Friday, May 11, 2012


Klein aber Mein

Hávamál, stanza 36, tr. W.H. Auden and P.B. Taylor:
A small hut of one's own is better,
A man is his master at home:
A couple of goats and a corded roof
Still are better than begging.
The same, tr. Henry Adams Bellows in The Poetic Edda (New York: The American-Scandinavian Foundation, 1923), p. 36:
Better a house,         though a hut it be,
A man is master at home;
A pair of goats        and a patched-up roof
Are better far than begging.
The same, tr. Olive Bray in The Elder or Poetic Edda, Part I (London: Printed for the Viking Club, 1908), p. 71:
One's own house is best,         though small it may be;
each man is master at home;
though he have but two goats         and a bark-thatched hut
'tis better than craving a boon.
The same, tr. D. E. Martin Clarke in The Hávamál: With Selections from Other Poems of The Edda (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1923; rpt. 2011), p. 53:
A house of your own is better, though it is only a little one. Every man is a person of consequence at home. Even if you only have two goats and a cottage thatched with fibre it is better than begging.
Old Norse:
Bú er betra
þótt lítit sé
halr er heima hverr
þótt tvær geitr
eigi ok taugreptan sal
þat er þó betra an bœn
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