Alvssml


Alvss kva: Alvss said:

1. 1.

"Bekki breia, "To deck the bench,

n skal brr me mr now a bride will with me

heim sinni snask; together hurry home;

hratat um mgi headlong for marriage

mun hverjum ykkja, [I] will seem to everyone,

heima skal-at hvld nema." I will take no rest at home."

 

rr kva: Thor said:

2. 2.

"Hvat er at fira? "What is this creature?

Hv ertu sv flr um nasar? Why are you so pale around the nose?

Vartu ntt me n? Have you been with corpses at night?

ursa lki A likeness to thurses(1)

ykki mr r vera; there seems to me to be about you;

ert-at-tu til brar borinn." you were not born for a bride."

 

Alvss kva: Alvs said:

3. 3.

"Alvss ek heiti, "My name is Alvss,

b ek fyr jr nean, I live far underground,

ek undir steini sta; under a rock I have my home;

vagna vers the wagon master(2)

ek em vit kominn; I have come to see;

bregi engi fstu heiti fira." let no being break a vow that was made."

 

rr kva: Thor said:

4. 4.

"Ek mun brega "I will break [it]

v at ek brar because over the bride I have

flest of r sem fair; greatest oversight as father;

vark-a ek heima, I was not at home

er r heitit var, when she was plighted to you,

at s einn, er gjf er, me goum." I who alone have the giving [of her]

among the gods."

 

Alvss kva: Alvss said:

5. 5.

"Hvat er at rekka, "What is this yeoman(3)

er rum telsk who asserts oversight

fljs ins fagrgla? of the beautifully glowing woman?

Fjarrafleina A distant piker,(4)

ik munu fir kunna; few will know you;

hverr hefr ik baugum borit?" who brought the rings to you?"(5)

 

rr kva: Thor said:

6. 6.

"Vingrr ek heiti, "My name is Ving-Thor,(6)

ek hef va ratat, I have travelled widely,

sonr em ek Sgrana; I am S-Grani's(7) son;

at stt minni skal-at-tu against my will shall you never(8)

at it unga man hafa have the young maid

ok at gjafor geta." and obtain that match."

 

Alvss kva: Alvss said:

7. 7.

"Sttir nar "Your goodwill,

er ek vil snemma hafa then, I wish to soon have

ok at gjafor geta; and obtain that match;

eiga vilja I would rather have

heldr en n vera than be without

at it mjallhvta man." that maid white as driven snow."

 

rr kva: Thor said:

8. 8.

"Meyjar stum "The maiden's love

mun-a r vera, will not, wise guest,

vsi gestr, of varit, be kept from you,

ef r heimi kannt if you are able

hverjum at segja to say for every world

allt at, er ek vil vita." all that I wish to know."

 

9. 9.

"Segu mr at, Alvss, "Tell me this, Alvss,

- ll of rk fira - all the doings(9) of beings,

vrumk, dvergr, at vitir -: I reckon, dwarf, you know -:

hv s jr heitir, what is the earth called

er liggr fyr alda sonum that lies before the sons of men

heimi hverjum ?" in every world?"

 

Alvss kva: Alvss said:

10. 10.

"Jr heitir me mnnum, It is called earth among humans,

en me sum fold, but field among the sir,

kalla vega vanir, Vanir call it way,

grn jtnar, jǫtnar ever-green,

alfar grandi, alfar growing,

kalla aur uppregin." the high Regin call it loam.(10)

 

rr kva: Thor said:

11. 11.

"Segu mr at, Alvss, "Tell me this, Alvss,

- ll of rk fira - all the doings of beings,

vrumk, dvergr, at vitir -: I reckon, dwarf, you know -:

hv s himinn heitir, what is the sky called,

erakendi, ... known,(11)

heimi hverjum ?" in every world?"

 

Alvss kva: Alvss said:

12. 12.

"Himinn heitir me mnnum, "It is called sky among humans,

en hlrnir me goum, but heaven(12) among the gods,

kalla vindfni vanir, Vanir call it windweaver,

uppheim jtnar, jǫtnar upper world,

alfar fagrarfr, alfar beautiful roof,

dvergar drjpansal." dwarves dripping hall."

 

rr kva: Thor said:

13. 13.

"Segu mr at, Alvss, "Tell me this, Alvss,

- ll of rk fira - all the doings of beings,

vrumk, dvergr, at vitir -: I reckon, dwarf, you know -:

hversu mni heitir, what is the moon called,

s er menn sa, that humans see,

heimi hverjum ?" in every world?"

 

Alvss kva: Alvss said:

14. 14.

"Mni heitir me mnnum, "It is called moon among humans,

en mylinn me goum, but shining(13) among the gods,

kalla hverfanda hvl helju , in Hel they call it the whirling wheel,

skyndi jtnar, jǫtnar, haste,

en skin dvergar, but dwarves, shine,

kalla alfar rtala." the elves call it year-teller."

 

rr kva: Thor said:

15. 15.

"Segu mr at, Alvss, "Tell me this, Alvss,

- ll of rk fira - all the doings of beings,

vrumk, dvergr, at vitir -: I reckon, dwarf, you know -:

hv s sl heitir, what is the sun called,

er sa alda synir, that the sons of men see,

heimi hverjum ?" in every world?"

 

Alvss kva: Alvss said:

16. 16.

"Sl heitir me mnnum, "It is called sun among humans,

en sunna me goum, but Sunna among the gods,

kalla dvergar Dvalins leika, dwarves call it Dvalin's toy,

eygl jtnar, jǫtnar everglow,

alfar fagrahvl, alfar the beautiful wheel,

alskr sa synir." the sons of sir all-shine."

 

rr kva: Thor said:

17. 17.

"Segu mr at, Alvss, "Tell me this, Alvss,

- ll of rk fira - all the doings of beings,

vrumk, dvergr, at vitir -: I reckon, dwarf, you know -:

hv au sk heita, what are the clouds called,

er skrum blandask, that are mixed with showers,

heimi hverjum ? in every world?"

 

Alvss kva: Alvss said:

18. 18.

"Sk heita me mnnum, "They are called clouds among humans,

en skrvn me goum, but shower-forerunner among the gods,

kalla vindflot vanir, Vanir call them wind-float,

rvn jtnar, jǫtnar drizzle-forerunner,

alfar vermegin, alfar weather-might,

kalla helju hjalm hulis." in Hel they call them helm of hiding."

 

rr kva: Thor said:

19. 19.

"Segu mr at, Alvss, "Tell me this, Alvss,

- ll of rk fira - all the doings of beings,

vrumk, dvergr, at vitir -: I reckon, dwarf, you know -:

hv s vindr heitir, what is the wind called,

er vast ferr, that travels most widely,

heimi hverjum ?" in every world?"

 

Alvss kva: Alvss said:

20. 20.

"Vindr heitir me mnnum, "It is called wind among humans,

en vfur me goum, but waverer among the gods,

kalla gneggju ginnregin, the great regin call it whinnier,

pi jtnar, jǫtnar howler,

alfar dynfara, alfar din-farer,

kalla helju hviu." in Hel they call it the whistler."

 

rr kva: Thor said:

21. 21.

"Segu mr at, Alvss, "Tell me this, Alvss,

- ll of rk fira - all the doings of beings,

vrumk, dvergr, at vitir -: I reckon, dwarf, you know -:

hv at logn heitir, what is the calm called,

er liggja skal, that must lie,

heimi hverjum ?" in every world?"

 

Alvss kva: Alvss said:

22. 22.

"Logn heitir me mnnum, "It is called calm among humans,

en lgi me goum, but lee among the gods,

kalla vindlot vanir, Vanir call it wind-lull,

ofhl jtnar, jǫtnar sultry,

alfar dagsefa, alfar day-soother,

kalla dvergar dags veru." dwarves call it the day's shelter."

 

rr kva: Thor said:

23. 23.

"Segu mr at, Alvss, "Tell me this, Alvss,

- ll of rk fira - all the doings of beings,

vrumk, dvergr, at vitir -: I reckon, dwarf, you know -:

hv s marr heitir, what is the ocean called,

er menn ra, on which people row,

heimi hverjum ?" in every world?"

 

Alvss kva: Alvss said:

24. 24.

"Sr heitir me mnnum, "It is called sea(14) among humans,

en slgja me goum, but herring-expanse among the gods,

kalla vg vanir, Vanir call it wave,

lheim jtnar, jǫtnar eel-home,

alfar lagastaf, alfar water-stave,

kalla dvergar djpan mar." dwarves call it the deep sea."

 

rr kva: Thor said:

25. 25.

"Segu mr at, Alvss, "Tell me this, Alvss,

- ll of rk fira - all the doings of beings,

vrumk, dvergr, at vitir -: I reckon, dwarf, you know -:

hv s eldr heitir, what is the fire called,

er brennr fyr alda sonum, that burns in front of the sons of men,

heimi hverjum ?" in every world?"

 

Alvss kva: Alvss said:

26. 26.

"Eldr heitir me mnnum, "It is called fire among humans,

en me sum funi, but flame among the sir,

kalla vg vanir, Vanir call it wave,(15)

frekan jtnar, jǫtnar greedy,

en forbrenni dvergar, but dwarves burner-up,

kalla helju hru." in Hel they call it rusher(16)."

 

rr kva: Thor said:

27. 27.

"Segu mr at, Alvss, "Tell me this, Alvss,

- ll of rk fira - all the doings of beings,

vrumk, dvergr, at vitir -: I reckon, dwarf, you know -:

hv vir heitir, what is the forest(17) called,

er vex fyr alda sonum, that grows in front of the sons of men,

heimi hverjum ?" in every world?"

 

Alvss kva: Alvss said:

28. 28.

"Vir heitir me mnnum, "It is called forest among humans,

en vallarfax me goum, but field's mane among the gods,

kalla hlang halir, men(18) call it cliff-kelp,

eldi jtnar, jǫtnar firewood,

alfar fagrlima, alfar beautiful limbed,

kalla vnd vanir." the Vanir call it wand."

 

rr kva: Thor said:

29. 29.

"Segu mr at, Alvss, " Tell me this, Alvss,

- ll of rk fira - all the doings of beings,

vrumk, dvergr,at vitir, I reckon, dwarf, you know -:

hv s ntt heitir, what is the night called,

in Nrvi kennda, known to Nǫrr,(19)

heimi hverjum ?" in every world?"

 

Alvss kva: Alvss said:

30. 30.

"Ntt heitir me mnnum, It is called night among humans,

en njl me goum, but gloom(20) among the gods,

kalla grmu ginnregin, the great regin call it cowl,

ljs jtnar, jǫtnar darkness,

alfar svefngaman, alfar sleep-joy,

kalla dvergar draumnjrun." dwarves call it dream-Njǫrun.(21) "

 

rr kva: Thor said:

31. 31.

"Segu mr at, Alvss, "Tell me this, Alvss,

- ll of rk fira - all the doings of beings,

vrumk, dvergr, at vitir -: I reckon, dwarf, you know -:

hv at s heitir, what is the seed called,

er s alda synir, that the sons of men sow,

heimi hverjum ?" in every world?"

 

Alvss kva: Alvss said:

32. 32.

"Bygg heitir me mnnum, "It is called barley among humans,

en barr me goum, but "barr"(22) among the gods,

kalla vxt vanir, Vanir call it growth,

ti jtnar, jǫtnar eating,(23)

alfar lagastaf, alfar lees-staff,

kalla helju hnipin." in Hel they call it drooping."

 

rr kva: Thor said:

33. 33.

"Segu mr at, Alvss, "Tell me this, Alvss,

- ll of rk fira - all the doings of beings,

vrumk, dvergr, at vitir -: I reckon, dwarf, you know -:

hv at l heitir, what is the ale called,

er drekka alda synir, that the sons of men drink,

heimi hverjum ?" in every world?"

 

Alvss kva: Alvss said:

34. 34.

"l heitir me mnnum, "It is called ale among humans,

en me sum bjrr, but beer among the sir,

kalla veig vanir, Vanir call it a draught,

hreinalg jtnar, jǫtnar clean lees,

en helju mj, but in Hel [it is called] mead,

kalla sumbl Suttungs synir." the sons of Suttungr(24) call it

"sumbl.(25) "

 

rr kva: Thor said:

35. 35.

" einu brjsti "In one breast

ek sk aldrigi I never saw

fleiri forna stafi; more ancient words(26);

miklum tlum with great tricks

kve ek tldan ik: I declare you tricked;

Uppi ertu, dvergr, of dagar, dwarf, you have been dawned upon,(27)

n sknn sl sali." the sun now shines into the hall."

 

 

Notes

 

 

1. A kind of giant; the distinction between a thurs and a jǫtunn is not very clear, although modern Icelanders characterise the thurs as stupid, the jtunn as strong and the risi as big: "Hr sem risi, sterkr sem jtunn, heimskr sem urs".

2. i.e., Thor

3. Rekkr is mostly used in poetry as another word for a warrior, a hero, a man, but appears to have been technically a word for a freeman, two steps below a noble in social class.

4. The meaning of this epithet is uncertain. It could be built from "far" and a word for a spear, arrow, or other hurled weapon; Cleasby-Vigfsson read it as "bullock-snout". From the context it indicates someone feckless or a drifter.

5. Who gave you your apparent wealth; who bribed you. The line has also been read as "who bore you for rings" (was paid to be your mother), sometimes amended to translate as "What bitch bore you".

6. An epithet of Thor of uncertain meaning.

7. A name of inn.

8. With the generally accepted emendation adding the -at- (never); the manuscript reading indicates skaltu, "you shall".

9. Rǫk can refer to beginnings, to judgements and hence endings (as in Ragnarǫk), and to history.

10. or mud. In "Vǫlusp" 19, Yggdrasill is sprinkled with white aurr.

11. Erakendi is a puzzle; the line appears to have been miscopied. Since verse 29, on night, has in Nǫrvi kennda, "(the) known to Nǫrr", referring to the father of Ntt, one suggestion is that the misread text was enn Hata kenndi, "(the) known to Hati", the wolf who pursues the moon-chariot, and another is enn Ymir kenndi, "(the) known to Ymir", from whose brain-pan the sky was formed. Enn H kenndi, "(the) known to Hr", involves an unlikely dative form. In his edition of the Codex Regius Sophus Bugge suggested enn hrtkendi, "(the) roof-known", since heims hrt, "roof of the world", is a kenning for the sky. In an article in Arkiv he instead suggested enn Hrǫnn kenndi, "(the) known to Hrǫnn", referring to one of the daughters of gir, the waves, on an analogy with late Greek mythology in which the sea-goddess is the mother of the sky. In the Lexicon Poeticum Finnur Jnsson points out that kendr is rarely used with personal names, so a compound word is more likely: Gumundur Magnsson suggested enn hkendi, "the high-known"; another such possibility is hrkendr, "storm-filled".

12. Hlrnir is a common poetic word for the sky/the heavens. It is related to hlrn, of uncertain meaning, which may refer to the sun and moon as heavenly bodies or to their time-telling function. There is also a word hl, "warmth, as of a bed."

13. Mylinn, or mulinn, always refers to the moon, except that Snorri says the word can be used for the sun. "Luminary" is the usual guess at the meaning.

14. Marr and sr are both common words for "sea".

15. Vagr is written in this verse without the accent, as vgr in verse 24, where it was applied to the sea, but is almost certainly the same word. Lagastaf is also used as the alfar's term for two different things.

16. Gubrandur Vigfsson and Frederick York Powell in Corpus Poeticum Boreale have made an error here and substituted hviur, which is the word in verse 20, referring to the wind.

17. or: wood.

18. Halir is a poetic word for "men", often translated as "heroes". It is sometimes interpreted here as meaning "people of Hel", since like the other verse this one has already ascribed a word to humans, and unlike many others, it does not have a last line about Hel. The word is used in association with Hel in "Vafrnisml" Verse 43, but that refers to halir dying into Hel.

19. an odd way of saying that Nǫrr (whose name also appears as Narfi and Nǫrfi) was Ntt's father.

20. Njl or njla appears to only occur in this line and Snorri's citation of it.

21. Njǫrun is a little-known goddess, so this is evidently a kenning: dream-goddess or dream-woman.

22. Barr also means "barley".

23. i.e, food; ti can also mean "oats."

24. presumably the jǫtnar.

25. Sumbl usually refers to a feast in Old Norse.

26. literally staves, letters.

27. The implication of the phrasing is that exposure to the sun has turned Alvss to stone.