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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 139VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 139’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 443.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

text and translation

Meinlæti drýgja        skal sá, er misgert hefir,
        ok bæta syndir svá;
sárar atgerðir        þarf inn sjúki maðr
        sér til heilsu at hafa.

Sá, er hefir misgert skal drýgja meinlæti ok bæta svá syndir; inn sjúki maðr þarf at hafa sárar atgerðir til heilsu sér.
‘The one who has transgressed must practise self-chastisement and thus atone for sins; the sick man needs to have painful treatments for his health.

notes and context

Lat. parallel: (Dist. IV, 40) Cum quid peccaris, castiga te ipse subinde: / vulnera dum sanas, dolor est medicina doloris ‘When you have sinned in some way, charge yourself right away; when you cure wounds pain is remedy for pain’.



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 139: AII, 195-6, BII, 209, Skald II, 109; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 32, Gering 1907, 38, Tuvestrand 1977, 147, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 124.


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