The Northern Way

Baldrs Draumar

1. Once were the gods         together met,
And the goddesses came        and council held,
And the far-famed ones        the truth would find,
Why baleful dreams        to Baldr had come.

2. Then Othin rose,        the enchanter old,
And the saddle he laid        on Sleipnir's back;
Thence rode he down                to Niflhel deep,
And the hound he met        that came from hell.

3. Bloody he was        on his breast before,
At the father of magic        he howled from afar;
Froward rode Othin,                the earth resounded
Till the house so high                of Hel he reached.

4. Then Othin rode        to the eastern door,
There, he knew well, was the wise-woman's grave;
Magic he spoke        and mighty charms,
Till spell-bound she rose,        and in death she spoke:

5. "What is the man,         to me unknown,
That has made me travel        the troublous road?
I was snowed on with snow,         and smitten with rain,
And drenched with dew;        long was I dead."

Othin spake:
6. "Vegtam my name,        I am Valtam's son;
Speak thou of hel,        for of heaven I know;
For whom are the benches        bright with rings,
And the platforms gay        bedecked with gold?"

7. The Wise-Woman spake:
"Here for Baldr        the mead is brewed,
The shining drink,        and a shield lied o'er it;
But their hope is gone        from the mighty gods.
Unwilling I spake,        and now would be still."

Othin spake:
8. "Wise-woman, cease not!        I seek from thee
All to know        that I fain would ask;
Who shall the bane        of Baldr become,
And steal the life        from Othin's son?"

9. The Wise-Woman spake:
"Hoth thither bears        the far-famed branch,
He shall the bane        of Baldr become,
And steal the life        from Othin's son.
Unwilling I spake,        and now would be still."

Othin spake:
10. "Wise-woman, cease not!         I seek from thee
All to know        that I fain would ask:
Who shall vengeance win        for the evil work,
Or bring to the flames        the slayer of Baldr?"

The Wise-Woman spake:
11. "Rind bears Vali        in Vestrsalir,
And one night old        fights Othin's son;
His hands he shall wash not,         his hair he shall comb not,
Till the slayer of Baldr        he brings to the flames.
Unwilling I spake,        and now would be still."

Othin spake:
12. "Wise-woman, cease no                I seek from thee
All to know        that I fain would ask:
What maidens are they        who then shall weep
And toss to the sky        the yards of sails?"

13. The Wise-Woman spake:
"Vegtam thou art not,                as erstwhile I thought;
Othin thou art,        the enchanter old."

Othin spake:
14. "No wise-woman art thou,        nor wisdom hast;
Of giants three        the mother art thou."

The Wise-Woman spake:
15. "Home ride, Othin,        be ever proud;
For no one of men        shall seek me more
Till Loki wanders        loose from his bonds,
And to the last strife        the destroyers come."

Index  |  Previous page  |  Next page