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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 50VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 50’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 391.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

text and translation

Gjafir launa        skaltu við góðan hug,
        þær er þér veita vinir;
rækt ok elska        helz með rekka liði
        þeim, er at þurftum dugir.

Skaltu við góðan hug launa gjafir, þær er vinir veita þér; rækt ok elska helz með þeim liði rekka, er dugir at þurftum.
‘You must with good intentions repay gifts which friends give you; affection and love stay with the company of men who support [each other] in need.

notes and context

Lat. parallel: (Dist. I, 35) Ne dubita cum magna petas impendere parva: / his etenim rebus coniungit gratia caros ‘Do not hesitate, when you are seeking great things, to spend a little; for in such matters good behaviour requires expenditures’. On the topics of hospitality and generosity in ON-Icel. poetry, cf. for instance Hávm 48, 117 (NK, 24, 35), Hárb 21 (NK, 81).



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 50: AII, 179, BII, 194, Skald II, 101; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 15, Konráð Gíslason 1860, 550, Gering 1907, 14-15, Tuvestrand 1977, 98, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 63.


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