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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 64VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 64’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 400.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

text and translation

Ódyggra manna        skaltu eigi atferð nema,
        þótt þeim verði flærð at frama;
löstum eigi        megu þeir lengi leyna;
        upp koma um síðir svik.

Skaltu eigi nema atferð ódyggra manna, þótt flærð verði þeim at frama; þeir megu eigi lengi leyna löstum; um síðir koma upp svik.
‘You must not learn the behaviour of unreliable people, although deceit may advance them; they cannot conceal vices for long; in time treachery comes out.

notes and context

Lat. parallel: (Dist. II, 8) Nolo putes pravos homines peccata lucrari: / temporibus peccata latent et tempore parent ‘I do not want you to think that crimes enrich bad men; at times crimes are hidden, but with time they become obvious’. The topic is also dealt with in Hávm 28/4-6 (NK, 21): eyvito leyna | mego ýta sønir, | því er gengr um guma ‘the sons of men cannot keep secret / what’s already going around’ (Larrington 1996, 18). The last l. is very close to the phrasing in Sól 21. 624 contains the same st. twice. Both sts in 624 are so similar in phrasing that the second st. seems to be a correction of the first one. This st. belongs to a small block of three sts quoted twice in 624. The repetition might be due to the fact that, according to the Lat., they should be placed later in the ordering of verses in that ms.



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 65: AII, 182, BII, 196, Skald II, 102; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 18, Gering 1907, 18, Tuvestrand 1977, 107, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 72.


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