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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 142VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 142’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 444-5.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

text and translation

Vel skaltu vinna,        ef þú átt í verkum hlut,
        ok geraz hölðum hollr;
sinni sýslu        týnir slægr maðr;
        ilt er verkþjófr at vera.

Ef þú átt hlut í verkum, skaltu vinna vel ok geraz hollr hölðum; slægr maðr týnir sýslu sinni; ilt er at vera verkþjófr.
‘If you take part in work, you must work well and become loyal to men; a sly man forgets his work; it is bad to be a work-thief.

notes and context

Lat. parallels: (Dist. IV, 42) Gratior officiis, quo sis mage carior, esto, / ne nomen subeas, quod dicunt, officiperdi ‘Be more gracious in your business dealings to those to whom you may be dearer, so that you will not bear the name of “officiperdus” [lit. one who makes ill use of the favours of others]’.



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 141: AII, 196, BII, 209, Skald II, 109; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 34, Gering 1907, 38, Tuvestrand 1977, 148, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 126.


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