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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 25VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 25’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 375-6.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

text and translation

Ef þú vin átt,        þann er þér vildr sé,
        fýs þú hann gott at gera;
orða þinna        þótt hann kunni öngva þökk,
        þó skaltu hann við vammi vara.

Ef þú átt vin, þann er sé þér vildr, fýs þú hann at gera gott; þótt hann kunni öngva þökk orða þinna, skaltu hann þó vara við vammi.
‘If you have a friend who is agreeable to you, encourage him to do good; although he might be ungrateful for your words, you must nonetheless warn him against wrongdoing.

notes and context

Lat. parallel (Dist. I, 9): Cum moneas aliquem nec se velit ille moneri, / si tibi sit carus, noli desistere coeptis ‘When you warn somebody even though he does not want to be warned, if he is dear to you, do not desist in what you have begun’. — [1-3]: These ll. are parallelled in Hávm 44 (NK, 24): Veiztu, ef þú vin átt, | þann er þú vel trúir, | oc vill þú af hánom gott geta... ‘You know, if you’ve a friend whom you really trust / and from whom you want nothing but good...’ (Larrington 1996, 20). The reading vildr ‘pleasant, agreeable’ in 1199ˣ may have been influenced by Hávm 124/4 (NK, 37): era sá vinr ǫðrom, | er vilt eitt segir ‘he is no true friend who only says pleasant things’ (Larrington 1996, 31).



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 25: AII, 173, BII, 189, Skald II, 99; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 11, Gering 1907, 7, Tuvestrand 1977, 84, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 41.


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