Odin's Raven-Galder

 

Allfather works,

elves understand,

vanir know,

norns reveal,

íviđja gives birth,

men endure,

thurses wait,

valkyries yearn.


The Ćsir suspected

an evil scheme,

wights confounded

the weather with magic;

Urđur was appointed

Óđhrćrir's keeper,

powerful to protect it

from the mightiest winter.


Hugur then disappears

seeking the heavens,

men's ruin is suspected,

if he's delayed;

Ţráinn's thought

is an opressive dream,

Dáinn's dream

was thought enigmatic.


The dwarves' powers

dwindle, the worlds

sink down

towards Ginnung's abyss;

Often Alsviđur

fells from above,

often he gathers

the fallen again.


Earth and Sun

cannot stand firm;

malignant winds

do not cease;

hidden in the glorious

well of Mímir

lies all knowledge;

know ye yet, or what?


Dwells in dales

the curious dís,

from Yggdrasill's

ash descended;

of elven kin,

Iđunn was her name,

youngest of Ívald's

elder children.


Ill she endured

the fall from above,

under the hoar-tree's

trunk confined;

disliked staying

at Nörvi's daughter's,

used to better

abodes back home.


The divinities see

Nauma grieving

in the wolf's home;

given a wolf-skin,

she clad herself therein,

changed disposition,

delighted in guile,

shifted her shape.


Viđrir selected

Bifröst's guardian

to inquire of

the bearer of Gjöll's sun,

whatever she knew

of the world's affairs;

Bragi and Loftur

bore witness.


Sorcery they sang,

wolves they rode,

Rögnir and Reginn,

against the world's house;

Óđinn listens

in Hliđskjálf;

watched the travellers'

distant journey.


The wise one asked

the server of mead,

scion of gods

and his road-companions,

if she knew the origin,

duration, and end

of heaven, of hel,

of the world.


Her mind she spoke not,

nor was Gefjun able

to utter a word,

nor express any joy;

tears trickled,

from the skull's shields,

the mighty one

was bereft of power.


As from the East,

out of Élivágar,

comes a thorn from the field

of the rime-cold giant,

with which Dáinn

smites all men

of glorious Midgard

every night.


Actions are numbed,

the arms slump,

a swoon hovers over

the white god's sword;

stupor dispels

the wind of the giantess,

the mind's workings

of all mankind.


Thus the gods perceived

the state of Jórunn,

swollen with sorrow,

when no answer came forth;

they grew more persistent

as response was denied,

but all their words

were to no avail.


Went forth the leader

of the expedition,

guardian of Herjan's

Gjallarhorn;

chose as companion

the kinsman of Nál,

Grímnir's poet

guarded the ground.


Arrived at Vingólf

Viđar's thains,

by Fornjót's sons

both transported;

they walk within,

greet the Ćsir

forthwith at Yggur's

merry ale-feast:


"Hale be, Hangatýr,

happiest of Ćsir,

may you preside over

the mead at the high-seat!"

"Sit, gods, in delight

at the drinking-feast;

may you, with Yggjungur,

enjoy eternal bliss!"


Seated on benches

at Bölverk's bidding

the tribe of gods

were with Sćhrímnir sated;

Skögul, at the tables,

with horns meted out

Mímir's mead

from Hnikar's vat.


Much was asked

during the banquet

of Heimdallur by the gods,

of Loki by the goddesses,

whether the woman had spoken

prophecies or wisdom;

all day they asked

until twilight approached.


Badly, they deemed,

had gone amiss

their futile errand

of little glory;

it would prove hard

to find the ploy needed

to get an answer

from the woman.


Ómi answers,

all listened:

"Night is the time

for new advice;

think until morning

each that is able

to provide counsel

for the Ćsir's benefit!".


Ran along the eddies

of Rindur's plains

the wolf's tired

food supply;

the gods left

the feast and saluted

Hroptur and Frigg,

as Hrímfaxi ascended.


Delling's son

urged on his horse,

well adorned

with precious stones;

the horse's mane glows

above Man-world,

the steed in his chariot

drew Dvalin's playmate.


At Jörmungrund's

northern border,

under the outermost root

of the noble tree,

went to their couches

giantesses and giants,

dead men, dwarves,

and dark-elves.


The gods arose,

álfröđull ran,

njóla advanced

north towards Niflheimur;

Úlfrún's son

lifted up Árgjöll,

the mighty hornblower

in Himinbjörg.