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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 141VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 141’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 444.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

text and translation

Bölgjörnum manni,        ef þér brugðiz hefir,
        skaltu eigi grand gera,
þvít af annars gæzku        batnar sá iðugliga,
        sá er hefir óvinauðigr verit.

Skaltu eigi gera grand bölgjörnum manni, ef hefir brugðiz þér, þvít sá batnar iðugliga af annars gæzku, sá er hefir verit óvinauðigr.
‘You must not do harm to a malicious man if he has deceived you, because the one who has not been rich in friends frequently improves from another’s kindness.

notes and context

Lat. parallel: (Dist. IV, 41) Damnaris numquam post longum tempus amicum: / mutavit mores, sed pignera prima memento ‘Never condemn a friend of long standing, he has changed his ways, but remember his first merits’.


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 140: AII, 196, BII, 209, Skald II, 109; Gering 1907, 38, Tuvestrand 1977, 141, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 125-6.


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