Baldrs draumar

An English translation of Baldrs draumar by Bellows



1. Once were the gods together met,
And the goddesses came and council held,
And the far-famed ones the truth would find,
Why baleful dreams to Baldr had come.

2. Then Odinn rose,
the enchanter old,
And the saddle he laid on Sleipnir's back;
Thence rode he down to Niflhel deep,
And the hound he met that came from hell.

3. Bloody he was on his breast before,
At the father of magic he howled from afar;
Forward rode Odinn,
the earth resounded Till the house so high of Hel he reached.

4. Then Odinn rode to the eastern door,
There,
he knew well,
was the wise-woman's grave;
Magic he spoke and mighty charms,
Till spell-bound she rose,
and in death she spoke:


5. "What is the man,
to me unknown,
That has made me travel the troublous road? I was snowed on with snow,
and smitten with rain,
And drenched with dew;
long was I dead." Odinn Spoke:


6. "Vegtam my name,
I am Valtam's son;
Speak thou of hell,
for of heaven I know:
For whom are the benches bright with rings,
And the platforms gay bedecked with gold?"

7. The Wise-Woman Spoke:
"Here for Baldr the mead is brewed,
The shining drink,
and a shield lies o'er it;
But their hope is gone from the mighty gods. Unwilling I Spoke,
and now would be still."

8. Odinn Spoke:
"Wise-woman,
cease not! I seek from thee All to know that I fain would ask:
Who shall the bane of Baldr become,
And steal the life from Odinn's son?"

9. The Wise-Woman Spoke:
"Hoth thither bears the far-famed branch,
He shall the bane of Baldr become,
And steal the life from Odinn's son. Unwilling I Spoke,
and now would be still."

10. Odinn Spoke:
"Wise-woman,
cease not! I seek from thee All to know that I fain would ask:
Who shall vengeance win for the evil work,
Or bring to the flames the slayer of Baldr?"

11. The Wise-Woman Spoke:
"Rind bears Vali in Vestrsalir,
And one night old fights Odinn's son;
His hands he shall wash not,
his hair he shall comb not,
Till the slayer of Baldr he brings to the flames. Unwilling I Spoke,
and now would be still."

12. Odinn Spoke:
"Wise-woman,
cease not! I seek from thee All to know that I fain would ask:
What maidens are they who then shall weep,
And toss to the sky the yards of the sails?"

13. The Wise-Woman Spoke:
"Vegtam thou art not,
as erstwhile I thought;
Odinn thou art,
the enchanter old." Odinn Spoke:
"No wise-woman art thou,
nor wisdom hast;
Of giants three the mother art thou."

14. The Wise-Woman Spoke:
"Home ride,
Odinn,
be ever proud;
For no one of men shall seek me more Till Loki wanders loose from his bonds,
And to the last strife the destroyers come."