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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 134VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 134’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 440.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

text and translation

Fávíss maðr        ef verðr á firði staddr,
        ok getr eigi beinan byr,
liðligra er honum        til lands at halda
        en sigla foldu frá.

Ef fávíss maðr verðr staddr á firði ok getr eigi beinan byr, er honum liðligra at halda til lands en sigla frá foldu.
‘If a not very wise man is stuck in a fjord and does not get a direct wind [for sailing], it is more useful for him to keep to the shore than to sail away from the land.

notes and context

Lat. parallel: (Dist. IV, 33) Quod potes id tempta: nam litus carpere remis / tutius est multo quam velum tendere in altum ‘Whatever you are able [to do], try it; for to seize the oar at the shore is far safer than to spread the sail on the high sea’.



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 134: AII, 195, BII, 208, Skald II, 109; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 31, Konráð Gíslason 1860, 552, Gering 1907, 36, Tuvestrand 1977, 145, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 121.


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