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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 145VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 145’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 446.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

text and translation

Þessi *ljóð,        ef þú þekkjaz vilt,
        efla þik til þrifa,
en sá halr,        sem hafna vill,
        stríðir sjálfum sér.

Þessi *ljóð efla þik til þrifa, ef þú vilt þekkjaz, en sá halr, sem vill hafna, stríðir sér sjálfum.
‘This poem [lit. these poems] will help you to prosperity, if you want to receive it, but the man who wants to reject it, will harm himself.

notes and context

Lat. parallel: (III, Praefatio) Hoc quicumque voles carmen cognoscere lector / cum praecepta ferat, quae sunt gratissima vitae / commoda multa feres, sin autem spreveris illud, / non me scriptorem, sed te neglexeris ipse ‘Any reader who wishes to know this poem, since it brings precepts which are most applicable to life; you carry many useful things, but if you scorn it, you are not neglecting me, the author, but yourself’. The inclusion of an Icel. version of the prefaces to Books III-IV here is probably to supply an appropriate conclusion to the poem. The Lat. disticha end with IV, 49: Miraris verbis nudis me scribere versus; / hoc brevitas fecit, sensu coniungere binos ‘You marvel that I write these verses in bare words; this brevity brings about, to join in one thought two (lines)’.



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 145: AII, 197, BII, 210, Skald II, 110; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 22, Gering 1907, 24, Tuvestrand 1977, 150, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 128.


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