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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 75VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 75’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 406.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

text and translation

Ofdrukkinn maðr,        ef hann ilt geri,
        er eigi várkunnar vert;
sjálfr því veldr,        ef hann svá drekkr,
        at eigi at geð síns gáir.

Ofdrukkinn maðr, ef hann geri ilt, er eigi várkunnar vert; sjálfr veldr því, ef hann drekkr svá, at eigi gáir at geð síns.
‘If a man who has drunk too much does wrong, it does not deserve excusing; he causes it himself if he drinks so much that he is not aware of his senses.

notes and context

Lat. parallels: (Dist. II, 21) Quae potus peccas, ignoscere tu tibi noli, / nam crimen nullum vini, sed culpa bibentis ‘The crimes you commit in drinking do not excuse in yourself; for there is no fault in wine, but the fault is that of the drinker’. The topic of drinking decently is dealt with in several sts of Hávm. Cf. for instance Hávm 11/4-6 (NK, 18): vegnest verra | vegra hann velli at, | enn sé ofdryccia ǫls ‘a worse journey-provision he couldn’t carry over the land / than to be too drunk on ale’ (Larrington 1996, 15). Cf. also Hávm 12 and 19. In a less direct way it is also dealt with in Sól 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 76: AII, 184, BII, 198, Skald II, 103; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 20, Konráð Gíslason 1860, 551, Gering 1907, 21, Tuvestrand 1977, 114, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 80.


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