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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.

from the Vlusp

1 Hlis bi ec allar helgar kindir,
        meiri oc minni, mgo Heimdalar;
        vildo, at ec, Valfr, vel fyrtelia
        forn spioll fira, au er fremst um man.

2 Ec man iotna, r um borna,
        er forom mic fdda hfo;
        no man ec heima, no viior,
        miotvi mran fyr mold nean.

3 r var alda, at er Ymir bygi,
        vara sandr n sr n svalar unnir;
        ior fannz va n upphiminn,
        gap var ginnunga, enn gras hvergi.

4 r Burs synir bioom um ypo,
        eir er migar, mran, scpo;
        sl scein sunnan salar steina,
        var grund grin grnom lauki.

5 Sl varp sunnan, sinni mna,
        hendi inni hgri um himiniour;
        sl at n vissi, hvar hon sali tti,
        stiornor at n visso, hvar r stai tto,
        mni at n vissi, hvat hann megins tti.

6  gengo regin ll rcstla,
        ginnheilog go, oc um at gttuz:
        ntt oc niiom nfn um gfo,
        morgin hto oc miian dag,
        undorn oc aptan, rom at telia.

7 Hittuz sir Iavelli,
        eir er hrg oc hof h timbroo;
        afla lgo, au smoo,
        tangir scpo oc tl goro.

8 Teflo tni, teitir vro,
        var eim vttergis vant r gulli,
        unz rir qvmo ursa meyiar,
        mtcar mioc, r iotunheimom.

9  gengo regin ll rcstla,
        ginnheilog go, oc um at gttuz,
        hverr scyldi dverga drttin scepia,
        r Brimis bli oc r Blins leggiom.

10 ar var Mtsognir mztr um orinn
        dverga allra, enn Durinn annarr;
        eir manlcon mrg um goro,
        dvergar, r ioro, sem Durinn sagi.

11 Ni oc Nii, Norri oc Suri,
        Austri oc Vestri, Alifr, Dvalinn,
        Bvrr, Bvrr, Bmburr, Nri,
        n oc narr, i, Mivitnir.

12 Veigr oc Gandlfr, Vindlfr, rinn,
        eccr oc orinn, rr, Vitr oc Litr,
        Mr oc Nrr -- n hefi ec dverga
        -- Reginn oc Rsvir -- rtt um tala.

13 Fli, Kli, Fundinn, Nli,
        Hepti, Vli, Hnarr, Svurr,
        Frr, Hornbori, Frgr oc Lni,
        Aurvangr, Iari, Eikinscialdi.

14 Ml er, dverga Dvalins lii
        lina kindom til Lofars telia,
        eir er stto fr salar steini
        aurvanga sit til Iorovalla.

15 ar var Draupnir oc Dlgrasir,
        Hr, Haugspori, Hlvangr, Gli,
        Scirvir, Virvir, Scfir, i,

16 lfr oc Yngvi, Eikinscialdi,
        Fialarr oc Frosti, Finnr oc Ginnarr;
        at mun uppi, mean ld lifir,
        langniia tal Lofars hafat.

17 Unz rr qvmo r v lii,
        fligir oc stgir, sir, at hsi;
        fundo landi, ltt megandi,
        Asc oc Emblo, rlglausa.

18 nd au n tto, au n hfo,
        l n lti n lito ga;
        nd gaf inn, gaf Hnir,
        l gaf Lurr oc lito ga.

19 Asc veit ec standa, heitir Yggdrasill,
        hr bamr, ausinn hvtaauri;
        aan koma dggvar, rs dala falla,
        stendr yfir, grnn, urar brunni.

20 aan koma meyiar, margs vitandi,
        rir, r eim s, er und olli stendr;
        Ur hto eina, ara Verandi
        -- scro sci --, Sculd ina riio;
        r lg lgo, r lf kuro
        alda bornom, rlg seggia.

21 at man hon flcvg fyrst heimi,
        er Gullveigo geirom studdo
        oc hll Hrs hna brendo;
        rysvar brendo, rysvar borna,
        opt, sialdan, hon enn lifir.

22 Heii hana hto, hvars til hsa kom,
        vlo velsp, vitti hon ganda;
        sei hon, hvars hon kunni, sei hon hugleikin,
        var hon angan illrar brar.

23  gengo regin ll rcstla,
        ginnheilog go, oc um at gttuz,
        hvrt scyldo sir afr gialda
        ea scyldo goin ll gildi eiga.

24 Fleygi inn oc flc um scaut,
        at var enn flcvg fyrst heimi;
        brotinn var borveggr borgar sa,
        kntto vanir vgsp vllo sporna.

25  gengo regin ll rcstla,
        ginnheilog go, oc um at gttuz,
        hverir hefi lopt alt lvi blandit
        ea tt iotuns s mey gefna.

Translation

1 For audience I bid you all, hallowed beings,
great and small, kin of Heimdall;
you, Valfothr, desire that I well recount
the old tales of men, which I first remember.
2 I recall the giants, born long ago,
who had fed me ages prior;
nine regions I recall, nine giantesses,
the famous measure-tree beneath the soil.
3 It was early in time, when Ymir settled,
there was no sand nor sea nor cold waves;
no earth was to be found nor heavens above,
there was a chasm of void, still grass nowhere.
4 First the sons of Bur raised the earth,
the ones who shaped the great Midgard;
the sun shone from the south along the ground's stones,
then was the soil overgrown with green plants.
5 The sun, the moon's companion, cast from the south
its right hand round heaven's rim;
the sun knew not where she held lodging,
the stars knew not where they had dwellings,
the moon knew not what deal of strength he had.
6 Then all the powers went to the seats of judgement,
sacred gods, and deliberated on that:
to night and the moon's phases they gave names,
they named morning and midday,
afternoon and evening, to count out the years.
7 The Aesir met in Ithavale,
where they constructed high houses and sanctuary,
set hearths, forged treasures,
shaped tongs and fashioned tools.
8 They played tables on the stead, were merry,
they had no lack of anything golden,
until came three of the giants' maids,
quite powerful, from Giantland.
9 Then all the powers went to the seats of judgement,
sacred gods, and deliberated on that,
who should fashion the dwarfs' lord,
from Brimir's blood and from Blain's limbs.
10 There Motsognir became the greatest
of all the dwarfs, and Durin second;
they fashioned many a human form
from the earth, those dwarfs, as Durin said.
11 New-moon and Waned-moon, North and South,
East and West, Great-thief, Delayer,
Bivor, Bavor, Bombur, Nori,
An and Anar, Great-grandfather, Mead-wolf.
12 Liquor and Staff-elf, Wind-elf and Thrain,
Known and Thorin, Thror, Color and Wise,
Corpse and New-counsel -- now I have
-- Regin and Counsel-sharp -- rightly reckoned the dwarfs.
13 Fili, Kili, Foundling, Nali,
Haft, Vili, Hanar, Sviur,
Frar, Hornbori, Fraeg and Sea-pool,
Mudfield, Iari, Oakenshield.
14 It is time to tally the dwarfs in Dvalin's
line, the lineages in families up to Lofar,
those who sought from the hall's stone
the seats of muddy fields at Stonyvales.
15 There was Draupnir and Dolgthrasir,
Greyhair, Mound-river, Lee-plain, Glow,
Skirvir, Virvir, Skafith, Great-grandfather,
16 Elf and Yngvi, Oakenshield,
Fjalar and Frosty, Finn and Betrayer;
that reckoning, as long as mankind lives,
of Lofar's forefathers will be remembered.
17 Until three of that retinue came,
strong and benevolent gods, to the home;
they found on the land, with little strength,
fateless Ash and Embla.
18 Neither owned they breath, nor had they voice,
blood nor bent, nor good bearing;
Odin gave breath, Hoenir gave voice,
Lothur gave blood and good bearing.
19 I know an ash to stand, it's name Yggdrasil,
a high tree, watered with white-mud;
thence comes the dew, which falls in the dale,
green it stands ever over the well of fate.
20 Thence come three maids, knowing much,
from the sea which stands under the tree;
Fate they called one, Becoming the second
-- they scribbled on staves --, Shall the third;
they fixed the fates, they cut the course
for the ages' children, the destinies of warriors.
21 She remembers that fight first in the land,
when they studded Gullveig with spears
and in Grey-hair's hall burned her;
thrice they burned her, thrice reborn
again and again, though she still lives.
22 The called her Bright, where she came to houses,
right-speaking seeress, spirits she conjured;
she prophesied, wherever she could, crazed she prophesied,
ever was she the delight of a wicked wife.
23 Then all the powers went to the seats of judgement,
sacred gods, and deliberated on that,
whether the Aesir should pay tribute
or whether all the gods should receive offerings.
24 Odin let loose and shot among the people,
that was the first fight in the land;
broken was the board wall of the Aesir's barricade,
the death-proclaiming Vanir could tread the vale.
25 Then all the powers went to the seats of judgement,
sacred gods, and deliberated on that,
who had mixed all the air with misfortune
or given Od's maid to the giant's race.