The Northern Way

Alvissmol

Alvis spake:
1. "Now shall the bride                my benches adorn,
And homeward haste forthwith;
Eager for wedlock        to all shall I seem,
Nor at home shall they rob me of rest."

Thor spake:
2. "What, pray, art thou?        Why so pale round the nose?
By the dead hast thou lain of late?
To a giant like        dost thou look, methinks;
Thou was not born for the bride."

Alvis spake:
3. "Alvis am I,                 and under the earth
My home 'neath the rocks I have;
With the wagon-guider        a word do I seek;
Let the gods their bond not break."

Thor spake:
4. "Break it shall I,        for over the bride
Her father has foremost right;
At home was I not        when the promise thou hadst,
And I give her alone of the gods."

Alvis spake:
5. "What hero claims        such right to hold
O'er the bride that shines so bright?
Not many will know thee,        thou wandering man!
Who was bought with rings to bear thee?"

Thor spake:
6. "Vingthor, the wanderer        wide, am I,
And I am Sithgrani's son;
Against my will        shalt thou get the maid,
And win the marriage word."

Alvis spake:
7. "Thy good-will now        shall I quickly get,
And win the marriage word;
I long to have,         and I would not lack,
This snow-white maid for mine."

8. Ed emm; /"Ask then, Vingthor,        since eager thou art
The lore of the dwarf to learn,
Oft have I fared        in the nine worlds all,
And wide is my wisdom of each."/

Thor spake:
9. "The love of the maid        I may not keep thee
From winning, thou guest so wise,
If of every world        thou canst tell me all
That now I wish to know.

10. "Answer me, Alvis!         thou knowest all,
Dwarf, of the doom of men:
What call they the earth,         that lies before all,
In each and every world?"

Alvis spake:
11. "'Earth' to men, 'Field'        to the gods it is,
'The Ways' is it called by the Wanes;
'Ever Green' by the giants,                'The Grower' by elves,
'The Moist' by the holy ones high."

Thor spake:
12. "Answer me, Alvis!         thou knowest all,
Dwarf, of the doom of men:
What call they the heaven,                beheld of the high one,
In each and every world?"

Alvis spake:
13. "'Heaven' men call it,        'The Height' the gods,
The Wanes 'The Weaver of Winds';
Giants 'The Up-World,'         elves 'The Fair-Roof,'
The dwarfs 'The Dripping Hall.'"

Thor spake:
14. "Answer me, Alvis!         thou knowest all,
Dwarf, of the doom of men:
What call they the moon,        that men behold,
In each and every world?"

Alvis spake:
15. "'Moon' with men, 'Flame'        the gods among,
'The Wheel' in the house of hell;
'The Goer' the giants,        'The Gleamer' the dwarfs,
The elves 'The Teller of Time.'"

Thor spake:
16. "Answer me, Alvis!         thou knowest all,
Dwarf, of the doom of men:
What call they the sun,        that all men see,
In each and every world?"

Alvis spake:
17. "Men call it 'Sun,'        gods 'Orb of the Sun,'
'The Deceiver of Dvalin' the dwarfs;
The giants 'The Ever-Bright,'         elves 'Fair Wheel,'
'All-Glowing' the sons of the gods."

Thor spake:
18. "Answer me, Alvis!         thou knowest all,
Dwarf, of the doom of men:
What call they the clouds,        that keep the rains,
In each and every world?"

Alvis spake:
19. "'Clouds' men name them,        'Rain-Hope' gods call them,
The Wanes call them 'Kites of the Wind';
'Water-Hope' giants,        'Weather-Might' elves,
'The Helmet of Secrets' in Hel."

Thor spake:
20. "Answer me, Alvis!         thou knowest all,
Dwarf, of the doom of men:
What call they the wind,        that widest fares,
In each and every world?"

Alvis spake:
21. "'Wind' do men call it,        the gods 'The Waverer,'
'The Neigher' the holy ones high;
'The Wailer' the giants,        'Roaring Wender' the elves,
In Hel 'The Blustering Blast'" ed emm /In Hel 'The Pounder'/

Thor spake:
22. "Answer me, Alvis!         thou knowest all,
Dwarf, of the doom of men:
What call they the calm,        that quiet lies,
In each and every world?"

Alvis spake:
23. "'Calm' men call it,        'The Quiet' the gods,
The Wanes 'The Hush of the Winds';
'The Sultry' the giants,        elves 'Day's Stillness,'
The dwarfs 'The Shelter of Day.'"

Thor spake:
24. "Answer me, Alvis!         thou knowest all,
Dwarf, of the doom of men:
What call they the sea,         whereon men sail,
In each and every world?"

Alvis spake:
25. "'Sea' men call it,        gods 'The Smooth-Lying,'
'The Wave' is it called by the Wanes;
'Eel-Home' the giants,        'Drink-Stuff' the elves,
For the dwarfs its name is 'The Deep.'"

Thor spake:
26. "Answer me, Alvis!         thou knowest all,
Dwarf, of the doom of men:
What call they the fire,         that flames for men,
In each of all the worlds?"

Alvis spake:
27. "'Fire' men call it,        and 'Flame' the gods,
By the Wanes is it 'Wildfire' called;
'The Biter' by giants,        'The Burner' by dwarfs,
'The Swift' in the house of Hel."

Thor spake:
28. "Answer me, Alvis!         thou knowest all,
Dwarf, of the doom of men:
What call they the wood,        that grows for mankind,
In each and every world?"

Alvis spake:
29. "Men call it 'The Wood,'         gods 'The Mane of the Field,'
'Seaweed of Hills' in Hel;
'Flame-Food' the giants,        'Fair-Limbed' the elves,
'The Wand' is it called by the Wanes."

Thor spake:
30. "Answer me, Alvis!         thou knowest all,
Dwarf, of the doom of men:
What call they the night,        the daughter of Nor,
In each and every world?"

Alvis spake:
31. "'Night' men call it,        'Darkness' gods name it,
'The Hood' the holy ones high;
The giants 'The Lightless,' ed emm/ 'The Unsorrowing'/
the elves 'Sleep's Joy,'
The dwarfs 'The Weaver of Dreams.'"

Thor spake:
32. "Answer me, Alvis!         thou knowest all,
Dwarf, of the doom of men:
What call they the seed,        that is sown by men,
In each and every world?"

Alvis spake:
33. "Men call it 'Grain,'        and 'Corn' the gods,
'Growth' in the world of Wanes;
'The Eaten' by giants,        'Drink-Stuff' by elves,
In Hel 'The Slender Stem.'"

Thor spake:
34. "Answer me, Alvis!         thou knowest all,
Dwarf, of the doom of men:
What call they the ale,        that is quaffed of men,
In each and every world?"

Alvis spake:
35. "'Ale' among men,        'Beer' the gods among,
In the world of the Wanes 'The Foaming';
'Bright Draught' with the giants,         'Mead' with dwellers in Hel,
'The Feast-Draught' with Suttung's sons."

Thor spake:
36. "In a single breast        I never have seen
More wealth of wisdom old;
But with treacherous wiles                must I now betray thee:
The day has caught thee, dwarf!
(Now the sun shines here in the hall.)"

Index  |  Previous page  |  Next page