Baldrs draumar (Vegtamskvia)

 

1. 1.

Senn vru sir At once the sir

allir ingi were all in counsel

ok synjur and the goddesses

allar mli, all in parley,

ok um at ru and concerning this

rkir tvar, the mighty gods considered,

hv vri Baldri why to Baldr were [come]

ballir draumar. baleful dreams.

 

2. 2.

Upp reis inn, Up rose inn,

alda gautr, father of generations,(1)

ok hann Sleipni and on Sleipnir he has

sul of lagi; laid a saddle;

rei hann nir aan he rode down from there

niflheljar til; to Niflhel(2);

mtti hann hvelpi, a whelp came to meet him

eim er r helju kom. that came out of a cavern.(3)

 

3. 3.

S var blugr It was bloody

um brjst framan in front on its chest

ok galdrs fur and the father of galdr(4)

gl of lengi; barked at lengthily;

fram rei inn, on rode inn,

foldvegr duni; the earth-way rang;

hann kom at hvu he came to the tall

Heljar ranni. abode of Hel.

 

4. 4.

rei inn Then inn rode

fyrir austan dyrr, to the eastern door,

ar er hann vissi where he knew [there was]

vlu leii; a vǫlva's burial place;

nam hann vittugri skilful in magic, he began

valgaldr kvea, to speak a galdr of the dead,

unz nauig reis, until perforce she rose,

ns or of kva: the corpse spoke these words:

 

5. 5.

"Hvat er manna at "What person is this,

mr kunnra, unknown to me,

er mr hefir aukit who has added to

erfitt sinni? my weary way?

Var ek snivin snvi I have been snowed with snow

ok slegin regni and beaten with rain

ok drifin dggu, and drenched with dew,

dau var ek lengi." I have been long dead."

 

inn kva: inn said:

6. 6.

"Vegtamr ek heiti, "I am called Vegtamr(5),

sonr em ek Valtams; I am Valtam's son;

segu mr r helju, tell me [news] from Hel,

ek mun r heimi: I will [tell you news] from the world:

Hveim eru bekkir For whom are the benches

baugum snir, strewn with rings,

flet fagrlig the rooms beautifully

flu gulli?" flooded with gold?"

 

Vlva kva: The vǫlva said:

7. 7.

"Hr stendr Baldri "Here stands for Baldr

of brugginn mjr, the mead brewed,

skrar veigar, clear drinks,

liggr skjldr yfir, a shield lies over;

en smegir but the sirmen

ofvni; [are] in suspense;(6)

nauug(7) sagak, by force I spoke,

n mun ek egja." now I will stop speaking."

 

inn kva: inn said:

8. 8.

"egj-at-tu, vlva, "Do not stop speaking, vǫlva,

ik vil ek fregna, I wish to ask you,

unz alkunna, until all-knowing;

vil ek enn vita: I wish to know further:

Hverr mun Baldri Who will be

at bana vera the bane of Baldr

ok ins son and in's son

aldri rna?" deprive of life?"

 

Vlva kva: The vǫlva said:

9. 9.

"Hr berr hvan "Hǫr bears the tall

hrrbam inig, fateful branch(8) thither,

hann mun Baldri he will be

at bana vera the bane of Baldr

ok ins son and in's son

aldri rna; deprive of life;

nauug sagak, by force I spoke,

n mun ek egja." now I will stop speaking."

 

inn kva: inn said:

10. 10.

"egj-at-tu, vlva, "Do not stop speaking, vǫlva,

ik vil ek fregna, I wish to ask you,

unz alkunna, until all-knowing;

vil ek enn vita: I wish to know further:

Hverr mun heift Hei Who will [the feud](9) on Hǫr

hefnt of vinna vengeance wreak

ea Baldrs bana or Baldr's bane

bl vega?" lay low on the pyre?

 

Vlva kva: The vǫlva said:

11. 11.

Rindr berr Vla Rindr bears Vli

vestrslum, in western halls,

s mun ins sonr who will, one night old,

einnttr vega: fight(10) in's son:

hnd of vr hands he [will not] wash

n hfu kembir, nor head comb,

r bl of berr before he has borne to the pyre

Baldrs andskota; Baldr's foe;

nauug sagak, by force I spoke,

n mun ek egja." now I will stop speaking."

 

inn kva: inn said:

12. 12.

"egj-at-tu, vlva, "Do not stop speaking, vǫlva,

ik vil ek fregna, I wish to ask you,

unz alkunna, until all-knowing;

vil ek enn vita: I wish to know further:

Hverjar ro r meyjar, Who are the maidens,

er at muni grta who weep at will

ok himin verpa and throw up to the heavens

halsa skautum?" their neck veils?"

 

Vlva kva: The vǫlva said:

13. 13.

"Ert-at-tu Vegtamr, "You are not Vegtamr,

sem ek huga, as I thought;

heldr ertu inn, rather you are inn,

aldinn gautr." old Gautr(11)."

 

inn kva: inn said:

"Ert-at-tu vlva "You are not a vǫlva

n vs kona, or a wisewoman,

heldr ertu riggja rather you are three

ursa mir." thurses' mother."

 

Vlva kva: The vǫlva said:

14. 14.

"Heim r , inn, "Ride home, inn,

ok ver hrigr, and be proud,

sv komir(12) manna thus [no] persons more

meir aftr vit, [will] come to see me after,

er lauss Loki ere Loki, loose

lr r bndum from his bonds, roves

ok ragna rk and [in] ragnarǫk

rjfendr koma." the reavers come."

 

Notes

 

1. Gautr is a name of inn. It is presumed to mean "father". Alda here is commonly emended to aldinn, a poetic word for "old", to match verse 13; since the manuscripts do not consistently use capital letters to indicate names, I have rendered that "old Gautr."

2. Lower Hel

3. or: out of Hel

4. kenning for inn

5. Used to the Way, Ready for the Journey; Valtamr is Used to the Slaughter, Ready for the Slaughter.

6. This is the modern Icelandic meaning. Published translations range from "in despair" (Olive Bray) to "in merry mood" (Gubrandur Vigfsson).

7. Presumably the same as nauig in Verse 4.

8. Hrr is usually "fame" or "praise" but in some prefixed usages, including here, the element instead seems to be derived from hrja, "destroy".

9. Heift, "feud", seems out of place and is often omitted or amended.

10. The same verb as in the previous verse, used in a different meaning; possibly a deliberate pun, since Hǫr is also a son of inn.

11. See note 1 on Verse 2, line 2.

12. One manuscript has komit, supplying the negative that the meaning requires, but most have komir.