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 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, 1219

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

5 — Anon Mhkv 5III

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Roberta Frank (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Poems, Málsháttakvæði 5’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1219.

Alllítit er ungs manns gaman;
einum þykkir daufligt saman;
annars barn er sem úlf at frjá;
óðfúss myndi blindr at sjá.
Dýrt láta menn dróttins orð;
drekarnir rísa opt á sporð;
ǫðlingr skyldi einkar rǫskr;
œpa kann í mœrum frǫskr.

Alllítit er gaman ungs manns; daufligt þykkir einum saman; barn annars er sem úlf at frjá; óðfúss myndi blindr at sjá. Menn láta dýrt orð dróttins; drekarnir rísa opt á sporð; ǫðlingr skyldi einkar rǫskr; frǫskr kann œpa í mœrum.

It takes very little to amuse a young man; life seems dreary to one alone; to love another’s child is like cherishing a wolf; desperately would the blind one wish to see. People say a lord’s word is precious; dragons often rise up on their tail; a prince should be especially brave; a frog can croak in the marshes.

Mss: R(54v)

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], A. [1]. Málsháttakvæði 5: AII, 131-2, BII, 139, Skald II, 74; Möbius 1874, 4, Wisén 1886-9, I, 73.

Notes: [All]: Finnur Jónsson (1890a, 266) attempted to illustrate a close contextual fit between the eight proverbs in this stanza and the narrator’s lovesickness. — [1-2]: For related proverbs, see Ísl. Málsh.: gaman, einn. — [4] óðfúss ‘desperately’: Lit. ‘wildly eager’. In Old Norse poetry only in Þry 26/7, 28/7 and BjHall Kálffl 8/6I. — [5]: This proverb is widely cited in Old Norse texts: cf. Laxdœla saga (Laxd ch. 47, ÍF 5, 147): Dýrt mun mér verða dróttins orð ‘The royal command is worth a lot to me’; Kjalnesinga saga (Kjaln ch. 15, ÍF 14, 35): Dýrt er dróttins orð; Óláfs saga helga (ÓHHkr, ÍF 27, 126): dýrt er dróttins orð; and the allusive use of the saying in Sigv Berv 9/3II dróttins orð til dýrðar ‘the royal command [opens the path] to glory’. — [6]: On a dragon’s strength residing in its tail, see Isidore, Etym. 12.3.4-5. — [8] frǫskr ‘a frog’: (O)Icel. froskr ‘frog’. The word is attested in poetry only here. On Orcadian-Norw. dialectal frǫskr, see LH II, 47-8; on braying frogs in medieval European literature, see Ransom (1986, 69-83). The rhyme of the noble rǫskr ‘brave’, adj. of champions, with homely frǫskr seems comic. On Lat. rana ‘frog’ named from the noise (cf. rancare) it makes in its native paludes ‘swamps’, see Isidore, Etym. 12.6.58.

© 2008-