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Håvamål


I.II

35.

The tactful guest will take his leave Early,
not linger long:
He starts to stink who outstays his welcome
In a hall that is not his own.

36.

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.

37.

A small hut of one's own is better,
A man is his master at home:
His heart bleeds in the beggar who must
Ask at each meal for meat.

38.

A wayfarer should not walk unarmed,
But have his weapons to hand:
He knows not when he may need a spear,
Or what menace meet on the road.

39.

No man is so generous he will jib at accepting
A gift in return for a gift,
No man so rich that it really gives him
Pain to be repaid.

40.

Once he has won wealth enough,
A man should not crave for more:
What he saves for friends, foes may take;
Hopes are often liars.

41.

With presents friends should please each other,
With a shield or a costly coat:
Mutual giving makes for friendship,

42.

So long as life goes well,
A man should be loyal through life to friends,
To them and to friends of theirs,
But never shall a man make offer
Of friendship to his foes.

43.

A man should be loyal through life to friends,
And return gift for gift,
Laugh when they laugh,
but with lies repay
A false foe who lies.

44.

If you find a friend you fully trust
And wish for his good-will,
exchange thoughts,
exchange gifts,
Go often to his house.

45.

If you deal with another you don't trust
But wish for his good-will,
Be fair in speech but false in thought
And give him lie for lie.

46.

Even with one you ill-trust
And doubt what he means to do,
False words with fair smiles
May get you the gift you desire.

47.

To a false friend the footpath winds
Though his house be on the highway.
To a sure friend there is a short cut,
Though he live a long way off.

48.

Hotter than fire among false hearts burns
Friendship for five days,
But suddenly slackens when the sixth dawns:
Feeble their friendship then.

49.

The generous and bold have the best lives,
Are seldom beset by cares, ,
But the base man sees bogies everywhere
And the miser pines for presents.

50.

The young fir that falls and rots
Having neither needles nor bark,
So is the fate of the friendless man:
Why should he live long?

54.

Little a sand-grain, little a dew drop,
Little the minds of men:
All men are not equal in wisdom,
The half-wise are everywhere

55.

It is best for man to be middle-wise,
Not over cunning and clever:
The learned man whose lore is deep
Is seldom happy at heart.

56.

It is best for man to be middle-wise,
Not over cunning and clever:
The fairest life is led by those
Who are deft at all they do.

57.

It is best for man to be middle-wise,
Not over cunning and clever:
No man is able to know his future,
So let him sleep in peace.

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