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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 88VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 88’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 413-14.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

text and translation

Löstum leyna        skaltu, sem lengst má,
        þeim er þú veiz með vinum;
halt trú til þess,        ok lát af hljóði fara,
        þat er sjálfan sakir.

Skaltu, sem lengst má, leyna löstum, þeim er þú veiz með vinum; halt trú til þess, ok lát fara af hljóði, þat er sakir sjálfan.
‘You must, as long as possible, hide the vices you know that friends have; be faithful to that, and let what is harmful to oneself dissipate in silence.

notes and context

Lat. parallel: (Dist. III, 3) Productus testis, salvo tamen ante pudore, / quantumcumque potes, celato crimen amici ‘When called as a witness, while still keeping your honour safe, as much as you can, hide the offence of a friend’. — [4-6]: The text here, from 1199ˣ, is the same as Hallgrímur Scheving’s. 624’s version, the basis of all other eds, is perhaps more intelligible (taking Skj B’s emendation alt to halt): til þess halt, | ok lát af hljóði fara, | er þeir bæta sínar sakir ‘make a point of it, that they make good their wrongs, but let it happen in secret’.



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 90: AII, 186, BII, 200-1, Skald II, 105; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 22, Gering 1907, 25, Tuvestrand 1977, 121, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 90.


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