The Northern Way

Havamal

Page 8

151. For the forth I know,
if men place
bonds on my limbs,
I so sing
that I can walk;
the fetter starts from my feet,
and the manacle from my hands.

152. For the fifth I know,
I see a shot from a hostile hand,
a shaft flying amid the host,
so swift it cannot fly
that I cannot arrest it,
if only I get sight of it.

153. For the sixth I know,
if one wounds me
with a green tree’s roots;
also if a man
declares hatred to me,
harm shall consume them sooner than me.

154. For the seventh I know,
if a lofty house I see
blaze o’er its inmates,
so furiously it shall not burn
that I cannot save it.
That song I can sing.

155. For the eighth I know,
what to all is
useful to learn:
where hatred grows
among the sons of men -
that I can quickly assuage.

156. For the ninth I know,
if I stand in need
my bark on the water to save,
I can the wind
on the waves allay,
and the sea lull.

157. For the tenth I know,
if I see troll-wives
sporting in air,
I can so operate
that they will forsake
their own forms,
and their own minds.

158. For the eleventh I know,
if I have to lead
my ancient friends to battle,
under their shields I sing,
and with power they go
safe to the fight,
safe from the fight;
safe on every side they go.

159. For the twelfth I know,
if on a tree I see
a corpse swinging from a halter,
I can so grave
and in runes depict,
that the man shall walk,
and with me converse.

160. For the thirteenth I know,
if on a young man
I sprinkle water,
he shall not fall,
though he into battle come:
that man shall not sink before swords.

161. For the fourteenth I know,
if in the society of men
I have to enumerate the gods,
Æsir and Alfar,
I know the distinctions of all.
This few unskilled can do.

162. For the fifteenth I know
what the dwarf Thiodreyrir sang
before Delling’s doors.
Strength he sang to the Æsir,
and to the Alfar prosperity,
wisdom to Hroptatýr.

163. For the sixteenth I know,
if a modest maiden’s favour and affection
I desire to possess,
the soul I change
of the white-armed damsel,
and wholly turn her mind.

164. For the seventeenth I know,
that that young maiden will
reluctantly avoid me.
These songs, Loddfafnir!
thou wilt long have lacked;
yet it may be good if thou understandest them,
profitable if thou learnest them.

165. For the eighteenth I know
that which I never teach
to maid or wife of man,
(all is better
what one only knows.
This is the closing of the songs)
save her alone
who claspsme in her arms,
or is my sister.

166. Now are sung the
High-one’s songs,
in the High-one’s hall,
to the sons of men all-useful,
but useless to the Jötun’s sons.
Hail to him who has sung them!

Hail to him who knows them!
May he profit who has learnt them!
Hail to hose who have listened to them!

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