Vlusp in skamma


1. 1.

Vru ellifu There were eleven

sir talir, sir counted,

Baldr er hn, when Baldr went down

vi banafu; on the mound of death;

ess lzk Vli for this Vli

verr at hefna, took the revenge,

sns of brur of his brother

sl hann handbana. the hand-slayer he slew.(1)


2. 2.

Var Baldrs fair Baldr's father was

Burs arfegi, Burr's heir,

Freyr tti Geri, Freyr married Gerr,

hon var Gymis dttir, she was daughter of Gymir,

jtna ttar, of a line of jǫtuns,

ok Aurbou; and of Aurboa;

var jazi, thus was jazi(2)

eira frndi, their kinsman,

skrautgjarn jtunn, a showy(3) jǫtunn,

hans var Skai dttir. Skai was his daughter.


3. 3.

Margt segjum r Much we tell you

ok munum fleira; and remember more;

vrumk, at viti sv. I reckon that you know so.

Viltu enn lengra? Do you want longer still?(4)


4. 4.

Haki var Hvenu Haki was Hvena's

hti beztr sona, best son by a bit,(5)

en Hvenu var and of Hvena,

Hjrvarr fair; Hjǫrvarr was father;(6)

Heir ok Hrossjfr Heir and Hrossjfr

Hrmnis kindar. [are] of Hrmnir's kindred.


5. 5

Eru vlur allar All vǫlur(7) are

fr Violfi, descended from Violfr,

vitkar allir all wizards

fr Vilmeii, from Vilmeir,

seiberendr the seir-bearer(8)

fr Svarthfa, from Svarthǫfi,

jtnar allir all jǫtnar

fr Ymi komnir. from Ymir.


6. 6.

Margt segjum r Much we tell you

ok munum fleira; and remember more;

vrumk, at viti sv. I reckon that you know so.

Viltu enn lengra? Do you want longer still?


7. 7.

Var einn borin One was born

rdaga in days of old

rammaukinn mjk greatly endowed with strength,

rgna kindar; of the kindred of the rǫgn(9);

nu bru ann nine bore the

naddgfgan mann beam-gifted man,

jtna meyjar jǫtun maids,

vi jarar rm. on the edge of the earth.


8. 8.

Hann Gjalp of bar, Gjalp bore him,

hann Greip of bar, Greip bore him,

bar hann Eistla Eistla bore him

ok Eyrgjafa, and Eyrgjafa,

hann bar Ulfrn Ulfrn bore him

ok Angeyja, and Angeyja,

Imdr ok Atla Imdr and Atla

ok Jrnsaxa. and Jrnsaxa.


9. 9.

S var aukinn He was endowed

jarar megni, with the might of the earth,

svalkldum s the chill-cold sea,

ok snardreyra. and the blood of atonement.(11)


10. 10.

Margt segjum r Much we tell you

ok munum fleira; and remember more;

vrumk, at viti sv. I reckon that you know so.

Viltu enn lengra? Do you want longer still?


11. 11.

l ulf Loki Loki sired the wolf

vi Angrbou, with Angrboa,

en Sleipni gat and had Sleipnir

vi Svailfara; with Svailfari;

eitt tti skass one [was] thought the monster

allra feiknast, most terrible of all,

at var brur fr that was from the brother

Bleists komit. of Bleist sprung.(12)


12. 12.

Loki t hjarta Loki ate a heart

lindi brenndu, burned with linden,

fann hann halfsviinn he found half-singed

hugstein konu; the mind-stone of a woman;(13)

var Loftr kviugr Loftr became pregnant

af konu illri; with an evil woman;

aan er foldu from that in the world is

flag hvert komit. every ogress come.(14)


13. 13.

Haf gengr hrum The sea goes tempestuously(15)

vi himin sjalfan, against the sky(16) itself,

lr lnd yfir, flows over the land,

en loft bilar; and [the vault of] heaven(17) cracks;

aan koma snjvar from there come snows

ok snarir vindar; and cutting winds;

er ri, then it is in process(18)

at rgn of rjti. that the rǫgn(19) come to an end.


14. 14.

Var einn borinn There was born one

llum meiri, greater than all,

s var aukinn he was endowed

jarar megni; with the might of the earth;(20)

ann kvea stilli they call him the ruler

strgastan most high-minded,

sif sifjaan sib bound in kinship,

sjtum grvllum. to the entirety of peoples.(21)


15. 15.

kemr annarr Then [will] come another

enn mttkari, the mightier,

ori ek eigi yet I do not dare

ann at nefna; to name him;

fir sa n few(22) see now

fram of lengra further forward

en inn mun than [when] inn will

ulfi mta. meet the wolf.(23)





1. In the manuscript this poem constitutes verses 2944 of Hyndlulj, and at the end of this verse the refrain appears:

allt er at tt n, all this is your line,

ttarr heimski. silly ttarr.

2. Omitting a comma inserted by the editor, Guni Jnsson, which breaks up the sense.

3. Emended: the word refers to being fond of ornament, a flashy dresser. Olive Bray has taken it as referring to his shapeshifting. The manuscript has skautgjarn: fond of "sheets" skaut can refer to a sail, a headscarf, the corners of the sky ... none of which appears to work here. Gubrandur Vigfsson emended to skotgjarn, fond of "shooting", i.e., hunting.

4. As noted by Sophus Bugge in his edition, this refrain contrasts with that in Hyndlulj:

Varar, at viti sv. Important that [he] know so.

Viltu enn lengra? Do you want further still?

and recalls one in Alvssml:

vǫrumk, dvergr, at vitir -: I reckon, dwarf, you know -:

In translating, I am adopting Gubrandur Vigfsson's emendation of viti, "that [ttarr] know" to vitir, "you know", but he also rendered vrumk here as "I doubt".

5. probably meaning by a lot

6. These four lines are assigned to Hyndlulj by Olive Bray. Gubrandur Vigfsson changed Haki to Hati, the wolf who will swallow the moon, and changed the lines to match his being Hrvitnir's son.

7. plural of vǫlva

8. Emended based on Gylfaginning, where this verse is quoted; the manuscript has skilberendr, "bearer of distinction or discernment".

9. i.e, regin; the verse clearly refers to Heimdallr.

10. Naddr means "stud" or "nail" - thought to refer to sunbeams?

11. Presumably referring to the snargǫltr sacrifice at Yule.

12. Presumably referring to Jǫrmungandr.

13. Unclear lines. t, "ate", and konu, "woman's", are emendations for af , "from", and komu, "came"; hugsteinn is a kenning for "heart". Finnur Jnsson suggested the reference was to Gullveig; I am following his tentative translation.

14. Gubrandur Vigfsson related these lines to Hel, but the story is otherwise unknown. Flag can be used of a witch, a jǫtun-woman, or a troll-wife; Finnur Jnsson thought the troll meaning more likely here than the giantess.

15. Probably "[will] wage war" is meant. The base meaning of hr is "[snow]storm", but hrum usually means "often".

16. As always, himinn can be either "sky" or "heaven".

17. Lopt/Loft, similarly, can be rendered "sky", "heaven", or "air"; Gubrandur Vigfsson has "firmament" here.

18. ri, "in council, consultation; planned", is puzzling, usually left out.

19. Emendation: the manuscript has regn, "rain" - emended either to rǫgn or to regin.

20. These 2 lines also in Verse 9.

21. Some editors have taken this verse as about Thor and capitalise Sif in the second to last line: Gubrandur Vigfsson has "Sib's gossip" (i.e., spouse) for that line. Others see it as being, like Verse 9, about Heimdallr, who is "bound in kinship" to all peoples because he is the ancestor of all classes, following Rgsula. In his 1922 edition, Richard Constant Boer accordingly emended the line to sifjum sifjaan, translated by Lee M. Hollander as "in sib with all sires". Hans Kuhn, in his revision of Gustav Neckel's German edition, mistakenly interprets it as "living in peace", leading to a third interpretation of the verse, as referring to the Christian god.

22. As usual in Old Norse, "few" here may mean "none."

23. Fenrir, at Ragnarǫk.