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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 91VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 91’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 415.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

text and translation

Eigi skaltu lataz,        ef þú vilt líf hafa,
        þat er drengmanni dugir;
því fleira lýtir,        sem færra nennir
        gott at vinna gumi.

Skaltu eigi lataz, ef þú vilt hafa líf, þat er dugir drengmanni; því fleira lýtir, sem gumi nennir færra gott at vinna.
‘You must not be lazy if you want to have a life which suits a good man; a man will blame the more, as he is inclined to do less [that is] good.

notes and context

Lat. parallel: (Dist. III, 5) Segnitiem fugito, quae vitae ignavia fertur; / nam cum animus languet, consumit inertia corpus ‘Avoid sluggishness, which means laziness of life; for when the mind is weary, inertia consumes the body’. — [4-6]: 624 reads quite differently: því fleira fýsir, | er fleira nemr, | gott at vilja ‘he who learns more is urged to want [to do] all the more good’. The last l. is hypometrical and lacks alliteration.



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


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