Poetic Edda/Völuspá I

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1. «For silence I ask all
the holy children,
great and small,
sons of Heimdallr;
wilt thou, that I, Valfather!
Well recount
ancient history of men,
the first I remember?

2. I remember Jotnar
early born,
those who in old
foster me have;
nine homes I remember,
nine wooded rooms,
wise tree bright
before ground below.

3. In times of old
then Ýmir build,
was sand, not sea,
no gelid waves,
earth existed not,
nor upper heaven,
gap was yawning,
but grass nowhere.

4. Ere Bur's sons
the burden lifted,
they who Midgard
mighty created;
sun shone from the south
on the temple rocks,
the ground grows
with green onions.

5. Sun warped south,
moons companion,
the right hand
around the heavens rim;
sun knew not
what temples she had,
moon knew not
what power he possessed,
stars knew not
what places they had.

6. Then went reigns all
to their ruling seats,
the high-holy gods
held council;
night and descendant
they gave names,
morning they named,
and midday,
afternoon and eve;
years to count.

7. Are Aesir to be found
on Idavelli;
there they Hörg and Hof
timbered high,
craftsmen created,
and blacksmiths,
tongs they fashion
and tools made.

8. With games in the yard
joyous they were,
to them was naught
the lack of gold;
then three there came,
Thursa maidens,
from Jotunhome.

9. Then went reigns all
to their ruling seats,
the high-holy gods
held council:
whom should the Dwarfs,
the kings' men, create,
from oceans blood
and the Bláins calves.

10. There was Módsognir,
greatest of creations,
greatest of Dwarfs,
but Durinn second;
Manlike creations
many they did,
Dwarfs from earth,
as Durinn said.

11. Nýi, Nidi,
Nordri, Sudri,
Austri, Vestri,
Althjófr, Dvalinn,
Nár and Náinn,
Nípingr, Dáinn,
Bifurr, Bafurr,
Bomburr, Nori,
Ánn and Ánarr,
Óinn, Mjodvitnir.

12. Veggr and Gandálfr,
Vindálfr, Thorinn,
Thrár and Thráinn,
Thekkr, Litr ok Vitr,
Nýr and Nýrádr,
now have I Dwarfs,
Reginn and Radsvidr,
rightly mention.

13. Fili, Kili,
Fundinn, Nali,
Hepti, Vili,
Hanarr, Svíurr,
Billingr, Brúni,
Bildr and Buri,
Frár, Hornbori,
Fregr and Lóni,
Aurvangr, Jari,

14. Measure is the Dwarfs
in Dvalin's flock
the men of lions
and census Lofars;
there they went
from temples rocks,
to Aurvanga shoot,
and Joruvalla.

15. There were Draupnir,
and Dólgthrasir,
Hár, Haugspori,
Hlévangr, Glóinn,
Dori, Ori,
Dúfr, Andvari,
Skirfir, Virfir,
Skafidr, Ai.

16. Álfr and Yngvi,
Fjalarr and Frosti,
Finnr and Ginnarr;
known shall be
while people lives,
long-fathers reckoning,
the Lofars had.

17. To three there came
from the land
this high and mighty
Aesir to the house,
found they on land,
less mighty,
Ask and Emblu
void of destiny.

18. Mind they not own,
reflection they had not,
no vision nor cover
or colour fine;
mind gave Odinn,
reflection gave Hænir,
vision gave Lódurr
and colour fine.

19. Ash I know standing,
named Yggdrasill,
a lofty tree, laved
with limpid water:
thence comes dew
that in dales fell;
standing evergreen over
Urd’s well.

20. Thence comes maidens,
much knowing,
three, from the hall
under tree stands;
Urd hight the first,
the second Verdandi,
they ash-tablets graved,
Skuld hight the third;
they laws made,
they life selected;
all the children
they destiny say.

21. She dispute remember,
the first in the home,
when Gullveig
Geirum supported,
and in Hárs hall
they burn her;
three times burned
the three times born,
often, not seldom,
yet still she lives.

22. Heidi she hight,
to the house came
the wise volva,
woken she neighbours,
magic she knew,
magic she joyfully,
friendly always
for angry maidens.

23. Then went reigns all
to their ruling seats,
the high-holy gods
held council:
whether Aesir should
sacrifice offer,
or should gods all
the guilds own.

24. Spear throws Odinn
and shoots in the flock,
then there was conflict,
the first in the home;
broken was board-wall
in Aesir-fortress,
war proclaims Vanir,
on plains running.

25. Then went reigns all
to their ruling seats,
the high-holy gods
held council:
who had ear all
with evil mixed,
or the Jotun's
Od's made given?

26. Thorr only rise,
in stifling mode,
seldom he sits
when hearing like this;
broken was oaths,
words, and promise,
the mighty pledges
between them made.

27. Knows she Heimdall's
sound is hidden
under bright twig
of holy tree;
stream see she wiggle
to muddy falls
from Valfathers pawn.
Understand ye yet, or what?

28. Alone she sat outside,
when in old there came
Yggjungr, Aesir,
and in her eye gazed:
«What wouldst thou ask me?
Why temptest thou me?
I know all, Ódinn!
Where your eye fell:
in the mighty
well of Mími»
Mead drinks Mímir
every morning
from Valfathers pawn.
Understand ye yet, or what?

30. Selected her Herfather
rings and gold,
riches wisely,
that she wisdom tell.
Saw she far and wide
in homes all.

30. See she Valkyries
far was coming,
ready to ride
to Godtjodar:
Skuld hold shield,
but Skogul another,
Gunnr, Hildr, Gondul,
and Geirskogul;
now is counted
the nun's of Herjan,
Valkyries ready
to ride the land.

31. I saw for Baldri,
the blood of Tívur,
Ódin's child
destiny follow:
Stood he grown up,
high over field,
lean and soft,
the bright mistletoe.

32. Was of the injury,
that hit him mildly,
harm-flying badly;
Hodr was shooting.
Baldrs brother
was born ere long,
and one night old
fought Odin's son.

33. Wash he never hands,
nor head combed,
till to fire he bore
Baldrs cause of death.
But Frigg she cried
in Fensalom
over the act in Valhallar.
Understand ye yet, or what?

34 . . . . .
. . . . . .
. . . . . .
. . . . . .
Then may Vala
the tie of misery turn,
better-done hard
and tide with guts.

35. In chain saw she lying
under spring grove,
the guileful-like
Loka to perceive;
sits there Sigyn,
but much happiness
she don’t have.
Understand ye yet, or what?

36. River falls east
through venom dales
with scissors and sword;
Slídr is its name.

37. Stood before the north,
on Nidavollum
a hall made of gold
for Sindr's kin;
another stood
in Ókólni,
Jotun's bjór-hall,
which Brímir hight.

38. Hall she sees standing
far from the sun
at Nástrondu,
north turns the door;
falls venom-drops
in from the roof,
and it's under the hall
entwined with serpents.

39. She there saw wading
the sluggish streams
bloodthirsty men
and murderous wolfs
and those who confuse
the ears of a female friend;
there suck Nidhoggr
corpses, forward going,
the wolf tears beings.
Understand ye yet, or what?

40. In the east sat the old
in Ironwood
and there gave birth
to Fenris children;
Just one of these
of all of them
becomes the moon-thief
in troll's guise.

41. Fills the foreshore
with dead men,
reddens reigns abode
with red gore;
black was sunshine
the summer after,
the weather unsafe.
Understand ye yet, or what?

42. Sat there on a pile
and played his harp
the maidens' warder
joyfully Egdir;
resound around him
in gosling forest
bright red rooster
that Fjalarr is named.

43. Resound around Aesir
and wakes yeoman's
hinge at Herjafather;
another yell
before earth below
soot-red rooster
in the halls of Heljar.

44. Barks Garmr load
before Gnípahelli;
the leash may break,
and Freki then runs.
Much she knows,
forth I see longer,
about Ragnarok
the mighty Sigtíva.

45. Brothers may fight
and fell each other,
may sisters' sons
kinship stain;
hard is in the home,
whoredom severe;
axe-age, sword-age,
shields cloven,
wind-age, wolf-age,
ere the world falls;
no men will
each other spare.

46. Plays Mims sons,
but fate awakes
from the aged
load blows Heimdallr,
the horn is raised;
grind then Ódinn
with Míms head.

47. Trembles Yggdrasil's
ash yet standing,
a feeble sound of aged tree,
the Jotunn is loos;
hasty they all went
on the road to Hel,
before still Surt's
friend it swallow.

48. What's with the Aesir?
What's with the Elf’s?
Resound all Jotun-homes;
Aesir are at the council,
stand the Dwarfs
before the stony door,
rock-wall wise.
Understand ye yet, or what?

49. Barks now Garmr load
before Gnípahelli,
the leash may break,
and Freki then runs.

50. Hrymr slide to the east,
have linden in front.
Turns Jormungandr
in Jotun mode:
worm bundle waves
and eagle screams,
beak tear foul corpse.
Naglfar is loosened.

51. Keel's journey eastward,
comes may Muspells
of lawful lands,
but Loki steer's;
goes unlawful men
with Freka all,
they with brother
of Byleist went.

52. Surtr journey south,
with burning evil,
shines from swords
the sun on Valtiva.
Stone castle clashes,
still werewolf journey,
throng tails on Hell-road,
then heaven cloven.

53. Then comes Hlínars
other grief forth,
when Ódinn goes
with wolf fighting,
and bright Belia
slays Surti;
there may Friggjar
fall out of joy.

54. Barks now Garmr load
before Gnípahelli;
the leash may break,
and Freki then runs.

55. Then comes the high
Sigfathers son
Vidarr to slay
the Val-beast;
In Hvedrungs son
his sword pierced
to the heart;
avenged was his father.

56. Then comes the bright
son of Hlódynjar,
goes Odin’s son
to fight the snake;
slay he the mighty
Midgard’s guardian;
may werewolf's all
homesteads clear;
walks steps nine
Fjorgynjar's son
faintly from the serpent;
contumely female beast.

57. The sun darkens,
earth in ocean sinks,
from heaven trembles
bright stars.
The raging reek
with age to linger
plays load heat
with heaven itself.

58. Barks now Garmr load
before Gnipahelli,
the leash may break,
and Freki then runs.

59. She sees arise
a second time
earth from ocean,
beauteously green;
waterfalls descending,
eagle flying over,
she from mountains
captures fish.

60. Are Aesir to be found
on Idavelli,
of moulded pinewood
long they speak,
and recollect there
the mighty concil,
and of Fimbultys
ancient runes.

61. Then may again
golden tablets
in the grass be found,
which in days of old
they had possessed.

62. Unsown then
the fields will grow,
evil be amended;
Baldr is coming.
Hodr and Baldr dwell
in Hropts victory-hall,
well with Valtivar.
Understand ye yet, or what?

63. Then may Hænir
by lot wood choose,
and farmsteads build,
brothers both
in wind home wide.
Understand ye yet, or what?

64. She a hall see standing
brighter than sun,
with gold bedecked,
in Gimlé;
there shall good people
household build,
and in long time
happiness enjoy.

65. Then comes a kingdom
to the ruling-seat,
the high from above,
who rules o'er all.

66. Then comes the gloomy
dragon flying,
serpent from below,
from Nidafjollum;.
bears in feather corpse
— flying over plain —
Nidhoggr now pale.
Now may she sink..»


1 «Hljóðs bið ek allar
helgar kindir,
meiri ok minni
mögu Heimdallar;
viltu, at ek, Valföðr!
vel framtelja
forn spjöll fíra,
þau er fremst um man.

2 Ek man jötna
ár um borna,
þá er forðum
mik fœdda höfðu;
níu man ek heima,
níu íviði,
mjötvið mœran
fyr mold neðan.

3 Ár var alda
þar er Ýmir bygði,
vara sandr né sær
né svalar unnir,
jörð fannsk æva
né upphiminn,
gap var ginnunga,
en gras hvergi.

4 Áðr Burs synir
bjöðum um ypðu,
þeir er Miðgarð
mœran skópu;
sól skein sunnan
á salar steina,
þá var grund gróin
grœnum lauki.

5 Sól varp sunnan,
sinni mána,
hendi inni hœgri
um himinjódyr;
sól þat ne vissi
hvar hon sali átti,
máni þat ne vissi
hvat hann megins átti,
stjörnur þat ne vissu
hvar þær staði áttu.

6 Þá gengu regin öll
á rökstóla,
ginnheilug goð,
ok um þat gættusk;
nátt ok niðjum
nöfn um gáfu,
morgin hétu
ok miðjan dag,
undorn ok aptan,
árum at telja.

7 Hittusk æsir
á Iðavelli,
þeir er hörg ok hof
afla lögðu,
auð smíðuðu,
tangir skópu
ok tól görðu.

8 Tefldu í túni,
teitir váru,
var þeim vettugis
vant ór gulli;
unz þrjár kvámu
þursa meyjar
ámátkar mjök
ór jötunheimum.

9 Þá gengu regin öll
á rökstóla,
ginnheilug goð,
ok um þat gættusk:
hverr skyldi dverga
drótt um skepja
ór brimi blóðgu
ok ór Bláins leggjum.

10 Þar var Móðsognir
mæztr um orðinn
dverga allra,
en Durinn annarr;
þeir mannlíkun
mörg um görðu
dvergar í jörðu,
sem Durinn sagði.

11 Nýi, Niði,
Norðri, Suðri,
Austri, Vestri,
Alþjófr, Dvalinn,
Nár ok Náinn,
Nípingr, Dáinn,
Bifurr, Bafurr,
Bömburr, Nori,
Ánn ok Ánarr,
Óinn, Mjöðvitnir.

12 Veggr ok Gandálfr,
Vindálfr, Þorinn,
Þrár ok Þráinn,
Þekkr, Litr ok Vitr,
Nýr ok Nýráðr,
nú hefi ek dverga,
Reginn ok Ráðsviðr,
rétt um talða.

13 Fili, Kili,
Fundinn, Nali,
Hepti, Vili,
Hanarr, Svíurr,
Billingr, Brúni,
Bildr ok Buri,
Frár, Hornbori,
Frægr ok Lóni,
Aurvangr, Jari,

14 Mál er dverga
í Dvalins liði
ljóna kindum
til Lofars telja,
þeir er sóttu
frá salar steini
Aurvanga sjöt
til Jöruvalla.

15 Þar var Draupnir
ok Dólgþrasir,
Hár, Haugspori,
Hlévangr, Glóinn,
Dori, Ori,
Dúfr, Andvari,
Skirfir, Virfir,
Skafiðr, Ai.

16 Álfr ok Yngvi,
Fjalarr ok Frosti,
Finnr ok Ginnarr;
þat man æ uppi,
meðan öld lifir,
langniðja tal
Lofars hafat.

17 Unz þrír kvámu
ór því liði
öflgir ok ástkir
æsir at húsi,
fundu á landi
lítt megandi
Ask ok Emblu

18 Önd þau ne áttu,
óð þau ne höfðu,
lá né læti
né litu góða;
önd gaf Óðinn,
óð gaf Hœnir,
lá gaf Lóðurr
ok litu góða.

19 Ask veit ek standa,
heitir Yggdrasill
hár baðmr, ausinn
hvíta auri;
þaðan koma döggvar
þærs í dala falla;
stendr æ yfir grœnn
Urðar brunni.

20 Þaðan koma meyjar
margs vitandi
þrjár, ór þeim sal
er und þolli stendr;
Urð hétu eina,
aðra Verðandi,
skáru á skíði,
Skuld ina þriðju;
þær lög lögðu,
þær líf kuru
alda börnum,
örlög seggja.

21 Þat man hon fólkvíg
fyrst í heimi,
er Gullveig
geirum studdu
ok í höll Hárs
hana brendu;
þrysvar brendu
þrysvar borna,
opt, ósjaldan,
þó hon enn lifir.

22 Heiði hana hétu,
hvars til húsa kom,
völu velspá,
vitti hon ganda,
seið hon hvars hon kunni,
seið hon hugleikin,
æ var hon angan
illrar brúðar.

23 Þá gengu regin öll
á rökstóla,
ginnheilug goð,
ok um þat gættusk:
hvárt skyldu æsir
afráð gjalda,
eða skyldu goðin öll
gildi eiga.

24 Fleygði Óðinn
ok í fólk um skaut,
þat var enn fólkvíg
fyrst í heimi;
brotinn var borðveggr
borgar ása,
knáttu vanir vígská
völlu sporna.

25 Þá gengu regin öll
á rökstóla,
ginnheilug goð,
ok um þat gættusk:
hverr hefði lopt allt
lævi blandit
eða ætt jötuns
Óðs mey gefna.

26 Þórr einn þar vá
þrunginn móði,
hann sjaldan sitr
er hann slíkt um fregn;
á gengust eiðar,
orð ok sœri,
mál öll meginlig
er á meðal fóru.

27 Veit hon Heimdallar
hljóð um fólgit
undir heiðvönum
helgum baðmi;
á sér hon ausask
aurgum forsi
af veði Valföðrs.
Vituð ér enn eða hvat?

28 Ein sat hon úti,
þá er inn aldni kom
yggjungr ása
ok í augu leit.
Hvers fregnið mik?
hví freistið mín?
alt veit ek, Óðinn!
hvar þú auga falt:
í inum mœra
Mímis brunni;
drekkr mjöð Mímir
morgin hverjan
af veði Valföðrs.
Vituð ér enn eða hvat?

29 Valði henni Herföðr
hringa ok men,
féspjöll spaklig
ok spáganda;
sá hon vítt ok um vítt
of veröld hverja.

30 Sá hon valkyrjur
vítt um komnar
görvar at ríða
til Goðþjóðar:
Skuld hélt skildi,
en Skögul önnur,
Gunnr, Hildr, Göndul
ok Geirskögul;
nú eru talðar
nönnur Herjans,
görvar at ríða
grund valkyrjur.

31 Ek sá Baldri,
blóðgum tívur,
Óðins barni
örlög fólgin:
stóð um vaxinn
völlum hæri
mjór ok mjök fagr

32 Varð af þeim meiði,
er mér sýndisk,
harmflaug hættlig,
Höðr nam skjóta.
Baldrs bróðir
var of borinn snemma,
sá nam Óðins sonr
einnættr vega.

33 Þó hann æva hendr
né höfuð kembði,
áðr á bál um bar
Baldrs andskota.
En Frigg um grét
í Fensölum
vá Valhallar.
Vituð ér enn eða hvat?

34 . . . . . .
. . . . . .
. . . . . .
. . . . . .
Þá kná Vala
vígbönd snúa,
heldr váru harðgör
höpt ór þörmum.

35 Hapt sá hon liggja
undir hvera lundi
Loka áþekkjan;
þar sitr Sigyn
þeygi um sínum
ver vel glýjuð.
Vituð ér enn eða hvat?

36 Á fellr austan
um eitrdala
söxum ok sverðum,
Slíðr heitir sú.

37 Stóð fyr norðan
á Niðavöllum
salr ór gulli
Sindra ættar;
en annarr stóð
á Ókólni,
bjórsalr jötuns,
en sá Brímir heitir.

38 Sal sá hon standa
sólu fjarri
Náströndu á,
norðr horfa dyrr;
féllu eitrdropar
inn um ljóra,
sá er undinn salr
orma hryggjum.

39 Sá hon þar vaða
þunga strauma
menn meinsvara
ok morðvarga
ok þanns annars glepr
þar saug Níðhöggr
nái framgengna,
sleit vargr vera.
Vituð ér enn eða hvat?

40 Austr sat in aldna
í Járnviði
ok fœddi þar
Fenris kindir;
verðr af þeim öllum
einna nökkurr
tungls tjúgari
í trolls hami.

41 Fyllisk fjörvi
feigra manna,
rýðr ragna sjöt
rauðum dreyra;
svört verða sólskin
um sumur eptir,
veðr öll válynd.
Vituð ér enn eða hvat?

42 Sat þar á haugi
ok sló hörpu
gýgjar hirðir
glaðr Egðir;
gól um hánum
í gaglviði
fagrrauðr hani,
sá er Fjalarr heitir.

43 Gól um ásum
sá vekr hölða
at Herjaföðrs;
en annarr gelr
fyr jörð neðan
sótrauðr hani
at sölum Heljar.

44 Geyr Garmr mjök
fyr Gnípahelli;
festr man slitna,
en freki renna.
Fjöld veit hon frœða,
fram sé ek lengra,
um ragnarök
römm sigtíva.

45 Brœðr munu berjask
ok at bönum verðask,
munu systrungar
sifjum spilla;
hart er í heimi,
hórdómr mikill,
skeggjöld, skálmöld,
skildir ’ru klofnir,
vindöld, vargöld,
áðr veröld steypisk;
man engi maðr
öðrum þyrma.

46 Leika Míms synir,
en mjötuðr kyndisk,
at inu gamla
hátt blæss Heimdallr,
horn er á lopti;
mælir Óðinn
við Míms höfuð.

47 Skelfr Yggdrasils
askr standandi,
ymr it aldna tré,
en jötunn losnar;
hræðask allir
á helvegum,
áðr Surtar þann
sefi of gleypir.

48 Hvat er með ásum?
hvat er með álfum?
gnýr allr jötunheimr,
æsir ’ru á þingi;
stynja dvergar
fyr steindurum
veggbergs vísir.
Vituð ér enn eða hvat?

49 Geyr nú Garmr mjök
fyr Gnípahelli;
festr man slitna,
en freki renna.

50 Hrymr ekr austan,
hefisk lind fyrir.
Snýsk jörmungandr
í jötunmóði:
ormr knýr unnir,
en ari hlakkar,
slítr nái niðfölr.
Naglfar losnar.

51 Kjóll ferr austan,
koma munu Muspells
um lög lýðir,
en Loki stýrir;
fara fíflmegir
með freka allir,
þeim er bróðir
Byleists í för.

52 Surtr ferr sunnan
með sviga lævi,
skínn af sverði
sól valtíva.
Grjótbjörg gnata,
en gífr hrata;
troða halir helveg,
en himinn klofnar.

53 Þá kemr Hlínar
harmr annarr fram,
er Óðinn ferr
við úlf vega,
en bani Belja
bjartr at Surti;
þar man Friggjar
falla angan.

54 Geyr nú Garmr mjök
fyr Gnípahelli;
festr man slitna,
en freki renna.

55 Þá kemr inn mikli
mögr Sigföður
Viðarr vega
at valdýri;
lætr hann megi hveðrungs
mund um standa
hjör til hjarta;
þá er hefnt föður.

56 Þá kemr inn mœri
mögr Hlóðynjar,
gengr Óðins sonr
við orm vega;
drepr hann af móði
Miðgarðs véurr;
munu halir allir
heimstöð ryðja;
gengr fet níu
Fjörgynjar burr
neppr frá naðri
níðs ókvíðnum.

57 Sól tér sortna,
sígr fold í mar,
hverfa af himni
heiðar stjörnur;
geisar eimi
ok aldrnari,
leikr hár hiti
við himin sjálfan.

58 Geyr nú Garmr mjök
fyr Gnípahelli;
festr man slitna,
en freki renna.

59 Sér hon upp koma
öðru sinni
jörð ór œgi
falla forsar,
flýgr örn yfir,
sá er á fjalli
fiska veiðir.

60 Finnask æsir
á Iðavelli
ok um moldþinur
mátkan dœma
ok minnask þar
á megindóma
ok á Fimbultýs
fornar rúnar.

61 Þar munu eptir
gullnar töflur
í grasi finnask,
þærs í árdaga
áttar höfðu.

62 Munu ósánir
akrar vaxa,
böls man alls batna,
Baldr man koma;
búa þeir Höðr ok Baldr
Hropts sigtoptir
vel valtívar.
Vituð ér enn eða hvat?

63 Þá kná Hœnir
hlut við kjósa
ok burir byggja
brœðra tveggja
vindheim víðan.
Vituð ér enn eða hvat?

64 Sal sér hon standa
sólu fegra
gulli þakðan
á Gimlé;
þar skulu dyggvar
dróttir byggja
ok um aldrdaga
ynðis njóta.

65 Þá kemr inn ríki
at regindómi
öflugr ofan,
sá er öllu ræðr.

66 Þar kemr inn dimmi
dreki fljúgandi,
naðr fránn neðan
frá Niðafjöllum;
berr sér í fjöðrum
— flýgr völl yfir —
Niðhöggr nái.
Nú man hon sökkvask.»