǫk er at flestu kveðit.

Má geta þess, er hefr gengit; sá gerir betr, er svefr annan; veitkat víst, hvat kann verða; er dælst villa of heimskan mann. Má trautt of trúa fláráðum; skyldi snúa inu betra til sín; skal hugga, þann er hefr beðit harm; hølzti mjǫk er at flestu kveðit.

What has passed can be related; he does better who soothes another; I know not for certain what can happen; it is easiest to lead astray a foolish man. One can scarcely trust the deceitful; one should turn what is better toward oneself; one must console him who has suffered sorrow; exceedingly much is decreed about most.

Mss: R(55r)

Readings: [3] veitkat: ‘vetkat’ R    [5] trautt: ‘sistz’ R

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], A. [1]. Málsháttakvæði 28: AII, 136, BII, 145, Skald II, 78, NN §2830; Möbius 1874, 12, Wisén 1886-9, I, 76.

Notes: [1]: Cf. Grettis saga (Gr ch. 40, ÍF 7, 137): þess verðr þó getit, sem gǫrt er ‘what is done shall be told all the same’. — [5]: Similar advice is provided in Anon Hsv 42/1-3VII fláráðs manns orði,  | þótt fagrt mæli, | þarftu eigi þeim at trúa ‘you need not believe the word of a deceitful man, even though he may speak fair’. Parallels in phrasing occur in Hávm 45. Cf. Bjarnar saga Hítdœlakappa (BjH ch. 11, ÍF 3, 138). — [5] of: Note the correct use of the expletive particle (see Note to st. 10/5). — [5] trautt ‘scarcely’: Lit. ‘unwillingly, reluctantly’. Jón Sigurðsson emended ms. ‘sistz’ to restore the alliteration; the scribe may have been influenced by the three non-alliterating words beginning with s- in the next line. The emendation is conjectural. — [7]: Cf. Anon Sól 26/4-5VII grættan gæla | skaltu með góðum hlutum ‘you must comfort the weeping one with good things’.

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