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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 Angantýr

Hitt hefir mær ung í Munarvági
        við sólarsetr segg at hjǫrðu.

Hirðir kvað:
        "Hverr's einn saman í ey kominn?
        gakktu greiðliga gistingar til!"

Hervǫr kvað:
        "Munkat ganga gistingar til,
        þvít engan kank eyjarskeggja;
        segðu hraðliga áðr heðan líðir
        hvar ru Hjǫrvarði haugar kendir?"

Hirðir kvað:
        "Spyrjat at því, spakr est eigi,
        vinr víkinga, þúst vanfarinn;
        fǫrum fráliga sem okkr fœtr toga --
        alt es úti ámátt firum."

Hervǫr kvað:
        "Men bjóðum þér máls at gjǫldum;
        muna drengja vin dælt at letja:
        fær engi mér fríðar hnossir,
        fagra bauga, svát farak eigi."

Hirðir kvað:
        "Heimskr þykki mér sás heðra ferr,
        maðr einn saman, myrkvar grímur;
        hyrrs á sveimun, haugar opnask,
        brennr fold ok fen -- fǫrum harðara!"

Hervǫr kvað:
        "Hirðumat fælask við fnǫsun slíka,
        þótt of alla ey eldar brenni!
        Látumat okkr liðna rekka
        skjótla skelfa; skulum við talask."

Vas þá féhirðir fljótr til skógar
        mjǫk frá máli meyjar þessar;
        en harðsnúinn hugr í brjósti
        um sakar slíkar svellr Hervǫru.

Hon sá nú haugaeldana ok haugbúa úti standa, ok gengr til hauganna ok hræðisk ekki; óð hon eldana sem reyk, þar til er hon kom at haugi berserkjanna. Þá kvað hon:

"Vaki, Angantýr! vekr þik Hervǫr,
        einga dóttir ykkur Tófu.
        Selðu ór haugi hvassan mæki,
        þanns Svafrlama slógu dvergar.

Hervarðr, Hjǫrvarðr, Hrani, Angantýr!
        vekk yðr alla und viðar rótum,
        hjálmi ok með brynju, hvǫssu sverði,
        rǫnd ok með reiði, roðnum geiri.

Mjǫk eruð orðnir, Arngríms synir,
        megir meinsamir, moldar at auka,
        es engi skal sona Eyfuru
        við mik mæla í Munarvági.

Svá sé yðr ǫllum innan rifja,
        sem þér í maura mornið haugi,
        nema sverð selið þats sló Dvalinn;
        samira draugum dýrt vápn fela."

Þá svarar Angantýr:
        "Hervǫr dóttir, hví kallar svá
        full feikinstafa? Ferr þér at illu.
        Œr est orðin ok ørvita,
        villhyggjandi vekr menn dauða!

Grófat mik faðir niðr né frændr aðrir.
        Þeir hǫfðu Tyrfing tveir es lifðu,
        varð þó eigandi einn of síðir."

Hon kvað:
        "Segðu eitt satt: svá láti Áss þik
        heilan í haugi sem þú hefir eigi
        Tyrfing með þér! Trauðr est at veita
        arfa þínum einga barni."

Þá var sem einn logi væri alt at líta um haugana, er opnir stóðu. Þá kvað Angantýr:

"Hnigin es helgrind, haugar opnask,
        allr es í eldi eybarmr at sjá;
        atalt es úti um at litask.
        Skyntu, mær, ef mátt, til skipa þinna!"

Hon segir:
        "Brenni þér eigi bál á nóttum,
        svát ek við elda yðra fælumk;
        skelfrat meyju muntún hugar, þótt hon draug séi í durum standa."

Þá kvað Angantýr:
        "Segik þér, Hervǫr, hlýttu til meðan,
        vísa dóttir, þats verða mun;
        sjá mun Tyrfingr, ef trúa mættir,
        ætt þinni, mær, allri spilla.

Muntu son geta þanns síðan mun
        Tyrfing bera ok trúa afli;
        þann munu Heiðrek heita lýðar,
        sá mun ríkstr alinn und rǫðuls tjaldi."

Hon kvað:
        "Ek vígi svá virða dauða,
        at ér skuluð allir liggja
        dauðir með draugum, í dys fúnir;
        selðu, Angantýr, út ór haugi
        dverga smíði! Dugira þér at leyna."

Hann segir:
        "Kveðkat þik, mær ung, mǫnnum líka,
        es þú of hauga hvarfar á nóttum
        grǫfnum geiri ok með Gota málmi,
        hjálmi ok með brynju fyr hallar dyrr."

Hon kvað: "Maðr þóttumk menskr til þessa,
        áðr sali yðra sœkja réðak;
        selðu ór haugi þanns hatar brynjur,
        hlífum hættan Hjálmars bana!"

Angantýr kvað:
        "Liggr mér und herðum Hjálmars bani,
        allr es hann útan eldi sveipinn;
        mey veitk enga moldar hvergi,
        at þann hjǫr þori í hendr nema."

Hon segir:
        "Ek mun hirða ok í hendr nema
        hvassan mæki ef hafa mættak;
        uggi ek eigi eld brennanda --
        þegar loga lægir es ek lít yfir."

Hann kvað:
        "Heimsk est, Hervǫr, hugar eigandi,
        es þú at augum í eld hrapar;
        heldr vilk selja sverð ór haugi,
        mær in unga, mákat synja."

Hon kvað:
        "Vel gørðir þú, víkinga niðr,
        es þú seldir mér sverð ór haugi;
        betr þykkjumk nú, buðlungr, hafa,
        en Nóregi næðak ǫllum."

Hann kvað:
        "Veizt eigi þú -- vesǫl est mála,
        fláráð kona -- hví fagna skal;
        sjá mun Tyrfingr, ef trúa mættir,
        ætt þinni, mær, allri spilla."

Hon segir:
        "Ek mun ganga til gjálfrmara;
        nús hilmis mær í hugum góðum:
        lítt hræðumk þat, lofðunga niðr,
        hvé synir mínir síðan deila."

Hann kvað:
        "Þú skalt eiga ok una lengi,
        hafðu á hulðu Hjálmars bana,
        takat á eggjum, eitr es í báðum;
        sás manns mjǫtuðr meini verri.

Far vel, dóttir! fljótt gæfak þér
        tólf manna fjǫr, ef trúa mættir,
        afl ok eljun, alt it góða
        þats synir Arngríms at sik leifðu."

Hon kvað:
        "Búi þér allir -- brott fýsir mik --
        heilir í haugi! Heðan vilk skjótla.
        Helzt þóttumk nú heima í 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."