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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 89VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 89’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 414.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

text and translation

Illa áleitni        ræk þú aldrigi,
        ef þú lastvarr lifir;
eigi er auðgætt,        þat er öllum líki;
        ger þú, svát góðr lofi.

Ræk þú aldrigi illa áleitni, ef þú lifir lastvarr; eigi er auðgætt, þat er öllum líki; ger þú, svát góðr lofi.
‘Never worry about evil rebuke if you live as a virtuous person; it is not easy [to do] what pleases everyone; behave in such a way that a good person praises [you].

notes and context

Lat. parallel: (Dist. III, 2) Cum recte vivas, ne cures verba malorum, / arbitri non est nostri, quid quisque loquatur ‘If you live rightly, do not worry about the words of bad people; it is not in our power to decide what each person says’.


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 89: AII, 186, BII, 201, Skald II, 105; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 22, Gering 1907, 24, Tuvestrand 1977, 121, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 91.


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