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Asatru Ring Frankfurt & Midgard
Living with the Gods. Living for the Gods. Living through the Gods.

The Poetic Edda Online
In the translation of Bellows 

Lays of the Gods

The Wise-Woman's Prophecy

1. Hearing I ask  from the holy races,
From Heimdall's sons,  both high and low;
Thou wilt, Valfather,  that well I relate
Old tales I remember  of men long ago.

2. I remember yet  the giants of yore,
Who gave me bread  in the days gone by;
Nine worlds I knew,  the nine in the tree
With mighty roots  beneath the mold.

3. Of old was the age  when Ymir lived;
Sea nor cool waves  nor sand there were;
Earth had not been,  nor heaven above,
But a yawning gap,  and grass nowhere.

4. Then Bur's sons lifted  the level land,
Mithgarth the mighty  there they made;
The sun from the south  warmed the stones of earth,
And green was the ground  with growing leeks.

5. The sun, the sister  of the moon, from the south
Her right hand cast  over heaven's rim;
No knowledge she had  where her home should be,
The moon knew not  what might was his,
The stars knew not  where their stations were.

6. Then sought the gods  their assembly-seats,
The holy ones,  and council held;
Names then gave they  to noon and twilight,
Morning they named,  and the waning moon,
Night and evening,  the years to number.

7. At Ithavoll met  the mighty gods,
Shrines and temples  they timbered high;
Forges they set, and  they smithied ore,
Tongs they wrought,  and tools they fashioned.

8. In their dwellings at peace  they played at tables,
Of gold no lack  did the gods then know,--
Till thither came  up giant-maids three,
Huge of might,  out of Jotunheim.

9. Then sought the gods  their assembly-seats,
The holy ones,  and council held,
To find who should raise  the race of dwarfs
Out of Brimir's blood  and the legs of Blain.

10. There was Motsognir  the mightiest made
Of all the dwarfs,  and Durin next;
Many a likeness  of men they made,
The dwarfs in the earth,  as Durin said.

11. Nyi and Nithi,  Northri and Suthri,
Austri and Vestri,  Althjof, Dvalin,
Nar and Nain,  Niping, Dain,
Bifur, Bofur,  Bombur, Nori,
An and Onar,  Ai, Mjothvitnir.

12. Vigg and Gandalf)  Vindalf, Thrain,
Thekk and Thorin,  Thror, Vit and Lit,
Nyr and Nyrath,--  now have I told--
Regin and Rathsvith--  the list aright.

13. Fili, Kili,  Fundin, Nali,
Heptifili,  Hannar, Sviur,
Frar, Hornbori,  Fræg and Loni,
Aurvang, Jari,  Eikinskjaldi.

14. The race of the dwarfs  in Dvalin's throng
Down to Lofar  the list must I tell;
The rocks they left,  and through wet lands
They sought a home  in the fields of sand.

15. There were Draupnir  and Dolgthrasir,
Hor, Haugspori,  Hlevang, Gloin,

Dori, Ori,  Duf, Andvari,
Skirfir, Virfir,  Skafith, Ai.

16. Alf and Yngvi,  Eikinskjaldi,
Fjalar and Frosti,  Fith and Ginnar;
So for all time  shall the tale be known,
The list of all  the forbears of Lofar.

17. Then from the throng  did three come forth,
From the home of the gods,  the mighty and gracious;
Two without fate  on the land they found,
Ask and Embla,  empty of might.

18. Soul they had not,  sense they had not,
Heat nor motion,  nor goodly hue;
Soul gave Othin,  sense gave Hönir,
Heat gave Lothur  and goodly hue.

19. An ash I know,  Yggdrasil its name,
With water white  is the great tree wet;
Thence come the dews  that fall in the dales,
Green by Urth's well  does it ever grow.

20. Thence come the maidens  mighty in wisdom,
Three from the dwelling  down 'neath the tree;
Urth is one named,  Verthandi the next,--
On the wood they scored,--  and Skuld the third.
Laws they made there, and life allotted
To the sons of men, and set their fates.

21. The war I remember,  the first in the world,
When the gods with spears  had smitten Gollveig,
And in the hall  of Hor had burned her,
Three times burned,  and three times born,
Oft and again,  yet ever she lives.

22. Heith they named her  who sought their home,
The wide-seeing witch,  in magic wise;
Minds she bewitched  that were moved by her magic,
To evil women  a joy she was.

23. On the host his spear  did Othin hurl,
Then in the world  did war first come;
The wall that girdled  the gods was broken,
And the field by the warlike  Wanes was trodden.

24. Then sought the gods  their assembly-seats,
The holy ones,  and council held,
Whether the gods  should tribute give,
Or to all alike  should worship belong.

25. Then sought the gods  their assembly-seats,
The holy ones,  and council held,
To find who with venom  the air had filled,
Or had given Oth's bride  to the giants' brood.

26. In swelling rage  then rose up Thor,--
Seldom he sits  when he such things hears,--
And the oaths were broken,  the words and bonds,
The mighty pledges  between them made.

27. I know of the horn  of Heimdall, hidden
Under the high-reaching  holy tree;
On it there pours  from Valfather's pledge
A mighty stream:  would you know yet more?

28. Alone I sat  when the Old One sought me,
The terror of gods,  and gazed in mine eyes:
"What hast thou to ask?  why comest thou hither?
Othin, I know  where thine eye is hidden."

29. I know where Othin's  eye is hidden,
Deep in the wide-famed  well of Mimir;
Mead from the pledge  of Othin each mom
Does Mimir drink:  would you know yet more?

30. Necklaces had I  and rings from Heerfather,
Wise was my speech  and my magic wisdom;
.    .    .    .    .        .    .    .    .    .
Widely I saw  over all the worlds.

31. On all sides saw I  Valkyries assemble,
Ready to ride  to the ranks of the gods;
Skuld bore the shield,  and Skogul rode next,
Guth, Hild, Gondul,  and Geirskogul.
Of Herjan's maidens  the list have ye heard,
Valkyries ready  to ride o'er the earth.

32. I saw for Baldr,  the bleeding god,
The son of Othin,  his destiny set:
Famous and fair  in the lofty fields,
Full grown in strength  the mistletoe stood.

33. From the branch which seemed  so slender and fair
Came a harmful shaft  that Hoth should hurl;
But the brother of Baldr  was born ere long,
And one night old  fought Othin's son.
34. His hands he washed not,  his hair he combed not,
Till he bore to the bale-blaze  Baldr's foe.
But in Fensalir  did Frigg weep sore
For Valhall's need:  would you know yet more?

35. One did I see  in the wet woods bound,
A lover of ill,  and to Loki like;

By his side does Sigyn  sit, nor is glad
To see her mate:  would you know yet more?

36. From the east there pours  through poisoned vales
With swords and daggers  the river Slith.
.    .    .    .    .        .    .    .    .    .
.    .    .    .    .        .    .    .    .    .

37. Northward a hall  in Nithavellir
Of gold there rose  for Sindri's race;
And in Okolnir  another stood,
Where the giant Brimir  his beer-hall had.

38. A hall I saw,  far from the sun,
On Nastrond it stands,  and the doors face north,
Venom drops  through the smoke-vent down,
For around the walls  do serpents wind.

39. I saw there wading  through rivers wild
Treacherous men  and murderers too,
And workers of ill  with the wives of men;
There Nithhogg sucked  the blood of the slain,
And the wolf tore men;  would you know yet more?

40. The giantess old  in Ironwood sat,
In the east, and bore  the brood of Fenrir;
Among these one  in monster's guise
Was soon to steal  the sun from the sky.

41. There feeds he full  on the flesh of the dead,
And the home of the gods  he reddens with gore;
Dark grows the sun,  and in summer soon
Come mighty storms:  would you know yet more?

42. On a hill there sat,  and smote on his harp,
Eggther the joyous,  the giants' warder;
Above him the cock  in the bird-wood crowed,
Fair and red  did Fjalar stand.

43. Then to the gods  crowed Gollinkambi,
He wakes the heroes  in Othin's hall;
And beneath the earth  does another crow,
The rust-red bird  at the bars of Hel.

44. Now Garm howls loud  before Gnipahellir,
The fetters will burst,  and the wolf run free;
Much do I know,  and more can see
Of the fate of the gods,  the mighty in fight.

45. Brothers shall fight  and fell each other,
And sisters' sons  shall kinship stain;
Hard is it on earth,  with mighty whoredom;
Axe-time, sword-time,  shields are sundered,
Wind-time, wolf-time,  ere the world falls;
Nor ever shall men  each other spare.

46. Fast move the sons  of Mim, and fate
Is heard in the note  of the Gjallarhorn;
Loud blows Heimdall,  the horn is aloft,
In fear quake all  who on Hel-roads are.

47. Yggdrasil shakes,  and shiver on high
The ancient limbs,  and the giant is loose;
To the head of Mim  does Othin give heed,
But the kinsman of Surt  shall slay him soon.

48. How fare the gods?  how fare the elves?
All Jotunheim groans,  the gods are at council;
Loud roar the dwarfs  by the doors of stone,
The masters of the rocks:  would you know yet more?

49. Now Garm howls loud  before Gnipahellir,
The fetters will burst,  and the wolf run free
Much do I know,  and more can see
Of the fate of the gods,  the mighty in fight.

50. From the east comes Hrym  with shield held high;
In giant-wrath  does the serpent writhe;
O'er the waves he twists,  and the tawny eagle
Gnaws corpses screaming;  Naglfar is loose.

51. O'er the sea from the north  there sails a ship
With the people of Hel,  at the helm stands Loki;
After the wolf  do wild men follow,
And with them the brother  of Byleist goes.

52. Surt fares from the south  with the scourge of branches,
The sun of the battle-gods  shone from his sword;
The crags are sundered,  the giant-women sink,
The dead throng Hel-way,  and heaven is cloven.

53. Now comes to Hlin  yet another hurt,
When Othin fares  to fight with the wolf,
And Beli's fair slayer  seeks out Surt,
For there must fall  the joy of Frigg.

54. Then comes Sigfather's  mighty son,
Vithar, to fight  with the foaming wolf;
In the giant's son  does he thrust his sword
Full to the heart:  his father is avenged.

55. Hither there comes  the son of Hlothyn,
The bright snake gapes  to heaven above;
.    .    .    .    .        .    .    .    .    .
Against the serpent  goes Othin's son.

56. In anger smites  the warder of earth,--
Forth from their homes  must all men flee;-
Nine paces fares  the son of Fjorgyn,
And, slain by the serpent,  fearless he sinks.

57. The sun turns black,  earth sinks in the sea,
The hot stars down  from heaven are whirled;
Fierce grows the steam  and the life-feeding flame,
Till fire leaps high  about heaven itself.

58. Now Garm howls loud  before Gnipahellir,
The fetters will burst,  and the wolf run free;
Much do I know,  and more can see
Of the fate of the gods,  the mighty in fight.

59. Now do I see  the earth anew
Rise all green  from the waves again;
The cataracts fall,  and the eagle flies,
And fish he catches  beneath the cliffs.

60. The gods in Ithavoll  meet together,
Of the terrible girdler  of earth they talk,
And the mighty past  they call to mind,
And the ancient runes  of the Ruler of Gods.

61. In wondrous beauty  once again
Shall the golden tables  stand mid the grass,
Which the gods had owned  in the days of old,
.    .    .    .    .        .    .    .    .    .

62. Then fields unsowed  bear ripened fruit,
All ills grow better,  and Baldr comes back;
Baldr and Hoth dwell  in Hropt's battle-hall,
And the mighty gods:  would you know yet more?

63. Then Hönir wins  the prophetic wand,
.    .    .    .    .        .    .    .    .    .
And the sons of the brothers  of Tveggi abide
In Vindheim now:  would you know yet more?

64. More fair than the sun,  a hall I see,
Roofed with gold,  on Gimle it stands;
There shall the righteous  rulers dwell,
And happiness ever  there shall they have.

65. There comes on high,  all power to hold,
A mighty lord,  all lands he rules.
.    .    .    .    .        .    .    .    .    .
.    .    .    .    .        .    .    .    .    .

66. From below the dragon  dark comes forth,
Nithhogg flying  from Nithafjoll;
The bodies of men on  his wings he bears,
The serpent bright:  but now must I sink.

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