A Study Guide 
[Index to Svipdagsmál 
Gróugaldur and Fjölsvinnsmál
Introduction, Translation and Notes
by Olive Bray


Grógaldr and Fjolsvinnismál are found in several MSS., none older than the seventeenth century, as two separate poems, but they have been associated for many reasons. The one without the other is fragmentary; together they give a story which is told in a Danish ballad of the sixteenth century called "Young Svendal." In the first part the hero is starting forth upon a dangerous mission; in the second he has accomplished his journey, and arrived upon the scene of action, where he attains his object. No details are given of the perils of the way, but it is not even necessary to assume that the strophes recounting them have been lost, for a sudden dramatic opening, a swift passing over of incidents, are sufficiently common in the Edda, and require only some brief line of explanation, such as " Then Day-spring fared into Jotunheim." Here and there are found connecting links between the poems. The object of search in Part I. is mengloðom, those joyous with necklaces (st. 4) ; and Day-spring, in Part II., wins Mengloð, the Necklace-glad. If, as most authorities take it, both are proper names, the identification is complete. In st. 14 is prophesied Day-spring's dispute with the giant warder Much-wise. The same motive runs through the whole action, which from beginning to end is ruled by destiny. In st. 4 of Part I. and st. 47 of Part II. this is openly expressed "The issue must follow fate," "The doom of Weird may no wight withstand." In no poem is the Weird motive heard more clearly, in none is it more distinctly seen to work in obedience to natural law.

Menglod is often met in fairy tales as the princess who sits on a glass mountain, and is won by a princely lover; but with the help of "Young Svendal," the story can be reconstructed in its more original form. Day-spring has been sent by his step-mother to seek Menglod, a fair giant-maiden who owns a shining necklace, and is of such renown that she has long been sought by lovers in vain. Day-spring comes for help to his own mother's grave, and stands calling her at the doorway, for she has promised to aid him with the wisdom of the dead. She comes forth reluctantly, like all who are compelled by love or enchantments to re-enter their old haunts, and standing at the gates of the tomb, she sings him magic songs to render him victorious in all the difficulties which lie before him ; bonds shall not hold him, foes shall not slay him, bitter frosts on the mountains, storms on the sea, mists on the night journey, even the spirits of dead women shall not dismay him one thing alone can hinder his desire, the doom of Weird, which nor gods nor men can withstand. The charms which she sings are rune songs, such as Odin knew, and one which he had even used to win his giant-wife Rind. This scene between Gróa and her son is characteristic of the attitude of the Old Norsemen towards their dead, who were still regarded as a power for good or evil in their lives, and whose constant presence among the living was loved or feared, but never a matter of wonder, or an occurrence different in kind from the ordinary events of life. This supernatural influence had to be met with one of a corresponding nature; hence the charms and spells cut in runes which men used against one another and to combat difficulties.

Here ends the first fragment; before the opening of the second a long interval has elapsed, during which Day-spring has endured untold perils, and prevailed through the spell songs of his mother. He has, moreover, though this incident is veiled in mystery, met with Menglod (st. 5 and 49), and has lost her. She sits waiting for him on the mountain top, knowing that he will come back; and he is seeking her, with the assurance that he can break down every barrier between them. The next scene opens abruptly; Day-spring has arrived in the gloom of night at his journey's end. In the dim flickering light of magic flames he sees the giants' hall rising up before him, and in front, passing to and fro, is outlined the dark figure of the warder. The ring of fire has here a deeper signification than the wonted circle through which the princes of romance had to pass to their princess ; it is inherent in the myth. Day-spring hails Muchwise the watcher, and is refused admittance ; but he will not now turn back, his love is almost within sight, and he stands conversing with Much-wise under the assumed name of Wind-cold. Gradually he leads up to a revelation of his true name, before which all barriers will fall and leave the way open to Menglod, his beloved, who is destined for him alone. He questions Much-wise concerning all that lies in front of him, and one by one, interwoven, the obstacles are seen. Outside is the fiery ring of flames, and round the castle a huge rockwall with but one entrance, the barred gate called Sounding-clanger. Yggdrasil, the tree of life and fate, stands overshadowing all things; and in its boughs sits Golden-comb or Wood-snake, the cock whom the giants watch in dread, for when he crows their Doom will be at hand. Fierce dogs are guarding the courts, and can be eluded only when feasting on Wood-snake's wings; but Wood-snake himself can be slain by a magic wand alone, which is in the keeping of the giantess Sinmara, and she will not lend it except for a tail feather from that same cock. Thus the chain of difficulties is complete. But still Dayspring asks concerning Ember, the flaming hall, built by wondrous beings (of whom we know only Loki the fire-god and Delling the dwarf of dawn), until he comes to Menglod herself. A contrast to the ruthless spirit of Old Norse literature and to all other descriptions in the Edda is this patient figure a tender, gracious woman, waiting and yearning in heart for her lover, but shedding meantime contentment and peace on those around. Day-spring at last reveals his name, and they meet like the lovers of all time, first with trembling doubt, "Will she have me?" and "-Is it he? " then with the certainty that they have known and have been destined for one another through all eternity. The whole scene is so complete in its human passion that it seems almost superfluous to ask for any further interpretation ; but those which suggest themselves are so natural and fitting that, just seen, they fade away in delicate ethereal colours, and form a background of opalescent light.

The underlying allegory which Cassel suggests is not wholly false, although far-fetched in some of its details. The idealist sets forth in search of perfect love and beauty, which he sees far off on some high mountain top, and longs to gain. The difficulties appear insurmountable to those who strive with them in the spirit of worldly wisdom, but to him who follows the true instincts of his heavenly nature they give way, and he attains.

Much also may be said for the view which sees in this myth only another presentation of that concerning Gerd and Skirnir, the oft repeated wooing of the imprisoned earth by a summer god. If, however, the interpretation lies in natural phenomena, it must be the one suggested by the names. It is a radiant light picture Day-spring or Day-hastener, child of Sun-bright, comes as Wind-cold (the cool, fresh breeze which springs up at dawn), to wed Menglod on the mountain tops ; while she, the bright sun goddess and her shining necklace are well known to us as Freyja and Brisinga-men. The sudden revealing of Day-spring is that earliest moment in the dawn which can be called day rather than night. Still a few moments pass before Sun herself comes, and the inevitable meeting takes place between her and the Day. No myth so poetical and so fitting could be told of this union, as that of two predestined souls.

We cannot well compare the poem or associate it with any other in the Edda. It is different in spirit, more romantic, more tender, with a passion which cannot be limited to any one age or locality. Everything tends to show that it is of late origin. The writer makes frequent use of the peculiar type of synonym known as the "kenning," in which some other person or object is employed to represent and describe the particular one in view. The name of a god or goddess serves often as a general term for man or woman ; thus Eir (st. 28), who in the Prose Edda is a goddess of healing, means only a fair woman, in the present case a giantess. The old mythology had become a conventional system, technical rather than imaginative ; and names which once belonged to personal beings had lapsed into mere words expressing abstract qualities. The question of poetic diction is of importance here, for it is possible that many difficult passages could be explained in this light. St. 18, as we have given it, alludes to Golden-comb, who will first announce Doom to all giants and giantwives ; but if the names of Surt and Sinmara must be retained, the passage is meaningless to any modern reader. Not only in language and sentiment does the writer stand apart from the other poets of mythology, but his knowledge of its most famous objects is defective and obscured. The mistletoe which Loki plucked (st. 26) seems confused with Golden-comb and the Doom of the World ; the cock itself, who has his station in the scene of dawn, resembles the Christian symbol of watchfulness, whose cry dispels the power of darkness. The description of Yggdrasil, with its fruits which are instrumental in the birth of men, is so different from the old Tree of life and fate that some critics have denied their identity. The nature myth itself seems to wear a modern garb, quite unlike the old-fashioned and improbable stories of a less critical age.

The Poems Follow

Groa's Incantation
by W.G. Collingwood
[Index to Svipdagsmál
Grógaldr. In paper MSS. of the seventeenth century.

Svipdagr kvaþ:
1. 'Vaki Þu, Gróa ! vaki Þu, góÞ kona !
vekk þik þauþra þura :
ef þat mant, at jnnn mog bgfeþir
til kumblþysjar koma.'
 Gróa kvaþ:
2. ' Hvat's nú ant minum einga syni,
hverju 'st bölvi borinn:
es þú móþur kallar es til moldar es komin
ok ór Ijóþheimum liþin?
Svipdagr kvaþ:

3. 'Ljótu leikborþi skaut fyr mik en laevisa kona
sus fajjmajn minn föjmr:
þar baþ mik koma, es kvæmtki veit,
móti Menglöþm.'
Gróa kvaþ:
4. ' Löng es för, langir'u farvegar,
langir'u manna munir;
ef þat verþr, at þú þinn vilja bíþr,
ok skeikar þó Skulþar at sköpum.'
Svipdagr kvaþ:
5. 'Galþra mer gal þás góþir'u,
bjarg þú, móþir ! megi :
á vegum allr hykk at ek verþa muna,
þykkjumk til ungr afi.'


1. Wake thou, Groa, wake, sweet woman,
at the doors of the dead, awake !
Thy child, thou bad'st me, dost thou not mind thee?-
come to the cairn of thy grave.


2. What sorrow grieves thee, mine only son,
with what burden art overborne,
that thou callest thy mother who is turned to dust
and gone from the folk-world forth ?


3. A fearful task hath that false woman set me,
who fondly my father hath clasped :
she hath sent me where none may go, to seek
the gay-necklaced maiden Menglod.


4. Long is the faring, long are the pathways,
long are the loves of men :
well it may be that thou gain thy will,
but the end must follow fate.


5. Sing me spell-songs, sweet and strong ones !
Mother, shield me thy child !
Dead on the way I ween I shall be,
for I feel me too young in years.
Gróa kvaþ:
6. þann gelk þér fyrstan, þann kveþa fjólnytan,
þann gól Rinþr Rani :
at of öxl skjötir þvis þér atalt Þykkir;
sjalfr leiþ sjalfan þik !
7. Þann gelk þér annan, ef þú árna skalt
viljalauss á vegum :
Urþar lokur halþi þér öllum megum,
es þú á smán sér !
8. Þann gelk þer enn þriþja, ef þór þjóþaar
falla at fjörlötum :
til heljar heþan snuisk Horn ok Ruþr,
en þverri fyr þér.
3. Kvæmtki, B. G. S. Gv. J.; kveþki, MSS. 4. Menglöþu, a proper name G. B. Gv. S. C.; menglóþu(m), MSS., K. R. M. HI. J. 7. Ásman, MSS., Átaná Dt and Hl; á sinnum, Gv. G. S. 8. Fjörlötum, MSS., HI. J., life-spring from fjör, life, and lota, energy ; Fjör-lokum, B. Gv. S. G.

6. I sing thee the first well it serves, they say
which Rindr sang to Ran :
be thy burden too heavy, may it fall from thy back
and may self lead self at will.

7. I sing thee the second : if haply thou strayest
joyless on journeys far,
may the web of Weird be around thy way
and save thee from shameful plight.

8. I sing thee the third : if mighty streams
with their waters o'erwhelm thy life,
may those floods of Hel flow back, and dry
be the paths before thy feet.
9. Þann gelk þer enn fjórþa, ef þik fiandr standa
görvir á galgvegi :
hugr þeim hverfi til handa þér
ok snuisk til sátta sefi.
10. Þann gelk þer enn fimta, ef þér fjöturr verþr
borinn at boglimum :
leysigaldr lætk þer fyr legg of kvejnnn,
ok stökkr þá láss af limum,
en af fótum fjöturr.
11. Þann gelk Þer enn sétta, ef á sjó komr
meira an menn viti :
lopt ok lögr gangi þer i lúþr saman
ok lé þer æ friþdrúgrar farar.
9. I sing thee the fourth : if foes should lurk
in ambush, armed for thy death,
be their hearts forthwith toward thee turned
and their minds be moved to peace.

10. I sing thee the fifth : if men maKe fast
a charm on the joints of thy limbs,
that loosening spell which I sing o'er thy legs
shall break fetters from hands and feet.

11. I sing thee the sixth : if thou fare o'er seas
mightier than men do know,
may wind and wave for thee work thy boat,
and make peaceful thy path o'er the deep.
12. Þann gelk Þer enn sjaunda, ef þík sækja kömr
frost á fjalli há :
hrævakulþi megit þínu holdi fara,
ok haldi Þér lik at liþum.
13. Þann gelk þer enn átta, ef þik úti nemr
nótt a niflvegi :
at því firr megi þér til meins görva
kristin dauþ kona.
14. Þann gelk Þer enn niunda, ef víþ enn naddgöfga
orþum skiptir jötun :
máls ok mannvits sé þer á munn ok hjarta
gnóga of gefit.
12. I sing thee the seventh : if thou art assailed
by frost on the rimy fell,
may thy flesh not die in the deadly cold ;
be thou sound in life and limb.

13. I sing thee the eighth : if night o'ertake thee,
wandering on the misty way,
none the more may ghosts of Christian women
have power to work thy woe.

13. Ghosts of Christian women. This line must have been written in heathen days, when Christianity was regarded as a mysterious power of evil.

14. I sing thee the ninth : when thou needs must stand
in speech with that spear-famed giant,
may words and wisdom to lips and heart
in abundance be bestowed.

 14. That spear-famed giant must be Much- wise, the warder of Menglod's halls.
15. Far þú nu æva þas foraþ þikkir
ok standit þer mein fyr munum !
  *  *  *  *  *
Á  jarþföstum steini stóþk innan dura,
meban þér galdra gólk
10. Leysigaldr, B. Gv. S. G. J. ; leifnis elda, MSS. 11. —Lopt, Gv. S. G.; logn, MSS. 14. Munn ok, B. Gv. S. G. C. ; minnis, MSS.
15. May thou ne'er be led, where danger lurks,
may harm not hinder thy will !
  *  *  *  *  *
At the doors I stood, on an earth-bound stone,
while I sang these song's to thee.

16. Móþur orþ berþu, mögr ! heþan
ok lát þer i brjósti bua !
iþnóga heill skalt of aldr hafa,
meþan mín orþ of mant.'
16. Child, bear with thee a mother's words,
let them abide in thy breast !
Wealth enough in life thou shalt win
if thou keepst my counsel in mind.


1. Útan garþa hann sá upp of koma
þursa Þjóþar sjöt.
Svipdagr kvaþ :
(2) ' Hvat's þat flagþa, es stendr fyr forgörþum
ok hvarflar umb hættan loga ?'

Fjölsviþr kvaþ :
2.  (1) 'Hvers þú leitar eþa hvers á leitum est,
eþa hvat vilt, vinlauss ! vita ?
úrgar brautir árnaþu aptr heþan !
áttat hér, verndarvanr ! veru.'
I. This transposition from MSS. made by B. Mb. Gv. C. G.
Svipdagr kvaþ :
3.  ‘Hvat's Þat flagþa, es stendr fyr forgarþi
ok býþrat liþóndum löþ ?
Sæmþarorþa lauss hefr þú, seggr ! of lifat,
ok haltu heim heþan !'
Fjölsviþr kvaþ :
4. ‘Fjölsviþr ek heiti, en ek á fróþan sefa,
þeygi emk mins mildr matar :
innan garþa þu komr aldrigi,
ok drif þu nú vargr at vegi !'
Svipdagr kvaþ:
5. 'Augna gamans fýsir aptr at fá,
hvars getr svást at sea :
garþar gloa þykkjumk of gollna sá il,
hér mundak öþli una.'
5. Aptr at fá, HI. and F. adopt this conjecture on the margin of the MSS. Aptr fán, MSS., B. S. L. Gv.

1. Stood Day-spring without the walls, and saw
loom high the Jotuns' home.
What monster is that who guards the threshold,
and prowls round the perilous flames?
2. Whom dost thou seek? Of whom art in search?
What, friendless wight, wouldst thou learn?
Back wander hence on thy dewy way;
not here is thy haven, lone one!

3. What monster is that who guards the threshold
and bids not welcome to wanderers?
Lacking all seemly speech wert thou born;
hence, speaker, hie thee home!
4. Much-wise I am called, for I am wise in mind,
though none too free with my food.
Here in the courts shalt thou never come;
get thee hence like a wolf on thy way!
5. Longs the lover again for the light of his eyes,
with his sweet-heart back in sight:
glowing are the walls of that golden hall;
I would fain make here my home.

5. This strophe, like 49, suggests that Svipdagr and Menglod have met before.    

Fjölsviþr kvaþ:
6. ' Seg mér, hverjum estu, sveinn ! of borinn
eþa hverra'st manna mogr ?

Svipdagr kvaþ:
' Vindkaldr heitik, Varkaldr ht minn faþir,
Þess vas Fjolkaldr faþir.
7. Seg mér þat, Fjölsviþr ! es ek þik fregna mun
auk ek vilja vita:
hverr hér ræþr —ok riki hefr—
eign ok auþsölum ?'
Fjölsviþr kvaþ:
8. 'Menglöþ of heitir, en hana móþir of gat
viþ svá fnþorins syni:
hón her ræþr —ok riki hefr—
eign ok auþsölum.'
8. sváfnþorins, S. sváfrþorins, Dt. and HI.
Svipdagr kvaþ :
9 'Seg mér þat, Fjölsviþr ! es ek þik fregna mun
auk ek vilja vita :
hvat su grind heitir, es meþ goþum söut
menn at meira foraþ ?’
Fjölsviþr kvaþ :
10. 'Þrymþjöll hón heitir, en hana Þrir gorþu
Solblinda synir ;
fjöturr fastr verþr viþ faranda hverjan,
es hana hefr frá hliþi.'

Much- wise.
6. Tell me, bold youth, from whom thou art sprung,
son of what being wert born?
They call me Wind-cold, the son of Spring-cold,
whose father was Fierce-cold named.
7. Now answer me, Much-wise, this that I ask
and fain would learn from thy lips:
who here doth rule and hold in power
the wealth and wondrous halls?
8. There is one called Menglod, who of her mother
was born to Sleep-thorn's son:
'tis she doth rule and hold in power
the wealth and wondrous halls.

9. Now answer me, Much-wise, this that I ask
and fain would learn from thy lips:
what is that gate called? Ne'er among gods
was more fearful barrier found.
10. Sounding-clanger the gate is called,
wrought by three sons of Solblind.
Fast is the chain to each wanderer who seeks
to lift that door from the latch.
10. Solblind or Sun-blinded must be a dwarf name for one who, like All-wise (st. 35), fears the light, and whose children are forgers like Brokk and Sindri; see Vsp. 37, Grm. st. 43, and Introd.

Svipdagr kvaþ :
11. 'Seg mér Þat, Fjölsviþr ! es ek þik fregna mun
auk ek vilja vita :
hvat sá  garþr heitir, es meþ goþum söut
menn et meira foraþ ?'
Fjölsviþr kvaþ :
12. 'Gaststropnir heitir, en ek hann görvan hefk
ór Leirbrimis limum ;
svá hefk studdan, at hann standa mun
æ meþan öld lifir.'
12. Gast-stropnir, Dt. and HI.; Gat-stropnir, B. Gv. F.; Gastropnir, most MSS. 13-18. The transposition of these strophes, suggested by Müller, adopted by S. G., gives more sequence to S.'s questions.
Svipdagr kvaþ :
13. (19) 'Seg mér Þat, Fjolsviðr! es ek þik fregna mun
auk ek vilja vita :
hvat þat barr heitir, es breþask of
lönd öld limar ?'
Fjölsviþr kvaþ :
14. (20) 'Mimameiþr hann heitir, en þat mangi veit,
hvers hann af rötum rinnr ;
viþ Þat hann fellr, es fæstan varir :
flærat hann eldr né jarn.'

11. Now answer me, Much-wise, this that I ask
and fain would learn from thy lips:
what is that wall named? Ne'er among gods
was more fearful barrier found.
12. Guest-crusher 'tis called; from the Clay-giant's limbs
I built that barrier myself:
so fast have I set it that firm 'twill stand,
for ever while life shall last.
12. The Clay-giant or Leirbrimir. From the giant Ymir or Brimir (Vm., st. 21) was made the whole framework of earth, and the expression is only a poetical term for the solid ground.
13. Now answer me, Much-wise, this that I ask
and fain would learn from thy lips:
what is that tree, which far and wide,
spreads limbs over every land?
14. 'Tis the tree of Mimir, but no man knows
by what roots it rises to heaven:
'twill fall at last by what least one weens,
for nor fire nor weapons will wound it.
14. The tree of Mimir, Yggdrasil; see Vsp. 19, 29; Vm. 45. Mimir's well, like that of Weird, was situated beneath it, and here, in Giant-home, the tree would be called his.

Svipdagr kvaþ :
15. (21) 'Seg mér þat, Fjölsviþr! es ek þik fregna mun
auk ek vilja vita :
hvat af moþi verþr þess ens mæra viþar,
es hann flærat eldr né jarn ?'
Fjölsviþr kvaþ :
16. (22) 'Út af hans aldni skal á eld bera
fyr killisjúkar konur :
útar hverfa þess þeirs innar skyldu,
sás hann meþ mönnum mjotuþr.'

16. G., þess þeirs innar skyli, S. ; þaz þaer innar skyli, Dt. and HI. Mjötuþr, Dt. and HI. suggest mjótviþr; see Vsp., 2.

15. Now answer me, Much-wise, this that I ask
 and fain would learn from thy lips:
what befalls the fruit of that famous tree
which nor fire nor weapons will wound?
16. The fruit thereof must be laid on the fire
 for the weal of travailing women;
they shall then come out who had been within.
To mankind 'tis the giver of life.
16. Giver of life, or, according to another reading, the Fate-tree, as in Vsp., st. 2.
Svipdagr kvaþ :
17. (23) 'Seg mér þat, Fjölsviþr ! es ek þik fregna mun
auk ek vilja vita :
hvat sá  hani heitir, es sitr i enum hava viþi,
allr viþ goll gloir ?'
17. Now answer me, Much-wise, this that I ask
and fain would learn from thy lips:
what cock sits perched in yon lofty tree,
who is glistening all with gold?
17. Wood-snake, a poetical name for bird. This cock may be Golden Comb, who wakes the gods at the coming of the giants (Vsp., st. 43), and is hence the dread of giant and giant-wife, or, more probably, Fjalar (Vsp., st. 42), who sits "in the roosting tree," and sounds the first note of doom. The names of Surt and Sinmara, found in the text, are used in a general sense.
Fjölsviþr kvaþ :
18. (24) 'Viþofnir heitir, en hann stendr veþrglasi
á meiþs kvistum Mima :
einum ekka þryngr hann örófsaman
Surt ok Sinmöru.'
18. Surt ok, G. S. Gv. ; surtar, B. ; surtar, MSS. Sinmöru, G. B. Gv. S.J.; sinmantu, MSS.   

Much- wise.

18. Wood-snake he is called, who storm-bright sits
in the boughs of Mimir's Tree:
with one long dread he galls beyond measure
giant and giant-wife.

Svipdagr kvaþ :
19. (13) 'Seg mér þat, Fjölsviþr! es ek þik fregna mun
auk ek vilja vita :
hvat þeir garmar heita, es gifrir rata
görþum fyr…
19. lines 3 and 4. These lines are corrupt, and the exact wording has not been determined.
Fjölsviþr kvaþ :
20. (14) 'Gifr heitir annarr, en Geri annarr,
ef þú vill Þat vita :
verþir'u öflgir, er þeir varþu,
unz rjúfask regin.'
20. S. G., varþir ellifu, MSS., D and HI. J. B.

Svipdagr kvaþ :
21. (15) 'Seg mér þat, Fjölsviþr ! es ek Þik fregna mun
auk ek vilja vita:
hvárt sé manna nekkvat þats megi inn koma,
meþan sókndjarfir sofa ?'
Fjölsviþr kvaþ :
22. (16) 'Missvefni mikit vas þeim mjök of lagit,
siþans þeim vas varzla vituþ :
annarr of nætr sefr, en annarr of daga,
ok kömsk þá vætr, ef kvam.'
Svipdagr kvaþ:
23. (17) 'Seg mér þat, Fjölsviþr ! es ek þik fregna mun
auk ek vilja vita:
hvárt sé matar nekkvat Þats menn hafi,
ok hlaupi inn, meþan eta?'
Fjölsviþr kvaþ :
24. (18) ‘Vængbraþir tvær liggja i ViÞofnis liþum,
ef þú vill þat vita :
Þat eitt's svá matar, at þeim menn of gefi,
ok hlaupi inn, meþan eta.'
Svipdagr kvaþ:
25. ' Seg mér þat, Fjölsviþr ! es ek Þik fregna mun
auk ek vilja vita :
hvárt sé vápna nekkvat, þats knegi Viþofnir fyrir
hníga a Heljar sjöt ?'
Fjölsviþr kvaþ:

26. 'Lævateinn heitir, es görþi Loptr rúinn
fyr nágrindr neþan ;
i Sægjarns keri liggr hjá Sinmöru,
ok halda njarþlásar niu.'
26. sægjarns, R. M.; sægjarns or segiarns, MSS. ; seig-jarn, B.

19. Now answer me, Much-wise, this that I ask
and fain would learn from thy lips:
what fierce hounds watch in front of the courts
ravening and roaming around?


20. One is called Greed, the other Glutton,
if haply thou wouldst hear:
mighty warders they are who watch
for aye till the Powers perish.
20. Mighty warders, or, if another reading is taken, eleven warders there are who watch, named perhaps in st. 34.
21. Now answer me, Much-wise, this that I ask
and fain would learn from thy lips:
is there never a being may pass within
while the fierce hounds are held in sleep?
22. Division of sleep was ever their lot
since 'twas given them to guard:
sleeps one by night, and the other by day,
and none who comes may win through.
23. Now answer me, Much-wise, this that I ask
and fain would learn from thy lips:
is there no food which man can find them
and dart through the doors while they feast?
24. There lie two wings in the Wood-snake's sides,
if haply thou wouldst hear:
this alone is that food which if man can find,
he shall dart through the doors while they feast.
25. Now answer me, Much-wise, this that I ask
and fain would learn from thy lips:
is there no weapon to strike the Wood-snake
down to the halls of Hel?
26. ‘Tis the Wounding Wand which Loki plucked
beneath the doors of the dead:
Sinmara keeps it with nine fast locks,
shut in Sea-lover's chest.
26. The Wounding Wand must be the mistletoe with which Baldr was slain. Snorri tells us that it grew to the west of Vallhall; see Bdr., st. 9. Sinmara: This giantess is only mentioned in st. 18, where she is coupled with Surt, as though his wife.

Svipdagr kvaþ :
27. 'Seg mér þat, Fjölsviþr ! es ek þik fregna mun
auk ek vilja vita :
hvárt aptr kömr sás eptir ferr
ok vill Þann tein taka ?'
Fjölsviþr kvaþ :
28. 'Aptr mun koma sás eptir ferr
ok vill þann tein taka,
ef þat frærir, sem fair eigu,
eiri aurglasis.'

Svipdagr kvaþ :
29. ' Seg mér þat, Fjölsviþr ! es ek þik fregna mun
auk ek vilja vita :
hvárt sé mæta. nekkvat, þats menn hafi,
ok verþr því en fölva gýgr fegin ?'
Fjölsviþr kvaþ :
30. ‘Ljósan lea skaltu í lúþr bera
þanns liggr í Viþofnis völum,
Sinmöru at selja, áþr hón som telisk
vápn til vígs at lea.'


Svipdagr kvaþ:
31. 'Seg mér þat, Fjölsviþr! es ek Þik fregna mun
auk ek vilja vita :
hvat  sá salr heitir es slunginn es
visum vafrloga ?'
Fjölsviþr kvaþ :
32. ' Hyrr hann heitir, en hann lengi mun
á brodds oddi bifask ;
auþranns þess munu of aldr hafa
frétt eina firar.'
32. Hyrr, MSS., K. M. Dt. and HI. B; Lýr, Gv. S. G.
Svipdagr kvaþ :
33. ' Seg mér þat, Fjölsviþr ! es ek þéik fregna mun
auk ek vilja vita :
hverr þat görþi, es fyr garþ sák
innan ásmaga ?'
Fjölsviþr kvaþ :
34. 'Uni ok Iri, Bari ok Ori,
Varr ok Vegdrasill,
Dori ok Uri, Dellingr, Atvarþr,
Liþskjalfr, Loki.'
34. —Atvarþr. At varþar, ok varþar, MSS Liþskjalfr Hl. M. B. C.
Svipdagr kvaþ :
35. 'Seg mþr þat, Fjölsviþr ! es ek þik fregna mun
auk ek vilja vita :
hvat þat bjarg heitir, es ek sé brúþi á
þjóþmæra þruma ?’

27. Now answer me, Much- wise, this that I ask
and fain would learn from thy lips:
comes he ever again, who goes to seek,
and craves to win that wand?
28. He shall come again who goes to seek
and craves to win that wand;
if he brings the treasure which none doth own,
the gold-bright goddess to please.
28. Gold-bright goddess. A poetical term for woman.
29. Now answer me, Much-wise, this that I ask
and fain would learn from thy lips:
is there no treasure which man can take
to rejoice that pale-hued giantess?
30.  In its quill must thou bear the bright sickled plume,
which was taken from Wood-snake's tail,
and give to Sinmara ere she will grant thee
that weapon of war to use.
30. Quill, a suggestion for lutr, which means case or box; but whose significance is here doubtful.
31. Now answer me, Much-wise, this that I ask
and fain would learn from thy lips:
what hall is yonder, all girt around
by enchanted flickering flames?
32. Ember 'tis called and long must it quiver
as though on the spear's point set;
far tidings only, throughout all time,
man hears of this wondrous hall.


33. Now answer me, Much-wise, this that I ask
and fain would learn from thy lips:
what beings, born of the gods have built
what I saw inside the court?
34. Uni and Iri, Bari and Ori,
Var and Vegdrasil,
Dori and Uri, Delling, Atvard,
Lidskjalf and Loki were these.


35. Now answer me, Much-wise, this that I ask
and fain would learn from thy lips:
what hill is that on whose height I see
yon wondrous Woman resting?
35. Dori, Ori, and Delling are dwarfs (see Vsp., st. 15; Vm., st. 25); Loki, the god. The others are unknown; their names do not seem to indicate their powers like those of st. 38.

Fjölsviþr kvaþ :

36. ‘Lyfjaberg heitir, en þat hefr lengi verit
sjukum ok sárum gaman :
heil verþr hver, þót hafi + árs sott,
ef þat klífr, kona.'
Svipdagr kvaþ :
37. 'Seg mér Þat, Fjölsviþr! es ek þik fregna mun
auk ek vilja vita:
hvat Þær meyjar heita, es fyr MenglaÞar knëum
sitja sáttar sá man ?'
Fjölsviþr kvaþ :
38. ' Hlif heitir ein, önnur Hlífþrasa,
þriþja Þjóþvara,
Björt ok Blíþ, Blíþr ok Fríþ,
Eir ok Aurboþa.'
Svipdagr kvaþ :
39. ' Seg mér þat, Fjölsviþr ! es ek þik fregna mun
auk ek vilja vita :
hvárt þær bjarga þeims blóta þær,
ef görvask þarfar þess ?'
Fjölsviþr kvaþ :
40.  ‘Bjarga svinnar hvars menn blóta þær
á stallhelgum staþ :
ey svá  hátt foraþ kömr at hölþa sunum,
hverjan ór nauþum nema.'
40. Bjarga svinnar, B. Gv. G. F. J. ; sumur hvar, MSS.
Svipdagr kvaþ:
41. 'Seg mér þat, Fjölsviþr! es ek þik fregna mun
auk ek vilja vita :
hvárt se manna nekkvat, þats knegi á Menglaþar
svásum armi sofa ?'
Fjölsviþr kvaþ:
42. 'Vætr's þat manna, es knegi á Menglaþar
svásum armi sofa,
nema Svipdagr einn, hánum vas en sólbjarta
brúþr at kván of gefin.'
Svipdagr kvaþ :

43. 'Hritt á hurþir, láttu hliþ rúm !
hér mátt Svipdag sea ;
þó vita far, ef vilja muni
Menglöþ mitt gaman.'
Fjölsviþr kvaþ:
44. ‘Heyrþu, Menglöþ ! hér es maþr kominn,
gakk á gest sea!
hundar fagna, hús hefr upp lokizk :
hykk at Svipdagr seï.'
Menglöþ kvaþ:
45. ' Horskir hrafnar skulu þer á hám galga
slita sjónir ór,
ef þat lýgr, at hér sé langt kominn
mögr til minna sala.

46. Hvaþan þu fórt, hvaþan þéu for gorjrir,
hvé þik hétu hiu ?
at ætt ok nafni skalk jartegn vita,
ef ek vas þer at kván of kveþin.'
Svipdagr kvaþ:
47. 'Svipdagr heitik, Sólbjartr hét faþir,
þaþan vrákumk vindar kalda vegu ;
Urþar orþi kveþr engi maþr,
þót sé viþ löst lagit.'

Menglöþ kvaþ :
48. ' Vel þú nú kominn ! hefk minn vilja beþit,
fylgja skal kveþju koss;
forkunnar sýn mun flestan glaþa,
hverrs hefr viþ annan ást.
49. Lengi satk Lyfjabergi á,
beiþk Þin dægr ok daga :
nú þat varþ es ek vætt hefi,
at aptr kvamt, mögr ! til minna sala.
49. Lyþabergi, B. Gv. C. G. S. ; liúfu bergi, MSS. At aptr kvamt : at þu ert aptr kominn, MSS.
50. Þrár hafþar es ek hef til þíns gamans,
en þú til mins munar;
nú's þat satt, es vit slita skulum
ævi ok aldr saman.'

36. 'Tis the Hill of Healing; long hath it held,
for the sick and sorrowful, joy:
each woman is healed who climbs its height,
even of year-long ills.
37. Now answer me, Much-wise, this that I ask
and fain would learn from thy lips:
who are the maidens, at Menglod's knees
all gathered in peace together?
38. They are spirits, Sheltering, Shielding giants,
 Guarding warriors in war,
Bright and Tender, Blithe and Peaceful,
Gentle, Generous maids.
39. Now answer me, Much-wise, this that I ask
 and fain would learn from thy lips:
will they shelter all who make offering to them,
if need thereof arise?
40. Those Wise Ones shelter where men make offering
in the sacred altar-stead:
no peril so mighty can man befall
but they save him soon from need.

41. Now answer me, Much-wise, this that I ask
and fain would learn from thy lips:
is there never being in the world may lie
in Menglod's soft arms sleeping?
42. There is never being in the world may lie
in Menglod's soft arms sleeping
save Day-spring, to whom of yore was given
that sun-bright maiden as bride.
43. Fling open the door, make wide the gate,
Day-spring is here, behold!
Yet hie thee first, and find if in truth
Menglod longs for my love.
Much-wise to Menglod.
44. Hearken, Menglod, a guest is here!
Come thou this stranger behold!
The hounds are joyous, the hall hath opened.
'Tis Day-spring, well I ween!
45. How may fierce ravens rend thine eyes out,
high on the gallows hanging,
if falsely thou sayest that from far away
conies Day-spring here to my halls!
To Day-spring.
46. Whence hast thou come, whence made thy way,
how do thy home-folk call thee?
Show race and name ere I know that to thee
in truth I have been betrothed.
47. Day-spring am I, the child of Sun-bright,
by winds on my chill way wafted;
the doom of Weird may no wight withstand
e'en though meted amiss.
47. The doom of Weird, see Spell-songs, st. 4.

48. Now welcome art thou! My will is won;
with greeting comes the kiss.
Never sweeter is sight of heart's desire
than when one brings love to another.
49. Long have I sat on the Hill of Healing,
awaiting thee day by day;
till that I looked for at length is come,
thou art back, youth, here in my halls.

50. Yearnings had I oft for thy heart,
and thou didst long for my love:
now all is made sure, we twain shall share
together the days of time.

Day-Spring finds Menglad
by W.G. Collingwood
[Index to Svipdagsmál