This interface will soon cease to be publicly available. Use the new interface instead. Click here to switch over now.

Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.

Runic Dictionary

login: password: stay logged in: help

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 21 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, 1218

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

3 — Anon Mhkv 3III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Roberta Frank (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Poems, Málsháttakvæði 3’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1218.

Þjóð spyrr alt, þat er þrír menn vitu;
þeir hafa verr, er trygðum slitu;
ekki er því til eins manns skotit;
ýmsir hafa þau dœmi hlotit.
Hermðarorð munu hittask í;
heimult ák at glaupsa of því,
— nǫkkut varð hon sýsla of sik
svinneyg drós — hvé hon fór við mik.

Þjóð spyrr alt, þat er þrír menn vitu; þeir, er slitu trygðum, hafa verr; ekki er því skotit til eins manns; ýmsir hafa hlotit þau dœmi. Hermðarorð munu hittask í; heimult ák at glaupsa of því – hon varð nǫkkut sýsla of sik, svinneyg drós –, hvé hon fór við mik.

The world learns all that three people know; those who have broken sworn pledges come off worse; that is not aimed at any one person; several have had those experiences as their lot. Angry words shall be found here; I have the right to speak mouthfuls about that – she rather had to look after herself, the wise-eyed woman – how she treated me.

Mss: R(54v)

Readings: [8] svinneyg: ‘svineyg’ R

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], A. [1]. Málsháttakvæði 3: AII, 131, BII, 138-9, Skald II, 74, NN §3269; Möbius 1874, 3, Wisén 1886-9, I, 73.

Notes: [1]: Cf. Hávm 63/6 (NK 27): þióð veit, | ef þríro ‘the world knows if three do’; for other Old Norse-Icelandic examples of this proverb, see Ísl. Málsh.: þjóð. Several English versions of the adage exist; cf. Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanack (July 1735): ‘Three may keep a secret if two of them are dead’. Additional examples in Whiting and Wescott (1968: T248, T544). — [6] at glaupsa ‘to speak mouthfuls’: Lit. ‘to speak ironically, indecently about sth.’ (see LP: glaupsa and Heggstad et al. 2008: glaupsa). — [8] svinneyg drós ‘the wise-eyed woman’: An apparent apo koinou construction, to be taken with either the preceding or following clause. The emendation of ms. ‘svineyg’ was first suggested by Jón Sigurðsson; CPB II, 364 translates svín-eyg as ‘pigsney’ or ‘pig’s eye’, a northern version of ‘ox-eyed Juno’? English ‘pignsey’ (ME piggisnye ‘pig’s-eye’ or ‘piggy’s eye’) probably originated in children’s talk, or as a nursery endearment – or perhaps even a flower-name (OED: pigsney). Nevertheless, such a female epithet would be unprecedented in Old Norse (svín-words tend to be uncomplimentary or nautical), while the Old Norse adj. svinnr ‘wise, quick’ (alone or compounded) frequently describes women, especially in poetry. — [8] hon ‘she’: Wisén (1886-9, I, 73) deletes the pron. as extra-metrical.

© 2008-