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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 26VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 26’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 376.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

text and translation

Hirtu eigi at senna,        þótt þú satt vitir,
        við hvassorðan hal;
málskálp mikit        er mörgum gefit;
        fár er at hyggju horskr.

Hirtu eigi at senna við hvassorðan hal, þótt þú vitir satt; mikit málskálp er gefit mörgum; fár er horskr at hyggju.
‘Take care not to quarrel with a sharp-worded man, even though you may know the truth; great loquacity is granted to many; few are wise in mind.

notes and context

Lat. parallel: (Dist. I, 10) Contra verbosos noli contendere verbis: / sermo datur cunctis, animi sapientia paucis ‘Do not exchange words with wordy people; speech is given to all, wisdom of mind to few’. The corresponding st. of the distichs is also cited in FGT. There the Lat. text is followed by a translation: Hirð eigi þú at þræta við málrófsmenn; málróf er gefit mǫrgum, en spekin fám ‘Do not quarrel with loquacious people; loquacity is given to many, but wisdom to few’ (FGT 1972, 228-9). — [2]: The second l. has no equivalent in the Lat. text.



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 26: AII, 173, BII, 190, Skald II, 99, NN §1915; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 11, Konráð Gíslason 1860, 550, Gering 1907, 8, Tuvestrand 1977, 85, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 42.


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