Vafrnisml

inn kva: inn said:

1. 1.

"R mr n, Frigg, "Advise me now, Frigg,

alls mik fara tir for I long to go

at vitja Vafrnis; to visit Vafrnir;

forvitni mikla great curiosity

kve ek mr fornum stfum I declare I have in ancient lore[1]

vi ann inn alsvinna jtun." concerning that all-knowing jǫtunn."

 

Frigg kva: Frigg said:

2. 2.

"Heima letja To keep Herjafjǫr

ek mynda Herjafr at home I would like,

grum goa; in the stronghold of the gods;

v at engi jtun because no jǫtunn

ek huga jafnramman I consider equally strong

sem Vafrni vera." to be, as Vafrnir."

 

inn kva: inn said:

3. 3.

"Fjl ek fr, Much have I travelled,

fjl ek freistaa, much have I dared,

fjl ek reynda regin; much have I tested the regin;

hitt vil ek vita, this I will know -

hv Vafrnis how Vafrnir's

salakynni s." home hall is."

 

Frigg kva: Frigg said:

4. 4.

"Heill farir! "May you go safely!

heill aftr komir! May you come back safely!

heill sinnum sr! May you be safe on the way!

i r dugi, may your mind[2] serve you,

hvars skalt, Aldafr, when, Aldafjǫr, you have to

orum mla jtun. exchange words with the jǫtunn.

  ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

5. 5.

Fr inn Then inn went

at freista orspeki to make trial of the word-wisdom

ess ins alsvinna jtuns; of the all-knowing jǫtunn;

at hllu hann kom, to the hall he came,

ok tti ms fair; and it was owned by m's father;

inn gekk Yggr egar. Yggr went therein.

 

inn kva: inn said:

6. 6.

"Heill n, Vafrnir, "Hail now, Vafrnir,

n em ek hll kominn I have now come into the hall

ik sjalfan sj; to see you yourself;

hitt vil ek fyrst vita, first I wish to know

ef frr sr if you are wise

ea alsvir jtunn." or, jǫtunn, all-knowing."

 

Vafrnir kva: Vafrnir said:

7. 7.

"Hvat er at manna "What man is this

er mnum sal who in my hall

verpumk ori ? throws words at me?

t n komir You will not come out

rum hllum fr, of our halls

nema inn snotrari sr." unless you be the wiser."

 

inn kva: inn said:

8. 8.

"Gagnrr ek heiti, "Gagnrr is my name,

n emk af gngu kominn, now I have wended my way

yrstr til inna sala; thirsty to your hall;

laar urfi - in need of hospitality -

hef ek lengi farit - I have travelled a long way -

ok inna andfanga, jtunn." and of your welcome, jǫtunn."

 

Vafrnir kva: Vafrnir said:

9. 9.

"Hv , Gagnrr, "Gagnrr, why do you there

mlisk af golfi fyr? speak from the floor?

Far sess sal! Take a seat in the hall!

skal freista, Then shall be tested,

hvrr fleira viti, who knows more,

gestr ea inn gamli ulr." the guest or the old ulr."

 

inn kva: inn said:

10. 10.

"auigr mar, "The unfortunate man,

er til auigs kemr, who has come to the home of the

fortunate,

mli arft ea egi; let him speak what he needs or be silent;

ofrmlgi mikil, a great excess in words,

hygg ek, at illa geti I think, brings ill

hveim er vi kaldrifjaan kemr." to him who is come to one of cold

heart."[3]

 

Vafrnir kva: Vafrnir said:

11. 11.

"Seg mr, Gagnrr, "Tell me, Gagnrr,

alls golfi vill since on the floor you wish

ns of freista frama, to advance yourself by testing,

hv s hestr heitir, what is the name of that horse

er hverjan dregr that draws every

dag of drttmgu." day over the human population."

 

inn kva: inn said:

12. 12.

"Skinfaxi heitir, "Skinfaxi is his name,

er inn skra dregr who draws the bright

dag of drttmgu; day over the human population;

hesta beztr best of steeds

ykkir hann me Hreigotum; he is held to be among the Hrei-geats,

ey lsir mn af mari." always the mane shines on that mount".

 

Vafrnir kva: Vafrnir said:

13. 13.

"Seg at, Gagnrr, "Say, Gagnrr,

alls golfi vill since on the floor you wish

ns of freista frama, to advance yourself by testing,

hv s jr heitir, what is the name of that equine

er austan dregr that westwards draws

ntt of nt regin." night over the good[4] regin?"

 

inn kva: inn said:

14. 14.

"Hrmfaxi heitir, "Hrmfaxi is his name,

er hverja dregr who draws every

ntt of nt regin; night over the good regin;

mldropa fellir hann drops from his bit he lets fall

morgin hvern; every morning;

aan kemr dgg um dala." thence comes dew in the valleys."

 

Vafrnir kva: Vafrnir said:

15. 15.

Seg at, Gagnrr, "Say, Gagnrr,

alls golfi vill since on the floor you wish

ns of freista frama, to advance yourself by testing,

hv s heitir, what is the name of that river

er deilir me jtna sonum that divides between the sons of jǫtnar

grund ok me goum." and the gods, the land."

 

inn kva: inn said:

16. 16.

"fing heitir , "fing is the name of the river

er deilir me jtna sonum that divides between the sons of jǫtnar

grund ok me goum; and the gods, the land;

opin renna run open

hon skal of aldrdaga; it shall for eternal days;

verr-at ss ." never will there be ice over the river."

 

Vafrnir kva: Vafrnir said:

17. 17.

Seg at, Gagnrr, "Say, Gagnrr,

alls golfi vill since on the floor you wish

ns of freista frama, to advance yourself by testing,

hv s vllr heitir, what is the name of that field,

er finnask vgi at where meet in battle

Surtr ok in svsu go." Surtr and the dear gods[5]."

 

inn kva: inn said:

18. 18.

"Vgrir heitir vllr, "Vgrir is the name of the field,

er finnask vgi at where meet in battle

Surtr ok in svsu go; Surtr and the dear gods;

hundra rasta a hundred rasts[6]

hann er hverjan veg; it is in each direction;

s er eim vllr vitar." that field is reserved for them."

 

Vafrnir kva: Vafrnir said:

19. 19.

"Frr ertu n, gestr, "Now you are wise, stranger,

far bekk jtuns, come to the jǫtun's bench,

ok mlumk sessi saman; and let us speak together in [one] seat;

hfi veja wager our heads

vit skulum hllu , we must in [this] hall,

gestr, of gespeki. stranger, on [our] wits."

 

inn kva: inn said:

20. 20.

"Seg at it eina, "Say first,

ef itt i dugir if your mind is good enough,

ok , Vafrnir, vitir, and you know, Vafrnir,

hvaan jr of kom whence came the earth

ea upphiminn and the sky above

fyrst, inn fri jtunn." in the beginning, wise jǫtunn."

 

Vafrnir kva: Vafrnir said:

21. 21.

"r Ymis holdi "From Ymir's flesh

var jr of skpu, the earth was created,

en r beinum bjrg, and from his bones the mountains,

himinn r hausi the sky from the skull

ins hrmkalda jtuns, of the rime-cold jǫtunn,

en r sveita sr." and from his gore the sea."

 

inn kva: inn said:

22. 22.

"Seg at annat, "Say second,

ef itt i dugir if your mind is good enough,

ok , Vafrnir, vitir, and you know, Vafrnir,

hvaan mni kom, whence came the moon,

s er ferr menn yfir, who is far above humans,

ea sl it sama." and likewise the sun."

 

Vafrnir kva: Vafrnir said:

23. 23.

"Mundilfari heitir, Mundilfari is his name

hann er mna fair who is father to the moon

ok sv Slar it sama; and so also of Sl;[7]

himin hverfa turn around the sky

au skulu hverjan dag they shall every day

ldum at rtali." for humankind[8] for reckoning of years."

 

inn kva: inn said:

24. 24.

"Seg at it rija, "Say third,

alls ik svinnan kvea since they call you swift[9]

ok , Vafrnir, vitir, and you know, Vafrnir,

hvaan dagr of kom, whence came the day

s er ferr drtt yfir, which fares over the people,

ea ntt me nium." or the night with moonlessness."

 

Vafrnir kva: Vafrnir said:

25. 25.

"Dellingr heitir, "Dellingr is his name

hann er Dags fair, who is father to Dagr,

en Ntt var Nrvi borin; but Ntt was born to Nǫrr;[10]

n ok ni waning moon and waxing moon[11]

skpu nt regin the regin created new

ldum at rtali." for humankind for reckoning of years."

 

inn kva: inn said:

26. 26.

"Seg at it fjra, "Say fourth,

alls ik fran kvea, since they call you wise,

ok , Vafrnir, vitir, and you know, Vafrnir,

hvaan vetr of kom whence came the winter

ea varmt sumar or the warm summer

fyrst me fr regin." first among the wise regin."

 

Vafrnir kva: Vafrnir said:

27. 27.

"Vindsvalr heitir, "Vindsvalr is his name,

hann er Vetrar fair, who is father to Winter,

en Svsur sumars." but Svsur to the summer."

 

inn kva: inn said:

28. 28.

"Seg at it fimmta, "Say fifth,

alls ik fran kvea, since they call you wise,

ok , Vafrnir, vitir, and you know, Vafrnir,

hverr sa ellztr who oldest of the sir

ea Ymis nija or of Ymir's sons

yri rdaga." came to be in ancient days."

 

Vafrnir kva: Vafrnir said:

29. 29.

"rfi vetra "A vast number of years

r vri jr of skpu, before the earth was created,

var Bergelmir borinn, then was Bergelmir born,

rgelmir rgelmir

var ess fair, was his father,

en Aurgelmir afi." and Aurgelmir his grandfather."

 

inn kva: inn said:

30. 30.

"Seg at it stta, "Say sixth,

alls ik svinnan kvea, since they call you swift,

ok , Vafrnir, vitir, and you know, Vafrnir,

hvaan Aurgelmir kom whence came Aurgelmir

me jtna sonum among the sons of jǫtnar

fyrst, inn fri jtunn." first, the wise jǫtunn."

 

Vafrnir kva: Vafrnir said:

31. 31.

"r livgum "From Elivgur[12]

stukku eitrdropar, dripped drops of poison,

sv x, unz var jtunn; so he grew, until he became a jǫtunn;

ar eru rar ttir from there our races have

komnar allar saman; come, all entirely;

v er at allt til atalt." hence [that race] is ever entirely fierce."

 

inn kva: inn said:

32. 32.

"Seg at it sjaunda, "Say seventh,

alls ik svinnan kvea, since they call you swift,

ok , Vafrnir, vitir, and you know, Vafrnir,

hv s brn gat, how he begot children,

inn baldni jtunn, the unruly jǫtunn,

er hann hafi-t ggjar gaman." since he had no pleasure of an ogress."

 

Vafrnir kva: Vafrnir said:

33. 33.

"Undir hendi vaxa "There grew under the arm

kvu hrmursi of the rime-urs, they have said,

mey ok mg saman; a girl and a boy together;

ftr vi fti foot with foot

gat ins fra jtuns of the wise jǫtunn begot

sexhfaan son." a six-headed son."

 

inn kva: inn said:

34. 34.

"Seg at it tta, "Say eighth,

alls ik svinnan kvea, since they call you swift,

ok , Vafrnir, vitir, and you know, Vafrnir,

hvat fyrst of mant what you first remember

ea fremst of veizt, or oldest thing you know of,

ert alsvir, jtunn." you are all-wise, jǫtunn."

 

Vafrnir kva: Vafrnir said:

35. 35.

rfi vetra A vastness of years

r vri jr of skpu, before the earth was created,

var Bergelmir borinn; then was Bergelmir born;

at ek fyrst of man, that I first remember,

er s inn fri jtunn when that wise jǫtunn

var lr of lagir." long ago was in a flour-bin laid."

 

inn kva: inn said:

36. 36.

"Seg at it nunda, "Say ninth,

alls ik svinnan kvea, since they call you swift,

ok , Vafrnir, vitir, and you know, Vafrnir,

hvaan vindr of kemr, whence comes the wind

sv at ferr vg yfir; which passes over the sea;

menn han sjalfan of sj." always humankind see it not, itself."

 

Vafrnir kva: Vafrnir said:

37. 37.

"Hrsvelgr heitir, "Hrsvelgr is his name,

er sitr himins enda, who sits at the end of the sky,

jtunn arnar ham; a jǫtunn in eagle's form;

af hans vngjum from his wings

kva vind koma they say the wind comes

alla menn yfir." [which passes] over all humankind."

 

inn kva: inn said:

38. 38.

"Seg at it tunda, "Say tenth,

alls tva rk since you matters[13] of gods

ll, Vafrnir, vitir, know all, Vafrnir,

hvaan Njrr of kom whence came Njǫrr

me sa sonum - among the sons of the sir -

hofum ok hrgum hofs and hǫrgs

hann rr hundmrgum - he rules over hundredfold -

ok var-at hann sum alinn." and he was not reared among the sir."

 

Vafrnir kva: Vafrnir said:

39. 39.

" Vanaheimi "In Vanaheimr

skpu hann vs regin wise regin created him

ok seldu at gslingu goum, and gave him as a hostage to gods,

aldar rk in the course of ages[14]

hann mun aftr koma he will return

heim me vsum vnum." home with the wise Vanir."

 

inn kva: inn said:

40. 40.

"Seg at et ellifta, "Say eleventh,

hvar tar tnum [what] men in the stronghold

hggvask hverjan dag; battle each other every day;

val eir kjsa the slain they choose

ok ra vgi fr, and ride from the battle,

sitja meir of sttir saman." sit once more reconciled together."[15]

 

Vafrnir kva: Vafrnir said:

41. 41.

"Allir einherjar "All einherjar

ins tnum in in's stronghold

hggvask hverjan dag, battle each other every day,

val eir kjsa the slain they choose

ok ra vgi fr, and ride from the battle,

sitja meirr of sttir saman." sit once more reconciled together."

 

inn kva: inn said:

42. 42.

"Seg at it tolfta, Say twelfth,

hv tva rk since you matters of gods

ll, Vafrnir, vitir, know all, Vafrnir,

fr jtna rnum of the mysteries of jǫtuns

ok allra goa and of all the gods

segir it sannasta, say you most truly,

inn alsvinni jtunn." all-wise jǫtunn."

 

Vafrnir kva: Vafrnir said:

43. 43.

"Fr jtna rnum "Of the mysteries of jǫtuns

ok allra goa and of all the gods

ek kann segja satt, I can tell truth,

v at hvern hef ek because into every

heim of komit; world have I been;

nu kom ek heima into nine worlds I have come

fyr Niflhel nean; down to Niflhel;

hinig deyja r helju halir." men die from Hel into there."

 

inn kva: inn said:

44. 44.

"Fjl ek fr, "Much have I travelled,

fjl ek freistaak, much have I dared,

fjl ek of reynda regin: much have I tested the regin:

Hvat lifir manna, What will remain[16] of mankind,

er inn mra lr when the great Fimbulwinter

fimbulvetr me firum?" comes over humans?

 

Vafrnir kva: Vafrnir said:

45. 45.

"Lf ok Lifrasir, "Lf and Lifrasir,

en au leynask munu who yet will be able to hide

holti Hoddmmis; in Hoddmmir's wood;

morgindggvar morning dews

au sr at mat hafa, they [will] have for their food,

en aan af aldir alask." and thence generations[17] [will] be born."

 

inn kva: inn said:

46. 46.

"Fjl ek fr, "Much have I travelled,

fjl ek freistaak, much have I dared,

fjl ek of reynda regin: much have I tested the regin:

Hvaan kemr sl From where [will] come a sun

inn sltta himin, into the smooth sky,

er essa hefr fenrir farit?" when Fenrir [will have] done away

with[18] this one?"

 

Vafrnir kva: Vafrnir said:

47. 47.

"Eina dttur "One daughter

berr alfrull, Alfrǫull bears,

r hana fenrir fari; before Fenrir does away with her;

s skal ra, she is to ride,

er regin deyja, when the regin die,

mur brautir, mr." [her] mother's paths, the girl."

 

inn kva: inn said:

48. 48.

"Fjl ek fr, "Much have I travelled,

fjl ek freistaak, much have I dared,

fjl ek of reynda regin: much have I tested the regin:

Hverjar ro r meyjar, who are those maidens,

er la mar yfir, who move over the sea,

frgejaar fara?" travelling wise in mind?"

 

Vafrnir kva: Vafrnir said:

49. 49.

"rar jr "Three great rivers[19]

falla orp yfir fall above the village

meyja Mgrasis; of Mǫgrasir's maidens;

hamingjur einar the only hamingjar[20]

r er heimi eru, that there are in the world,

r me jtnum alask." and they are born of the jǫtuns."

 

inn kva: inn said:

50. 50.

"Fjl ek fr, "Much have I travelled,

fjl ek freistaak, much have I dared,

fjl ek of reynda regin: much have I tested the regin:

Hverir ra sir What sir [will] hold

eignum goa, the holdings[21] of the gods,

er sloknar Surta logi?" when Surt's fire is quenched?"

 

Vafrnir kva: Vafrnir said:

51. 51.

"Varr ok Vli "Varr and Vli

byggja v goa, [will] build the vs of the gods,

er sloknar Surta logi, when Surt's fire is quenched,

Mi ok Magni Mi and Magni

skulu Mjllni hafa are to have Mjǫllnir

Vingnis at vgroti." at the end of Vingnir's battle."

 

inn kva: inn said:

52. 52.

"Fjl ek fr, "Much have I travelled,

fjl ek freistaak, much have I dared,

fjl ek of reynda regin; much have I tested the regin:

Hvat verr ni What will be the bane

at aldrlagi, of inn,

er of rjfask regin?" when the regin are destroyed?"

 

Vafrnir kva: Vafrnir said:

53. 53.

"Ulfr gleypa The wolf will

mun Aldafr, swallow Aldafǫr,

ess mun Varr vreka; this Varr will avenge;

kalda kjafta the wolf's[22] cold jaws

hann klyfja mun he will rend

vitnis vgi at." in battle."

 

inn kva: inn said:

54. 54.

"Fjl ek fr, "Much have I travelled,

fjl ek freistaak, much have I dared,

fjl ek of reynda regin; much have I tested the regin:

Hvat mlti inn, What did inn say,

r bl stigi, himself in his son's ear,

sjalfr eyra syni?" before he went up onto the pyre?"

 

Vafrnir kva: Vafrnir said:

55. 55.

"Ey manni at veit, "No person knows that,

hvat rdaga what you in days of yore

sagir eyra syni; said in your son's ear;

feigum munni with a doomed mouth

mlta ek mna forna stafi I have spoken my ancient lore

ok of ragnark. and of Ragnarǫk.

N ek vi in Now I have with inn

deildak mna orspeki; matched my word-wisdom;

ert vsastr vera." you are always the wisest of mankind."

 



[1] Literally ancient staves; see also Verse 55.

[2] i or i is related to r and can have either of its meanings: fury (when it is feminine), and wits or disposition (when it is neuter). Here the gender is unspecified; the context suggests the second meaning.

[3] Lit. "cold-ribbed".

[4] Nt here appears to be ntr: "Fit, usable."

[5] Go in heathen Norse texts is always neuter plural. Svss originally meant "my own, our own", as in A-S sws, but in all teh texts occurs metaphorically for "dear, beloved," as here.

[6] The rst was technically the distance between two rests, and varied according to terrain, but was generally approximately a mile.

[7] Following the text here: it capitalises in this one place, otherwise treats Sl and Mni as words not names. The manuscripts do not clearly distinguish names from ordinary nouns in this fashion, so in the preceding verse it is ambiguous which is meant. The same for Dagr and Ntt in the next two verses, and Winter and summer in Verses 26-27.

[8] The literal meaning of ǫld is an age, an era; this poetic usage for "human" is especially common in the plural.

[9] i.e., wise.

[10] Recorded only in this dative form, here and in Alvssml 29. Snorri gives his name as "Nǫrfi or Narfi".

[11] Or: full moon and new moon. The first literally means "new moon" but the latter is the normal term for the dark of the moon, as at the end of Verse 24.

[12] Ice-waves.

[13] Rǫk has a multitude of meanings: origins, history, marvels. The predominance of ragna rǫk - the history of the regin, but especially their end - and the fact it is here tva rǫk, with another word for the gods - make a clear echo of that phrase here.

[14] Alda rǫk, the rǫk of ages, referring here to after ragnarǫk; elsewhere it is used for the beginning of time.

[15] All but the first line and teh last line of this verse appear to be corrupt: hvar is actually "where" but the question requires "what", and lines 4 and 5 repeat Vafrnir's answer from Verse 41; the characterisation of Vafrnir has been omitted. The verse can be amended to: Seg at et ellifta, | alls ik svinnan kvea, | ok , Vafrnir, vitir, | hverir'u tar | es ins tnum | hggvask hverjan dag? : who are the men who in in's stronghold battle each other every day?

[16] An old meaning of lifa, usually "to live"; also seen in "Vǫlusp" 16.

[17] Aldir, the plural of ǫld, here and often in poetry refers to humans, as it presumably also does in the name of inn, Aldafjǫr, used at the start of the poem. However the primary meaning is "age", as in Verse 39.

[18] Farit, and fari in the next verse, can alternatively be interpreted as "overtake".

[19] Later manuscripts have jir, "tribes, troops".

[20] Hamingja here used interchangeably with fylgja.

[21] Eign is usually used for lands, especially in the plural.

[22] Vitnir, a poetic word for "wolf".