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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 46VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 46’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 389.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

text and translation

Einskis biðja        samir þér annan þess,
        er gengr af réttri rifi;
ósvinnr maðr        biðr þess iðugliga,
        er hann þarf hvergi at hafa.

Samir þér biðja annan einskis þess, er gengr af réttri rifi; ósvinnr maðr biðr iðugliga þess, er hann þarf hvergi at hafa.
‘It befits you to ask another for nothing which departs from right reason; an unwise man frequently asks for that which he does not need to have.

notes and context

Lat. parallel: (Dist. I, 31) Quod iustum est petito vel quod videatur honestum, / nam stultum petere est quod possit iure negari ‘Ask for what is right or what seems proper, for it is foolish to ask for that which may rightly be denied’. The question of whom to ask for what and to be decent in one’s pleas is also dealt with in Hávm and Sól. Cf. Sól 28. — [1-3]: The text in 624 departs from the Lat.: Einskis biðja | skaltu annan þess | er þú eigi þarft ‘You must ask another for nothing which you do not need’.



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 46: AII, 178, BII, 193, Skald II, 101, NN §2589; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 14, Konráð Gíslason 1860, 550, Gering 1907, 13, Tuvestrand 1977, 96, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 58.


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