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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Mhkv 12III/7 — gǫfgask ‘gain stature’

Skips láta menn skammar rár;
skatna þykkir hugrinn grár;
tungan leikr við tanna sár;
trauðla er gengt á ís of vár.
Mjǫk fár er sér œrinn einn;
eyvit týr, þótt skyndi seinn;
gǫfgask mætti af gengi hverr;
gǫrva þekkik, sumt hvé ferr.

Menn láta rár skips skammar; hugrinn skatna þykkir grár; tungan leikr við sár tanna; trauðla er gengt á ís of vár. Mjǫk fár er sér œrinn einn; eyvit týr, þótt seinn skyndi; hverr mætti gǫfgask af gengi; þekkik gǫrva, hvé sumt ferr.

Men say the ship’s sailyards are short; the heart of magnates seems grey; the tongue plays with the aching tooth; it is scarcely safe to walk on ice in spring. Very few are sufficient in themselves; it helps not at all though the slow one hastens; each man could gain stature from the company he keeps; I recognise fully how some things go.



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