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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 18VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 18’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 371-2.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

Ofsvefni tæla        láttu þik aldrigi;
        kosta vakr at vera;
leti ok lasta        verðr, þeim er lengi sefr,
        auðit iðugliga.

Láttu þik aldrigi tæla ofsvefni; kosta at vera vakr; verðr leti ok lasta iðugliga auðit, þeim er lengi sefr.

Never let too much sleepiness entice you; try to stay awake; laziness and vices frequently fall to the lot of the one who sleeps for a long time.

Mss: 1199ˣ(72r), 720a IV(1r), 723aˣ(77), 696XV(1r), 624(141)

Readings: [1] Ofsvefni: ofsefn 723aˣ, ofsvefna 624;    tæla: ‘tel[...]’ 696XV, om. 624    [2] láttu þik: ‘[...]’ 696XV;    aldrigi: ‘[...]’ 696XV, eigi tæla 624    [3] kosta: kosta þú 720a IV, 696XV, 624;    vera: ver 624    [4] lasta: losta 696XV, 624    [5, 6] er lengi sefr auðit: ‘[...]’ 696XV

Editions: Skj AII, 171, Skj BII, 188, Skald II, 98; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 10, Konráð Gíslason 1860, 549, Gering 1907, 5, Tuvestrand 1977, 80, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 36.

Notes: [All]: Lat. parallel: (Dist. I, 2) Plus vigila semper nec somno deditus esto; / nam diuturna quies vitiis alimenta ministrat ‘Always keep more alert, nor be given to sleep; for continuous idleness offers food for vice’. The text of 1199ˣ is closer than that of 624 to the Lat.; in 624 the whole st. seems corrupt. The advice to be alert is also expressed in Hsv 9. Similar advice is also given in Grp 29 (NK, 168).


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. Tuvestrand, Birgitta, ed. 1977. Hugsvinnsmál: Handskrifter och kritisk text. Lundastudier i nordisk språkvetenskap A:29. Lund: Blom.
  4. Hermann Pálsson, ed. 1985a. Áhrif Hugsvinnsmála á aðrar fornbókmenntir. Studia Islandica/Íslensk Fræði 43. Reykjavík: Menningarsjóður.
  5. Gering, Hugo, ed. 1907. Hugsvinnsmál. Eine altisländische Übersetzung der Disticha Catonis. Kiel: Lipsius & Tischer.
  6. NK = Neckel, Gustav and Hans Kuhn (1899), eds. 1983. Edda: Die Lieder des Codex Regius nebst verwandten Denkmälern. 2 vols. I: Text. 5th edn. Heidelberg: Winter.
  7. Hallgrímur Scheving, ed. 1831. Hugsvinnsmál, ásamt þeirra látinska frumriti. Skóla hátið. Viðeyar Klaustri: prentuð af Helga Helgasyni, á kostnað Bessastaða Skóla.
  8. Internal references
  9. Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 9’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 365-6.

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