The Northern Way

Svipdagsmol

I. GROUAGALDR

Groa's Spell

Svipdag spake:
1. "Wake thee, Groa! wake, mother good!
At the doors of the dead I call thee;
Thy son, bethink thee, thou badst to seek
Thy help at the hill of death."

Groa spake:
2. "What evil vexes mine only son,
What baleful fate hast thou found,
That thou callest thy mother, who lies in the mould,
And the world of the living has left?"

Svipdag spake:
3. "The woman false whom my father embraced
Has wrought me a baleful game;
For she bade me go forth where none may fare,
And Mengloth the maid to seek."

Groa spake:
4. "Long is the way, long must thou wander,
But long is love as well;
Thou mayst fine, perchance, what thou fain wouldst have,
If the fates their favor will give."

Svipdag spake:
5. "Charms full good then chant to me, mother,
And seek thy son to guard;
For death do I fear on the way I shall fare,
And in years am I young, methinks."

Groa spake:
6. "Then first I will chant thee the charm oft-tried,
That Rani taught to Rind;
From the shoulder whate'er mislikes thee shake,
For helper thyself shalt thou have.

7. "Then next I will chant thee, if needs thou must travel,
And wander a purposeless way:
The bolts of Urth shall on every side
Be thy guards on the road thou goest.

8. "Then third I will chant thee, if threatening streams
The danger of death shall bring:
Yet to Hel shall turn both Horn and Ruth,
And before thee the waters shall fail.

9. "Then fourth I will chant thee, if come thy foes
On the gallows-way against thee:
Into thine hands shall their hearts be given,
And peace shall the warriors wish.

10. "Then fifth I will chant thee, if fetters perchance
Shall bind thy bending limbs:
O'er thy thighs do I chant a loosening-charm,
And the lock is burst from the limbs,
And the fetters fall from the feet.

11. "Then sixth I will chant thee, if storms on the sea
Have might unknown to man:
Yet never shall wind or wave do harm,
And calm is the course of thy boat.

12. "Then seventh I chant thee, if frost shall seek
To kill thee on lofty crags:
The fatal cold shall not grip thy flesh,
And whole thy body shall be.

13. "Then eighth will I chant thee, if ever by night
Thou shalt wander on murky ways:
Yet never the curse of a Christian woman
From the dead shall do thee harm.

14. "Then ninth will I chant thee, if needs thou must strive
With a warlike giant in words:
Thy heart good store of wit shall have,
And thy mouth of words full wise.

15. "Now fare on the way where danger waits,
Let evils not lessen thy love!
I have stood at the door of the earth-fixed stones,
The while I chanted thee charms.

16. "Bear hence, my son, what thy mother hath said,
And let it live in thy breast;
Thine ever shall be the best of fortune,
So long as my words shall last."

Index  |  Previous page  |  Next page