Vafþrúðnismál

Based on an English translation by Bellow



1. 1,
Odin spoke:
"Counsel me,
Frigg,
for I long to fare,
And Vafthruthnir fain would find;
fit wisdom old with the giant wise Myself would I seek to match."

2. Frigg spoke:
"Heerfather here at home would I keep,
Where the gods together dwell;
Amid all the giants an equal in might To Vafthruthnir know I none."

3. Odin spoke:
"Much have I fared,
much have I found. Much have I got from the gods;
And fain would I know how Vafthruthnir now Lives in his lofty hall."

4. Frigg spoke:
"Safe mayst thou go,
safe come again,
And safe be the way thou wendest! Father of men,
let thy mind be keen When speech with the giant thou seekest."

5. The wisdom then of the giant wise Forth did he fare to try;
He found the hall of the father of Im,
And in forthwith went Ygg.

6. Odin spoke:
"Vafthruthnir,
hail! to thy hall am I come,
For thyself I fain would see;
And first would I ask if wise thou art,
Or,
giant,
all wisdom hast won."

7. Vafthruthnir spoke:
"Who is the man that speaks to me,
Here in my lofty hall? Forth from our dwelling thou never shalt fare,
Unless wiser than I thou art."

8. Odin spoke:
"Gagnrath they call me,
and thirsty I come From a journey hard to thy hall;
Welcome I look for,
for long have I fared,
And gentle greeting,
giant."

9. Vafthruthnir spoke:
"Why standest thou there on the floor whilst thou speakest? A seat shalt thou have in my hall;
Then soon shall we know whose knowledge is more,
The guest's or the sage's gray."

10. Odin spoke:
"If a poor man reaches the home of the rich,
Let him wisely speak or be still;
For to him who speaks with the hard of heart Will chattering ever work ill."

11. Vafthruthnir spoke:
"Speak forth now,
Gagnrath,
if there from the floor Thou wouldst thy wisdom make known:
What name has the steed that each morn anew The day for mankind doth draw?"

12. Odin spoke:
"Skinfaxi is he,
the steed who for men The glittering day doth draw;
The best of horses to heroes he seems,
And brightly his mane doth burn."

13. Vafthruthnir spoke:
"Speak forth now,
Gagnrath,
if there from the floor Thou wouldst thy wisdom make known:
What name has the steed that from East anew Brings night for the noble gods?"

14. Odin spoke:
"Hrimfaxi name they the steed that anew Brings night for the noble gods;
Each morning foam from his bit there falls,
And thence come the dews in the dales."

15. Vafthruthnir spoke:
"Speak forth now,
Gagnrath,
if there from the floor Thou wouldst thy wisdom make known:
What name has the river that 'twixt the realms Of the gods and the giants goes?"

16. Odin spoke:
"Ifing is the river that 'twixt the realms Of the gods and the giants goes;
For all time ever open it flows,
No ice on the river there is."

17. Vafthruthnir spoke:
"Speak forth now,
Gagnrath,
if there from the floor Thou wouldst thy wisdom make known:
What name has the field where in fight shall meet Surt and the gracious gods?"

18. Odin spoke:
"Vigrith is the field where in fight shall meet Surt and the gracious gods;
A hundred miles each way does it measure. And so are its boundaries set."

19. Vafthruthnir spoke:
"Wise art thou,
guest! To my bench shalt thou go,
In our seats let us speak together;
Here in the hall our heads,
O guest,
Shall we wager our wisdom upon."

20. Odin spoke:
"First answer me well,
if thy wisdom avails,
And thou knowest it,
Vafthruthnir,
now:
In earliest time whence came the earth,
Or the sky,
thou giant sage?"

21. Vafthruthnir spoke:
"Out of Ymir's flesh was fashioned the earth,
And the mountains were made of his bones;
The sky from the frost-cold giant's skull,
And the ocean out of his blood."

22. Odin spoke:
"Next answer me well,
if thy wisdom avails,
And thou knowest it,
Vafthruthnir,
now:
Whence came the moon,
o'er the world of men That fares,
and the flaming sun?"

23. Vafthruthnir spoke:
"Mundilferi is he who begat the moon,
And fathered the flaming sun;
The round of heaven each day they run,
To tell the time for men."

24. Odin spoke:
"Third answer me well,
if wise thou art called,
If thou knowest it,
Vafthruthnir,
now:
Whence came the day,
o'er mankind that fares,
Or night with the narrowing moon?"

25. Vafthruthnir spoke:
"The father of day is Delling called,
And the night was begotten by Nor;
Full moon and old by the gods were fashioned,
To tell the time for men."

26. Odin spoke:
"Fourth answer me well,
if wise thou art called,
If thou knowest it,
Vafthruthnir,
now:
Whence did winter come,
or the summer warm,
First with the gracious gods?"

27. Vafthruthnir spoke:
"Vindsval he was who was winter's father,
And Svosuth summer begat;"

28. Odin spoke:
"Fifth answer me well,
if wise thou art called,
If thou knowest it,
Vafthruthnir,
now:
What giant first was fashioned of old,
And the eldest of Ymir's kin?"

29. Vafthruthnir spoke:
"Winters unmeasured ere earth was made Was the birth of Bergelmir;
Thruthgelmir's son was the giant strong,
And Aurgelmir's grandson of old."

30. Odin spoke:
"Sixth answer me well,
if wise thou art called,
If thou knowest it,
Vafthruthnir,
now:
Whence did Aurgelmir come with the giants' kin,
Long since,
thou giant sage?"

31. Vafthruthnir spoke:
"Down from Elivagar did venom drop,
And waxed till a giant it was;
And thence arose our giants' race,
And thus so fierce are we found."

32. Odin spoke:
"Seventh answer me well,
if wise thou art called,
If thou knowest it,
Vafthruthnir,
now:
How begat he children,
the giant grim,
Who never a giantess knew?"

33. Vafthruthnir spoke:
"They say 'neath the arms of the giant of ice Grew man-child and maid together;
And foot with foot did the wise one fashion A son that six heads bore."

34. Odin spoke:
"Eighth answer me well,
if wise thou art called,
If thou knowest it,
Vafthruthnir,
now:
What farthest back dost thou bear in mind? For wide is thy wisdom,
giant!"

35. Vafthruthnir spoke:
"Winters unmeasured ere earth was made Was the birth of Bergelmir;
This first knew I well,
when the giant wise In a boat of old was borne."

36. Odin spoke:
"Ninth answer me well,
if wise thou art called If thou knowest it,
Vafthruthnir,
now:
Whence comes the wind that fares o'er the waves Yet never itself is seen?"

37. Vafthruthnir spoke:
"In an eagle's guise at the end of heaven Hræsvelg sits,
they say;
And from his wings does the wind come forth To move o'er the world of men."

38. Odin spoke:
"Tenth answer me now,
if thou knowest all The fate that is fixed for the gods:
Whence came up Njorth to the kin of the gods,-- (Rich in temples and shrines he rules,--) Though of gods he was never begot?"

39. Vafthruthnir spoke:
"In the home of the Wanes did the wise ones create him,
And gave him as pledge to the gods;
At the fall of the world shall he fare once more Home to the Wanes so wise."

40. Odin spoke:
"Eleventh answer me well,
who issue forth from the stronghold to hack each other every day? Slaughter they choose and ride to war sit the glorious ones in reconciliation together."

41. Vafthruthnir spoke:
All the champions every day contend in Óðin's courtyard;
they choose the slaughter and ride from the field,
thenceforth sit reconciled.*

42. Odin spoke:
"Twelfth answer me now how all thou knowest Of the fate that is fixed for the gods;
Of the runes of the gods and the giants' race The truth indeed dost thou tell,
(And wide is thy wisdom,
giant!)"

43. Vafthruthnir spoke:
"Of the runes of the gods and the giants' race The truth indeed can I tell,
(For to every world have I won;) To nine worlds came I,
to Niflhel beneath,
The home where dead men dwell."

44. Odin spoke:
"Much have I fared,
much have I found,
Much have I got of the gods:
What shall live of mankind when at last there comes The mighty winter to men?"

45. Vafthruthnir spoke:
"In Hoddmimir's wood shall hide themselves Lif and Lifthrasir then;
The morning dews for meat shall they have,
Such food shall men then find."

46. Odin spoke:
"Much have I fared,
much have I found,
Much have I got of the gods:
Whence comes the sun to the smooth sky back,
When Fenrir has snatched it forth?"

47. Vafthruthnir spoke:
"A daughter bright Alfrothul bears Ere Fenrir snatches her forth;
Her mother's paths shall the maiden tread When the gods to death have gone."

48. Odin spoke:
"Much have I fared,
much have I found,
Much have I got of the gods:
What maidens are they,
so wise of mind. That forth o'er the sea shall fare?"

49. Vafthruthnir spoke:
"O'er Mogthrasir's hill shall the maidens pass,
And three are their throngs that come;
They all shall protect the dwellers on earth,
Though they come of the giants' kin."

50. Odin spoke:
"Much have I fared,
much have I found,
Much have I got of the gods:
Who then shall rule the realm of the gods,
When the fires of Surt have sunk?"

51. Vafthruthnir spoke:
"In the gods' home Vithar and Vali shall dwell,
When the fires of Surt have sunk;
Mothi and Magni shall Mjollnir have When Vingnir falls in fight."

52. Odin spoke:
"Much have I fared,
much have I found,
Much have I got of the gods:
What shall bring the doom of death to Odin,
When the gods to destruction go?"

53. Vafthruthnir spoke:
"The wolf shall fell the father of men,
And this shall Vithar avenge;
The terrible jaws shall he tear apart,
And so the wolf shall he slay."

54. Odin spoke:
"Much have I fared,
much have I found,
Much have I got from the gods:
What spoke Odin himself in the ears of his son,
Ere in the bale-fire he burned?"

55. Vafthruthnir spoke:
"No man can tell what in olden time Thou spak'st in the ears of thy son;
With fated mouth the fall of the gods And mine olden tales have I told;
With Odin in knowledge now have I striven,
And ever the wiser thou art."

Vafthruthnismal, poetic, edda, odin, proverbs, norse, viking, translated, english Original Article