The Northern Way


The Song of the Sun.

Page 3

53. Of that is to be told,
which I first saw,
when I to the worlds of torment came:_
scorched birds,
which were souls,
flew numerous as flies.

54. From the west I saw
Von's dragons fly,
and Glæval's paths obscure:
their wings they shook;
wide around me seemed
the earth and heaven to burst.

55. The sun's hart I saw
from the south coming,
he was by two together led:
his feet stood on the earth,
but his horns
reached up to heaven.

56. From the north riding I saw
the sons of Nidi,
they were seven in all:
from full horns,
the pure mead they drank
from the heaven_god's well.

57. The wind was silent,
the waters stopped their course;
then I heard a doleful sound:
for their husbands
false_faced women
ground earth for food.

58. Gory stones
those dark women
turned sorrowfully;
bleeding hearts hung
out of their breasts,
faint with much affliction.

59. Many a man I saw
wounded go
on those gleed_strewed paths;
their faces seemed
to me all reddened
with reeking blood.

60. Many men I saw
to earth gone down,
who holy service might not have;
heathen stars
stood above their heads,
painted with deadly characters.

61. I saw those men
who much envy harbour
at another's fortune;
bloody runes
were on their breasts
graved painfully.

62. I there saw men
many not joyful;
they were all wandering wild:
this he earns,
who by this world's vices
is infatuated.

63. I saw those men
who had in various ways
acquired other's property:
in shoals they went
to Castle_covetous,
and burthens bore of lead.

64. I saw those men
who many had
of life and property bereft:
through the breasts
of those men passed
strong venomous serpents.

65. I saw those men
who the holy days
would not observe:
their hands were
on hot stones
firmly nailed.

66. I saw those men
who from pride
valued themselves too highly;
their garments
ludicrously were
in fire enveloped.

67. I saw those men
who had many
false words of others uttered:
Hel's ravens
from their heads
their eyes miserably tore.

68. All the horrors
thou wilt not get to know
which Hel's inmates suffer.
Pleasant sins
end in painful penalties:
pains ever follow pleasure.


69. I saw those men
who had much given
for God's laws;
pure lights were
above their heads
brightly burning.

70. I saw those men
who from exalted mind
helped the poor to aid:
angels read
holy books
above their heads.

71. I saw those men
who with much fasting had
their bodies wasted:
God's angels
bowed before them:
that is the highest joy.

72. I saw those men
who had put food
into their mothers' mouth:
their couches were
on the rays of heaven
pleasantly placed.

73. Holy virgins
had cleanly washed
the souls from sin
of those men,
who for a long time had
themselves tormented.

74. Lofty cars I saw
towards heaven going;
they were on the way to God:
men guided them
who had been murdered
wholly without crime.

75. Almighty Father!
greatest Son!
holy Spirit of heaven!
Thee I pray,
who hast us all created;
free us all from miseries.


76. Biugvör and Listvör
sit at Herðir´s doors,
on resounding seat;
iron gore
falls from their nostrils,
which kindles hate among men.

77. Odin's wife
rows in earth's ship,
eager after pleasures;
her sails are
reefed late,
which on the ropes of desire are hung.

78. Son! I thy father
and Solkatla's sons
have alone obtained for thee
that horn of hart,
which from the grave_mound bore
the wise Vigdvalin.

79. Here are runes
which have engraven
Niörd´s daughters nine,
Radvör the eldest,
and the youngest Kreppvör,
and their seven sisters.

80. How much violence
have they perpetrated
Svaf and Svaflogi!
bloodshed they have excited,
and wounds have sucked,
after an evil custom.

81. This lay,
which I have taught thee,
thou shalt before the living sing,
the Sun_Song,
which will appear
in many parts no fiction.

82. Here we part,
but again shall meet
on the day of men's rejoicing.
Oh Lord!
unto the dead grant peace,
and to the living comfort.

83. Wonderous lore
has in dream to thee been sung,
but thou hast seen the truth:
no man has been
so wise created
that has before heard the Sun_Song.


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