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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 109VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 109’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 425.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

text and translation

Á engum hlut        láttu þér elsku vera,
        þeim er aðrir eiga;
sínu láni        skal seggja hverr
        una, því er eignaz hefir.

Láttu vera þér elsku á engum hlut, þeim er aðrir eiga; hverr seggja skal una láni sínu, því er hefir eignaz.
‘Do not let there be love for you in anything which others own; every man must be content with his property, which he has acquired.

notes and context

Possible Lat. parallels: (Dist. IV, 1) Despice divitias si vis animo esse beatus, / quas qui suspiciunt, mendicant semper avari ‘Spurn riches, if you wish to be happy in mind, for those who admire them always beg as misers’; (Dist. IV, 2) Commoda naturae nullo tibi tempore deerunt, / si contentus eo fueris, quod postulat usus ‘Necessities from nature will never be lacking to you, if you are content with what need demands’. The topic of this st. recurs throughout the poem (cf., e.g. sts 22, 44, 96); it is therefore difficult to determine the exact equivalent among the Lat. disticha. Tuvestrand has suggested that in this and the next st. the translation of several distichs has been mingled. However, in all mss this st. and the next occur consistently in order between the translation of the end of the third book of the Disticha and distich 3 of the fourth book, which suggests Dist. IV, 1-2 are translated here, thus beginning the translation of Book IV.



Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], [C. E/5]. Hugsvinnsmál 108: AII, 189, BII, 203-4, Skald II, 106; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 31, Gering 1907, 36, Tuvestrand 1977, 132, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 104.


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