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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 138VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 138’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 442-3.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

text and translation

Óreiðinn        skal ýta hverr
        ok sjá sem gerst við grunum;
hugsjúkr maðr        kvíðir hvervetna;
        aldri honum dagr um dugir.

Hverr ýta skal óreiðinn ok sjá sem gerst við grunum; hugsjúkr maðr kvíðir hvervetna; dagr um dugir honum aldri.
‘Every man must [be] calm and be careful of suspicion as much as possible; an anxious man is afraid everywhere; the day never helps him.

notes and context

Lat. parallel: (Dist. IV, 43) Suspectus caveris, ne sis miser omnibus horis, / nam timidis et suspectis aptissima mors est ‘Avoid being suspected so that you will not be miserable forever, for death is most proper for the timid and suspected’. This st. is included between 137 and 146 in the mss (translating Dist. IV, 38 and 23/27/48 respectively) but all the sts at this point seem to correspond poorly to the Lat. It is included here in accordance with its position in the mss. Concerning content and phrasing cf. Hávm 23 (NK, 20): Ósviðr maðr | vakir um allar nætr | oc hyggr at hvívetna; | þá er móðr, | er at morni kømr, | allt er víl, sem var ‘The foolish man lies awake all night and worries about things; he’s tired out when the morning comes and everything’s just as bad as it was’ (Larrington 1996, 17). Cf. also Hávm 48/4-5 (NK, 24): en ósniallr maðr | uggir hotvetna ‘but the cowardly man is afraid of everything’ (Larrington 1996, 20).



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 142: AII, 196, BII, 209, Skald II, 109-10; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 32, Gering 1907, 38, Tuvestrand 1977, 149, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 126.


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