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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 33VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 33’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 380-1.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

text and translation

Einmæli manna        ræk þú aldrigi;
        þarftu eigi til þess at hlera;
um sik ræða        ætla seggja hverr,
        hinn er veit á sik sakir.

Ræk þú aldrigi einmæli manna; þarftu eigi at hlera til þess; hverr seggja, hinn er veit sakir á sik, ætla ræða um sik.
‘Never pay attention to men’s private conversation; you do not need to listen to it; every man who knows he is guilty thinks [people] are talking about him.

notes and context

Lat. parallel: (Dist. I, 17) Ne cures, si quis tacito sermone loquatur: / conscius ipse sibi de se putat omnia dici ‘Do not pay any attention if someone talks behind your back [lit. with silent speech]; the guilty man thinks everything is said about him’. Both versions render the Lat. text equally well, but 401ˣ and 1199ˣ correspond better to the rules of ljóðaháttr. 624 is metrically deficient in the first two ll.



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 33: AII, 175, BII, 191, Skald II, 99, NN §3166; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 12, Gering 1907, 10, Tuvestrand 1977, 89, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 47.


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