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Havamal Excerpt Concerning Odin's Charms

Page history last edited by Örn Ironfist 13 years, 6 months ago

Beginning from Stanza 146 using the translation by Carolyne Larrington.


"146     I know those spells which a ruler's wife doesn't know,

           nor any man's son;

           'help' one is called,

           and that will help you

           against accusations and sorrows

           and every sort of anxiety.


147      I know a second one which the sons of men need,

           those who want to live as physicians.


148      I know a third one which is very useful to me,

           which fetters my enemy;

           the edges of my foes I can blunt,

           neither weapon nor club will bite for them.


149      I know a fourth one if men put

           chains upon my limbs;

           I can chant so that I can walk away,

           fetters spring from my feet,

           and bonds form my hands.


150      I know a fifth if I see, shot in malice,

           a dart flying amid the army,

           it cannot fly so fast that I cannot stop it

           if I see it with my eyes.


151      I know a sixth one if a man wounds me

           with the roots of the sap-filled wood:

           and that man who conjured to harm me,

           the evil consumes him, not me.


152      I know a seventh one if I see towering flames

           in the hall of my companions:

           it can't burn so widely that I can't counteract it,

           I know the spells to chant.


153      I know an eight one, which is most useful

           for everyone to know;

           where hatred flares up between the sons of warriors,

           then I can quickly bring settlement.


154      I know a ninth one if I am in need,

           if I must protect my ship at sea;

           the wind I can lull upon the wave

           and [sic] quieten all the sea to sleep.


155      I know a tenth one if I see witches

           playing up in the air;

           I can bring it about that they can't make their way


           to their own shapes

           to their own spirits.


156      I know an eleventh one if I have to lead

           loyal friends into battle;

           under the shields I chant, and they journey inviolate,

           safely to the battle

           safely from the battle

           safely they come everywhere.


157      I know a twelfth one if I see, up in a tree,

           a dangling corpse in a noose:

           I can so carve and colour the runes

          that the man walks

           and talks with me.


158      I know a thirteenth if I shall pour water

           over a young warrior:

           he will not fall though he goes into battle,

           before swords he will not sink.


159      I know a fourteenth if I have to reckon up

           the gods before men:

           Æsir and elves, I know the difference between them,

           few who are not wise know that.


160      I know a fifteenth, which the dwarf Thiodrerir

           chanted before Delling's doors:

           powerfully he sange for the Æsir and before the elves,

           wisdom to Sage.


161      I know a sixteenth if I want to have all

           a clever woman's heart and love-play:

           I can turn the thoughts of the white-armed woman

           and change her mind entirely.


162      I know a seventeenth, so that scarcely any

           young girl will want to shun me.

           Of these spells, Loddfafnir,

           you will long be in want;

           though they'd be good for you, if you got them,

           useful if you learned them,

           handy, if you had them.


163      I know an eighteenth, which I shall never teach

           to any girl or man's wife---

           it's always better when just one person knows,

           that follows at the end of the spells---

           except one woman whom my arms embrace,

           or who may be my sister."

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