Baldrs draumar – Poetic Edda

Baldrs draumar Baldrs Dream

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1. Together were the esir
all in council,
and the femas
all in conference,
and they consulted,
the mighty gods,
why Balder had
oppressive dreams.

2. Uprose Odin
lord of men
and on Sleipni
he the saddle laid;
rode thence down
to Niflhome.
A dog he met,
from Helhome coming.

3. Bloody he was
on his breast before,
at the father of magic
he howled from afar;
forward rode Odin,
the earth resounded
till the house so high
of Hel he reached.

4. Then Odin rode
to the eastern door,
There, he knew well,
was the wise-woman’s grave;
magic he spoke
and mighty charms,
till spell-bound she rose,
and in death she spoke:

5. «What man is this,
to me unknown,
who has for me increased
an irksome course?
I have with snow been decked,
by rain beaten,
and with dew moistened:
long have I been dead.»

6. ODIN:
«Vegtam is my name,
I am Valtam’s son.
Tell thou me of Hel:
from, earth I call on thee.
For whom are those benches
strewed o’er with rings,
those costly couches
o’erlaid with gold?»

7. VOLVA:
«Here stands mead,
for Balder brewed,
over the bright potion
a shield is laid;
but the esir’s are in despair.
By compulsion
I have spoken.
I will now be silent.»

8. ODIN:
«Be not silent, Volva!
I will question thee,
until I know all.
I will yet know
who will Balder’s
slayer be,
and Odin’s
son of life bereave.»

9. VOLVA:
«Hód will hither
his glorious brother send,
he of Balder will
the slayer be,
and Odin’s son
of life bereave.
By compulsion I have spoken;
I will now be silent.»

10. ODIN:
«Be not silent, Volva!
I will question thee,
until I know all.
I will yet know
who on Hód
vengeance will inflict,
or Balder’s slayer
raise on the pile.»

11. VOLVA:
«Rind bears Vala
in the western halls:
he shall slay Odin’s son,
when one night old.
He a hand will not wash,
nor his head comb,
ere he to the pile has borne
Balder’s adversary.
By compulsion I have spoken;
I will now be silent.»

12. ODIN:
«Be not silent, Volva!
I will question thee,
until I know all.
I will yet know
what maidens are they
who then shall weep,
and toss to heaven
the yards of the sails?»

13. VOLVA:
«Not Vegtam art thou,
as I before believed;
rather art thou Odin,
lord of men!»
ODIN:
«Thou art no Volva,
nor wise woman,
rather art thou the mother
of three rimetroll.»

14. VOLVA:
«Home ride thou, Odin!
And exult.
Thus shall never more
man again visit me,
until Loki free
from his bonds escapes,
and Ragnarok
all-destroying comes.

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Baldrs draumar
“Odin rides to Hel” (1908) by W. G. Collingwood