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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 130VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 130’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 437-8.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

text and translation

Mikit mæla        skaltu eigi um margan hlut;
        lasta þú fátt né lofa;
þvít á einni stundu        bregz, þat er ætlat hafa
        gott ok ilt gum*ar.

Skaltu eigi mæla mikit um margan hlut; lasta þú fátt né lofa, þvít á einni stundu bregz, þat er gum*ar hafa ætlat gott ok ilt.
‘You must not talk too much about many a thing; blame little and do not praise, because in a short while that which people have regarded as good and evil changes.

notes and context

Lat. parallel: (Dist. 28) Parce laudato, nam quem tu saepe laudaris, / una dies, qualis fuerit, ostendit, amicus ‘Praise sparingly; for the one you have often put to the test, one day will show you what a friend he has been’. The advice to be careful about what you say is also given in sts 71 and 128. Skj B and Skald use mss from the second group, as in the present edn, as the basis for the text of this st.



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 130: AII, 194, BII, 207, Skald II, 108; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 30, Gering 1907, 35, Tuvestrand 1977, 143, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 119.


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