Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.



Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

Anon Hsv 42VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 42’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 386.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

text and translation

Fláráðs manns orði,        þótt fagrt mæli,
        þarftu eigi þeim at trúa;
glyslig orð        lát þú í gegn koma,
        ok gjalt svá líku líkt.

Þarftu eigi at trúa þeim orði fláráðs manns, þótt fagrt mæli; lát þú í gegn koma glyslig orð, ok gjalt svá líku líkt.
‘You need not believe the word of a deceitful man, even though he may speak fair; let specious words counter them, and thus repay like with like.

notes and context

Lat. parallel: (Dist. I, 26) Qui simulat verbis nec corde est fidus amicus, / tu qui fac simile: sic ars deluditur acte ‘Whoever dissimulates in words and is not a faithful friend at heart, treat him the same way: thus artifice is deluded by action’. The advice to be sceptical if somebody praises you too much is quite common in ON-Icel. poetry. Usually the adj. flár is used to denote untruthful or false speech. Cf. for instance Anon Mhkv 28III. Parallels in phrasing occur in Hávm 45 (NK, 24): Ef þú átt annan, | þannz þú illa trúir, | vildu af hánom þó gott geta: | fagrt scaltu við þann mæla, | en flátt hyggia | oc gialda lausung við lygi ‘if you’ve another, whom you don’t trust, but from whom you want nothing but good, speak fairly to him but think falsely and repay treachery with lies’ (Larrington 1996, 20). Cf. also the phrasing in Sól 19, although the st. deals with a different topic.



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 42: AII, 177, BII, 192, Skald II, 100; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 14, Konráð Gíslason 1860, 550, Gering 1907, 12, Tuvestrand 1977, 94, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 55.


Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.


Stanza/chapter/text segment

Use the buttons at the top of the page to navigate between stanzas in a poem.

Information tab

Interactive tab

The text and translation are given here, with buttons to toggle whether the text is shown in the verse order or prose word order. Clicking on indiviudal words gives dictionary links, variant readings, kennings and notes, where relevant.

Full text tab

This is the text of the edition in a similar format to how the edition appears in the printed volumes.

Chapter/text segment

This view is also used for chapters and other text segments. Not all the headings shown are relevant to such sections.