Maxims I [III], lines 138-204 [end]

Advice must be said, secrets written, a song sung; fame is to be earned, judgment pronounced, the day be busy.

A good man knows and examines a tame and round-hoofed horse. No man can get too much. A man must well hold a friend in every way. Often a man fares far from town, where he does not know to find a friend. Friendless, an unhappy man takes with him the wolves as companions, treacherous beasts. Full often his companion attacks him. Fear is for the gray ones, the grave for the dead men. The gray one, the wolf, will lament for hunger, and it will circle the grave. Nor indeed will it weep on account of the slaughter, for the men violently killed, but it always wants more.

A wound must be wound, a hard man avenged. A bow must have an arrow, and both together must have a man to accompany them. Treasure rewards another; a man must give gold. God may give riches to owners and take them away afterwards. A hall must stand, and grow old.

A fallen tree grows least.

A tree must broaden, and truth increase, it arises in the breast of innocents. A faithless and reckless man, poison-hearted and false-hearted — God does not watch over him. The Ruler shaped many things, that which long ago which happened, he commands it to be afterwards.

Wise words are fitting for everybody. To the singer the song and to the man wisdom. As many as there are men on earth, so are there thoughts, each has his special ones. The man longs less who knows many songs, or knows how to play the harp with hands, has a gift for music which God gave to him.

Wretched is he who must live alone, to him fate has commanded that he dwell friendless. Better for him if he had a brother, both of them from one man, the heirs of an earl, if they must both go against a boar: that is a death-handed animal. The warriors must always carry gear and sleep together. Never may they be hindered by speech, before they are parted by death.

The two must sit at the gameboard, until their troubles glide from them, forget their sad happenings, have for themselves a game on the board. Idle hands are good enough for the nothing-to-do man when he is accomplishing dice-throwing.

Seldom in a wide ship, unless it runs under sail . . . weary is he who rows against the wind. Often for the weary man slothfulness increases, so that he loses valor, drags his oar on the board. Cheating goes with foul play, skill with fairness; you cast the taken stone. Often they throw words before they turn their backs. A ready man is always counseled.

Feuding has come in among mankind since the earth swallowed Abel’s blood. That was not one-day violence: from the blood-drops great wickedness spread widely among men, among many peoples, bale-blind enmity. Cain slew his dear brother, then plotted killing. It was widely known afterward that eternal hatred caused harm among men, the citizen endured the strife of weapons, widely around the earth, inventing and tempering the wounding swords.

The war-board must be ready, the spear in the shaft, the edge on the sword, and the point on the spear, the spirit in the hard men. The helm must be for the keen one, and always to the man of poor spirit, the least of treasure.

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