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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 124VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 124’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 434-5.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

text and translation

Málum hlýðir,        ef með mörgum kemr
        hölðum, hygginn maðr;
af orðum kennaz        ýta hagir;
        þokka hylr, sá er þegir.

Hygginn maðr hlýðir málum, ef kemr með mörgum hölðum; hagir ýta kennaz af orðum; þokka hylr, sá er þegir.
‘A wise man listens to conversations, if he comes among many men; the affairs of men are known through words; the one who keeps silent conceals his thought.

notes and context

Lat. parallel: (Dist. IV, 20) Perspicito cuncta tacitus, quid quisque loquatur: / sermo hominum mores et celat et indicat idem ‘Look silently upon all things that people say; the speech of men both hides and reveals their ways’. For the first half there is a parallel in content in Hávm 7 (cf. st. 104).



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 123: AII, 192, BII, 206, Skald II, 108, NN §3277; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 29, Gering 1907, 33, Tuvestrand 1977, 139, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 115.


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