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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 35VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 35’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 382.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

text and translation

Af annars dauða        væntu aldrigi,
        at þér gagn geriz;
aldrlagi sínu        ræðr engi maðr;
        nær stendr hölðum hel.

Væntu aldrigi, at þér gagn geriz af annars dauða; engi maðr ræðr aldrlagi sínu; hel stendr nær hölðum.
‘Never hope that you may profit from another’s death; nobody controls his own life’s end; death is close to men.

notes and context

Lat. parallel: (Dist. I, 19) Cum dubia et fragilis nobis sit vita tributa, / in mortem alterius spem tu tibi ponere noli ‘Since the life given to us is doubtful and fragile, do not place your hope in the death of another’.



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 35: AII, 175-6, BII, 191, Skald II, 100; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 13, Gering 1907, 10, Tuvestrand 1977, 90, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 49.


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