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Voluspa

1. Hear me, all ye holy kindred, (3)
Greater and lesser sons of Heimdal!
You wish me to tell the ancient tales,
O Father of seers, the oldest I know.

2. I remember giants born in the foretime,
They who long ago nurtured me;
Nine worlds I remember, nine trees of life,
Before this world tree grew from the ground.

3. This was the first of aeons, when Ymer built.
There was no soil, no sea, no waves;
Earth was not, nor heaven;
Gaping abyss alone: no growth.

4. Until Bur's sons raised the tables;
They who had power to fashion Midgard.
Sun shone from the south on the stones of the court;
Then grew green grass in fertile soil.

5. The sun bore south together with moon.
On her right hand was the heaven's door.
Sun knew not what hall she had;
Stars knew not their places yet.
Moon knew not his power.

6. The mighty drew to their judgment seats,
All holy gods to hold council;
They named night and moon phases, separated morn from noon,
Dusk and evening, to tell the years.

7. The Aesir met on the Ida sward,
Timbered lofty courts and altars;
They founded forges, smithied gold,
Fashioned tongs and tempered tools.

8. Goldtable they joyfully played in the court;
Lacked not abundance of gold;
Until there came from the giants' home
Three very immoderate giant maids.

9. The mighty drew to their Judgment seats,
All holy gods to hold council:
Who should fashion a host of dwarfs
From Brimer's blood and the limbs of the dead?

10. There was Force-sucker, master of dwarfs
As Durin knows;
There were fashioned many humanoid dwarfs from the earth
As Durin said.

11. Wax and Wane, North and South,
East and West, All-thief, Coma,
Bifur, Bafur, (4)
Bombur, Nore.

12. An, Anar, Ai, Mead-witness,
Path, Magus, Windelf, Thrain,
Yearning, Longing, Wisdom, Color,
Corpse and New Advice.

13. Slice and Wedge, Discovery, Nale,
Hope and Will, Rooster, Sviur,
Speedy, Antlered,
Fame, and Lone.

14. It is time the dwarfs of Dvalin's kin
Be named, up to Lofar, the handed:
They who have struggled from the hall's
Stone foundation up to the ramparts.

15. Clarifier, Cycler, Shaver, Channel,
Sanctuary-of-youth and Oakshield-bearer,
Fugitive, Frost, and
Finder and Illusion.

16. While ages endure
The long, long reach
Of Lofar's forebears
Shall be remembered.

17. From one such train drew forth in the hall
Three Aesir, powerful, compassionate.
They found on the earth the ash and the alder,
Of little power, indeterminate.

18. Odin gave them spirit,
Honer discernment,
Lodur gave them blood
And divine light.

19. An ash stands, I know, by name Yggdrasil;
That tall tree is watered by white icicles daily;
Thence comes the dew that drops in the dells;
It stands ever green above Urd's well.

20. Thence come maidens who know much,
Three from that hall beneath the tree:
One was named Origin, the second Becoming.
These two fashioned the third, named Debt.

21. They established law,
They selected lives
For the children of ages,
And the fates of men.

22. She remembers the first slaying in the world,
When Gullveig (5) was hoist on a spear;
Thrice was she burned and thrice reborn,
Again and again — yet still she lives.

23. Heid was her name.
To whatever house she came
She prophesied well and was versed in spells.
She was much sought by evil peoples.

24. The mighty drew to their judgment seats,
All holy gods to hold council;
Should the Aesir alone atone the wrong,
Or all the gods make reparation?

25. Odin hurled his spear among the throng.
This became the first war in the world.
The ramparts were rent in the Aesir's stronghold;
Victorious Vaner strode the field.

26. The mighty drew to their judgment seats,
All holy gods to hold council:
Who had mingled the air with evil
Or given Od's maid to the giant race?

27. Thor struck out in mighty wrath;
He stays not quiet when such he learns;
Oaths were broken, words and promises,
Mighty pacts were broken then.

28. She knows where Heimdal's horn is hid
Under the sacred sun-drench'd tree;
She sees ladled a stream mixed with icicle torrent
From Allfather's forfeit. Know you as yet, or what? (6)

29. She sat outside alone when the Old One came;
The fearsome Ase looked her in the eye:
"What ask you of me? Why do you tempt me?
I know all, Odin. I know where you hid your eye —

30. "In the redoubtable Mimer's well.
Mimer quaffs mead each morning
From Allfather's forfeit."
Know you as yet, or what?

31. The Father of Hosts gave her rings
And gems to gain
Wisdom and lore from her.
Far and wide she scanned the worlds.

32. She saw Valkyries ready to ride: Debt bore armor.
So also did War, Battle, and Spearwound.
Thus are the Hero's maidens named,
Valkyries mounted to ride over earth.

33. I saw the fate determined for Balder,
The gentle god, Odin's child.
High above the field there grew,
Slender and fair, the mistletoe bough.

34. The sprig that I saw was to become
A threatening sorrow-dart shot by Hoder.
Balder's brother, born before his time,
But one night of age, Odin's son rode to battle.

35. He laved not his hands nor combed he his hair
Ere he bore Balder's foe on the funeral pyre.
Frigga bewept in her watery palace Valhalla's woe.
Know you as yet, or what?

36. She saw the one bound beneath the court,
Where the caldron is kept.
The wretch resembles Loki.
Unhappy Sigyn remains by her spouse.
Know you as yet, or what?

37. A torrent of daggers and swords
Runs from the East
Through vales of venom.
Her name is Scabbard.

38. On low northern fields stood a golden hall
Belonging to Sindre's race.
Another one stood on the Unfreezing Ocean,
The giant Brimer's brewhall.

39. A hall she sees standing far from the sun
On the shores of death, with its door to the north.
Venomous drops fall in through the weave,
For that hall is woven of serpents.

40. Therein wading the streams she saw
Oathbreakers, murderers, adulterers.
There Nidhogg (7) sucks cadavers,
Wolves tear men.
Know you as yet, or what?

41. Eastward in the Ironwood the Old One sat
Fostering Fenrer's offspring.
Of them all shall come a certain something
That in troll's guise shall take the moon.

42. It feeds on the life of those who die,
And blood-red it colors the dwelling of powers.
The sun shall be dark the summers thereafter,
All winds be odious.
Know you as yet, or what?

43. There in the field, playing the harp,
Carefree Egter sits, watching the sword maids;
There crowed for him in the human world
Fjalar, the fair red rooster of spring.

44. For the Aesir crowed the goldcomb-adorned,
Who wakens the warriors in Hostfather's hall;
But another crows beneath the earth:
A soot-red cock in the halls of Hel.

45. Garm howls at the Gnipa-hollow of Hel.
What is fast loosens, and Freke runs free.
She grasps much; I see more:
To Ragnarok, the Victory-gods' hard death struggle.

46. Brothers shall battle and slay one another.
Blood ties of sisters' sons shall be sundered.
Harsh is the world. Fornication is rife,
Luring to faithlessness spouses of others.

47. Axe time, sword time, shields shall be cloven;
Wind time, wolf time, ere the world wanes.
Din on the fields, trolls in full flight;
No man shall then spare another.

48. Mimer's sons arise. The dying world tree flares
At the sound of the shrill trump of doom.
Loud blows Heimdal, the horn held high.
Odin confers with Mimer's head.

49. With a roaring in the ancient tree
The giant is loosened.
The ash, Yggdrasil,
Quakes where it stands.

50. Garm howls at the Gnipa-hollow of Hel.
What was fast loosens, and Freke runs free.

51. Rymer steers westward; the tree is o'erturned;
In titanic rage
Iormungandr (8) writhes,
Whipping the waves to froth.

52. The eagle shrieks loudly;
Bleknabb (9) tears corpses.
Nagelfar (10) casts off.

53. Comes a keel from the east. From over the waters
Come Muspell's folk with Loki at the helm.
Monsters fare with Freke.
Such is the train of Byleist's (11) brother.

54. How is it with Aesir? How is it with elves?
The giant world roars; the Aesir hold council.
Dwarfs groan before their stone portals,
Masters of mountains.
Know you as yet, or what?

55. Fire fares from south with flaring flames.
The embattled gods' sun is skewered on the sword.
Mountains burst open. Hags hurry hence.
Men tread Hel's road; the heavens are sundered.

56. Then comes Lin's (12) second life sorrow,
As Odin emerges to war with the wolf.
The bane of Bele (13) flashes forth against Fire:
There shall Frigga's hero fall.

57. Victory-father's son, Vidar the mighty,
Comes forth to battle the beast of death.
He plunges his sword from mouth to heart
Of the Son of Completion. The Sire is avenged.

58. Approaches the shining scion of Earth:
Odin's son meets with the wolf.
In raging wrath he slays Midgard's woe.
Then do all men turn homeward.

59. Nine steps only away from the monster
Staggers the son of Earth.
The sun grows dim; earth sinks in the waters;
The sparkling stars fall from the firmament.
Fire entwines the Life-supporter; (14)
Heat rises high to the heavens.

60. Garm howls at the Gnipa-hollow of Hel.
What was fast loosens, and Freke runs free.

… … …

61. She sees rising another earth from the sea,
Once more turning green.
Torrents tumble, eagle soars
From the mountains, seeking fish.

62. The Aesir met on the Ida sward
To judge of the mighty Soil-mulcher; (15)
There to recall their former feats
And the runes of Fimbultyr. (16)

63. There are found in the grass
The wondrous golden tablets;
Them in days of yore
The races had owned.

64. Harvests shall grow on unsown fields,
All ills be redressed, and Balder shall come.
With him Hoder shall build on Ropt's sacred soil
As gentle gods of the Chosen.
Know you as yet, or what?

65. Then Honer may freely seek his destiny,
Shake the divining rods, read the omens;
And the two brothers shall build their dwelling
In wide Windhome.
Know you as yet, or what?

66. She sees a hall more fair than the sun,
Gilded, glowing on Gimle. (17)
There shall the virtuous hosts abide
And Joy in serenity during long ages.

67. Then comes the dragon of darkness flying,
Might from beneath,
From the mountains of night.
He soars o'er the fields in a featherguise.