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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 62VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 62’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 398-9.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

text and translation

Litlu láni        fagni lýða hverr,
        ok hafi eigi metnað mikinn;
í litlum polli        haldaz lengi skip,
        er síðan brýtr hregg í hafi.

Hverr lýða fagni litlu láni, ok hafi eigi metnað mikinn; skip haldaz lengi í litlum polli, er hregg brýtr í hafi síðan.
‘Let every man rejoice at small benefits, and let him not have great arrogance; ships stay safe for a long time in a small pool, which a storm at sea later wrecks.

notes and context

Lat. parallel: (Dist. II, 6) Quod nimium est fugito, parvo gaudere memento: / tuta mage est puppis, modico quae flumine fertur ‘Flee that which is excessive; remember to rejoice in small things; that craft is safer which is borne on a small stream’. Both versions render the Lat. distich equally well, but the text in 624 seems somewhat corrupt.



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 63: AII, 181, BII, 196, Skald II, 102; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 17, Konráð Gíslason 1860, 551, Gering 1907, 18, Tuvestrand 1977, 106, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 71.


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