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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 67VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 67’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 402.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

text and translation

Forlögu sinnar        skal maðr eigi frétt reka
        né um þat önn ala;
guð veit bezt,        hverjum hann giptu ann,
        ok vita þat eigi fyrðar fyrir.

Maðr skal eigi reka frétt forlögu sinnar, né ala önn um þat; guð veit bezt, hverjum hann ann giptu, ok fyrðar vita þat eigi fyrir.
‘A man must not enquire about his future fate nor worry about it; God knows best to whom he grants luck and men do not know that beforehand.

notes and context

Lat. parallel: (Dist. II, 12) Quid deus intendat, noli perquirere sorte: / quid statuat de te, sine te deliberat ille ‘Do not seek out by divination what God intends; what he establishes for you, he determines without you’. In l. 3 there are parallels in phrasing to the third l. in the second version’s text of Hsv 38. Lines 1-3 are paralleled by Hsv 126/1-3. Cf. also Hávm 56/4-5 (NK, 25): ørlǫg sín | viti engi fyrir ‘no one may know his fate beforehand’ (Larrington 1996, 21).



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 69: AII, 183, BII, 197, Skald II, 103; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 18, Konráð Gíslason 1860, 551, Gering 1907, 19, Tuvestrand 1977, 110, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 75.


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