The Northern Way

Fragment of "The Short Voluspo"

1. Eleven in number        the gods were known,
When Baldr o'er the hill        of death was bowed;
And this to avenge        was Vali swift,
When his brother's slayer        soon he flew.

2. The father of Baldr                was the heir of Bur,
-lacuna-

3. Freyr's wife was Gerth,         the daughter of Gymir,
Of the giants' brood,        and Aurbotha bore her;
To these as well        was Thjazi kin,
The dark-loving giant;        his daughter was Skathi.

4. Much have I told thee,        and further will tell;
There is much that I know;-        wilt thou hear yet more?

5. Heith and Hrossthjof,        the children of Hrimnir,
-lacuna-

6. The sybils arose        from Vitholf's race,
From Vilmeith all        the seers are,
And the workers of charms                are Svarthofthi's children,
And from Ymir sprang        the giants all.

7. Much have I told thee,         and further will tell;
There is much that I know;-        wilt thou hear yet more?

8. One there was born                in the bygone days,
Of the race of the gods,        and great was his might;
Nine giant women,                at the world's edge,
Once bore the man                so mighty in arms.

9. Gjolp there bore him,        Greip there bore him,
Eistla bore him,         and Eyrgjafa,
Ulfrun bore him,        and Angeyja,
Imith and Atla,        and Jarnsaxa.

10. Strong was he made        with the strength of earth,
With the ice-cold sea,        and the blood of swine.

11. One there was born,        the best of all,
And strong was he made        with the strength of earth;
The proudest is called        the kinsman of men
Of the rulers all        throughout the world.

12. Much have I told thee,        and further will tell;
There is much that I know;-        wilt thou hear yet more?

13. The wolf did Loki        with Angrbotha win,
And Sleipnir bore he        to Svathilfari;
The worst of marvels        seemed the one
That sprang from the brother        of Byleist then.

14. A heart ate Loki;-        in the embers it lay,
And half-cooked found he        the woman's heart;-
With child from the woman                Lopt soon was,
And thence among men        came the monsters all.

15. The sea, storm-driven,        seeks heaven itself,
O'er the earth it flows,        the air grows sterile;
Then follow the snows        and the furious winds,
For the gods are doomed,        and the end is death.

16. Then comes another,        a greater than all,
Though never I dare        his name to speak;
Few are they now        that farther can see
Than the moment when Othin        shall meet the wolf.

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