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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 90VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 90’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 414-15.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

text and translation

Blíðum orðum        þótt þik bragnar kveði,
        þarftu eigi þeim at trúa;
opt sá fagrt mælir,        er hefir flátt hugat;
        ráð er at sjá við svikum.

Þótt bragnar kveði þik blíðum orðum, þarftu eigi at trúa þeim; sá mælir opt fagrt, er hefir hugat flátt; ráð er at sjá við svikum.
‘Although men may greet you with pleasant words, you need not believe them; he often speaks fair, who has considered deceit; it is advisable to look out for treachery.

notes and context

Lat. parallel: (Dist. III, 4) Sermones blandos blaesosque cavere memento: / simplicitas veri fama est, fraus ficta loquendi ‘Remember to watch out for smooth and lisping words; simplicity is the character of the true, deceit that of telling stories’. As in many other instances 1199ˣ conforms better to the requirements of ljóðaháttr. 624 seems to combine several versions of this st., especially l. 3, which includes almost an extra l.: við vel at varaz ‘be wary of tricks’.



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 91: AII, 186, BII, 201, Skald II, 105, NN §2592; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 23, Gering 1907, 25, Tuvestrand 1977, 122, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 92.


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