Svipdagsml: Grgaldr

Sonr kva: The son said:

1. 1.

"Vaki , Gra, "Wake up, Gra,

vaki , g kona, wake up, good woman,

vek ek ik daura dura, I wake you at the doors of the dead,

ef at mant, maybe(1) you remember

at inn mg bir that you told your child

til kumbldysjar koma." to come to the grave-cairn."


Gra kva: Gra said:

2. 2.

"Hvat er n annt "What's the matter now

mnum eingasyni, with my only son,

hverju ertu n blvi borinn, what is it that troubles you,

er mur kallar, that you call your mother,

er til moldar er komin who has turned to earth

ok r ljheimum liin?" and left the world of people?"


Sonr kva: The son said:

3. 3.

"Ljtu leikbori "An ugly task

skaut fyr mik in lvsa kona, has pitched at me the crafty woman

s er famai minn fur; who has embraced my father;

ar ba hon mik koma, there she bade me go

er kvmtki veit, where no one can get to,

mti Menglu." to meet Menglǫ.


Gra kva: Gra said:

4. 4.

"Lng er fr, "Long is the journey,

langir ro farvegar, long are the ways to travel,

langir ro manna munir, long are humans' longings,

ef at verr, maybe it will come to pass

at inn vilja br, that you achieve your wish,

ok skeikar Skuld at skpum." and Skuld turn fate that way."(2)


Sonr kva: The son said:

5. 5.

"Galdra mr gal, "Galdr me galdrs

er gir eru, that are good,

bjarg , mir, megi; mother, protect your child;

vegum allr dead(3) on the way

hygg ek, at ek vera muna, I think I may be,

ykkjumk ek til ungr afi." it seems to me I am a young lad."(4)


Gra kva: Gra said:

6. 6.

"ann gel ek r fyrstan, "The first one I galdr for you

- ann kvea fjlntan, - they call it very useful,

ann gl Rindr Rani, - Rindr galdred it for Ran(5) -

at of xl skjtir, that you pitch off your shoulder

v er r atalt ykkir; whatever seems hostile to you;

sjalfr lei sjalfan ik. may you yourself lead yourself.


7. 7.

ann gel ek r annan, The second one I galdr for you,

ef rna skalt if you must go

viljalauss vegum, joyless along paths,

Urar lokur Ur's locks(6)

haldi r llum megum, hold you on all sides

er sinnum sr. that you see on the way.


8. 8.

ann gel ek r inn rija, The third one I galdr for you,

ef r jar(7) if mighty rivers

falla at fjrlotum, fall threatening your life's end,(8)

Horn ok Rur Horn and Rur(9)

snisk til heljar mean, turn towards Hel meantime,(10)

en verri fyr r. and it be always dried before you.


9. 9.

ann gel ek r inn fjra, The fourth one I galdr for you,

ef ik fjndr standa if enemies stand

grvir galgvegi, in ambush for you on the gallows-


hugr eim hverfi may their minds change

til handa r, to your side,

ok snisk eim til stta sefi. and their hearts turn towards a truce.


10. 10.

ann gel ek r inn fimmta, The fifth one I galdr for you,

ef r fjturr verr if fetters are

borinn at boglimum, placed on your limbs,

leysigaldr(12) lt ek a loosening galdr I cause,

r fyr legg of kveinn, spoken over your legs,

ok stkkr lss af limum, and the hindrance then lets go of your


en af ftum fjturr. and of your feet the fetters.


11. 11.

ann gel ek r inn stta, The sixth one I galdr for you,

ef sj kemr if at sea you come upon

meira en menn viti, a greater [swell] than people know,

logn ok lgr may calm and the water(13)

gangi r lr saman together fall into your flour-bin(14)

ok li r fridrjgrar farar. and grant you ever faring full of peace.


12. 12.

ann gel ek r inn sjaunda, The seventh one I galdr for you,

ef ik skja kemr if there comes to seek you

frost fjalli hu, frost on a high mountain,

hrva kuli may the cold of death(15)

megi-t nu holdi fara, not be able to destroy your flesh,

ok haldisk lk at lium. and your body always keep its



13. 13.

ann gel ek r inn tta, The eighth one I galdr for you,

ef ik ti nemr if night overtakes you

ntt niflvegi, outside on a dark path,

at v firr megi so that less may

r til meins gera a dead Christian woman

kristin dau kona. do harm to you.(17)


14. 14.

ann gel ek r inn nunda, The ninth one I galdr for you,

ef vi inn naddgfga if you with the beam-gifted(18)

orum skiptir jtun, jǫtunn exchange words,

mls ok mannvits may speech and wisdom

s r minni ok hjarta in memory and heart

gnga of gefit. given to you enough.(19)


15. 15.

Far n va, Fare now never

ar er fora ykkir, where you think dangerous,

ok standi-t r mein fyr munum; and may evil not keep you from your


jarfstum steini on an earth-fast stone

st ek innan dura, I stood inside doors

mean ek r galdra gl. while I galdred galdrs for you.


16. 16.

Mur or Your mother's words

ber , mgr, hean now carry, child, from here

ok lt r brjsti ba; and let them swell in your breast;

ignga heill ever-sufficient(20) luck

skaltu of aldr hafa, you will have during your life

mean mn or of mant." while you remember my words."





1. Ef usually means "if", but in this poem the meaning sometimes requires "maybe, perchance".

2. This line is a bit hard to parse. Probably the intent is "if it is fated to be".

3. Vera allr - as explained by D. E. Martin Clarke in her partial edition, the basic meaning is "be complete"; compare "all in."

4. Afi means "grandfather"; its use for "boy" here may be derived from Skrnisml.

5. Restoring the manuscript reading; the editor, Guni Jnsson, followed Gubrandur Vigfsson's emendation to Rindi Rani, thinking of the name Hrani that inn takes in Hrlfs saga krka. Either Rindr here is a name for inn, masculinised from Rind, on whom he fathered Vli, and Ran thus presumably refers to her rather than to Rn; or as suggested by Hugo Gering, Rindr is Rind and Ran thus refers to Vli (with an emendation to Vrindr and Vala suggested).

6. Loka means a lock, but a langloka is a kind of song or poem (one without verse breaks), so while Olive Bray rendered this as "the web of Weird", taking it as a reference to the norns' web, Gubrandur Vigfsson in both Corpus Poeticum Borealis and the Icelandic dictionary took it as one word meaning a magic spell: he translates it "Guarding-charms". Clarke compares the varlokkur in orfinns saga Karlsefnis.

7. amended from jar, joir.

8. Fjǫrlotum is a hapax legomenon, a word that occurs nowhere else.

9. These are taken to be river names, not mentioned elsewhere, or corrupted.

10. Often amended to hean, "back" by analogy with verses in Grmnisml and Ffnisml.

11. presumably a kenning for "intending your death"

12. Amended by Sophus Bugge in his edition. The manuscripts have leifnis elda, leifinz ela, and similar.

13. The usual phrase is lopt ok lǫgr, "air and sea", as in Skrnisml 6.

14. Metaphor: to go the way that benefits you. However, Bugge emended lr to li, which would produce "together enter into a group; come together".

15. One manuscript has hvera kuldi, "cold of winter", which Gubrandur Vigfsson followed.

16. Haldisk is Bugge's emendation; the manuscripts have haldit or and the line has been variously emended.

17. Last two lines reversed for clarity in English. Varying corrupt and unclear text in the last 3 lines. Gubrandur Vigfsson changed kristin dau kona to kveld-rior, "evening-rider", i.e, witch.

18. The same word occurs in Vǫlusp in skamma 7, referring to Heimdallr; here the reference is presumably to Menglǫ's father. It has been thought to refer in both cases to sunbeams.

19. In these last two lines, the manuscripts' minnis / mimis is often amended to munn (mouth), following Bugge; gnga is a hapax legomenon (the adjective gngr occurs often, including in verse 16) and is sometimes also amended.

20. or "abundant": i- is often an intensifier. However the manuscript reading is v nga, which Bugge emended to gnga, "ever enough".