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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mhkv 13III

Roberta Frank (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Poems, Málsháttakvæði 13’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1228.

Anonymous PoemsMálsháttakvæði

text and translation

Afli of deilir sízt við sjá;
Sǫrli sprakk af gildri þrá;
stundum þýtr í logni lá;
litlu verr, at ráðak fá.
Mǫrgum þykkir fullgótt fé;
frænuskammr er inn deigi lé;
kvæðit skal með kynjum alt;
konungs morginn er langr á valt.

Afli of deilir sízt við sjá; Sǫrli sprakk af gildri þrá; stundum þýtr lá í logni; litlu verr, at ráðak fá. Mǫrgum þykkir fé fullgótt; frænuskammr er inn deigi lé; alt kvæðit skal með kynjum; morginn konungs er á valt langr.
‘One contends least in strength with the sea; Sǫrli burst from great longing; at times the surf resounds in a calm; it hardly matters that I prevail but little. To many a man wealth seems good enough; of short sharpness is the soft scythe; the whole poem shall be really strange; a king’s morning is always long.

notes and context

[3]: Cf. the portent in Orkneyinga saga (Orkn ch. 47, ÍF 34, 106): boði fell í logni ‘a breaker fell from a calm sea’. — [8]: Cf. Sigv Lv 11/3-4I langrs morginn konungs ‘long is the king’s morning’.



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], A. [1]. Málsháttakvæði 13: AII, 133, BII, 141, Skald II, 75; Möbius 1874, 7, Wisén 1886-9, I, 74.


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