Svipdagsml: Fjlsvinnsml

 

1. 1.

tan gara Outside the walls

hann s upp of koma he saw rear up

ursa jar sjt: the home of the people of thurses;

"Hvat er at flaga, "What monster is that,

er stendr fyr forgrum who stands before the forecourts

ok hvarflar um httan loga? and wanders around the hot fire?"(21)

 

2. 2.

Hvers leitar, "What do you seek,

ea hvers leitum ert, or who are you in search of,

ea hvat viltu, vinlaus, vita? or what do you want to know, friendless

one?

rgar brautir Pursue wet ways

rnau aftr hean; back away from here;

tt-at-tu hr, verndar vanr, veru." you have no shelter here, defenceless

one."

 

Kmumar kva: The arriving man said:

3 . 3.

"Hvat er at flaga, "What monster is that,

er stendr fyr forgari who stands before the forecourt

ok br-at lndum l? and does not bid welcome to travellers?

Smaroralauss Without honourable words

hefir , seggr, of lifat, you have lived through your life, man,

ok haltu heim hean!" and hie from here home!"

 

Borgarvrr kva: The castle watchman said:

4 . 4.

"Fjlsvir ek heiti, "I am called Fjǫlsvir(22),

en ek fran sefa, and I have a wise mind,

eygi em ek mns mildr matar; although I am not free with my food;

innan gara inside the walls

kemr hr aldregi, here you will never come,

ok drf n, vargr, at vegi!" and now begone, vargr!(23)

Kmumar kva: The arriving man said:

5 . 5.

"Augna gamans "The delight of one's eyes

fsir aftr at f, to have again he wishes,

hvars hann getr svst at sj; who gets to see his dearest;

garar gla the courts glow,

mr ykkja of gullna sali; it seems to me, of the golden halls;

hr mynda ek eli una." I would like to dwell here at home."

 

Fjlsvir kva: Fjǫlsvir said:

6. 6.

"Segu mr, hverjum "Tell me, to whom,

ertu, sveinn, of borinn, youth, were you born,

ea hverra ertu manna mgr?" or of what people are you child?"

 

Kmumar kva: The arriving man said:

"Vindkaldr ek heiti, "I am called Vindkaldr,

Vrkaldr ht minn fair, my father is called Vrkaldr,

ess var Fjlkaldr fair. his father was Fjǫlkaldr.(24)

 

7. 7.

Segu mr at, Fjlsvir, Tell me, Fjǫlsvir,

er ek fregna mun what I will ask

ok ek vilja vita: and I want to know:

Hverr hr rr Who rules here

ok rki hefir and holds power over

eign ok auslum?" the land and halls of gold?"

 

Fjlsvir kva: Fjǫlsvir said:

8. 8.

"Mengl of heitir, "Menglǫ she is called,

en hana mir of gat and her mother bore her

vi Svafrorins syni; to Svafrorin's son;

hon hr rr she rules here

ok rki hefir and holds power over

eign ok auslum." the land and halls of gold."

 

Vindkaldr kva: Vindkaldr said:

9. 9.

"Segu mr at, Fjlsvir, "Tell me, Fjǫlsvir,

er ek ik fregna mun what I will ask you

ok ek vilja vita: and I want to know:

Hvat s grind heitir, what is the name of that gate,

er me goum s-at that among the gods was never seen

menn it meira fora?" by men a greater hazard?"

 

Fjlsvir kva: Fjǫlsvir said:

10. 10.

"rymgjll hon heitir, "rymgjǫll it is called,

en hana rr geru and there made it three

Slblinda synir; sons of Slblindi;

fjturr fastr a firm chain

verr vi faranda hvern is against every traveller

er hana hefr fr hlii." who [tries to] lift it from the

gateway."(25)

 

Vindkaldr kva: Vindkaldr said:

11. 11.

"Segu mr at, Fjlsvir, "Tell me, Fjǫlsvir,

er ek ik fregna mun what I will ask you

ok ek vilja vita: and I want to know:

Hvat s garr heitir, what is the name of that wall,

er me goum s-at that among the gods was never seen

menn it meira fora?" by men a greater hazard?"

 

Fjlsvir kva: Fjǫlsvir said:

12. 12.

"Gastrpnir heitir, "Gastrpnir it is called,

en ek hann grfan hefk and I have built it

r Leirbrimis limum; from Leirbrimi's limbs;

sv hefik studdan, I have set it up so

at hann standa mun, that it will stand

mean ld lifir." ever, as long as life endures."

 

Vindkaldr kva: Vindkaldr said:

13. 13.

"Segu mr at, Fjlsvir, "Tell me, Fjǫlsvir,

er ek ik fregna mun what I will ask you

ok ek vilja vita: and I want to know:

Hvat eir garmar heita, what is the name of those tattered

wretches

er gfrari hefik [than] which I have not

enga fyrr lndum ltit?" before beheld any greedier in the

land?"(26)

 

Fjlsvir kva: Fjǫlsvir said:

14. 14.

"Gfr heitir annarr, "One is called Gfr,

en Geri annarr, and another Geri,(27)

ef vilt at vita; if you want to know that;

varir ellifu, eleven warders,(28)

er eir vara, who guard there,

unz rjfask regin." until the regin are smashed."

 

Vindkaldr kva: Vindkaldr said:

15. 15.

"Segu mr at, Fjlsvir, " Tell me, Fjǫlsvir,

er ek ik fregna mun what I will ask you

ok ek vilja vita, and I want to know,

hvrt s manna nkkut, whether there be any man

at er megi inn koma, such as can come in

mean skndjarfir sofa." while the attack [dog]s are sleeping."

 

Fjlsvir kva: Fjǫlsvir said:

16. 16.

"Missvefni mikit "Great mis-sleeping(29)

var eim mjk of lagit, was much imposed on them,

san eim var varzla vitu; since watching was assigned to them;

annarr of ntr sefr, one sleeps by night,

en annarr of daga, and one by day,

ok kemsk vtr, ef kom." and no one gets through, if he comes

there."

 

Vindkaldr kva: Vindkaldr said:

17. 17.

"Segu mr at, Fjlsvir, "Tell me, Fjǫlsvir,

er ek ik fregna mun what I will ask you

ok ek vilja vita, and I want to know,

hvrt s matar nkkut, whether there be any food

at er menn hafi, that humans might have,

ok hlaupi inn, mean eir eta." and leap in while they are eating."

 

Fjlsvir kva: Fjǫlsvir said:

18. 18.

"Vegnbrir tvr "Two wing-meats

liggja Vipnis lium, lie in Vipnir's(30) sides,

ef vilt at vita, if you want to know that,

at eitt er sv matar, that alone is such food

at eim menn of gefi, that humans might give them,

ok hlaupi inn, mean eir eta." and leap in while they are eating."

 

Vindkaldr kva: Vindkaldr said:

19. 19.

"Segu mr at, Fjlsvir, "Tell me, Fjǫlsvir,

er ek ik fregna mun what I will ask you

ok ek vilja vita: and I want to know:

Hvat at barr heitir, what is the name of that needle[-

tree],(31)

er breiask um that spreads over

lnd ll limar?" every land its limbs?"

 

Fjlsvir kva: Fjǫlsvir said:

20. 20.

"Mmameir hann heitir, "Mmameir it is called,

en at manngi veit, and no one knows

af hverjum rtum renn; from what roots it rises;

vi at hann fellr, it [will be] felled with

er fstan varir, what one least expects,

flr-at hann eld n jrn." [since] fire nor iron harms it."

 

Vindkaldr kva: Vindkaldr said:

21. 21.

"Segu mr at, Fjlsvir, "Tell me, Fjǫlsvir,

er ek ik fregna mun what I will ask you

ok ek vilja vita: and I want to know:

Hvat af mi verr what becomes of the fruit(32)

ess ins mra viar, of this great tree,

er hann flr-rat eld n jrn?" which neither fire nor iron harms it?"

 

Fjlsvir kva: Fjǫlsvir said:

22. 22.

"t af hans aldni "Out of its fruit [some]

skal eld bera should be put on a fire

fyr kelisjkar konur; for sick(33) women;

tar hverfa out [will] come

ats r innar skyli, what was hidden there inside,(34)

s er hann me mnnum mjtur." thus it is fater(35) among mankind."

 

Vindkaldr kva: Vindkaldr said:

23. 23.

"Segu mr at, Fjlsvir, "Tell me, Fjǫlsvir,

er ek ik fregna mun what I will ask you

ok ek vilja vita: and I want to know:

Hvat s hani heitir, what is the name of the rooster

er sitr inum hva vii, who sits in the tall tree,

allr hann vi gull glir?" he glows all with gold?"

 

Fjlsvir kva: Fjǫlsvir said:

24. 24.

"Vpnir hann heitir, "Vpnir(36) he is called,

en hann stendr verglasir and he stands storm-bright

meis kvistum Mma; in the branches of Mmir's tree;

einum ekka in one dread,

ryngr hann rfsaman immense, he holds

Surtr Sinmru." Surtr [and] Sinmora."(37)

 

Vindkaldr kva: Vindkaldr said:

25. 25.

"Segu mr at, Fjlsvir, "Tell me, Fjǫlsvir,

er ek ik fregna mun what I will ask you

ok ek vilja vita: and I want to know:

hvrt s vpna nkkut, whether there be any weapon

at er knegi Vipnir fyrir that could do for Vipnir

hnga Heljar sjt?" to go down to Hel's abode?"

 

Fjlsvir kva: Fjǫlsvir said:

26. 26.

"Lvateinn heitir hann, "Lvateinn it is called,

en hann geri Loftr rnum and Loptr made it with runes(38)

fyr ngrindr nean; down under the gates of the dead;

segjrnskeri in a sea-loving container(39)

liggr hann hj Sinmru, it lies at Sinmora's,

ok halda njarlsar nu." and nine tight latches hold it."

 

Vindkaldr kva: Vindkaldr said:

27. 27.

"Segu mr at, Fjlsvir, "Tell me, Fjǫlsvir,

er ek ik fregna mun what I will ask you

ok ek vilja vita: and I want to know:

hvrt aftr kemr, whether he comes back,

s er eftir ferr who goes after

ok vill ann tein taka." and wishes to take that twig."

 

Fjlsvir kva: Fjǫlsvir said:

28. 28.

"Aftr mun koma, "Back he will come

s er eftir ferr who goes after

ok vill ann tein taka, and wishes to take that twig,

ef at frir, if he brings

er fir eigu, what few own,

Eiri rglasis." [to] the gold-bright Eir."(40)

 

Vindkaldr kva: Vindkaldr said:

29. 29.

"Segu mr at, Fjlsvir, "Tell me, Fjǫlsvir,

er ek ik fregna mun what I will ask you

ok ek vilja vita: and I want to know:

hvrt s mta nkkut, whether there be any treasure

at er menn hafi that humans might have

ok verr v in flva ggr fegin." and thus make the pale ogress glad."

 

Fjlsvir kva: Fjǫlsvir said:

30. 30.

Ljsan la The bright scythe

skaltu lr bera, you must carry into a case,

ann er liggr Vipnis vlum, the one that lies in Vpnir's

feathers,(41)

Sinmru at selja, to give to Sinmora

r hon sm telisk before she declares herself willing

vpn til vgs at lj." to loan the weapon for battle."

 

Vindkaldr kva: Vindkaldr said:

31. 31.

"Segu mr at, Fjlsvir, "Tell me, Fjǫlsvir,

er ek ik fregna mun what I will ask you

ok ek vilja vita: and I want to know:

Hvat s salr heitir, What is the name of the hall

er slunginn er that is surrounded

vsum vafrloga?" by the wise wavering fire?"

 

Fjlsvir kva: Fjǫlsvir said:

32. 32.

"Hyrr hann heitir, "Hyrr(42) it is called,

en hann lengi mun and it will for a long time

brodds oddi bifask; shake on the point of a shaft;

auranns ess of this noble dwelling

munu um aldr hafa for ever mankind will have

frtt eina frar." only news."

 

Vindkaldr kva: Vindkaldr said:

33. 33.

"Segu mr at, Fjlsvir, "Tell me, Fjǫlsvir,

er ek ik fregna mun what I will ask you

ok ek vilja vita: and I want to know:

Hverr at geri, Who of sons of the gods made that

er ek fyr gar sk which I before the garth saw

innan, smaga?" inside?"(43)

 

Fjlsvir kva: Fjǫlsvir said:

34. 34.

"Uni ok ri, "Uni and ri,

 

ri ok Bri, ri and Bri,

Varr ok Vegdrasill; Varr and Vegdrasill;

Dri ok ri, Dri and ri,

Dellingr, Atvarr, Dellingr, Atvarr,

Lskjalfr, Loki." Lskjalfr, Loki."(44)

 

Vindkaldr kva: Vindkaldr said:

35.

"Segu mr at, Fjlsvir, "Tell me, Fjǫlsvir,

er ek ik fregna mun what I will ask you

ok ek vilja vita: and I want to know:

Hvat at bjarg heitir, what is the name of that crag

er ek s bri on which I see a woman,

jmra ruma?" glorious, dwelling?"

 

Fjlsvir kva: Fjǫlsvir said:

36. 36.

"Lyfjaberg at heitir, "Lyfjaberg(45) it is called,

en at hefir lengi verit and it has long been

sjkum ok srum gaman; joy for the sick and sore;

heil verr hver, every woman becomes healthy,

tt hafi rs stt, though she may have a sickness of

year[s],(46)

ef at klfr, kona." if she climbs it."

 

Vindkaldr kva: Vindkaldr said:

37.

"Segu mr at, Fjlsvir, "Tell me, Fjǫlsvir,

er ek ik fregna mun what I will ask you

ok ek vilja vita: and I want to know:

Hvat r meyjar heita, what are the names of those maidens

er fyr Menglaar knjm who at Menglǫ's knees

sitja sttar saman?" sit at peace together?"

 

Fjlsvir kva: Fjǫlsvir said:

38. 38.

"Hlf heitir, "[One] is called Hlf,

nnur Hlfrasa, the second Hlfrasa,

rija jvarta, the third jvarta,

Bjrt ok Bl, Bjǫrt and Bl(47),

Blr, Fr, Blr, Fr,

Eir ok Aurboa." Eir and Aurboa."

 

Vindkaldr kva: Vindkaldr said:

39. 39.

"Segu mr at, Fjlsvir, "Tell me, Fjǫlsvir,

er ek ik fregna mun what I will ask you

ok ek vilja vita: and I want to know:

Hvrt r bjarga, whether they shield

eim er blta r, those who blt them

ef gerask arfar ess?" if they happen to have need of it?"

 

Fjlsvir kva: Fjǫlsvir said

40. 40.

"Bjarga svinnar, "Wise, they shield(48)

hvar er menn blta r where people blt them

stallhelgum sta; at the stall-holy(49) place;

eigi sv htt fora so high a danger [can] not

kemr at hla sonum, face sons of men,

hvern r r nauum nema." [but that] they remove each from need."

 

Vindkaldr kva: Vindkaldr said:

41. 41.

"Segu mr at, Fjlsvir, "Tell me, Fjǫlsvir,

er ek ik fregna mun what I will ask you

ok ek vilja vita, and I want to know,

hvrt s manna nkkut, whether there be any human

er knegi Menglaar who may lie down in Menglǫ's

svsum armi sofa?" dear arms to sleep?"

 

Fjlsvir kva: Fjǫlsvir said:

42. 42.

"Vtr er at manna, "No human is there

er knegi Menglaar who may lie down in Menglǫ's

svsum armi sofa, dear arms to sleep,

nema Svipdagr einn, except Svipdagr alone,

hnum var s in slbjarta to him was that sun-bright

brr at kvn of kvein." maiden promised as wife."

 

Vindkaldr kva: Vindkaldr said:

43. 43.

"Hrittu hurir, "Push open the doors,

lttu hli rm, make wide the gate,

hr mttu Svipdag sj; here you can see Svipdagr;

en vita far, but go and see

ef vilja myni whether Menglǫ would want

Mengl mitt gaman." my love."

 

Fjlsvir kva: Fjǫlsvir said:

44. 44.

"Heyr , Mengl, "Listen, Menglǫ,

hr er mar kominn, a man is come here,

gakk gest sj; go and look at the guest;

hundar fagna, the dogs are welcoming [him],

hs hefir upp lokizk, the house has opened up,

hygg ek, at Svipdagr s." I think it is Svipdagr."

 

Mengl kva: Menglǫ said:

45. 45.

"Horskir hrafnar "Wise(50) ravens

skulu r hm galga should on a high gallows

slta sjnir r, tear out your eyes

ef at lgr, if you are lying about this,

at hr s langt kominn that from far away has come here

mgr til minna sala. to my halls [my] mate(51).

 

46. 46.

Hvaan frt, From where did you come,

hvaan fr gerir, from where did you make your way,

hv ik htu hj? what did your home-people call you?

At tt ok nafni From [your] race and name

skal ek jartegn vita, I must know the evidence

ef ek var r kvn of kvein." [of] whether I was promised as wife to

you."

 

Svipdagr kva: Svipdagr said:

47. 47.

"Svipdagr ek heiti, "I am called Svipdagr,

Slbjartr ht minn fair, my father is called Slbjartr,(52)

aan rkumk vindkalda vegu; from there I have wandered wind-cold

ways;

Urar ori [against] Ur's word(53)

kver engi mar, no one [can] speak,

tt at s vi lst lagit." even when it be laid down for the

worse."

 

Mengl kva: Menglǫ said:

48. 48.

"Vel n kominn, "Welcome now,

hefik minn vilja beit, I have got my wish,

fylgja skal kveju koss; a kiss shall follow the greeting;

forkunnar sn a longed-for(54) sight

mun flestan glaa, will be the most joyous

hvars hefir vi annan st. when one brings love to the other.

 

49. 49.

Lengi ek sat For a long time I have sat

ljfu bergi , on the gentle mountain,(55)

bei ek n dgr ok daga; I prayed for you by day and for

days;(56)

n at var, now that has come to pass

er ek vtt hefi, that I longed for,

at ert kominn, mgr, til minna sala. and you have come(57), my mate, to my

halls.

 

50. 50.

rr hafar Yearnings we had

er ek hefi til ns gamans, - that I had for your love,

en til mns munar; and you for my favour;

n er at satt, now it is the fact

er vit slta skulum that we shall spend

vi ok aldr saman." together [our] lives and days."

 

 

Notes

 

21. I'm assigning the next verse, with its challenge, to the giant guardian rather than to Svipdagr.

22. Much-wise, Many-wise.

23. A word for "wolf" that often denotes an outlaw.

24. Wind-cold, Spring-cold, Much-cold.

25. Doors were hinged at the top rather than the side and raised to open.

26. Garmr is the name of the dog in Vǫlusp, but in the plural tends to mean "tatters" or "wretches", not "hounds"; the last two lines are Bugge's emendation from messy manuscript readings.

27. Glutton, Ravener; the latter is the name of one of in's wolves.

28. Ellifu is probably an error (although there are 11 names plus Loki in Verse 34): Svend Grundtvig suggested ǫflgir, "powerful", Bugge a form of eilfr, "ever-living"a similar emendation to that is made in Skrnisml. Varir is also problematic; like vara, vari elsewhere means a cairn or beacon, not a watchman. Bugge suggested reading verir, plural of vǫrr, which would mean "watchman"; this is plainly the intended meaning.

29. i.e, fitful sleep

30. In the manuscripts, Viofnir. Concerning him, see Verse 24.

31. Barr means a needle of a conifer; here used for the whole tree.

32. The use of mr here is unique; "fruit" (Gubrandur Vigfsson's suggestion) is the dominant guess at the intended meaning, based on the following verse. A variant manuscript reading is mǫi.

33. The kind of sickness the women have, keli- or kli-, sometimes emended to killi-, has not been explained: suggestions include labour pains (based on the following lines) and hysteria (based on not very compelling claimed cognates).

34. Variously emended lines

35. Mjǫtur also occurs in Vǫlusp 46, and mjǫtvir in Vǫlusp 2; the base meaning is "measure" and it is undoubtedly connected with an Anglo-Saxon word used for the Christian god. In this poem it is often taken as "creator".

36. Tree-weeper, Wood-weeper; but it has also been read as Vopnir/Vofnir and since Ofnir is a serpent name, taken as Wood-serpent, Tree-serpent. The whole name is listed as a rooster name in the ulur of the Prose Edda.

37. In these last lines, the image in the Old Norse is of being restricted so that one is stuffed up with unshed tears. I give the usual reading, in which Surtr and (presumably his wife) Sinmora or Sinmara are held in fear by the threat the rooster will crow and announce Ragnarǫk, but the lines have also been read as the rooster's feeling constant dread about "Surtr's Sinmora"; some manuscripts have rungur, runguz, rngnuz, Surtar.

38. Lvateinn: Wounding wand, Treacherous or Baneful twig or sprig. The manuscripts have Hvateinn, amended for reasons of alliteration. Loptr is a name of Loki. Rnum is the editor's emendation: the manuscripts have rinn, and the line is usually translated "pulled it off", but the verb refers to plucking the wool from a sheep. The lines are sometimes related to the mistletoe with which Baldr was killed; on the other hand Lvateinn is sometimes taken as simply a kenning for "sword".

39. The manuscript's seigjrnkeri has been taken as "a sea-loving chest" or "Sgjarn's chest" (with -s- added, as by this editor) or "an iron kettle" (Lee M. Hollander); ker means a "vessel" as in a drinking goblet or a tub. Hjalmar Falk further amended to Lgjarn, an epithet of Loki.

40. The usual translation of this line, which is assumed to be a kenning for "woman", i.e., Sinmora. The possessive seems to indicate an elided til, hence I've added "[to]".

41. The "scythe" seems to be a tail feather, but several words here are unclear: lr can be a grain-bin or a trumpet; "case" is Bray's word in a note, while Henry Adams Bellows has "wallet".

42. Hrr means embers, but the name is often amended to Lyrr for alliteration.

43. I've moved smaga 2 lines up in my translation for clarity. It is problematic because the names that follow are not sir-kin. The -k on sk also seems redundant with ek. Some manuscripts have sok - sought??

44. Some of these are dwarf names that occur in Vǫlusp and Vafrnisml. Some do not work with the alliterative scheme. For the puzzling Loki, Lni has been suggested. Lskjalfr appears in some manuscripts as lisci alfr, lijski alfur, leski alfr, those scribes having taken it to be an elf-name.

45. Healing Mountain; this is Bugge's emendation to match Verse 49; the manuscripts have Hyfja, Hlyfja.

46. defective alliteration

47. Presumably either this name or the following Blr is an error; Blikvr or Bleir are suggestions.

48. The line has been amended by Bugge from the single word Sumur in the manuscripts: the manuscript reading would mean "Every summer that people blt them".

49. stallr or stalli, (heathen) altar.

50. Bugge noted that this is an unexpected use of horskr; he suggested the original word might have been hrskrir, "quarrelling over carrion".

51. Here and in Verse 49, this could also be translated "young man".

52. Slbjartr: Sunbright. Svipdagr's name is variously interpreted as Daybreak (the main meaning of svipr is a swoop or an instant) or Face like the Sun (a metaphorical meaning of the word, countenance or likeness).

53. This may be a case of Ur's name being used simply to mean "fate".

54. Since kunna means "know how to", forkunna is usually "eager to learn"; however, there are instances of forkunnar- as a prefix or adjective meaning just "exceedingly" or "excellent".

55. This is the manuscript reading; often changed to Lyfjaberg to match the generally accepted emendation in Verse 36.

56. i.e., all day, every day.

57. The manuscripts have ert aptr kominn, "have come back".