The Creative Exploration of Language


Translation from Old Norse; source text from An Introduction to Old Norse by E.V. Gordon

Odin spoke:

What was I dreaming       when daylight broke?

To ready the hall             for the host of the slain.

I bade the Einherjar,        up they must rise,

To straw the benches       and the beer mugs wash.

Valkyries with wine          shall welcome a king!

At home I await              the hero’s coming,

The lordly man                who makes my heart glad.

Do you hear, Bragi?          A host of thousands

Hurries here to my hall.


The benches creak           as if Balder it was

Who sought the hall of Sigtýr.


Your words are foolish      wisest Bragi,

And well you know why.

The clashing and clanging is for King Eirík;

It is he who comes to Odin’s hall.

Sigmund rise quickly!       Sinfjǫtli as well!

You must go to meet the king.

Bid him welcome             if it be Eirík.

I will await the hero here.


Why await Eirík                if others may come?


He has made red             many a land

And he bears a bloody sword.


If you thought him brave why thwart his deeds?


Because I know not,

When the gray wolf comes to the gods’ abode.


Hail now, Eirík!                Here you are welcome. 

Go into the hall, healthy in wisdom.

One thing I must ask:       what others follow,

Lords from the lightning-field?


Five kings there are          and all I can name;

I myself am the sixth.











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