Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Hsv 89VII

Tarrin Wills and Stefanie Gropper (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál 89’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 414.

Anonymous PoemsHugsvinnsmál

Illa áleitni        ræk þú aldrigi,
        ef þú lastvarr lifir;
eigi er auðgætt,        þat er öllum líki;
        ger þú, svát góðr lofi.

Ræk þú aldrigi illa áleitni, ef þú lifir lastvarr; eigi er auðgætt, þat er öllum líki; ger þú, svát góðr lofi.

Never worry about evil rebuke if you live as a virtuous person; it is not easy [to do] what pleases everyone; behave in such a way that a good person praises [you].

Mss: 1199ˣ(74r)

Editions: Skj AII, 186, Skj BII, 201, Skald II, 105; Hallgrímur Scheving 1831, 22, Gering 1907, 24, Tuvestrand 1977, 121, Hermann Pálsson 1985, 91.

Notes: [All]: Lat. parallel: (Dist. III, 2) Cum recte vivas, ne cures verba malorum, / arbitri non est nostri, quid quisque loquatur ‘If you live rightly, do not worry about the words of bad people; it is not in our power to decide what each person says’.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. Tuvestrand, Birgitta, ed. 1977. Hugsvinnsmál: Handskrifter och kritisk text. Lundastudier i nordisk språkvetenskap A:29. Lund: Carl Blom.
  4. Hermann Pálsson, ed. 1985a. Áhrif Hugsvinnsmála á aðrar fornbókmenntir. Studia Islandica/Íslensk Fræði 43. Reykjavík: Menningarsjóður.
  5. Gering, Hugo, ed. 1907. Hugsvinnsmál. Eine altisländische Übersetzung der Disticha Catonis. Kiel: Lipsius & Tischer.
  6. Hallgrímur Scheving, ed. 1831. Hugsvinnsmál, ásamt þeirra látinska frumriti. Skóla hátið. Viðeyar Klaustri: prentuð af Helga Helgasyni, á kostnað Bessastaða Skóla.

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