. In their dwellings at peace they played at les,
And the field by the warlike Wanes was trodden.
. From the east there pours through poisoned vales
All Jotunheim groans, the gods are at council;
And the wolf tore men; would you know yet more?
.Hrym the leader of the giants, who comes as the helmsman of the ship Naglr line .The serpent Mithgarthsorm, one of the children of Loki and Angrbotha cf. stanza , note. The serpent was cast into the sea, where he completely encircles the land; cf. especiallyHymiskvitha,passim.The eagle the giant Hrsvelg, who sits at the edge of heaven in the form of an eagle, and makes the winds with his wings; cf.Vafthruthnismol, , andSkirnismol, .Naglr the ship which was made out of dead mens nails to carry the giants to battle.]
[. Stanzas and follow stanza in theHauksbokversion. Snorri quotes stanzas , , and , though not consecutively.NastrondCorpseStrand the land of the dead, ruled by the goddess Hel. Here the wicked undergo tortures.Smoke vent the phrase gives a picture of the Icelandic house, with its opening in the roof serving instead of a chimney.
[. This stanza is quoted by Snorri.Gimle Snorri makes this the name of the hall itself, while here it appears to refer to a mountain on which the hall stands. It is the home of the happy, as opposed to another hall, not here mentioned, for the dead. Snorris description of this second hall is based onVoluspo, , which he quotes, and perhaps that stanza properly belongs after .
[. With this stanza ends the account of the destruction.
[.Yggdrasil cf. stanza and note, andGrimnismol, and notes. Urth The Past one of the three great Norns. The worldash is kept green by being sprinkled with the marvelous healing water from her well.
[. The order of the lines in this and the succeeding four stanzas varies greatly in the manuscripts and editions, and the names likewise appear in many forms.Regin probably not identical with Regin the son of Hreithmar, who plays an important part in theReginsmolandFafnismol, but cf. note onReginsmol, introductory prose.
.IthavollField of Deeds? mentioned only here and in stanza as the meetingplace of the gods; it appears in no other connection.
. The third line of this stanza is not found inRegius.Ithavoll cf. stanza and note.The girdler of earthMithgarthsorm [fp. ], who, lying in the sea, surrounded the land.The Ruler of Gods Othin. The runes were both magic signs, generally carved on wood, and sung or spoken charms.]
. The stanza is almost certainly in corrupt form. The third line is presumably an interpolation, and is lacking in most of the late, manuscripts. Some editors, however, have called lines the remains of a full. stanza, with the fourth line lacking, and lines the remains of another. The stanza depicts the torments of the two worst classes of criminals known to Old Norse moralityoathbreakers and murderers.Nithhoggthe Dread Biter the dragon that lies beneath the ash Yggdrasil and gnaws at its roots, thus symbolizing the destructive elements in the universe; cf.Grimnismol, , .The wolf presumably the wolf Fenrir, one of the children of Loki and the giantess Angrbotha the others being Mithgarthsorm and the goddess Hel, who was chained by the gods with the marvelous chain Gleipnir, shioned by a dwarf out of six things the [fp. ] noise of a cats step, the beards of women, the roots of mountains, the nerves of bears, the breath of fishes, and the spittle of birds. The chaining of Fenrir cost the god Tyr his right hand; cf. stanza .]
. In theHauksbokversion stanzas and stand between stanzas and .Eggther this giant, who seems to be the watchman of the giants, as Heimdall is that of the gods and Surt of the dwellers in the fireworld, is not mentioned elsewhere in [fp. ] the poems.Fjalar, the cock whose crowing wakes the giants for the final struggle.]
[.GollinkambiGoldComb the cock who wakes the gods and heroes, as Fjalar does the giants.The rustred bird the name of this bird, who wakes the people of Hels domain, is nowhere stated.
. Then from the throng did three come forth,
No knowledge she had where her home should be,
. Surt res from the south with the scourge of branches,
[. TheHauksbokversion of the first two lines runs
[.Regiuscombines the first three lines of this stanza with lines , , and I of stanza as a single stanza. Line , not found inRegius, is introduced from theHauksbokversion, where it follows line of stanza .The sons of Mim the spirits of the water. On Mini or Mimir cf. stanza and note. Gjallarhorn the Shrieking Horn with which Heimdall, the watchman of the gods, calls them to the last battle.
The fetters will burst, and the wolf run free;
. Here the poem resumes its course after the interpolated section. Probably, however, something has been lost, for there is no apparent connection between the three giantmaids of stanza and the three gods, Othin, Hnir and Lothur, who in stanza go forth to create man and woman. The word three in stanzas and very likely confused some early reciter, or perhaps the compiler himself.AskandEmbla ash and elm; Snorri gives them simply as the names of the first man and woman, but says that the gods made this pair out of trees.
[.Thor the thundergod, son of Othin and Jorth Earth cf. particularly Harbarthsljoth and Thrymskvitha, passim.Oaths, etc. the gods, by violating their oaths to the giant who rebuilt Asgarth, aroused the undying hatred of the giants race, and thus the giants were among their enemies in the final battle.
. From the east comes Hrym with shield held high;
. On a hill there sat, and smote on his harp,
.Nithavellirthe Dark Fields a home of the dwarfs. Perhaps the word should be Nithafjoll the Dark Crags.Sindri the great worker in gold among the dwarfs.Okolnir[fp. ] the Not Cold possibly a volcano.Brimir the giant possibly Ymir out of whose blood, according to stanza , the dwarfs were made; the name here appears to mean simply the leader of the dwarfs.]
.Surt the ruler of the fireworld.The scourge of branches fire. This is one of the relatively rare instances in the Eddic poems of the of poetic diction which characterizes the skaldic verse.
On Nastrond it stands, and the doors ce north,
. InRegiuslines , , and I, in that order, follow stanza without separation. Line is not found inRegius, but is introduced from theHauksbokversion.Yggdrasil cf. stanza and note, andGrimnismol, .The giant Fenrir.The head of Mim various myths were current about Mimir. This stanza refers to the story that he was sent by the gods with Hnir as a hostage to the Wanes after their war cf. stanza and note, and that the Wanes cut off his head and returned it to the gods. Othin embalmed the head, and by magic gave it the power of speech, thus Mimirs noted wisdom always available. of course this story does not fit with that underlying the references to Mimir in stanzas and .The kinsman of Surt the wolf [fp. ] Fenrir, who slays Othin in the final struggle; cf. stanza . Surt is the giant who rules the fireworld, Muspellsheim; cf. stanza .]
When the gods with spears had smitten Gollveig,
. Necklaces had I and rings from Heether,
[.Valkyries these Choosers of the Slain cf. stanza I, note bring the bravest warriors killed in battle to Valhall, in order to reenforce the gods for their final struggle. They are also called WishMaidens, as the fulfillers of Othins wishes. The conception of the supernatural warriormaiden was presumably brought to Scandinavia in very early times from the SouthGermanic races, and later it was interwoven with the likewise SouthGermanic tradition of the swanmaiden. A third complication developed when the originally quite human women of the herolegends were endowed with the qualities of both Valkyries and swanmaidens, as in the cases of Brynhild cf.Gripisspo, introductory note,Svavacf.Helgakvitha Hjorvarthssonar, prose after stanza and note and Sigrun cf.Helgakvitha HundingsbanaI, and note. The list of names here given may be an interpolation; a quite different list is given inGrimnismol, .Ranks of the gods some editors regard the word thus translated as a specific place name.HerjanLeader of Hosts Othin. It is worth noting that the nameHildWarrior is the basis of Brynhild Warrior in Mail Coat.
. From the branch which seemed so slender and ir
What hast thou to ask? why comest thou hither?
[. The lines in this and the following stanza have been combined in various ways by editors, lacunae having been freely conjectured, but the manuscript version seems clear enough.The brother of Baldr Vali, whom Othin begot expressly to avenge Baldrs death. The day after his birth he fought and slew Hoth.
The sun of the battlegods shone from his sword;
.Hnir little is known of this god, save that he occasion ally appears in the poems in company with Othin and Loki, and [fp. ] that he survives the destruction, assuming in the new age the gift of prophesy cf. stanza . He was given by the gods as a hostage to the Wanes after their war, in exchange for Njorth cf. stanza and note.Lothur apparently an older name for Loki, the treacherous but ingenious son of Laufey, whose inity Snorri regards as somewhat doubtful. He was adopted by Othin, who subsequently had good reason to regret it. Loki probably represents the blending of two originally distinct figures, one of them an old firegod, hence his gift of heat to the newly created pair.]
. Very few of the dwarfs named in this and the following stanzas are mentioned elsewhere. It is not clear why Durin should have been singled out as authority for the list. The occasional repetitions suggest that not all the stanzas of the catalogue came from the same source. Most of the names presumably had some definite significance, as Northri, Suthri, Austri, and Vestri North, South, East, and West, [fp. ] Althjof Mighty Thief, Mjothvitnir MeadWolf, Gandalf Magic Elf, Vindalf Wind Elf, Rathwith Swift in Counsel, Eikinskjaldi Oak Shield, etc., but in many cases the interpretations are sheer guesswork.]
. This and the following stanza are clearly in bad shape. InRegiusonly lines I and are found, combined with stanza as a single stanza. Line I does not appear in theHauksbokversion, the stanza there beginning with line . Snorri, in quoting these two stanzas, omits , , and , , a single stanza out of , I, and , , , I, in that order. Moreover, theHauksbokmanuscript at this point is practically illegible. The lacuna line is, of course, purely conjectural, and all sorts of arrangements of the lines have been attempted by editors,Hlothyn another name for Jorth Earth, Thors mother; his ther was Othin.The snake Mithgarthsorm; cf. stanza c and note.Othins son Thor. The fourth line inRegiusreads against the wolf, but if this line refers to Thor at all, and not to Vithar, theHauksbokreading, serpent, is correct.
. This is apparently the transitional stanza, in which the Volva, rewarded by Othin for her knowledge of the past stanzas , is induced to proceed with her real prophecy stanzas . Some editors turn the stanza into the third person, it a narrative link. Bugge, on the other hand, puts it [fp. ] after stanza as the third stanza of the poem. No lacuna is indicated in the manuscripts, and editors have attempted various emendations.HeetherFather of the Host Othin.]
The dead throng Helway, and heaven is cloven.
. This stanza, which fits so badly with the preceding ones, [fp. ] may well have been interpolated. It has been suggested that the dragon, a last attempt to rise, is destroyed, this event marking the end of evil in the world. But in both manuscripts the final halfline does not refer to the dragon, but, as the gender shows, to the Volva herself, who sinks into the earth; a sort of conclusion to the entire prophecy. Presumably the stanza barring the last halfline, which was probably intended as the conclusion of the poem belongs somewhere in the description of the great struggle.Nithhogg the dragon at the roots of Yggdrasil; cf. stanza and note.Nithafjollthe Dark Crags; nowhere else mentioned.Must I the manuscripts have must she.]
The general plan of theVoluspois irly clear. Othin, chief of the gods, always conscious of impending disaster and eager for knowledge, calls on a certain Volva, or wisewoman, presumably bidding her rise from the grave. She first tells him of the past, of the creation of the world, the beginning of years, the origin of the dwarfs at this point there is a clearly interpolated catalogue of dwarfs names, stanzas , of the first man and woman, of the worldash Yggdrasil, and of the first war, between the gods and the Vanir, or, in Anglicized form, the Wanes. Then, in stanzas , as a further proof of her wisdom, she discloses some of Othins own secrets and the details of his search for knowledge. Rewarded by Othin for what she has thus r told stanza , she then turns to the real prophesy, the disclosure of the final destruction of the gods. This final battle, in which fire and flood overwhelm heaven and earth as the gods fight with their enemies, is the great ct in Norse mythology; the phrase describing it,ragna rk, the te of the gods, has become miliar, by confusion with the word rkkr, twilight, in the GermanGterdmmerung. The wisewoman tells of the Valkyries who bring the slain warriors to support Othin and the other gods in the battle, of the slaying of Baldr, best and irest of the gods, through the wiles of Loki, of the enemies of the gods, of the summons to battle on both sides, and of the mighty struggle, till Othin is slain, and fire leaps high
.Dvalin in Hovamol, , Dvalin seems to have given magic runes to the dwarfs, probably accounting for their skill in craftsmanship, while inFafnismol, , he is mentioned as the ther of some of the lesser Norns. The story that some of the dwarfs left the rocks and mountains to find a new home on the sands is mentioned, but unexplained, in Snorris Edda; ofLorwe know only that he was descended from these wanderers.]
[. This stanza inRegiusfollows stanza ; in theHauksbokit stands, as here, after .Jotunheim the land of the giants.
[.North a guess; the manuscripts have east, but there seems to be a confusion with stanza , line .People of Hel the manuscripts have people of Muspell, but these came over the bridge Bifrost the rainbow, which broke beneath them, whereas the people of Hel came in a ship steered by Loki.The wolf Fenrir.The brother of Byleist Loki. Of Byleist or Byleipt no more is known.
The fetters will burst, and the wolf run free;
The name of this new ruler is nowhere given, and of course the suggestion of Christianity is unavoidable. It is not certain, how ever, that even this stanza refers to Christianity, and if it does, it may have been interpolated long after the rest of the poem was composed.
. Possibly, as Finn Magnusen long ago suggested, there is something lost after stanza , but it was not the custom of the Eddic poets to supply transitions which their hearers could generally be counted on to understand. The story referred to in stanzas both quoted by Snorri is that of the rebuilding of Asgarth after its destruction by the Wanes. The gods employed a giant as builder, who demanded as his reward the sun and moon, and the goddess Freyja for his wife. The gods, terrified by the rapid progress of the work, forced Loki, who had advised the bargain, to delay the giant by a trick, so that the [fp. ] work was not finished in the stipulated time cf.Grimnismol, , note. The enraged giant then threatened the gods, whereupon Thor slew him.Oths bride Freyja; of Oth little is known beyond the ct that Snorri refers to him as a man who went away on long journeys.]
. The sun, the sister of the moon, from the south
. This stanza is not found inRegius, and is probably spurious. No lacuna is indicated in theHauksbokversion, but late manuscripts add two lines, running
. There feeds he full on the flesh of the dead,
. Identical with stanza . In the manuscripts it is here abbreviated.
. Then sought the gods their assemblyseats,
Minds she bewitched that were moved by her magic,
. Here begins the description of the new world which is to rise out of the wreck of the old one. It is on this passage that a few critics have sought to base their argument that the poem is later than the introduction of Christianity circa, but this theory has never seemed convincing cf. introductory note.
From the home of the gods, the mighty and gracious;
. Oer the sea from the north there sails a ship
. The first line, not in either manuscript, is a conjectural emendation based on Snorris paraphrase. Bugge puts this stanza after stanza .
Fierce grows the steam and the lifefeeding flame,
.The warder of earth Thor.The son of Fjorgyn again [fp. ] Thor, who, after slaying the serpent, is overcome by his venomous breath, and dies. Fjorgyn appears in both a masculine and a feminine form. in the masculine t is a name for Othin; in the feminine, as here and inHarbarthsljoth, , it apparently refers to Jorth.]
.HeithShining One? a name often applied to wise women and prophetesses. The application of this stanza to Gollveig is r from clear, though the reference may be to the [fp. ] magic and destructive power of gold. It is also possible that the stanza is an interpolation. Bugge maintains that it applies to the Volva who is reciting the poem, and makes it the opening stanza, following it with stanzas and , and then going on with stanzas I ff. The of line is obscure, and has been variously emended.]
[. A few editors, following Bugge, in an effort to clarify the poem, place stanzas , and before stanzas , but the arrangement in both manuscripts, followed here, seems logical. In stanza I the Volva, or wisewoman, called upon by Othin, answers him and demands a hearing. Evidently she be longs to the race of the giants cf. stanza , and thus speaks to Othin unwillingly, being compelled to do so by his magic power. Holy omitted inRegius; the phrase holy races probably means little more than mankind in general. Heimdall the watchman of the gods; cf. stanza and note. Why mankind should be referred to as Heimdalls sons is uncertain, and the phrase has caused much perplexity. Heimdall seems to have had various at tributes, and in the Rigsthula, wherein a certain Rig appears as the ancestor of the three great classes of men, a fourteenth century annotator identifies Rig with Heimdall, on what authority we do not know, for the Rig of the poem seems much more like Othin cf. Rigsthula, introductory prose and note. Valther Father of the Slain Othin, chief of the gods, so called because the slain warriors were brought to him at Valhall Hall of the Slain by the Valkyries Choosers of the Slain.
. Again the refrainstanza cf. stanza and note, abbreviated in both manuscripts, as in the case of stanza . It is probably misplaced here.
. The translation here follows theRegiusversion. TheHauksbokhas the same final two lines, but in place of the first [fp. ] pair has, I know that Vali his brother gnawed, / With his bowels then was Loki bound. Many editors have followed this version of the whole stanza or have included these two lines, often marking them as doubtful, with the four fromRegius. After the murder of Baldr, the gods took Loki and bound him to a rock with the bowels of his son Narfi, who had just been torn to pieces by Lokis other son, Vali. A serpent was stened above Lokis head, and the venom fell upon his ce. Lokis wife,Sigyn, sat by him with a basin to catch the venom, but whenever the basin was full, and she went away to empty it, then the venom fell on Loki again, till the earth shook with his struggles. And there he lies bound till the end. Cf.Lokasenna, concluding prose.]
[. Stanzas describe the homes of the enemies of the gods the giants , the dwarfs , and the dead in the land of the goddess Hel . TheHauksbokversion omits stanzas and .Regiusunites with , but most editors have assumed a lacuna.Sliththe Fearful a river in the giants home. The swords and daggers may represent the icy cold.
. His hands he washed not, his hair he combed not,
. The war I remember, the first in the world,
[. Possibly an interpolation, but there seems no strong reason for assuming this. Lines are identical with lines of stanza , and line may have been inserted here from that later stanza.
[.Andvari this dwarf appears prominently in theReginsmol, which tells how the god Loki treacherously robbed him of his wealth; the curse which he laid on his treasure brought about the deaths of Sigurth, Gunnar, Atli, and many others.
On the wood they scored, and Skuld the third.
How much the poem was altered during the two hundred years between its composition and its first being committed to writing is largely a matter of guesswork, but, allowing for such an obvious interpolation as the catalogue of dwarfs, and for occasional lesser errors, it seems quite needless to assume such great changes as many editors do. The poem was certainly not composed to tell a story with which its early hearers were quite miliar; the lack of continuity which baffles modern readers presumably did not trouble them in the least. It is, in effect, a series of gigantic pictures, put into words with a directness and sureness which bespeak the poet of genius. It is only after the reader, with the help of the many notes, hasmiliarized him self with the names and incidents involved that he can begin to understand the effect which this magnificent poem must have produced on those who not only understood but believed it.
[. This follows stanza inRegius; in theHauksbokversion stanzas , , , , and come between stanzas and . Editors have attempted all sorts of rearrangements.The war the first war was that between the gods and the Wanes. The cult of the Wanes Vanir seems to have originated among the searing folk of the Baltic and the southern shores of the North Sea, and to have spread thence into Norway in opposition to the worship of the older gods; hence the war. Finally the two s of inities were worshipped in common; hence the treaty which ended the war with the exchange of hostages. Chief among the Wanes were Njorth and his children, Freyr and Freyja, all of whom became conspicuous among the gods. Beyond this we know little of the Wanes, who seem originally to have been waterdeities.I remember the manuscripts have she remembers, but the Volva is apparently still speaking of her own memories, as in stanza .GollveigGoldMight apparently the first of the Wanes to come among the gods, her ill treatment being the immediate cause of the war. Mllenhoff maintains that Gollveig is another name for Freyja. Lines , one or both of them probably interpolated, seem to symbolize the refining of gold by fire.HorThe High One Othin.
.The maidens the three Norns; possibly this stanza should follow stanza .DwellingRegiushas s sea instead of sal hall, home, and many editors have followed this reading, although Snorris prose paraphrase indicates sal.Urth, Verthandi and Skuld Past, Present and Future.Wood, etc. the magic signs runes controlling the destinies of men were cut on pieces of wood. Lines are probably interpolations from some other account of the Norns.]
The masters of the rocks would you know yet more?
. This is a refrainstanza. InRegiusit appears in full only at this point, but is repeated in abbreviated form before stanzas and . In theHauksbokversion the full stanza comes first between stanzas and , then, in abbreviated form, it occurs four times before stanzas , , , and . In theHauksbokline runs Farther I see and more can say.Garm the dog who guards the gates of Hels kingdom; cf. Baldrs Draumar, ff., andGrimnismol, .Gniparhellirthe CliffCave the entrance to the world of the dead.The wolf Fenrir; cf. stanza and note.
. Burs sons Othin, Vili, and Ve. Of Bur we know only that his wife was Bestla, daughter of Bolthorn; cf.Hovamol, . Vili and Ve are mentioned by name in the Eddic poems only inLokasenna, .MithgarthMiddle Dwelling the world of men.Leeks the leek was often used as the symbol of fine growth cf.GuthrunarkvithaI, , and it was also supposed to have magic power cf.Sigrdrifumol, .
The sun from the south warmed the stones of earth,
. No lacuna line indicated in the manuscripts.Hnir cf. stanza and note. In this new age he has the gift of foretelling the future.TveggiThe Twofold another name for [fp. ] Othin. His brothers are Vili and Ve cf.Lokasenna, , and note. Little is known of them, and nothing, beyond this reference, of their sons.VindheimHome of the Wind heaven.]
No lacuna line is indicated in the manuscripts.Golden les cf. stanza and note.
.Frigg Othins wife. Some scholars have regarded her as a solar myth, calling her the sungoddess, and pointing out that her home inFensalirthe seahalls symbolizes the daily setting of the sun beneath the ocean horizon.
. In the third line many editors omit the comma after sun, and put one after soon, the two lines run Dark grows the sun in summer soon, / Mighty storms etc. Either phenomenon in summer would be sufficiently striking.
[.Ymir the giant out of whose body the gods made the world; cf.Vafthruthnismol, . in this stanza as quoted in Snorris Edda the first line runs Of old was the age ere aught there was.Yawning gap this phrase, Ginnungagap, is sometimes used as a proper name.
. The sun turns black, earth sinks in the sea,
This final passage, in particular, has caused wide differences of opinion as to the date and character of the poem. That the poet was heathen and not Christian seems almost beyond dispute; there is an intensity and vividness in almost every stanza which no archaizing Christian could possibly have achieved. On the other hand, the evidences of Christian influence are sufficiently striking to outweigh the arguments of Finnur Jonsson, Mllenhoff and others who maintain that theVoluspois purely a product of heathendom. The roving Norsemen of the tenth century, very few of whom had as yet accepted Christianity, were nevertheless in close contact with Celtic races which had already been converted, and in many ways the Celtic influence was strongly felt. It seems likely, then, that theVoluspowas the work of a poet living chiefly in Iceland, though possibly in the Western Isles, in the middle of the tenth century, a vigorous believer in the old gods, and yet with an imagination active enough to be touched by the vague tales of a different religion emanating from his neighbor Celts.
[. TheHauksbokversion omits all of stanzas , stanza being there followed by stanzas and .Regiusindicates stanzas and as a single stanza. Bugge puts stanza after stanza , as the second stanza of his reconstructed poem. The Volva here addresses Othin directly, intimating that, although he has not told her, she knows why he has come to her, and what he has already suffered in his search for knowledge regarding his doom. Her reiterated would you know yet more? seems to mean I have proved my wisdom by telling of the past and of your own secrets; is it your will that I tell likewise of the te in store for you?The Old One Othin.
. Here the Volva turns from her memories of the past to a statement of some of Othins own secrets in his eternal search for knowledge stanzas . Bugge puts this stanza after stanza .The horn of Heimdall the Gjallarhorn Shrieking Horn, with which Heimdall, watchman of the gods, will summon them to the last battle. Till that time the horn is buried under Yggdrasil.Valthers pledge Othins eye the sun?, which he gave to the waterspirit Mimir or Mim in exchange for the latters wisdom. It appears here and in stanza as a drinkingvessel, from which Mimir drinks the magic mead, and from which he pours water on the ash Yggdrasil. Othins sacrifice of his eye in order to gain knowledge of his final doom is one of the series of disasters leading up to the destruction of the gods. There were several differing versions of the story of Othins relations with Mimir; another one, quite incompatible with this, appears in stanza . In the manuscriptsI knowandI seeappear as she knows and she sees cf. note on .]
. From this point on through stanza the poem is quoted by Snorri, stanza alone being omitted. There has been much discussion as to the status of stanza . Lines and look like an interpolation. After line theHauksbokhas a line running The world resounds, the witch is flying. Editors have arranged these seven lines in various ways, with lacunae freely indicated.Sisters sons in all Germanic countries the relations between uncle and nephew were felt to be particularly close.]
. Various editors have regarded this stanza as interpolated; Hoffory thinks it describes the northern summer night in which the sun does not set. Lines are quoted by Snorri. In the manuscripts line follows line . Regarding the sun and moon [fp. ] as daughter and son of Mundilferi, cf.Vafthruthnismol, and note, andGrimnismol, and note.]
[. This stanza and stanza have been transposed from the order in the manuscripts, for the former describes the battle and the victory of the Wanes, after which the gods took council, debating whether to pay tribute to the victors, or to admit them, as was finally done, to equal rights of worship.
With the people of Hel, at the helm stands Loki;
. Baldr The death of Baldr, the son of Othin and Frigg, was the first of the great disasters to the gods. The story is fully told by Snorri. Frigg had demanded of all created things, saving only the mistletoe, which she thought too weak to be worth troubling [fp. ] about, an oath that they would not harm Baldr. Thus it came to he a sport for the gods to h weapons at Baldr, who, of course, was totally unharmed thereby. Loki, the troublemaker, brought the mistletoe to Baldrs blind brother, Hoth, and guided his hand in hing the twig. Baldr was slain, and grief came upon all the gods. Cf.Baldrs Draumar.]
[. Here apparently begins the interpolated catalogue of the dwarfs, running through stanza ; possibly, however, the interpolated section does not begin before stanza . Snorri quotes practically the entire section, the names appearing in a some what changed order.BrimirandBlain nothing is known of these two giants, and it has been suggested that both are names for Ymir cf. stanza . Brimir, however, appears in stanza in connection with the home of the dwarfs. Some editors treat the words as common rather than proper nouns, Brimir meaning the bloody moisture and Blain being of uncertain significance.
And the home of the gods he reddens with gore;
. Then sought the gods their assemblyseats,
[. As quoted by Snorri the first line of this stanza runs Fares Othins son to fight with the wolf.SigtherFather of Victory Othin. His son, Vithar, is the silent god, med chiefly for his great shield, and his strength, which is little less than Thors. He survives the destruction.The giants son Fenrir.
[. TheHauksbokversion inserts after stanza the refrain stanza , and puts stanzas and between and . With this stanza begins the account of the final struggle itself.The giantess her name is nowhere stated, and the only other reference to Ironwood is inGrimnismol, , in this same connection. The children of this giantess and the wolf Fenrir are the wolves Skoll and Hati, the first of whom steals the sun, the second the moon. Some scholars naturally see here an eclipse myth.
.Baldr cf. stanza and note. Baldr and his brother, Hoth, who unwittingly slew him at Lokis instigation, return together, their union being a symbol of the new age of peace.Hropt another name for Othin. His battlehall is Valhall.
. Heith they named her who sought their home,
.Tables the exact nature of this game, and whether it more closely resembled chess or checkers, has been made the subject of a treatise, Willard Fiskes Chess in Iceland.Giantmaids perhaps the three great Norns, corresponding to the three tes; cf. stanza , and note. Possibly, however, something has been lost after this stanza, and the missing passage, replaced by the catalogue of the dwarfs stanzas , may have explained the giantmaids otherwise than as Norns. InVafthruthnismol, , the Norms this time three throngs in stead of simply three are spoken of as giantmaidens; [fp. ]Fafnismol, , indicates the existence of many lesser Norns, belonging to various races.Jotunheim the world of the giants.]
.Hlin apparently another name for Frigg, Othins wife. After losing her son Baldr, she is ted now to see Othin slain by the wolf Fenrir.Belis slayer the god Freyr, who killed the giant Beli with his fist; cf.Skirnismol, and note. On Freyr, who belonged to the race of the Wanes, and was the brother of Freyja, see especiallySkirnismol,passim.The Joy of Frigg Othin.]
stands the Voluspo, the most mous and important, as it is likewise the most debated, of all the Eddic poems. Another version of it is found in a huge miscellaneous compilation of about the year , theof Snorri Stuson. The order of the stanzas in the, and in the published editions many experiments have been attempted in further rearrangements. On the whole, how ever, and allowing for certain interpolations, the order of the stanzas in theseems more logical than any of the wholesale improvements which have been undertaken.
And the oaths were broken, the words and bonds,
. Nine worlds the worlds of the gods Asgarth, of the Wanes Vanaheim, cf. stanza and note, of the elves Alfheim, of men Mithgarth, of the giants Jotunheim, of fire Muspellsheim, cf. stanza and note, of the dark elves Svartalheim, of the dead Niflheim, and presumably of the dwarfs perhaps Nithavellir, cf. stanza and note, but the ninth world is uncertain. The tree the worldash Yggdrasil, [fp. ] symbolizing the universe; cf.Grimnismol, and notes, wherein Yggdrasil is described at length.]
about heaven itself stanzas . But this is not all. A new and beautiful world is to rise on the ruins of the old; Baldr comes back, and fields unsowed bear ripened fruit stanzas .