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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 48VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 48’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 390.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

text and translation

Hvern dag,        er þú heilsu náir,
        vertu þér at nokkru nýtr;
sótt ok dauði        kemr, þá er sízt varir;
        brigt er lýða líf.

Hvern dag, er þú náir heilsu, vertu nýtr þér at nokkru; sótt ok dauði kemr, þá er sízt varir; brigt er lýða líf.
‘Every day in which you enjoy good health, be useful to yourself in something; sickness and death come when one least expects them; humans’ life is fickle.

notes and context

Lat. parallel: (Dist. I, 33) Cum dubia incertis versetur vita periclis, / pro lucro tibi pone diem, quicumque sequetur ‘Since fickle life turns on uncertain perils, consider each day you struggle through a gain for yourself’. Both versions are very free translations. — [1-2]: 624’s reading, used by Hermann Pálsson and Finnur Jónsson, differs here: Hvern dag frá öðrum, | meðan þér heilsan gefz ... ‘Every day to the next, while health is granted to you...’.



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 48: AII, 178-9, BII, 193, Skald II, 101; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 15, Gering 1907, 14, Tuvestrand 1977, 97, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 60.


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