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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mhkv 15III

Roberta Frank (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Poems, Málsháttakvæði 15’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1229.

Anonymous PoemsMálsháttakvæði

text and translation

Auðigr þykkir einn sér hvar;
annars ðir margr of far;
ørgrands erum vér lengst á leit;
lundvær þykkir bezta sveit.
Skammæ þykkja ófin ǫll;
ekki mart er verra en trǫll;
eigi spillir hyggins hjali;
hefkat ek spurt, at

Einn þykkir sér auðigr hvar; margr ðir of far annars; vér erum lengst á leit ørgrands; lundvær sveit þykkir bezta. Ǫll ófin þykkja skammæ; ekki mart er verra en trǫll; eigi spillir hjali hyggins; hefkat ek spurt, at
‘A lone man seems to himself rich everywhere; many a one speaks about the conduct of another; we seek longest after the flawless; peaceable company seems the best. Everything beyond the mean seems short-lived; not much is worse than a troll; nothing spoils the talk of a wise man; I have not heard that …

notes and context

[5]: On this sententia, found in three other Old Norse texts, see Foote (1988).



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 15: AII, 133, BII, 141-2, Skald II, 76, NN §3273; Möbius 1874, 7, Wisén 1886-9, I, 75.


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