Wednesday 5 February 2014

Havamal Snippets 123: You can never get a reward from a bad man

This verse is both continuation of verse 122 and a verse in it's own right.

One can never get a reward from a bad man regardless of how much good one puts into him.  In this instance a bad man could be compared to a black hole, which can never become a star no matter how much light you cast into it.  However a good man will provide you with goodness so long as you are good to him in the first case.  This is similar to other verses (41 - 46) which encourage men to be good to good friends, visiting them often, and giving gifts often, because they will respond in kind; by being good.  Which is good(!)

því at af illum manni
mundu aldregi
góðs laun um geta
en góðr maðr
mun þik gørva mega
líknfastan at lofi 
-- because [2] you can never
[3] get a reward for good
[1] from a bad man,
but a good man
can make you
beloved through praise.


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