The Northern Way

Alvíssmál


The Lay of the Dwarf Alvis.
Alvis
1. The benches they are decking,
now shall the bride with me
bend her way home.
That beyond my strength I have hurried
will to every one appear:
at home naught shall disturb my quiet.

Vingthor
2. What man is this?
Why about the nose art thou so pale?
Hast thou last night with corpses lain?
To me thou seemst to bear
resemblances to the Thursar.
Thou art not born to carry off a bride.

Alvis
3. Alvis I am named,
beneath the earth I dwell,
under the rock I own a place.
The lord of chariots
I am come to visit.
A promise once confirmed let no one break.

Vingthor
4. I will break it;
for o’er the maid I have,
as father, greatest power.
I was from home
when the promise was given thee.
Among the gods I the sole giver am.

Alvis
5. What man is this,
lays claim to power
over that fair, bright maiden?
For far-reaching shafts
few will know thee.
Who has decked thee with bracelets?

Vingthor
6. Vingthor I am named,
wide I have wandered;
I am Sidgrani’s son:
with my dissent thou shalt not
that young maiden have,
nor that union obtain.

Alvis
7. Thy consent
I fain would obtain.
Rather would I possess
than be without
that snow-white maiden.

Vingthor
8. The maiden’s love
shall not, wise guest!
be unto thee denied,
if thou of every world
canst tell
all I desire to know.

Alvis
9. Vingthor! thou canst try,
as thou art desirous
the knowledge of the dwarf to prove.
All the nine worlds
I have travelled over,
and every being known.

Vinthor
10. Tell me, Alvis! -
for all men’s concerns
I presume thee, dwarf, to know-
how the earth is called,
which lies before the sons of men,
in every world.

Alvis
11. Jörd among men ‘tis called,
but with the Æsir fold;
the Vanir call it vega,
the Jötuns igroen,
the Alfar groandi,
the powers supreme aur.


Vingthor
12. Tell me Alvis! etc.
how the heaven is called,
which is perceptible,
in every world.

Alvis
13. Himinn tis called by men;
but hlýrnir with the gods;
vindofni the Vanir call it,
uppheimr the Jötuns,
the Alfar fagraræfr,
the dwarfs driupansal.

Vingthor
14. Tell me Alvis! etc.
how the moon is called,
which men see
in every world.

Alvis
15. Mani ‘tis called by men,
but mylinn with the gods,
hverfanda hvel in Hel they call it,
skyndi the Jötuns,
but the dwarfs skin;
the Alfar name it artali.

Vingthor
16. Tell me, Alvis! etc.
how the sun is called,
which men’s sons see
in every world.

Alvis
17. Sol among men ‘tis called,
but with the gods sunna,
the dwarfs call it Dvalinn’s leika,
the Jötuns eyglo,
the Alfar fagrahvel,
the Æsir’s sons alskir.

Vingthor
18. Tell me, Alvis! etc.
how the clouds are called,
which with showers are mingled
in every world.
Alvis
19. Ský they are called by men,
but skurvan by the gods;
the Vanir call them vindflot,
the Jötuns urvan,
the Alfar veðrmegin;
in Hel they are called hialm huliðs.

Vingthor
20. Tell me, Alvis! etc.
how the wind is called,
which widely passes
over every world.

Alvis
21. Windr ‘tis called by men,
but vavuðr by the gods,
the wide-ruling powers call it gneggiuð,
the Jötuns æpir
the Alfar dynfari,
in Hel they call it hviðuðr.

Vingthor
22. Tell me Alvis! etc.
how the calm is called,
which has to rest
in every world.

Alvis
23. Logn ‘tis called by men,
but lægi by the gods,
the Vanir call it vindslot,
the Jötuns ofhlý,
the Alfar dagsevi,
the Dwarfs call it dags vera.

Vingthor
24. Tell me, Alvis! etc.
what the sea is called,
which men row over
in every world.

Alvis
25. Sær ´tis called by men,
but silægia with the gods;
the Vanir call it vagr,
the Jötuns alheimr,
the Alfar lagastafr,
the Dwarfs call it diupan mar.

Vingthor
26. Tell me, Alvis! etc.
how the fire is called,
which burns before men´s sons
in every world.

Alvis
27. Eldr ´tis called by men,
but by the Æsir funi;
the Vanir call it vagr,
the Jötuns frekr,
but the Dwarfs forbrennir;
in Hel they call it hröðuðr.

Vingthor
28. Tell me, Alvis! etc.
how the forest it called,
which grows for the sons of men
in every world.

Alvis
29. Viðr ´tis called by men,
but vallarfax by gods,
Hel´s inmates call it hliðÞangr,
the Jötuns eldi,
the Alfar fagrlimi;
the Vanir call it vöndr.

Vingthor
30. Tell me, Alvis! etc.
how the night is called,
that Nörvi´s daughter hight,
in every world.

Alvis
31. Nott it is called by men,
but by the gods niol;
the wide-ruling powers call it grima,
the Jötuns olios,
the Alfar svefngaman;
the Dwarfs call it draumniörunn.

Vingthor
32. Tell me, Alvis! etc.
how the seed is called,
which the sons of men sow
in every world.

Alvis
33. Bygg it is called by men,
but by the gods barr,
the Vanir call it vaxtr,
the Jötuns æti,
the Alfar lagastafr;
in Hel ´tis hnipinn called.

Vingthor
34. Tell me, Alvis! etc.
how the beer is called,
which the sons of men drink
in every world.

Alvis
35. Öl it is called by men,
but by the Æsir biorr,
the Vanir call it veig,
hreinna lögr the Jötuns,
but in Hel ´tis called miöðr:
Suttung´s sons call it sumbl.

Vingthor
36. In one breast
I have never found
more ancient lore. -
By great wiles thou hast, I tell thee,
been deluded.
Thou art above ground, dwarf! at dawn;
already in the hall the sun is shining!

 

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