The poem is conventionally divided into sections, indicated by the Roman numerals:

I (1-83) Gestattr or Guest's Section

II (84-102): On women's faithlessness and advice for seduction

III (103-10): a version of the story of in's dealings with Gunnlǫ to win the mead of poetry. This and the story of Billing's daughter at the end of the previous section are sometimes classed together as in's Examples or in's Love Quests.

IV (111-37): Loddffnisml or Lay of Loddffnir

V (138-45 ) Rnatal or Rune Poem

VI (146-64): Ljatal



Gttir allar, All entrances,
r gangi fram, before going forward,
um skoask skyli, should be looked for all around,
um skyggnast skyli, should be examined all around,
v at vst er at vita, because it cannot be known for sure
hvar vinir where enemies
sitja fleti fyrir. sit in the room beyond.

Gefendr heilir! Hail to the givers!
Gestr er inn kominn, A guest has come in,
hvar skal sitja sj? Where should he sit?
Mjk er brr, He is extremely eager,
s er brndum skal he who must sit by the logs,[1]
sns of freista frama. try for his advancement.

Elds er rf, There is need of fire
eims inn er kominn for the one who has come in
ok kn kalinn; and [is] chilled to the knee;
matar ok va food and clothing
er manni rf, are needed by a person
eim er hefr um fjall farit. who has travelled over the fell.

Vatns er rf, There is need of water
eim er til verar kemr, for him who has come to dinner,
erru ok jlaar, a towel and a generous invitation,
gs of is, in good will,
ef sr geta mtti, if he might receive that,
ors ok endrgu. a word and a listening ear.[2]

Vits er rf, There is need of wits
eim er va ratar; for him who fares far;
dlt er heima hvat; things are simple at home;
at augabragi verr, but will have eyebrows raised at him
s er ekki kann he who knows nothing[3]
ok me snotrum sitr. and sits with the wise.

At hyggjandi sinni About his wisdom
skyli-t mar hrsinn vera, A person should not be boastful,
heldr gtinn at gei; rather heedful in attitude;[4]
er horskr ok gull When, experienced and of few words,
kemr heimisgara til, he comes back to his homestead,
sjaldan verr vti vrum, there will seldom be a claim against the

circumspect one,
v at brigra vin because a more faithful[5] friend
fr mar aldregi a person never gets
en mannvit mikit. than great good sense.[6]

Inn vari gestr, The wary guest
er til verar kemr, who comes to a meal
unnu hlji egir, with sharpened hearing keeps silent,
eyrum hlir, listens with his ears
en augum skoar; and looks with his eyes;
sv nsisk frra hverr fyrir. thus every wise one spies out for himself

what is ahead.

Hinn er sll, Happy is he
er sr of getr who garners for himself
lof ok lknstafi; praise and soothing words[7];
dlla er vi at, less straightforward are matters

er mar eiga skal what a person should own
annars brjstum . in another's breast.

S er sll, Thus happy is he
er sjalfr of who himself is in possession of
lof ok vit, mean lifir; praise and wits, while he lives;
v at ill r because bad advice
hefr mar oft egit a person has often drawn
annars brjstum r. from out of another's breast.

Byri betri No better burden
berr-at mar brautu at bears any person on the road
en s mannvit mikit; than is great good sense;
aui betra better than wealth
ykkir at kunnum sta; that is held to be, in an unfamiliar place;
slkt er vlas vera. such is poor people's existence.

Byri betri No better burden
berr-at mar brautu at bears any person on the road
en s mannvit mikit; than is great good sense;
vegnest verra no worse kit
vegr-a hann velli at does he tote on the plain
en s ofdrykkja ls. than is over-drinking of ale.

Er-a sv gtt Is not so good
sem gtt kvea as it is said to be good
l alda sona, ale for the sons of men,
v at fra veit, because the man knows less,
er fleira drekkr the more he drinks,
sns til ges gumi. his own mind.[8]

minnishegri heitir It is called the heron of forgetfulness[9]
s er yfir lrum rumir, that hangs over ale-drinking,
hann stelr gei guma; it steals men's minds;
ess fugls fjrum with this fowl's feathers
ek fjtrar vark I was fettered
gari Gunnlaar. In Gunnlǫ's garth.[10]

lr ek var, Ale-besotted I became,
var ofrlvi became the worse for drink
at ins fra Fjalars; at wise Fjalar's dwelling;
v er lr bazt, therefore as regards ale the best thing is
at aftr of heimtir that afterwards every person
hverr sitt ge gumi. gets back his mind.

agalt ok hugalt Sparing of speech and thoughtful
skyli jans barn a chieftain's child must
ok vgdjarft vera; be, and doughty in battle;
glar ok reifr glad and cheerful
skyli gumna hverr, must every person be,
unz sinn br bana. until it comes to his death.

snjallr mar A man who is lacking[11]
hyggsk munu ey lifa, thinks he will live forever
ef hann vi vg varask; if he guards himself against battle;
en elli gefr but age gives
hnum engi fri, him no peace,[12]
tt hnum geirar gefi. even though spears do.

Kpir afglapi A fool gapes
er til kynnis kemr, when he visits someone he knows,
ylsk hann um ea rumir; mumbles or mopes;
allt er senn, if he gets hold of a drink,
ef hann sylg of getr, at once it's all
uppi er ge guma. up with the person's wits.

S einn veit He only knows
er va ratar who ranges widely
ok hefr fjl of farit, and has been through much
hverju gei what kind of a mind
strir gumna hverr, each person has at their disposal,
s er vitandi er vits. he who is knowledgeable about


Haldi-t mar keri, Let a person not hold onto the bowl,
drekki at hfi mj, but rather drink mead in moderation,
mli arft ea egi, speak usefully or hold his peace,
kynnis ess for unsociability
vr ik engi mar, no one [will] blame[13] you,
at gangir snemma at sofa. if you go early to bed.

Grugr halr, A greedy man,
nema ges viti, unless he knows his mind,[14]
etr sr aldrtrega; eats himself into deadly sorrow;
oft fr hlgis, often his belly gets him mocked,
er me horskum kemr, the foolish man,
manni heimskum magi. when he comes among wise people.

Hjarir at vitu, Herds know it
nr r heim skulu, when they should go home
ok ganga af grasi; and then they leave the grass;
en svir mar but the unwise human
kann vagi never knows
sns of ml maga. the measure of his stomach.

Vesall mar A wretched[15] person
ok illa skapi and bad-tempered
hlr at hvvetna; mocks everything;
hittki hann veit, He does not know it,
er hann vita yrfti, what he needed to know,
at hann er-a vamma vanr. that he is not lacking in flaws.

svir mar The unwise man
vakir um allar ntr stays awake every night
ok hyggr at hvvetna; and thinking about everything;
er mr, then he is tired
er at morgni kemr, when it comes to be daybreak,
allt er vl sem var. his problem is all as it was.

snotr mar The foolish man
hyggr sr alla vera thinks that all
vihljendr vini; who laugh along are friends;
hittki hann fir, this he does not notice,
tt eir um hann fr lesi, however, that they cook up tales about him
ef hann me snotrum sitr. if he sits with un-foolish people.

snotr mar The foolish man
hyggr sr alla vera thinks that all
vihljendr vini; who laugh along are friends;
at finnr, however, he finds
er at ingi kemr, when he goes to the Thing,
at hann formlendr fa. that he has few supporters.

snotr mar The foolish man
ykkisk allt vita, thinks he knows everything
ef hann sr v veru; if he has himself a sheltered corner;
hittki hann veit, this he does not know,
hvat hann skal vi kvea, what he should say in return
ef hans freista firar. if people ask him questions.

snotr mar, The foolish man
er me aldir kemr, who comes among folks,
at er bazt, at hann egi; it is best if he stays silent;
engi at veit, no one will know
at hann ekki kann, that he does not know
nema hann mli til margt; unless he talks too much;
veit-a mar, the man does not know
hinn er vettki veit, - the one who knows naught -
tt hann mli til margt. when he is talking too much.

Frr s ykkisk, Wise he thinks himself
er fregna kann who can ask questions
ok segja it sama; and likewise make statements;
eyvitu leyna nothing can they hide,
megu ta synir, the sons of men,
v er gengr um guma. of what goes around about people.

rna mlir, Enough he speaks,
s er va egir, he who is never silent,
stalausu stafi; of baseless things;[16]
hramlt tunga, a fast-talking tongue,
nema haldendr eigi, unless it has a curb on it,
oft sr gtt of gelr. often summons[17] bad things to itself.

At augabragi In contempt
skal-a mar annan hafa, a person should not hold another,
tt til kynnis komi; even when he visits people he is close to;
margr frr ykkisk, many a one then seems wise
ef hann freginn er-at if no one questions him
ok ni hann urrfjallr ruma. and he manages to sit there with a dry


Frr ykkisk, Wise he seems
s er fltta tekr, who takes flight,
gestr at gest hinn; a guest, mocked by a guest;
veit-a grla, he does not altogether know,
s er of veri glissir, he who grins during a meal,
tt hann me grmum glami. whether he isn't gossiping among


Gumnar margir Many men
erusk gagnhollir, are on very good terms with each other,
en at viri vrekask; yet fight when at a meal;
aldar rg strife between people
at mun vera, there will always be,
rir gestr vi gest. one guest will rage at another.

rliga verar Early his meals
skyli mar oft fa, a person should often take,
nema til kynnis komi: except when he visits people he is close

s[i]tr[19] ok snpir, he sits and mopes,
ltr sem solginn s looks as if he is famished,
ok kann fregna at fu. and there's little he can ask about.

Afhvarf mikit A great way out of one's way
er til ills vinar, it is to a bad friend's,
tt brautu bi, even if he lives on the high road,[20]
en til gs vinar but to a good friend's
liggja gagnvegir, direct paths lead,
tt hann s firr farinn. even if he has gone further away.

Ganga skal, One should go,
skal-a gestr vera not be a guest
ey einum sta; always in one place;
ljfr verr leir, liked turns to disliked
ef lengi sitr if he tarries lengthily
annars fletjum . within another's hall.

B er betra, One's dwelling is better,
tt ltit s, little though it be,[21]
halr er heima hverr; everyone is a full man[22] at home;
tt tvr geitr eigi even if he has two goats
ok taugreftan sal, and a hall with a roof made of string,
at er betra en bn. that is still better than begging.

B er betra, One's dwelling is better,
tt ltit s, little though it be,
halr er heima hverr; everyone is a full man at home;
blugt er hjarta, his heart bleeds[23]
eim er bija skal who must beg
sr ml hvert matar. food for himself at every meal.

Vpnum snum From his weapons
skal-a mar velli a person should not when afield[24]
feti ganga framar, go one foot away,
v at vst er at vita, because it cannot be known for sure
nr verr vegum ti when out on his way will
geirs of rf guma. a man come to have need of his spear.

Fannk-a ek mildan mann I never found a benevolent man
ea sv matar gan, or so well disposed with his food
at vri-t iggja egit, that accepting was not accepted,
ea sns far or with his wealth
svgi [glggvan], so not stingy,[25]
at lei s laun, ef gi. that a repayment would be disliked, if he

received it.

Far sns, Of his wealth,
er fengit hefr, which he has acquired,
skyli-t mar rf ola; a person should not put up with lack;
oft sparir leium, often you save for disliked people
ats hefr ljfum hugat; what you had thought of as for beloved

margt gengr verr en varir. many things go worse than you expect.

Vpnum ok vum With weapons and clothes
skulu vinir glejask; friends should please each other;
at er sjalfum snst; that is always clearest on oneself;
virgefendr ok endrgefendr those who give in return and give again
erusk lengst vinir, are mutual friends the longest,
ef at br at vera vel. if that continues to go well.

Vin snum To his friend
skal mar vinr vera a person should be a friend
ok gjalda gjf vi gjf; and return a gift for a gift;
hltr vi hltri laughter with laughter
skyli hlar taka men[26] should take
en lausung vi lygi. and a falsehood with a lie.

Vin snum To his friend
skal mar vinr vera, a person should be a friend,
eim ok ess vin; to him and to his friend;
en vinar sns but to his enemy's friend[27]
skyli engi mar should no person
vinar vinr vera. be a friend.

Veiztu, ef vin tt, Know you, if you have a friend,
ann er vel trir, whom you trust well,
ok vill af hnum gtt geta, and you want to make the best of him.
gei skaltu vi ann blanda you should mingle minds with him,[28]
ok gjfum skipta, and exchange gifts,
fara at finna oft. go and visit him often.

Ef tt annan, If you have another,
anns illa trir, whom you ill trust,
vildu af hnum gtt geta, if you nonetheless want to make the best

of him,
fagrt skaltu vi ann mla you should speak pretty words to him
en fltt hyggja but think false
ok gjalda lausung vi lygi. and repay a falsehood with a lie.

a er enn of ann Still there is, about him
er illa trir whom you ill trust,
ok r er grunr at hans gei, and you are doubtful about the way he

hlja skaltu vi eim you should laugh with him
ok um hug mla; and pretend when you speak;
glk skulu gjld gjfum. the repayment should [be] like the gifts.

Ungr var ek forum, In times of old I was young,
fr ek einn saman, I traveled all alone,
var ek villr vega; then I took a wrong turn;
auigr ttumk, I thought myself wealthy
er ek annan fann, when I found another person,
mar er manns gaman. man is man's pleasure.

Mildir, frknir Generous[29], bold
menn bazt lifa, people live best,
sjaldan st ala; seldom bear sorrows;
en snjallr mar but a nervous[30] man
uggir hotvetna, is afraid of anything,
stir glggr vi gjfum. the niggard always moans about gifts.[31]

Vir mnar My clothes
gaf ek velli at I gave in a field to
tveim trmnnum; two wooden people;
rekkar at ttusk, they considered themselves fine fellows
er eir rift hfu; when they had raiment;
neiss er nkkvir halr. shamed is a naked man.

Hrrnar ll, That fir-tree withers
s er stendr orpi , that stands in the village,
hlr-at henni brkr n barr; neither bark nor needle protects it;
sv er mar, so is the person
s er manngi ann. whom nobody loves.
Hvat skal hann lengi lifa? How should he live long?

Eldi heitari Hotter than fire
brennr me illum vinum burns for five days
frir fimm daga, the relationship between bad friends,[32]
en sloknar, but then is slaked
er inn stti kemr, when the sixth comes,
ok versnar allr vinskapr. and all friendship goes bad.

Mikit eitt A single big thing
skal-a manni gefa; you should not give to a person;
oft kaupir sr litlu lof, often you buy yourself praise with little,
me halfum hleif with a half loaf
ok me hllu keri and a tipped cup[33]
fekk ek mr flaga. I got myself a companion.

Ltilla sanda Beside small shores
ltilla sva beside small seas
ltil eru ge guma; small are the minds of men;
v allir menn hence all men
uru-t jafnspakir; have not grown equally insightful;
half er ld hvar. mankind is half each.

Mealsnotr Medium wise
skyli manna hverr; should every person be,
va til snotr s; never too wise;
eim er fyra for those people it is
fegrst at lifa, most pleasant to live
er vel margt vitu. who know quite[34] a lot of things.

Mealsnotr Medium wise
skyli manna hverr, should every person be,
va til snotr s; never too wise;
v at snotrs manns hjarta because a wise man's heart
verr sjaldan glatt, rarely becomes glad,
ef s er alsnotr, er . if he who owns it is wise in all.

Mealsnotr Medium wise
skyli manna hverr, should every person be,
va til snotr s; never too wise;
rlg sn his rlǫg
viti engi fyrir, let no one know in advance,
eim er sorgalausastr sefi. he has the most carefree mind.

Brandr af brandi Brand from brand
brenn, unz brunninn er, burns, until it is burned,
funi kveikisk af funa; flame springs to life from flame;
mar af manni a person from a person
verr at mli kur, becomes known for speech,[35]
en til dlskr af dul. but too dull-witted from isolation.

r skal rsa, Early must he rise
s er annars vill who wants to have another's
f ea fjr hafa; cattle or life;
sjaldan liggjandi ulfr seldom does a reclining wolf
lr of getr get the meat,
n sofandi mar sigr. or a sleeping man, victory.

r skal rsa, Early must he rise,
s er yrkjendr fa, who has few workers,
ok ganga sns verka vit; and go look to his work;
margt of dvelr, much delays
ann er um morgin sefr, the man who sleeps the morning away,
hlfr er aur und hvtum. wealth is half in the energy.[36]

urra ska Of dry sticks
ok akinna nfra, and of birch-bark for roofing,
ess kann mar mjt, of this a man is aware of the measure,
ess viar, of this, wood,
er vinnask megi that may be needed
ml ok misseri. for a quarter and for a half year.

veginn ok mettr Washed and fed
ri mar ingi at, let a man ride to the Thing,
tt hann s-t vddr til vel; albeit he is not well clothed;
ska ok brka of his shoes and breeches
skammisk engi mar let no one be ashamed,
n hests in heldr, nor of his horse either,
tt hann hafi-t gan albeit he does not have a good one.

Snapir ok gnapir, It snaps its jaws and lunges
er til svar kemr, when it comes to the sea,
rn aldinn mar; an eagle on the ancient deep;
sv er mar, so is a man
er me mrgum kemr who comes among many
ok formlendr fa. and has few to speak for him.

Fregna ok segja To ask and to speak
skal frra hverr, ought every wise man,
s er vill heitinn horskr; he who wishes to be called insightful;
einn vita one must know,
n annarr skal, and not another,
j veit, ef rr ro. the [entire] people knows, if there are


Rki sitt His power
skyli rsnotra any prudent person should
hverr hfi hafa; exercise in measure;
hann at finnr, then he finds this,
er me frknum kemr when he comes among bold men:
at engi er einna hvatastr. that none is the single bravest one.

-- -- -- -- ----
ora eira, for the words
er mar rum segir that a person says to another
oft hann gjld of getr. he often receives payment back.

Mikilsti snemma Very much too early
kom ek marga stai, I came to many places,
en til s suma; and too late to some;
l var drukkit, the ale was drunk up,
sumt var lagat, some wasn't made,
sjaldan hittir leir l. the disliked person rarely hits the mark.

Hr ok hvar Here and there
myndi mr heim of boit, I would be invited home,
ef yrftak at mlungi mat, if I had no need of food at mealtime,
ea tvau lr hengi or there would be two hams hanging
at ins tryggva vinar, at a true friend's,
ars ek hafa eitt etit. when I had eaten one.[37]

Eldr er beztr Fire is best
me ta sonum for the sons of men
ok slar sn, and the sight of the sun,
heilyndi sitt, one's health,
ef mar hafa nir, if a person gets to have it,
n vi lst at lifa. to live blame-free.[38]

Er-at mar alls vesall, No person is wretched in every way,
tt hann s illa heill; even though his condition may be bad;[39]
sumr er af sonum sll, some are blessed with sons,
sumr af frndum, some with relatives,
sumr af f rnu, some with sufficient wealth,
sumr af verkum vel. some very much by their works.[40]

Betra er lifum It is better for the living
en s lifum, than to be unliving,[41]
ey getr kvikr k; always the living man gets the cow;
eld s ek upp brenna I saw the fire burn up
augum manni fyrir, in front of a wealthy person,
en ti var daur fyr durum. but outside the door was a dead man.[42]

Haltr rr hrossi, A lame person rides a horse,
hjr rekr handar vanr, a person lacking a hand drives a herd,[43]
daufr vegr ok dugir, a deaf person fights, and doughtily.
blindr er betri blind is better
en brenndr si, than being burnt up,
ntr manngi ns. a corpse is no use to anyone.

Sonr er betri, A son is better,
tt s s of alinn even if he is late born
eftir genginn guma; after the man is gone;
sjaldan bautarsteinar memorial stones rarely
standa brautu nr, stand alongside the road
nema reisi nir at ni. unless a kinsman raises them for a


Tveir ro eins herjar, Two are destroyers of one,
tunga er hfus bani; the tongue is the head's slayer;
er mr hein hvern in every bearskin cloak I
handar vni. expect a hand.

Ntt verr feginn At night he rejoices
s er nesti trir, who trusts in his food-bundle,
skammar ro skips rar; ship's sail-yards are short;
hverf er haustgrma; shifty is the cowl of an autumn night;
fjl of virir the weather varies a lot
fimm dgum within five days
en meira mnui. and more within a month.

Veit-a hinn, He does not know,
er vettki veit, the man who knows nothing,
margr verr af aurum api; many a person becomes a fool on

account of money;
mar er auigr, one person is wealthy,
annar auigr, another not wealthy,
skyli-t ann vtka var. one should not blame him for the woe.

Deyr f, Cattle die,
deyja frndr, Kin die,
deyr sjalfr it sama, one dies oneself likewise,
en orstrr but the renown of fame[44]
deyr aldregi, never dies
hveim er sr gan getr. for the person who gets himself a good


Deyr f, Cattle die,
deyja frndr, kin die,
deyr sjalfr it sama, one dies oneself likewise;
ek veit einn, I know of one thing
at aldrei deyr: that never dies:
dmr um dauan hvern. judgement on every dead person.

Fullar grindr Full folds[45]
s ek fyr Fitjungs sonum, I saw for Fitjung's sons,
n bera eir vnar vl; now they carry a beggar's staff;
sv er aur so is wealth,
sem augabrag, like the blink of an eye,
hann er valtastr vina. it is the ficklest of friends.

snotr mar, The foolish man,
ef eignask getr if he comes to have
f ea fljs munu, riches or a woman's favour,
metnar hnum rask, his pride swells,
en mannvit aldregi, but his good sense never,
fram gengr hann drjgt dul. he forges right ahead in his


at er reynt, That is then demonstrated
er a rnum spyrr what you ask the runes,
inum reginkunnum, come from the regin,[46]
eim er geru ginnregin which the great regin made
ok fi fimbululr, and the mighty ulr painted,[47]
hefir hann bazt, ef hann egir. that he does best to hold his tongue.

At kveldi skal dag leyfa, At nightfall should a day be praised,[48]
konu, er brennd er, a woman, when she is burnt,
mki, er reyndr er, a sword, when it is proved,
mey, er gefin er, a maiden, when she is married,
s, er yfir kemr, ice, when it has been crossed,
l, er drukkit er. ale, when it has been drunk.

vindi skal vi hggva, In wind one should hew wood,
veri sj ra, [good] weather, row out to sea,
myrkri vi man spjalla, the darkness, chat with a girl,
mrg eru dags augu; many are the day's eyes;
skip skal skriar orka, you should use a ship to get swift

en skjld til hlfar, but a shield for cover,
mki hggs, a sword, hewing,
en mey til kossa. and a maiden for kisses.

Vi eld skal l drekka, At the fire, you should drink ale,
en si skra, and on ice, slide,
magran mar kaupa, buy a skinny mare,
en mki saurgan, and a dirtied-up sword,[50]
heima hest feita, fatten up a horse at home,
en hund bi. and a dog on the farm.


Meyjar orum A maiden's words
skyli manngi tra no one ought to trust,
n v, er kver kona, nor what a woman says,
v at hverfanda hvli because on a turning wheel
vru eim hjrtu skpu, their hearts were created,
brig brjst of lagi. changeability[51] placed in their breasts.

Brestanda boga, A shattering bow,
brennanda loga, a burning flame,
gnanda ulfi, a gaping wolf,
galandi krku, a screeching crow,
rtanda svni, a grunting pig,
rtlausum vii, a rootless tree,
vaxanda vgi, a mounting sea,
vellanda katli, a boiling kettle,

Fljganda fleini, a flying spear,
fallandi bru, a falling wave,
si einnttum, one night's ice,
ormi hringlegnum, a coiled serpent,
brar bemlum a bride's bed-talk
ea brotnu sveri, or a breaking sword,
bjarnar leiki a bear's play
ea barni konungs. or a child of a king.

Sjkum kalfi, An ailing calf,
sjalfra rli, a self-willed thrall,
vlu vilmli, a vlva's pleasant word,
val nfelldum. newly slain corpses.

Akri rsnum A field sown early
tri engi mar let no one trust in,[52]
n til snemma syni, nor too soon in his son,
- ver rr akri. - weather rules the field
en vit syni; and his wits the son;
htt er eira hvrt. dangerous are they both.

Brurbana snum His brother's slayer,
tt brautu mti, albeit met on the road,
hsi hlfbrunnu, a half-burnt house,
hesti alskjtum, an overly swift horse
- er jr ntr, - a steed is of no use
ef einn ftr brotnar -, if he breaks a leg[53] -,
veri-t mar sv tryggr let a person not be so trusting
at essu tri llu. that he trusts all of these.

Sv er frir kvenna, Thus is the favour of women,
eira er fltt hyggja, who think falsely[54]:
sem aki j bryddum like driving a smooth-shod horse
si hlum, on slippery ice,
teitum, tvvetrum a spirited one, two years old
ok s tamr illa, and badly broken,
ea byr um or in a raging wind
beiti stjrnlausu, on a rudderless boat,
ea skyli haltr henda or a lame man trying to catch
hrein fjalli. a reindeer on a thawing mountainside.[55]

Bert ek n mli, I now speak plain,
v at ek bi veit, because I know both,
brigr er karla hugr konum; faithless are men's minds towards

vr fegrst mlum, we speak fairest,
er vr flst hyggjum: where we think most false;
at tlir horska hugi. that deceives the mind of the wise.

Fagrt skal mla Fairly he must speak
ok f bja, and offer riches,[56]
s er vill fljs st f, he who wishes to win a lady's love,
lki leyfa praise the body
ins ljsa mans, of the resplendent being,
s fr, er frar. he wins who woos.

star firna For his love,
skyli engi mar no one should blame
annan aldregi; another ever;
oft f horskan, ravishingly fair looks,
er heimskan n f, when they do not capture the fool,
lostfagrir litir. often capture the wise man.[57]

Eyvitar firna For nothing must
er mar annan skal, someone blame another,
ess er um margan gengr guma; of what happens to many a man;
heimska r horskum fools out of wise,
gerir hla sonu sons of men,
s inn mttki munr. it makes, mighty love.[58]

Hugr einn at veit, The mind alone knows
er br hjarta nr, what dwells close to the heart,
einn er hann sr of sefa; he is alone with himself in his emotions;
ng er stt verri there is no worse sickness
hveim snotrum manni for any wise man
en sr engu at una. than [to have] nothing to be content


at ek reynda, That I proved then
er ek reyri sat, when I sat in the reeds,
ok vttak mns munar; and waited for my love;
hold ok hjarta flesh and heart[60]
var mr in horska mr; the wise maid was to me;
eygi ek hana at heldr hefik. yet I do not have possession of her.

Billings mey Billing's daughter
ek fann bejum I found in bed,
slhvta sofa; sleeping, sun-white;
jarls yni no jarl's pleasure
tti mr ekki vera I thought there could be
nema vi at lk at lifa. except to live with that body.

"Auk nr aftni "Again, you must come
skaltu, inn, koma, near the evening, inn,
ef vilt r mla man; if you want to talk yourself into a

allt eru skp, it is all a disaster
nema einir viti unless [we] alone know
slkan lst saman." of such shame, together."

Aftr ek hvarf Away I went
ok unna ttumk and thought I had love
vsum vilja fr; from certain lust;[61]
hitt ek huga, what I thought was
at ek hafa mynda that I might have
ge hennar allt ok gaman. all her heart and pleasure[62].

Sv kom ek nst, So the next time I came,
at in nta var the able
vgdrtt ll of vakin company of warriors were all awake
me brennandum ljsum with burning lights
ok bornum vii, and collected wood,
sv var mr vlstgr of vitar. such was the sorry route marked out for


Auk nr morgni, Again, near morning,
er ek var enn of kominn, when I had come in,
var saldrtt of sofin; the hall company was asleep;
grey eitt ek fann then I found only a bitch
innar gu konu of the good woman's
bundit bejum . tied on the bed.

Mrg er g mr, Many a good maid is,
ef grva kannar, if you get to know her closely,
hugbrig vi hali; fickle-minded towards men;
ek at reynda, I proved that
er it rspaka when I that woman wise in judgement
teyga ek flrir flj; allured to deceits;[63]
hungar hverrar every disgrace
leitai mr it horska man, the clever creature sought for me,
ok hafa ek ess vettki vfs. and I got naught from that female.


Heima glar gumi At home glad
ok vi gesti reifr, and cheerful with a guest,
svir skal um sig vera, a man must be wise of himself,[64]
minnigr ok mlugr, good at remembering and at speaking,
ef hann vill margfrr vera, if he wants to be much-knowing,
oft skal gs geta; he must often speak of good things;
fimbulfambi heitir, he is called a mighty fool
s er ftt kann segja, who can say few things,
at er snotrs aal. that is characteristic of the non-wise.

Inn aldna jtun ek stta, I sought out the old jǫtunn,
n em ek aftr of kominn: now I have come back;
ftt gat ek egjandi ar; not speaking there, I got little;
mrgum orum with many words
mlta ek minn frama I spoke to my advantage
Suttungs slum. in Suttung's hall.

Gunnl mr of gaf Gunnlǫ gave to me,
gullnum stli on a golden throne,
drykk ins dra mjaar; a drink of the precious mead;
ill igjld ill recompense
lt ek hana eftir hafa I had her have afterwards
sns ins heila hugar, for her whole heart,
sns ins svra sefa. for her heavy spirit.

Rata munn Rati's mouth
ltumk rms of f I caused to create room
ok um grjt gnaga; and gnaw through rock;
yfir ok undir over and under
stumk jtna vegir, me stood the ways of the jǫtnar,[65]
sv htta ek hfi til. so did I risk my head on that.

Vel keypts litar Well bought good looks[66]
hefi ek vel notit, I have used well,
fs er frum vant, few things a wise man lacks;
v at rerir therefore rerir[67]
er n upp kominn has now come up
alda vs jaar. to the edge of mankind's holy mansion.[68]

Ifi er mr , I have doubts
at ek vra enn kominn that I would have come back
jtna grum r, from the dwellings of the giants,
ef ek Gunnlaar n nytak, if I had not used Gunnlǫ,
innar gu konu, that good woman,
eirar er lgumk arm yfir. over whom I laid my arm.

Ins hindra dags On the following day
gengu hrmursar frost giants[69] went
Hva rs at fregna to ask Hr's[70] counsel
Hva hllu ; in Hr's hall;
at Blverki eir spuru, about Bǫlverkr they asked,
ef hann vri me bndum kominn whether he had come among the powers
ea hefi hnum Suttungr of sit. or Suttungr had smothered[71] him.

Baugei inn, An oath on the ring,
hygg ek, at unnit hafi; I think inn will have sworn;
hvat skal hans tryggum tra? what trust is one to put in his troth?
Suttung svikinn Suttungr cheated
hann lt sumbli fr out of his sumbl[72] he had,[73]
ok grtta Gunnlu. and Gunnlǫ weeping.


Ml er at ylja It is time to recite
ular stli from the ulr's throne[74]
Urarbrunni at, at Urarbrunnr,[75]
s ek ok agak, I saw and did not speak,
s ek ok hugak, I saw and considered,
hldda ek manna ml; I listened to the speech of humans;
of rnar heyra ek dma, I heard judgements made about runes,
n of rum gu nor were they silent about their views,
Hva hllu at, at Hr's hall,
Hva hllu , in Hr's hall,[76]
heyra ek segja sv: I heard say thus:

Rumk r, Loddffnir, I advise you, Loddffnir,
en r nemir, - to take advice -
njta mundu, ef nemr, you can make use of it if you do,
r munu g, ef getr -: it will be good for you if you have it:
ntt rs-at at night, do not get up
nema njsn sir unless you are on watch
ea leitir r innan t staar. or you are going out to find a place.[77]

Rumk r, Loddffnir, I advise you, Loddffnir,
en r nemir, - ro take advice -
njta mundu, ef nemr, you can make use of it if you do,
r munu g, ef getr -: it will be good for you if you have it:
fjlkunnigri konu in the arms of a witch-woman[78]
skal-at-tu fami sofa, you must never sleep
sv at hon lyki ik lium. so that she locks you in her limbs.

Hon sv gerir, Thus she makes it
at gir eigi that you no longer care
ings n jans mls; for the Thing or the words of your lord;
mat vill-at you do not want food
n mannskis gaman, or human pleasure,
ferr sorgafullr at sofa. you go sorrowfully to sleep.

Rumk r, Loddffnir, I advise you, Loddffnir,
en r nemir, - to take advice -
njta mundu, ef nemr, you can make use of it if you do,
r munu g, ef getr -: it will be good for you if you have it:
annars konu another man's woman
teygu r aldregi never lure
eyrarnu at. to be your intimate confidante.[79]

Rumk r, Loddffnir, I advise you, Loddffnir,
en r nemir, - to take advice -
njta mundu, ef nemr, you can make use of it if you do,
r munu g, ef getr -: it will be good for you if you have it:
fjalli ea firi, by mountain or vale,
ef ik fara tir, if you have a yen to travel,
fsktu at viri vel. supply yourself well with provisions.

Rumk r, Loddffnir, I advise you, Loddffnir,
en r nemir, - to take advice -
njta mundu, ef nemr, you can make use of it if you do,
r munu g, ef getr -: it will be good for you if you have it:
illan mann a bad man
lttu aldregi never let
hpp at r vita, know your misfortune,
v at af illum manni because from a bad man
fr aldregi you will never get
gjld ins ga hugar. the return of good thoughts.

Ofarla bta A bad woman's word
ek s einum hal I saw bite deeply
or illrar konu; into a man;[80]
flr tunga a lie-ready tongue
var hnum at fjrlagi was a fatal blow to him,[81]
ok eygi of sanna sk. and not at all in a just cause.

Rumk r, Loddffnir, I advise you, Loddffnir,
en r nemir, - to take advice -
njta mundu, ef nemr, you can make use of it if you do,
r munu g, ef getr -: it will be good for you if you have it:
veistu, ef vin tt, know, if you have a friend,
ann er vel trir, one that you trust in well,
far at finna oft, go to visit him often,
v at hrsi vex because weeds grow on
ok hvu grasi and high grass
vegr, er vttki trer. a path that no one treads.

Rumk r, Loddffnir, I advise you, Loddffnir,
en r nemir, - to take advice -
njta mundu, ef nemr, you can make use of it if you do,
r munu g, ef getr -: it will be good for you if you have it:
gan mann draw to yourself[82]
teygu r at gamanrnum a good man as your confidant in

ok nem lknargaldr, mean lifir. and receive healing magic while you


Rumk r, Loddffnir, I advise you, Loddffnir,
en r nemir, - to take advice -
njta mundu, ef nemr, you can make use of it if you do,
r munu g, ef getr -: it will be good for you if you have it:
vin num with your friend
ver aldregi never be
fyrri at flaumslitum; first to make a breach;
sorg etr hjarta, sorrow eats the heart
ef segja n nir if you are unable to speak
einhverjum allan hug. your whole mind to someone.

Rumk r, Loddffnir, I advise you, Loddffnir,
en r nemir, - to take advice -
njta mundu, ef nemr, you can make use of it if you do,
r munu g, ef getr -: it will be good for you if you have it:
orum skipta exchange words
skalt aldregi you must never
vi svinna apa, with stupid apes,[83]

v at af illum manni Because from a bad person
mundu aldregi you will never
gs laun of geta, get a reward for good,
en gr mar but a good person
mun ik gerva mega will be able to make you,
lknfastan at lofi. through praise, confirmed in goodwill.[84]

Sifjum er blandat, Kins are combined[85] then,
hver er segja rr whenever one is eager to tell
einum allan hug; another his whole mind;
allt er betra anything is better
en s brigum at vera; than that there be a breach of trust;[86]
er-a s vinr rum, he is not a friend to another,

er vilt eitt segir. who only says what is desired.

Rumk, r Loddffnir, I advise you, Loddffnir,
en r nemir, - to take advice -
njta mundu, ef nemr, you can make use of it if you do,
r munu g, ef getr -: it will be good for you if you have it:
rimr orum senna not three words bandy
skal-at-tu r vi verra mann you must, with a worse man;
oft inn betri bilar, often the better man fails
er inn verri vegr. when the worse fights.

Rumk r, Loddffnir, I advise you, Loddffnir,
en r nemir, - to take advice -
njta mundu, ef nemr, you can make use of it if you do,
r munu g, ef getr -: it will be good for you if you have it:
sksmir verir neither a cobbler be
n skeftismir, nor a fletcher,[87]
nema sjalfum r sir: unless you are those for yourself:
skr er skapar illa a shoe is badly shaped
ea skaft s rangt, or a shaft is bent,
er r bls beit. then bale is called for against you.

Rumk r, Loddffnir, I advise you, Loddffnir,
en r nemir, - to take advice -
njta mundu, ef nemr, you can make use of it if you do,
r munu g, ef getr -: it will be good for you if you have it:
hvars bl kannt, whenever you know of a baleful deed,
kve r blvi at call it a baleful deed,
ok gef-at num fjndum fri. and do not give frith to your enemies.

Rumk r, Loddffnir, I advise you, Loddffnir,
en r nemir, - to take advice -
njta mundu, ef nemr, you can make use of it if you do,
r munu g, ef getr -: it will be good for you if you have it:
illu feginn glad of evil
ver aldregi, never be,
en lt r at gu getit. but let yourself take pleasure in good.

Rumk r, Loddffnir, I advise you, Loddffnir,
en r nemir, - to take advice -
njta mundu, ef nemr, you can make use of it if you do,
r munu g, ef getr -: it will be good for you if you have it:
upp lta look up
skal-at-tu orrustu, you must not in battle,
- gjalti glkir - sons of men are made
vera gumna synir, - to be like squealing pigs[88] -
sr itt of heilli halir. lest guys get you under a spell.[89]

Rumk r, Loddffnir, I advise you, Loddffnir,
en r nemir, - to take advice -
njta mundu, ef nemr, you can make use of it if you do,
r munu g, ef getr -: it will be good for you if you have it:
ef vilt r ga konu if you want to persuade yourself a good

kveja at gamanrnum to be your companion in relaxation[90]
ok f fgnu af, and take pleasure in her,
fgru skaltu heita fair things must you promise
ok lta fast vera; and have them be firm;
leiisk manngi gtt, ef getr. not many hates a good thing if he gets it.

Rumk r, Loddffnir, I advise you, Loddffnir,
en r nemir, - to take advice -
njta mundu, ef nemr, you can make use of it if you do,
r munu g, ef getr -: it will be good for you if you have it:
varan bi ek ik vera wary I bid you be,
ok eigi ofvaran; and[91] not over-wary;
ver vi l varastr be the wariest concerning ale,
ok vi annars konu and another's woman,[92]
ok vi at it rija, and thirdly,
at jfar n leiki. that thieves do not hoodwink you.

Rumk r, Loddffnir, I advise you, Loddffnir,
en r nemir, - to take advice -
njta mundu, ef nemr, you can make use of it if you do,
r munu g, ef getr -: it will be good for you if you have it:
at hi n hltri in scorn and mockery
hafu aldregi never hold
gest n ganganda. a guest or someone on foot.

Oft vitu grla, Often they don't know exactly,
eir er sitja inni fyrir, those who are seated inside,
hvers eir ro kyns, er koma; of what nature they are, who come;
er-at mar sv gr there is no one so good
at galli n fylgi, that a flaw doesn't follow him,
n sv illr, at einugi dugi. nor so bad, that he is fit for nothing.

Rumk r, Loddffnir, I advise you, Loddffnir,
en r nemir, - to take advice -
njta mundu, ef nemr, you can make use of it if you do,
r munu g, ef getr -: it will be good for you if you have it:
at hrum ul at a hoary-haired ulr
hl aldregi, never laugh,
oft er gtt, at er gamlir kvea; often is good what old men say;
oft r skrpum belg often from a shrivelled leather bag
skilin or koma come decisive words,
eim er hangir me hm from the man who hangs among the

ok skollir me skrm dangles among the dried skins,[93]
ok vfir me vlmgum. and sidles about with the bondsmen.

Rumk r, Loddffnir, I advise you, Loddffnir,
en r nemir, - to take advice -
njta mundu, ef nemr, you can make use of it if you do,
r munu g, ef getr -: it will be good for you if you have it:
gest n geyja do not bark at a visitor
n grind hrekir; or chase him at the door;
get vluum vel. entertain the vagrant well.

Rammt er at tr, Huge is the beam
er ra skal that must shift
llum at upploki; to unbar the way for all;
baug gef, pay a ring,
ea at bija mun or it will call down
r ls hvers liu. every sort of suffering on your limbs.

Rumk r, Loddffnir, I advise you, Loddffnir,
en r nemir, - to take advice -
njta mundu, ef nemr, you can make use of it if you do,
r munu g, ef getr -: it will be good for you if you have it:
hvars l drekkir, whenever you drink ale,
kjs r jarar megin, choose for yourself the power of earth,
v at jr tekr vi lri, because earth combats ale,
en eldr vi sttum, and fire, sickness,
eik vi abbindi, oak, constipation,
ax vi fjlkynngi, an ear of grain, sorcery,
hll vi hrgi, the hall, marital strife,[94]
- heiftum skal mna kveja, - - for hatefulness, one must call on the

moon[95] -
beiti vi bitsttum, alum, infected bites,
en vi blvi rnar, and runes combat baleful fortune.
fold skal vi fli taka. The earth must combat the sea.[96]


Veit ek, at ek hekk I know that I hung
vindga meii on a windswept tree[97]
ntr allar nu, for all of nine nights,
geiri undar spear-wounded
ok gefinn ni, and given to inn,
sjalfr sjalfum mr, myself to my own self,
eim meii, on that tree
er manngi veit that no one knows
hvers af rtum renn. from what's roots it springs.

Vi hleifi mik sldu They [did not] console[98] me with a loaf,
n vi hornigi; nor with a horn;
nsta ek nir, I searched down below,
nam ek upp rnar, I brought up the runes,
pandi nam, took them, crying out;
fell ek aftr aan. I fell back from there.[99]

Fimbullj nu Nine mighty songs[100]
nam ek af inum frgja syni I acquired from a famed son
Blorns, Bestlu fur, of Bǫlorn, father of Bestla,
ok ek drykk of gat and I got a drink
ins dra mjaar, of the precious mead
ausinn reri. poured[101] from rerir.

nam ek frvask Then I started to become fruitful
ok frr vera and wise[102]
ok vaxa ok vel hafask, and grow and thrive,
or mr af ori a word of mine from a word
ors leitai, looked for a word,
verk mr af verki a deed of mine from a deed
verks leitai. looked for a deed.

Rnar munt finna You will find runes
ok rna stafi, and decided staves,
mjk stra stafi, very large staves,
mjk stinna stafi, very strong staves,
er fi fimbululr which a mighty ulr tinted
ok geru ginnregin and the great gods[103] made
ok reist hroftr rgna. and Hroptr[104] of the regin risted.[105]

inn me sum, inn among the sir,
en fyr alfum Dinn, and for the lfar Dinn,
Dvalinn ok dvergum fyrir, Dvalinn also for the dwarfs,
svir jtnum fyrir, svir for the jǫtnar,
ek reist sjalfr sumar. I risted some myself.

Veistu, hv rsta skal? Do you know how you must rist?
Veistu, hv ra skal? Do you know how you must interpret?
Veistu, hv fa skal? Do you know how you must tint?
Veistu, hv freista skal? Do you know how you must test?
Veistu, hv bija skal? Do you know how you must ask?[106]
Veistu, hv blta skal? Do you know how you must blt?
Veistu, hv senda skal? Do you know how you must send?
Veistu, hv sa skal? Do you know how you must kill the


Betra er beit Better is not to have asked
en s ofbltit, than to have over-blted,
ey sr til gildis gjf; ever a gift looks for a repayment;
betra er sent better is not to have sent a sacrifice
en s ofsit. than to have over-killed.
Sv undr of reist As undr risted it
fyr ja rk, before the judgment of mankind,
ar hann upp of reis, where he rose up,
er hann aftr of kom. when he came back.


Lj ek au kann, I know those songs
er kann-at jans kona that a chief's wife does not know,
ok mannskis mgr. nor a child of men.
Hjalp heitir eitt, One is called help,
en at r hjalpa mun and that one will help you
vi skum ok sorgum against lawsuits and sorrows
ok stum grvllum. and every affliction.

at kann ek annat, This second I know,
er urfu ta synir, which the sons of men need,
eir er vilja lknar lifa. those who wish to live as physicians.[108]

a kann ek rija: This third I know:
ef mr verr rf mikil if I am in great need
hafts vi mna heiftmgu, of a fetter for my foeman,
eggjar ek deyfi I blunt the edges
minna andskota, of my opponents,
bta-t eim vpn n velir. neither their weapons nor their staffs


at kann ek it fjra: This fourth I know:
ef mr fyrar bera if men place
bnd a boglimum, bonds on my limbs,
sv ek gel, in such a way I galdr[109]
at ek ganga m, that I may get away,
sprettr mr af ftum fjturr, the fetter breaks off my feet,
en af hndum haft. and the cuff off my hands.

at kann ek it fimmta: This fifth I know:
ef ek s af fri skotinn If I see, shot with baleful intent,
flein folki vaa, a shaft shoot into a crowd,
fgr-a hann sv stinnt, it does not fly so forcefully
at ek stvig-a-k, that I don't stop it,
ef ek hann sjnum of sk. if I catch sight of it with my eyes.

at kann ek it stta: This sixth I know:
ef mik srir egn if some man scores for me
vrtum hrs viar, on roots of living wood,[110]
ok ann hal ... and that guy
er mik heifta kver, who laid curses on me,
ann eta mein heldr en mik. him the sores eat, rather than me.

at kann ek it sjaunda: This seventh I know:
ef ek s hvan loga if I see a high hall
sal of sessmgum, burning around my bench-mates,
brennr-at sv breitt, it does not burn so widely
at ek hnum bjargig-a-k; that I do not save it;
ann kann ek galdr at gala. That galdr I know how to sing.

at kann ek it tta, This eighth I know,
er llum er which for all is
nytsamligt at nema: useful to take:
hvars hatr vex wherever hatred is growing
me hildings sonum among the sons of a war-chief,
at m ek bta brtt. that I can abate fast.

at kann ek it nunda: This ninth I know:
ef mik naur of stendr If I face the need
at bjarga fari mnu floti, to save my boat at sea,
vind ek kyrri wind I calm
vgi over the wave
ok svfik allan s. and lull all the sea to sleep.

at kann ek it tunda: This tenth I know:
ef ek s tnriur if I see hedge-riders
leika lofti , playing in the sky, [111]
ek sv vinnk, I work it so
at r villar fara that they go astray
sinna heimhama, from their home-forms,
sinna heimhuga. from their home-minds.

at kann ek it ellifta: This eleventh I know:
ef ek skal til orrostu if I am into battle
leia langvini, to lead long-time friends,
und randir ek gel, under shields I galdr,
en eir me rki fara and they go with victory
heilir hildar til, safe to the combat,
heilir hildi fr, safe from the combat,
koma eir heilir hvaan. they come away safe from everywhere.

at kann ek it tolfta: This twelfth I know:
ef ek s tr uppi if I see up on a tree
vfa virgiln, a noosed corpse swinging,
sv ek rst in such a way I cut
ok rnum fk, and colour the runes
at s gengr gumi that the man walks
ok mlir vi mik. and talks with me.

at kann ek it rettnda: This thirteenth I know:
ef ek skal egn ungan if I am to cast
verpa vatni , water on[112] a young thegn,
mun-at hann falla, he shall not fall,
tt hann folk komi, although he joins an army,[113]
hngr-a s halr fyr hjrum. that warrior does not bend before blades.

at kann ek it fjgurtnda: This fourteenth I know:
ef ek skal fyra lii if I am to a troop[114] of men
telja tva fyrir, enumerate the tvar,
sa ok alfa of all sir and lfar
ek kann allra skil; I know in detail;
fr kann snotr sv. few without wisdom do.

at kann ek it fimmtnda This fifteenth I know
er gl jrerir that jrerir galdred,
dvergr fyr Dellings durum: the dwarf before Delling's door;
afl gl hann sum, power he galdred to the sir,
en alfum frama, and success[115] to the lfar,
hyggju Hroftat. insight to Hroptatr.[116]

at kann ek it sextnda: This sixteenth I know:
ef ek vil ins svinna mans if I wish to have of a wise maid
hafa ge allt ok gaman, all the heart[117] and pleasure,
hugi ek hverfi I turn around the mind
hvtarmri konu, of the white-armed woman,
ok sn ek hennar llum sefa. and change the direction of all her


at kann ek it sjautjnda This seventeenth I know
at mik mun seint firrask so that will be slow to leave me
it manunga man. the youthful maid.[118]
Lja essa These songs,
mun , Loddffnir, Loddffnir, you will
lengi vanr vera; long be without;
s r g, ef getr, however, it would be good for you if you

get them,
nt ef nemr, useful if you take them in,
rf ef iggr. needful if you absorb them.

at kann ek it tjnda, This eighteenth I know,
er ek va kennik which I never make known
mey n manns konu, to a maiden or a man's wife
- allt er betra, - everything is better
er einn of kann; that one man knows;
at fylgir lja lokum, - it follows the conclusion of the songs, -
nema eiri einni, except to that one of them,
er mik armi verr, who holds me in her arm,
ea mn systir s. or, maybe, my sister.


N eru Hva ml Now are the sayings of Hr
kvein Hva hllu , spoken in the hall of Hr,
allrf ta sonum, very needful for the sons of men,
rf jtna sonum; not needful to the sons of jǫtnar;
heill s, er kva, be well, who spoke;
heill s, er kann, be well, who knows;
njti s, er nam, be benefited, who took;
heilir, eirs hlddu. good fortune[119] to those who listened.

[1] By the woodpile, i.e. in a corner or at the back

[2] Endrǫgo (nom. endrga) is a unique word, a hapax legomenon: "attentive silence" in Dronke. However, Cleasby-Vgfsson renders it "retribution" and Hollander conjectures it means a repeat invitation.

[3] Lit. "doesn't know how".

[4] or to preserve the parallelism of the at phrases, "circumspect about his mind" - this involves interpreting ge loosely, but it is often loosely used in this poem; see note on verse 12.

[5] lit. "more un-fickle"

[6] I've chosen to render mannvit consistently as "good sense", but it can also be "intelligence".

[7] Lknstafir occurs only here and in "Sigdrfuml". Stafir properly means "words of power" but is presumably faded in meaning here; lkn has a range of meanings including healing and mercy, so it is hard to be sure what force it has here. Similarly sll can be "happy" or "blessed" but also "poor".

[8] "The man" is gumi from the last half-line. An alternative way of taking this half-verse suggested by Cleasby-Vigfusson is "the less he is in possession of his senses"; ge usually means "mind, mood" but in this poem sometimes seems almost equated with "wits".

[9] In contrast to the arguments that this use of the heron as a symbol for the effects of drink is due to the use of ale-scoops resembling the long neck and head of the heron, or to a magical use of their feathers, Dronke argued that in an earlier version of the tale of in's theft of the mead, he was in heron form, since pursued herons will shit defensively, and pursued eagles do not.

[10] The last half of the verse is clearly inn speaking.

[11] Snjallr is cognate with German schnell, quick, but is used only metaphorically - generally for "good" and specifically for either "eloquent" or "brave". It's usually read here as "brave", giving "cowardly" for the word as it appears with the negative prefix -.

[12] i.e.: does not spare him.

[13] According to Cleasby-Vgfusson, this is a unique verb usage, unless there is a parallel in Lokasenna 52.

[14] Ger again; alternatively "knows reason", i.e., has sense.

[15] Vesall is sometimes emended to snjallr, "lacking", to match verse 16.

[16] Stalaus can be regarded as the opposite of "steadfast"; with no foundation, either in fact or in conviction. A stafr is properly a rune-stave, hence a letter. So, "mere letters".

[17] Gala - to sing or chant.

[18] Metaphor: unscathed.

[19] Misprint in the ON text: str for sitr

[20] A braut is a road cut through the landscape, as opposed to a vegr, stigr, or gata, all of which are pathways formed by travellers passing that way.

[21] In both this and the following stanza, Ursula Dronke read bert, "bare", for the manuscript ltit and abbreviated l., since she saw evidence of correction indicating the manuscript had been unclear.

[22] Halr: poetic word for "man"

[23] Literally: bloody is the heart

[24] velli is literally "in the field" but vǫllr is often used more or less idiomatically in such phrases to mean simply "outdoors".

[25] The manuscript has just svgi (so not). The emendation here means much the same as the more traditional one to sv giǫflan, "so spendthrift, munificent".

[26] A hǫlr is in law a freeholder or yeoman (the historian's "hold"); the identical word to A-S hle; but in poetry is used as another word for "man".

[27] The "to a friend" is vinar in the last line. This can also be read as "to an enemy of his friend", taking vinar with sns.

[28] Ge again. Here the meaning is "change your tastes to match his". Blanda has connotations of adulteration and is sometimes used of sex.

[29] Everyone agrees that mildir here is "generous", but the primary meaning is "gentle".

[30] snjallr is the opposite of snjallr, which originally meant "swift" but was used to mean either "eloquent" or "courageous".

[31] Because he will have to repay them.

[32] I've reordered the contents of these two lines: the "relationship" word is frir.

[33] Tipped or leaning because it's been half emptied.

[34] The contradiction between the two halves of the verse here has led some, including Hollander, to reverse the meaning of the second half (sometimes by emending the text to vitut, "don't know"); Dronke sees it as an example of proposition and counter-point.

[35] In other words, you learn to speak well through contact with others.

[36] In other words, half of getting rich is making an effort. The line has also been read with hvǫtum as an adjective: wealth is half among the active.

[37] In other words: sometimes the invitation would be with the proviso that there wasn't any food; when there was ample food, it was after he had already eaten his fill.

[38] Lǫstr: a flaw or fault; a shameful, evil act

[39] Heill can refer to health or to luck in general.

[40] Sumr er in these four lines is strictly speaking singular: "some person is". Sll af can also be rendered "happy in".

[41] This line is amended: the manuscript has the clearly faulty ok sl lifom.

[42] The ambiguity of the last line makes it uncertain how blatantly this is saying it is the wealthy man who is dead. It can also be read as "but outside he [the wealthy man] lay dead at the door".

[43] handarvanr: in other words, one-handed. Emended from hundarvanr, "lacking a dog".

[44] ors - of the word, of being spoken of; trr - glory, reputation, renown

[45] grindr: Singular grind means a lattice-gate; plural grindr, an animal pen, especially a sheep-fold.

[46] Reginkunnum describes the runes; everyone seems to agree it means they are from the regin (presumably kundr, kin, plus the following line), except Cleasby-Vigfusson, who explain the word as "universally known". Other -kunnr words do mean "known" (kunna, to know).

[47] Leaving the rare word ulr untranslated; it may refer to someone who chants or to someone who knows much lore. Fi could be either marked out or added colour to.

[48] At kveldi: i.e., at the very end of the day: the ancient heathens counted the new day as starting with the night, not the morning.

[49] Skrir describes the slithering of a snake as well as the movement of a ship over the waves.

[50] Presumably meaning rusted. Dronke connects this, the mare, and the horse: buy both cheap and fix their problems yourself.

[51] brig: legally, a revocation of a sale contract or a change in judgement; outside the law, a breach or reversal in friendship or other commitment, so often translated here "fickleness"

[52] It's safe to assume this applies to the entire preceding multi-verse list; however, the last line appears to refer only to the two in this verse: hvrt is typically a dual rather than a plural (hverr being then used).

[53] Literally a foot.

[54] fltt hyggja rests on a metaphor: flr literally means "gaping open", as when a button is missing. But it is traditionally used in contrast with fagr, exactly as in the following verse.

[55] p- literally piebald; Dronke presumes the man is trying to ski when the snow is now patchy.

[56] f again, literally "cattle".

[57] I have switched the last line and the first line of the second half, oft f horskan and lostfagrir litir, in the translation.

[58] Both the er and the s seem excess in this verse; I have relocated only the gerir, "it makes".

[59] una originally meant "dwell" but is more usually used in the meaning "enjoy", "be happy with".

[60] The equivalent English idiom is "body and soul".

[61] Variously taken as "I thought I was delirious with love" and "I thought I loved beyond known bliss" (Dronke) .

[62] Gaman here referring to pleasure with her - sex.

[63] This verse has a lot of poetic word order; flj means "woman".

[64] This has been taken to mean self-aware, but Dronke takes it as simply wise himself - the following line supports that reading.

[65] kenning: rocks

[66] Problematic text. It is probably better to emend with Dronke to Vl keypts [h]lutar, "Deceitfully obtained fortune".

[67] mentioned again in 140, where it clearly refers to the mead, not a cauldron as in the Prose Edda.

[68] jaar, "edge, border" is an emendation for jarar, "of earth", in the manuscript. The kenning alda v refers to Migarr (note the difference from the Prose Edda version, where the mead is brought to sgarr); Dronke renders it "men's hallowed realm"; Cleasby-Vgfusson point out that v can mean "dwelling" (and regard this as preceding the "temple" meaning); like her "hallowed", I've added "holy" because it is part of the force of any use of v.

[69] Dronke speculates that the hrmursar lent "Bǫlverkr" the augur, Rati, and wanted their share of the booty; she notes that Suttung's brother's assistance has been omitted.

[70] Hr, of course, is another name of inn. This is the old possessive form; there is no need to invent a separate name Hvi. See also verse 111.

[71] of sit defines the mode of killing, but it traditionally refers to blt, as in verse 145.

[72] Except for this and "Alvissml"'s reference to "Suttung's sons" having it as their word for "ale", sumbl means a banquet in Norse.

[73] This is properly the "he had it done", "he caused it to happen" kind of "had" rather than the simple past perfect "he had done it".

[74] The meaning of ulr is open to debate, so I have left it untranslated; Dronke has "chanter" (and "chant"), others render it "sage".

[75] The Well of Urr.

[76] Same as verse 109, line 4.

[77] a place to relieve yourself. The "going out" is innan - "from inside".

[78] The "in the arms" is fami on the next line; lit. "of a woman knowing sorcery".

[79] Eyrarna, "sweetheart of whispered secrets", only found here and in Vǫlusp 39.

[80] Rearranged for clarity. Word for word: Deeply bite | I saw into a man | the word of a bad woman.

[81] fjǫrlag: literally, a stab into his life

[82] teygu, the same verb as in verse 115, and note the echo between eyrarnu there and gamanrnum here.

[83] A word usually used in Old Norse of humans rather than other primates.

[84] lknfast occurs only here.

[85] Dronke sees this as a reference to blood brotherhood used metaphorically.

[86] reading brigum as brig um (Dronke).

[87] or: a shoemaker, a shaftmaker

[88] Metaphorical for either fear (Cleasby-Vigfsson) or "mania" (presumably madness; Dronke)

[89] Halr can be either yet another synonym for "man, warrior" or a pejorative. I'm following the usual emendation of itt ("your", possessive) to ik (you, accusative).

[90] Echoing the wording of verse 120, but usually translated here as something like "secret pleasure"

[91] often this ok (and) is quietly translated as if it were en (but)

[92] or wife

[93] Dronke sees these as skins prepared for writing on: parchments, vellums.

[94] Since the rest of these are medical prescriptions, Cleasby-Vgfsson took this line as "spurred rye against hernia".

[95] This could alternatively be "call on Mni", and Jǫrr in lines 6 and 7; the manuscript does not capitalise names.

[96] The meaning of the last line changes if taka vi is read passively, as "receive"; this is how Dronke takes it, rendering the verb in line 7 as "absorbs".

[97] Meir is properly a pole, or a gallows, not a living tree.

[98] Sldu is an emendation; the manuscript's seldo (seldu) would mean give to (or sell).

[99] The manuscript has atan. Dronke suggests a different emendation: aptrar tan, interpreted as backwards from "beyond" - somersaultiong out of another world. She relates this to a figure on a petroglyph somersaulting backwards above a ship and to imitation of the course of the sun.

[100] This could also be rendered "charms".

[101] Dronke takes ausinn as agreeing with ek, I, and translates it "irrigated".

[102] The "become" word is vera, but frvask in itself means "become fruitful". According to Cleasby-Vigfsson, frr usually refers to wisdom from knowledge of the past.

[103] Vǫlusp has ginnheilǫg go (in a refrain), which I rendered as "vastly holy gods", but not ginnregin.

[104] Making the usual emendation to a name of inn; ft and pt are alternate spellings in Old Norse and the manuscripts do not capitalise names.

[105] cut.

[106] or "pray"

[107] Sa is cognate with A-S swgan, "smother", so must literally mean "stop the breath". It is used only of sacrificial killing.

[108] The second half of the verse is missing.

[109] Gala is literally to crow like a rooster; it may mean sing or chant, and also appears in Verse 29 with a magic-related meaning. In this final section of the poem I always use "galdr".

[110] Perhaps even stronger, sappy wood, a growing sapling.

[111] A tnria can be either a witch or a ghost (like Glmr in Grettissaga) and ride either the hedge-tops or the (grass-grown) house-tops.

[112] Verpa vatni is a reference to the vatni ausa, the heathen baptism, so presumably very young.

[113] The use of flk, "people", to mean "army" (properly fylking) and thus "battle" is relatively common, but only in the old poetry.

[114] Li can also mean "people", but is frequently used of a military unit, including the crew of a ship.

[115] Afl can be rendered with any word for strength and ability; frami could be advancement but also fame. Dronke has "prosperity". I've rendered both as generally as possible since they have such a wide range of meanings.

[116] Another name of inn.

[117] or mind - ge, once more.

[118] A half-stanza appears to have been lost here; many editions have the next stanza start with the next line.

[119] heilir is the plural of heill, two and three half-lines above, but the grammatical structure differs.