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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 96VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 96’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 417-18.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

text and translation

Aura tjón        skal maðr eigi illa bera,
        þótt honum verði skapaðr skaði;
hitt hann huggar,        ef hann halda má:
        sæll er, sá er sínu unir.

Maðr skal eigi illa bera aura tjón, þótt verði skapaðr skaði honum; hitt huggar hann, ef hann má halda; sæll er, sá er unir sínu.
‘A man must not bear badly the loss of his wealth, although it may cause harm for him; what [remains] will comfort him, if he can keep it; he is fortunate who is content with what he has.

notes and context

Lat. parallels: (Dist. III, 11) Rebus et in censu si non est quod fuit ante, / fac vivas contentus eo, quod tempora praebent ‘If in goods and income things are not what they were, see that you live happy with that which the times offer’; (Dist. IV, 35) Ereptis opibus noli maerere dolendo / sed gaude potius, tibi si contingat habere ‘Do not bewail grieving over stolen goods, rather be happy, if it happens that you have something [left]’. Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) takes the latter distich as the primary parallel and consequently includes this st. after his st. 135 (translating Dist. IV, 34).


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 136: AII, 195, BII, 208, Skald II, 109; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 31, Gering 1907, 37, Tuvestrand 1977, 125, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 95.


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