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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 110VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 110’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 425-6.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

text and translation

Aumr maðr        telr sér einskis vant,
        ef sér atvinnu á,
en inn fégjarni sýtir,        þótt fullsælu hafi,
        ok þykkiz válaðr vera.

Aumr maðr telr sér einskis vant, ef á sér atvinnu, en inn fégjarni sýtir, þótt hafi fullsælu, ok þykkiz vera válaðr.
‘A poor man thinks he lacks nothing if he has means of subsistence for himself, but the avaricious person complains even if he has great wealth, and thinks he is poverty-stricken.

notes and context

Lat. parallels: (Dist. IV, 4) Dilige denarium, sed parce dilige formam. / quam nemo sanctus nec honestus captat habere ‘Love money, but love its appearance sparingly, which no one good and honest seeks to gain’; (Dist. IV, 16) Utere quaesitis opibus, fuge nomen avari; / quid tibi divitias, si semper pauper abundas ‘Make use of riches you have gained, avoid the name of miser; what use are riches to you, if you always live like a poor man?’.



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 109: AII, 189, BII, 204, Skald II, 106; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 27, Gering 1907, 30, Tuvestrand 1977, 132, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 105.


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