The Northern Way

Havamal

Page 6

107. Rati’s mouth I caused
to make a space,
and to gnaw the rock;
over and under me
were the Jötun’s ways:
thus I my head did peril.

108. Of a well-assumed form
I made good use:
few things fail the wise;
for Odhrærir
is now come up
to men’s earthly dwellings.

109. ‘Tis to me doubtful
that I could have come
from the Jötun’s courts,
had not Gunnlöd aided me,
that good damsel,
over whom I laid my arm.

110. On the day following
came the Hrim-thursar,
to learn something of the High One,
in the High One’s hall:
after Bölverk they inquired,
whether he with the gods were come,
or Suttung had destroyed him?

111. Odin, I believe,
a ring-oath gave.
Who in his faith will trust?
Suttung defrauded,
of his drink bereft,
and Gunnlöd made to weep!

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112. Time ‘tis to discourse
from the preacher’s chair. -
By the well of Urd
I silent sat,
I saw and meditated,
I listened to men’s words.

113. Of runes I heard discourse,
and of things divine,
nor of graving them were they silent,
nor of sage counsels,
at the High One’s hall.
In the High One’s hall.
I thus heard say:

114. I counsel thee, Loddfafnir,
to take advise:
thou wilt profit if thou takest it.
Rise not a night,
unless to explore,
or art compelled to go out.

115. I counsel thee, Loddfafnir,
to take advice,
thou wilt profit if thou takest it.
In an enchantress’s embrace
thou mayest not sleep,
so that in her arms she clasp thee.

116. She will be the cause
that thou carest not
for Thing or prince’s words;
food thou wilt shun
and human joys;
sorrowful wilt thou go to sleep.

117. I counsel thee, etc.
Another’s wife
entice thou never
to secret converse.

118. I counsel thee, etc.
By fell or firth
if thou have to travel,
provide thee well with food.

119. I counsel thee, etc.
A bad man
let thou never
know thy misfortunes;
for from a bad man
thou never wilt obtain
a return for thy good will.

120. I saw mortally
wound a man
a wicked woman’s words;
a false tongue
caused his death,
and most unrighteously.

121. I counsel thee, etc.
If thou knowest thou has a friend,
whom thou well canst trust,
go oft to visit him;
for with brushwood overgrown,
and with high grass,
is the way that no one treads.

122. I counsel thee, etc. -
A good man attract to thee
in pleasant converse;
and salutary speech learn while thou livest.

123. I counsel thee, etc.
With thy friend
be thou never
first to quarrel.
Care gnaws the heart,
if thou to no one canst
thy whole mind disclose.

124. I counsel thee, etc.
Words thou never
shouldst exchange
with a witless fool;

125. for from an ill-conditioned man
thou wilt never get
a return for good;
but a good man will
bring thee favour
by his praise.

126. There is a mingling of affection,
where one can tell
another all his mind.
Everything is better
than being with the deceitful.
He is not another’s friend
who ever says as he says.

127. I counsel thee, etc.
Even in three words
quarrel not with a worse man:
often the better yields,
when the worse strikes.

128. I counsel thee, etc.
Be not a shoemaker,
nor a shaftmaker,
unless for thyself it be;
for a shoe if ill made,
or a shaft if crooked,
will call down evil on thee.

129. I counsel thee, etc.
Wherever of injury thou knowest,
regard that injury as thy own;
and give to thy foes no peace.

130. I counsel thee, etc.
Rejoiced at evil
be thou never;
but let good give thee pleasure.

 

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