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Early Indo-European Texts

Old Norse

Todd B. Krause and Jonathan Slocum

This page contains a text in Old Norse with a modern English translation. This particular text and its translation are extracted from a lesson in the Early Indo-European Online series, where one may find detailed information about this text (see the Table of Contents page for Old Norse Online in EIEOL), and general information about the Old Norse language and its speakers' culture.

The Waking of Angantr

Hitt hefir mr ung Munarvgi
        vi slarsetr segg at hjru.

Hirir kva:
        "Hverr's einn saman ey kominn?
        gakktu greiliga gistingar til!"

Hervr kva:
        "Munkat ganga gistingar til,
        vt engan kank eyjarskeggja;
        segu hraliga r hean lir
        hvar ru Hjrvari haugar kendir?"

Hirir kva:
        "Spyrjat at v, spakr est eigi,
        vinr vkinga, st vanfarinn;
        frum frliga sem okkr ftr toga --
        alt es ti mtt firum."

Hervr kva:
        "Men bjum r mls at gjldum;
        muna drengja vin dlt at letja:
        fr engi mr frar hnossir,
        fagra bauga, svt farak eigi."

Hirir kva:
        "Heimskr ykki mr ss hera ferr,
        mar einn saman, myrkvar grmur;
        hyrrs sveimun, haugar opnask,
        brennr fold ok fen -- frum harara!"

Hervr kva:
        "Hirumat flask vi fnsun slka,
        tt of alla ey eldar brenni!
        Ltumat okkr lina rekka
        skjtla skelfa; skulum vi talask."

Vas fhirir fljtr til skgar
        mjk fr mli meyjar essar;
        en harsninn hugr brjsti
        um sakar slkar svellr Hervru.

Hon s n haugaeldana ok haugba ti standa, ok gengr til hauganna ok hrisk ekki; hon eldana sem reyk, ar til er hon kom at haugi berserkjanna. kva hon:

"Vaki, Angantr! vekr ik Hervr,
        einga dttir ykkur Tfu.
        Selu r haugi hvassan mki,
        anns Svafrlama slgu dvergar.

Hervarr, Hjrvarr, Hrani, Angantr!
        vekk yr alla und viar rtum,
        hjlmi ok me brynju, hvssu sveri,
        rnd ok me reii, ronum geiri.

Mjk eru ornir, Arngrms synir,
        megir meinsamir, moldar at auka,
        es engi skal sona Eyfuru
        vi mik mla Munarvgi.

Sv s yr llum innan rifja,
        sem r maura morni haugi,
        nema sver seli ats sl Dvalinn;
        samira draugum drt vpn fela."

svarar Angantr:
        "Hervr dttir, hv kallar sv
        full feikinstafa? Ferr r at illu.
        r est orin ok rvita,
        villhyggjandi vekr menn daua!

Grfat mik fair nir n frndr arir.
        eir hfu Tyrfing tveir es lifu,
        var eigandi einn of sir."

Hon kva:
        "Segu eitt satt: sv lti ss ik
        heilan haugi sem hefir eigi
        Tyrfing me r! Traur est at veita
        arfa num einga barni."

var sem einn logi vri alt at lta um haugana, er opnir stu. kva Angantr:

"Hnigin es helgrind, haugar opnask,
        allr es eldi eybarmr at sj;
        atalt es ti um at litask.
        Skyntu, mr, ef mtt, til skipa inna!"

Hon segir:
        "Brenni r eigi bl nttum,
        svt ek vi elda yra flumk;
        skelfrat meyju muntn hugar, tt hon draug si durum standa."

kva Angantr:
        "Segik r, Hervr, hlttu til mean,
        vsa dttir, ats vera mun;
        sj mun Tyrfingr, ef tra mttir,
        tt inni, mr, allri spilla.

Muntu son geta anns san mun
        Tyrfing bera ok tra afli;
        ann munu Heirek heita lar,
        s mun rkstr alinn und ruls tjaldi."

Hon kva:
        "Ek vgi sv vira daua,
        at r skulu allir liggja
        dauir me draugum, dys fnir;
        selu, Angantr, t r haugi
        dverga smi! Dugira r at leyna."

Hann segir:
        "Kvekat ik, mr ung, mnnum lka,
        es of hauga hvarfar nttum
        grfnum geiri ok me Gota mlmi,
        hjlmi ok me brynju fyr hallar dyrr."

Hon kva: "Mar ttumk menskr til essa,
        r sali yra skja rak;
        selu r haugi anns hatar brynjur,
        hlfum httan Hjlmars bana!"

Angantr kva:
        "Liggr mr und herum Hjlmars bani,
        allr es hann tan eldi sveipinn;
        mey veitk enga moldar hvergi,
        at ann hjr ori hendr nema."

Hon segir:
        "Ek mun hira ok hendr nema
        hvassan mki ef hafa mttak;
        uggi ek eigi eld brennanda --
        egar loga lgir es ek lt yfir."

Hann kva:
        "Heimsk est, Hervr, hugar eigandi,
        es at augum eld hrapar;
        heldr vilk selja sver r haugi,
        mr in unga, mkat synja."

Hon kva:
        "Vel grir , vkinga nir,
        es seldir mr sver r haugi;
        betr ykkjumk n, bulungr, hafa,
        en Nregi nak llum."

Hann kva:
        "Veizt eigi -- vesl est mla,
        flr kona -- hv fagna skal;
        sj mun Tyrfingr, ef tra mttir,
        tt inni, mr, allri spilla."

Hon segir:
        "Ek mun ganga til gjlfrmara;
        ns hilmis mr hugum gum:
        ltt hrumk at, lofunga nir,
        hv synir mnir san deila."

Hann kva:
        " skalt eiga ok una lengi,
        hafu hulu Hjlmars bana,
        takat eggjum, eitr es bum;
        ss manns mjtur meini verri.

Far vel, dttir! fljtt gfak r
        tlf manna fjr, ef tra mttir,
        afl ok eljun, alt it ga
        ats synir Arngrms at sik leifu."

Hon kva:
        "Bi r allir -- brott fsir mik --
        heilir haugi! Hean vilk skjtla.
        Helzt ttumk n heima millim,
        es mik umhverfis eldar brunnu."

Translation

In Munarvag at sunset the young maid
met a man at his flock.
The herdsman said:
'Who has come alone to the island?
Go quickly to your lodging!'
Hervor said:
'I cannot go to my lodging,
since I know none of the island inhabitants;
before you go from here, tell
where are Hjorvarth's burial mounds?'
The herdsman said:
'Don't ask about that, you are not wise,
friend of vikings, you're in dire straits;
let us go as quickly as our feet will take us --
everything out here is harmful to men.'
Hervor said:
'We offer you treasure as payment for the information;
it is not easy to dissuade the friend of warriors;
no one has ornaments handsome enough to me,
rings so fair, that I not go.'
The herdsman said:
'Foolish he seems to me, who goes there,
a man totally alone, through dark night;
fire is in flight, the mounds lay open,
earth and bog are burning -- let us go quickly!'
Hervor said:
'Let us take care not to be frightened by such snorting,
though fires burn throughout the entire island!
Let's not allow dead warriors
to quickly frighten us; we shall make conversation.'
At that moment the herdsman was headed
to the woods at the words of this maiden;
but Hervor's heart, well-prepared
for such straits, swelled in her breast.
She then saw the grave fires and ghosts come out, and she went to the
mounds and was not frightened. She passed through the fires and smoke,
until she came to the mound of the berserkers. Then she said:
'Wake, Angantyr! Hervor wakes you,
sole daughter of you and Tofa.
Give out from the grave your sharp sword,
which dwarfs hammered out for Svafrlami.
Hervarth, Hjorvarth, Hrani, Angantyr!
I wake you all below the tree's roots,
with helmet and byrnie, with sharp sword,
with shield and harness, with reddened spear.
You, sons of Arngrim, violent kin,
have changed greatly for the heaping up of earth,
while none of the sons of Eyfura will
speak with me in Munarvag.
So be it for you all within your ribs,
as if you waste away in an ant hill,
unless you give the sword which Dvalin hammered;
it is not fitting for ghosts to hide the precious weapon.'
Then Angantyr answered:
'Hervor, my daughter, why do you call out so,
filled with curses? It works to your disadvantage.
You have become mad and senseless;
delirious, you wake dead men!
A father did not bury me, nor other kin.
They held Tyrfing, the two who lived,
though at last only one became the owner.'
She said:
'Tell it true: so the God should leave you
whole in the mound, if you do not have
Tyrfing with you! You are reluctant to give
the inheritance to your only child.'
Then it was as if a single flame was to be seen all around the graves,
which stood open. Then Angantyr said:
'The door to hell is open, graves lie open,
all the island's surface is seen to be on fire;
it is fearsome to behold all about.
Hasten, maiden, if you can, to your ships!"
She said:
"You could not light fires in the night,
so that I am frightened by your flames;
the maiden's thought-enclosure does not tremble,
though she see a ghost stand at the door."
Then Angantyr said:
"I tell you, Hervor, listen for the moment,
prince's daughter, to what will be;
This Tyrfing will, if you can believe,
maiden, destroy your entire family.
You will have a son who will later
carry Tyrfing and trust his might;
People will call him Heithrek,
he will be born most magnificent under the sun's pavilion."
She said:
"I lay a spell on dead men, so
that you shall all lie
dead with the ghosts, rotten in your grave;
Give, Angantyr, out from the grave
the dwarfs' work! It is not fitting for you to hide it."
He said:
"I declare you, young maiden, unlike to men,
as you go from the mounds in the night
with an inlaid spear and the Goths' metal,
with helmet and byrnie before the doors of the hall."
She said:
"I seemed man enough til the point
when I decided to seek your halls;
give up from your grave that which cuts mail,
that danger to shields, Hjalmar's bane!"
Angantyr said:
"Hjalmar's bane lies beneath my shoulders,
it is wrapped all about by fire;
nowhere on earth do I know a maiden
such as would dare take this sword in hand."
She said:
"I might care for and take in hand
the sharp sword, if I could have it;
I do not fear burning fire --
at once the flame sinks as I look upon it."
He said:
"You are foolish, Hervor, but possessed of courage,
as you rush wide-eyed into the fire;
instead I will give the sword from out of the grave,
young maid, I cannot refuse."
She said:
"Well you did, viking kin,
as you gave me the sword from the grave;
I seem now, prince, to be better off,
than if I should possess all of Norway."
He said:
"You do not understand -- you are hapless in your causes,
deceitful woman -- what the celebration will be for;
This Tyrfing will, if you can believe,
maiden, destroy your entire family."
She said:
"I will go to my ocean-steeds;
now the prince's maid is in good spirits;
little does that frighten me, princes' kin,
how my sons contend hereafter."
He said:
"You shall have and enjoy it for a long time,
keep Hjalmar's bane in the sheath,
do not touch the edges, poison is upon both;
it dispenses man's fate worse by disease.
Fare well, daughter! Readily would I give you
the life of twelve men, if you could believe,
the strength and endurance, everything good,
which Arngrim's sons left after them."
She said:
"Be you all -- the journey calls me --
safe in the grave! I must quickly hence.
Now most of all I seemed between worlds,
as fires burned around me."