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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 123VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 123’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 434.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

text and translation

Íþróttir margar        þótt þú öðlaz hafir,
        kosta þú at vinna vel;
erfiði drýgja        þurfu alda synir,
        meðan þeir heilsu hafa.

Kosta þú at vinna vel, þótt þú hafir öðlaz margar íþróttir; alda synir þurfu drýgja erfiði, meðan þeir hafa heilsu.
‘Try to work well, even if you have attained many accomplishments; the sons of men need to endure hardship while they have their health.

notes and context

Lat. parallel: (Dist. IV, 21) Exerce studium, quamvis perceperis artem: / ut cura ingenium, sic et manus adiuvat usum ‘Practise zeal in whatever art you have taken up, that care and attention may aid talent, and practise likewise the hand’.



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 124: AII, 193, BII, 206, Skald II, 108; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 29, Gering 1907, 34, Tuvestrand 1977, 140, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 115.


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