The Elder Eddas of Saemund Sigfusson; and the Younger Eddas of Snorre Sturleson eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 255 pages of information about The Elder Eddas of Saemund Sigfusson; and the Younger Eddas of Snorre Sturleson.

ODIN’S RUNE-SONG.[24]

140.  I know that I hung, on a wind-rocked tree, nine whole nights, with a spear wounded, and to Odin offered, myself to myself; on that tree, of which no one knows from what root it springs.

141.  Bread no one gave me, nor a horn of drink, downward I peered, to runes applied myself, wailing learnt them, then fell down thence.

142.  Potent songs nine from the famed son I learned of Bolthorn, Bestla’s sire, and a draught obtained of the precious mead, drawn from Odhraerir.

143.  Then I began to bear fruit, and to know many things, to grow and well thrive:  word by word I sought out words, fact by fact I sought out facts.

144.  Runes thou wilt find, and explained characters, very large characters, very potent characters, which the great speaker depicted, and the high powers formed, and the powers’ prince graved: 

145.  Odin among the AEsir, but among the Alfar, Dain, and Dvalin for the dwarfs, Asvid for the Jotuns:  some I myself graved.

146.  Knowest thou how to grave them? knowest thou how to expound them? knowest thou how to depict them? knowest thou how to prove them? knowest thou how to pray? knowest thou how to offer? knowest thou how to send?[25] knowest thou how to consume?

147.  ’Tis better not to pray than too much offer; a gift ever looks to a return.  ’Tis better not to send than too much consume.  So Thund graved before the origin of men, where he ascended, to whence he afterwards came.

148.  Those songs I know which the king’s wife knows not nor son of man.  Help the first is called, for that will help thee against strifes and cares.

149.  For the second I know, what the sons of men require, who will as leeches live. * * * *

150.  For the third I know,[26] if I have great need to restrain my foes, the weapons’ edge I deaden:  of my adversaries nor arms nor wiles harm aught.

151.  For the fourth I know, if men place bonds on my limbs, I so sing that I can walk; the fetter starts from my feet, and the manacle from my hands.

152.  For the fifth I know, if I see a shot from a hostile hand, a shaft flying amid the host, so swift it cannot fly that I cannot arrest it, if only I get sight of it.

153.  For the sixth I know, if one wounds me with a green tree’s roots;[27] also if a man declares hatred to me, harm shall consume them sooner than me.

154.  For the seventh I know, if a lofty house I see blaze o’er its inmates, so furiously it shall not burn that I cannot save it.  That song I can sing.

155.  For the eighth I know, what to all is useful to learn:  where hatred grows among the sons of men—­that I can quickly assuage.

156.  For the ninth I know, if I stand in need my bark on the water to save, I can the wind on the waves allay, and the sea lull.

157.  For the tenth I know, if I see troll-wives sporting in air, I can so operate that they will forsake their own forms, and their own minds.

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The Elder Eddas of Saemund Sigfusson; and the Younger Eddas of Snorre Sturleson from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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