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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 115VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 115’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 428-9.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

text and translation

Fljóta raun        skaltu við flest hafa,
        þat er grunsamligt geriz;
leyndir lestir,        þeir er lengi felaz,
        gera mörgum mein.

Skaltu hafa fljóta raun við flest, þat er geriz grunsamligt; leyndir lestir, þeir er lengi felaz, gera mörgum mein.
‘You must have a quick test for everything that is suspicious; secret vices which have been hidden for a long time do many people harm.

notes and context

Lat. parallel: (Dist. IV, 9) Quod tibi suspectum est, confestim discute, quid sit / namque solent, primo quae sunt neglecta, nocere ‘Whatever is suspect to you, immediately test what it is; for those things which are at first ignored are often accustomed to do harm’. Unusually, 1199ˣ and 624 present identical text for this st., with fairly minor variants occurring in the other mss.



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 114: AII, 190-1, BII, 204-5, Skald II, 107; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 28, Konráð Gíslason 1860, 552, Gering 1907, 31, Tuvestrand 1977, 135, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 109.


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