Rune Poems

Rune Poems


“(Money) is a comfort
To everybody
Although every man ought
To deal it out freely
If he wants to get approval
From the lord.”

Fé vældr frænda róge;
føðesk ulfr í skóge.

“(Money) causes strife among kinsmen;
The wolf grows up in the woods.”

Fé er frænda rog
ok flæðar viti
ok grafseiðs gata.

“(Gold) is the strife of kinsmen,
And the fire of the flood-tide,
And the path of the serpent.”

“One is called help and will help you in all sickness/sorrow and affliction” (Havamal 146)


“(Aurochs) is fearless
And greatly horned
A very fierce beast,
It fights with its horns,
A famous roamer of the moor
It is a courageous animal.”

Úr er af illu jarne;
opt løypr ræinn á hjarne

“(Slag) is from bad iron;
Oft runs the reindeer on the hard snow.”

Úr er skyja gratr
ok skara þverir
ok hirðis hatr.

“(Drizzle) is the weeping of clouds
And the diminisher of the ring of ice
And the herdsman’s hate.”

“I know another that is needed by the sons of men/who want to be leeches.” (Havamal 147)


“(Thorn) is very sharp
For every thane
Who grasps it; it is harmful,
And exceedingly cruel
To every man
Who lies upon them.”

Þurs vældr kvinna kvillu;
kátr værðr fár af illu.

“(Thurs) causes the sickness of women;
Few are cheerful from misfortune.”

Þurs er kvenna kvöl
ok kletta bui
ok varðrunar verr.

“(Thurs) is torment of women
And the dweller in the rocks
And the husband of Vardh-runa”

“I know a third for the event/that I should be in dire need/of fettering a foeman./I can dull the blades of my attackers/so that they can strike by neither weapons nor wile.” (Havamal 148)


“(God/Mouth) is the chieftain
Of all speech,
The mainstay of wisdom
And a comfort to the wise ones,
For every noble warrior
Hope and happiness.”

Óss er flæstra færða
for; en skalpr er sværða.

“(Estuary) is the way of most journeys;
But the sheath is that for swords.”

Ass er aldingautr
ok asgarðs jofurr,
ok valhallar visi.

“(Ase) is the olden-father
And ”/wikis/asgardhur" class=“wiki-page-link”>Asgardhur’s chieftain
And the leader of Valholl."

“I know a fourth,/so that if bonds bind my limbs,/I can get free./Fetters spring from my feet,/and bonds from my hands.” (Havamal 149)


“(Riding) is in the hall
To every warrior
Easy, but very hard
For the one who sits up
On a powerful horse
Over miles of road.”

Ræið kveða rossom væsta;
Reginn sló sværðet bæzta.

“(Riding), it is said, is the worst for horses;
Reginn forged the best sword.”

Ræið er sitjandi sæla
ok snuðig ferð
ok jors erfiði

“(Riding) is a blessed sitting
And a swift journey
And the toil of the horse.”

“I know a fifth. If a foe shoots a shaft/into the host, it cannot fly so fast/that I can not stop it, if I catch sight of it.” (Havamal 150)

Kenaz Kenaz

“(Torch) is to every person
Known by its fire,
It is clear and bright
It usually burns
When the athlings
Rest inside the hall.”

Kaun er barna bolvan;
bol gørver nán folvan.

“(Sore) is the curse of children;
Grief makes a man pale.”

Kaun er barna böl
ok bardaga för
ok holdfua hus.

“(Sore) is the bale of children
And a scourge
And the house of rotten flesh”

“I know a sixth. If some thane attacks me,/with the wood of a young root,/he who says he hates me will get hurt,/but I will be unharmed.” (Havamal 151)


“(Gift) is for every man
A pride and praise,
Help and worthiness;
And of every homeless adventurer
It is the estate and substance
For those who have nothing else.”


“(Joy) is had
By the one who knows few troubles
Pains and sorrows,
And to him who himself has
Power and blessedness,
And a good enough house.”


“(Hail) is the whitest of grains,
It comes from high in heaven
Showers of wind hurl it,
Then it turns to water.”

Hagall er kaldastr korna;
Hroptr skóp hæimenn forna.

“(Hail) is the coldest of grains;
Hroptur shaped the world in ancient times.”

Hagall er kaldakorn
ok krapadrifa
ok snaka sott.

“(Hail) is a cold grain,
And the shower of sleet
And the sickness of snakes.”

“If I see a fire/high on the hall around my bench companions/I can help them by singing the spell.” (Havamal 152)


“(Need) is constricting on the chest
Although to the children of men it often becomes
A help and salvation nevertheless,
If they heed it in time.”

Nauðr gerer næppa koste;
nøktan kælr í froste.

“(Need) makes for a difficult situation;
The naked freeze in the frost.”

Nauðr er þyjar þra
ok þungr kostr
ok vassamlig verk.

“(Need) is the grief of the bondmaid
And a hard condition to be in
And toilsome work.”

“I know an eighth. It is useful for all who know it./Whenever hatred flares up among warriors’ sons,/I am able to quell it.” (Havamal 153)


“(Ice) is very cold
And exceedingly slippery;
It glistens, clear as glass,
Very much like gems,
A floor made from frost
Is fair to see.”

Ís kollum brú bræiða;
blindan þarf at læiða.

“(Ice), we call the broad bridge;
The blind need to be led.”

Ís er arbörkr
ok unnar þak
ok feigra manna far.

“(Ice) is the rind of the river
And the roof of the waves
And a danger for fey men.”

“That ninth I know if need there be to guard a ship in a gale,/the wind I calm, the waves also, and wholly soothe the sea.” (Havamal 154)


“(Harvest) is the hope of men,
When god lets,
Holy king of heaven,
The earth gives
Her bright fruits
To the noble ones and the needy.”

Ár er gumna góðe;
get ek at orr var Fróðe.

“(Good Harvest) is the profit of men;
I say that Frodhi was generous.”

Ár er gumna goði
ok gott sumar
ok algroin akr.

“(Good Harvest) is the profit of all men,
And a good summer,
And a ripened field.”

“I know a tenth. If I see ghost-riders/sporting in the sky, I can work it/that the wild ones fare away,/so their spirits fare home.” (Havamal 155)


“(Yew) is on the outside
A rough tree
And hard, firm in the earth,
Keeper of the fire,
Supported by roots,
(it is a) joy on the estate.”

Ýr er vetrgrønstr viða;
vænt er, er brennr, at sviða.

“(Yew) is the greenest wood in the winter;
There is usually, when it burns, singeing.”

Ýr er bendr bogi
ok brotgjarnt jarn
ok fifu farbauti.

“(Yew) is a strung bow
And brittle iron
And Farbauti of the arrow.”

“Yew holds all”


“(Lot Box) is always
Play and laughter
Among bold men,
Where the warriors sit
In the beer hall,
happily together.”


“(Elk’s) sedge has its home
Most often in the fen,
It waxes in the water
And grimly wounds
And reddens (”burns") with blood
Any man
Who, in any way,
Tries to grasp it."

“(Man) is the increase of dust;
Mighty is the talon-span of the hawk.”

“(Man) is the joy of man,
And the increase of dust
And the adornment of ships”

“Man in the middle,
yew holds all”

“I know a fourteenth/If I talk of the gods before the folk,/I can speak of Ases and ”/wikis/alfar" class=“wiki-page-link”>Alfar./Few of the unlearned/know these things." (Havamal 159)


“(Sun) is by seamen
Always hoped for
When they fare far away
Over the fishes’ bath
Until the brine-stallion
They bring to land.”

Sól er landa ljóme;
lúti ek helgum dóme.

“(Sun) is the light of the lands;
I bow to the holiness.”

Sól er skyja skjöldr
ok skinandi röðull
ok isa aldrtregi.

“(Sun) is the shield of the clouds
And a shining glow
And the life-long sorrow of ice.”

“I know an eleventh: if I am to lead old friends/into the fray, I sing under the shield/and they fare into battle mighty and whole,/they fare from the battle whole,/they are whole, wherever they go.” (Havamal 156)


“(Tyr) is a star,
It keeps faith well
With athlings,
Always on its course
Over the mists of night
It never fails.”

Týr er æinendr ása;
opt værðr smiðr blása.

“(Tyr) is the one-handed among the Aesir;
The smith has to blow often.”

Tyr er einhendr ass
ok ulfs leifar
ok hofa hilmir.

“(Tyr) is the one-handed god
And the leaving of the wolf
And the ruler of the temple.”

“I know a twelfth: If I see a hanged man/swinging high in a tree, I can carve and stain runes,/so that the man walks and speaks with me.” (Havamal 157)


“(Birch) is without fruit
But just the same it bears
Limbs without fertile seed;
It has beautiful branches,
High on its crown
It is finely covered,
Loaded with leaves,
Touching the sky.”

Bjarkan er laufgrønstr líma;
Loki bar flærða tíma.

“(Birch Twig) is the limb greenest with leaves;
Loki brought the luck of deceit.”

Bjarkan er laufgat lim
ok litit tre
ok ungsamligr viðr.

“(Birch Twig) is a leafy limb
And a little tree
And a youthful wood.”

“I know a thirteenth: If I sprinkle a young thane/with water, he will not fall, though he goes to battle. He will not be cut down by swords.” (Havamal 158)


“(Horse) is, in front of the earls
The joy of athlings,
A chargerProud on its hooves;
When, concerning it, heroes –
Wealthy men – on warhorses
Exhange speech,
And it is always a comfort
To the restless.”


“(Man) is in his mirth
Dear to his kinsman;
Although each shall
Depart from the other;
For the lord wants to commit,
By his decree,
That frail flesh
To the earth.”

Maðr er moldar auki;
mikil er græip á hauki.

Maðr er manns gaman
ok moldar auki
ok skipa skreytir.

“(Man) is the increase of dust;
Mighty is the talon-span of the hawk.”


“(Water) is to people
Seemingly unending
If they should venture out
On an unsteady ship
And the sea waves
Frighten them very much,
And the brine-stallion
Does not heed its bridle.”

Logr er, fællr ór fjalle
foss; en gull ero nosser.

“(Water) is that which falls from the mountain;
As a force; but gold objects are costly things.”

Logr er vellanda vatn
ok viðr ketill
ok glömmunga grund.

“(Wetness) is churning water,
And a wide kettle
And the land of fish.”

“Water the bright”

“I know a fifteenth, which Thjodhroerir the dwarf/sang before Delling’s door./He sang might to the ”/wikis/aesir" class=“wiki-page-link”>Aesir, power to the Alfar,/and understanding to Odhinn." (Havamal 160)


“(Ing) was first,
Among the East-Danir,
Seen by men
Until he went back
Went over the wave;
The wain followed on;
This is what warriors
Called the hero.


“(Day) is the lord’s messenger
Dear to men,
The ruler’s famous light;
(It is) mirth and hope
To rich and poor
(And) is useful to all.”


“(Estate) is very dear
To every man,
If he can enjoy what is right
And according to custom
In his dwelling,
Most often in prosperity.”

The Runestones of Rys

The following is the poem found on the Runestones of Rys. Stanzas are added to this record as the the relevant campaign uncovers more of the lost stones . . .

Runes wilt thou find, and rightly read,
of wondrous weight,
of mighty magic,
which that dyed the dread god,
which that made the holy hosts,
and were etched by Odhinn,

Odhinn among Aesir, for Alfar Dainn,
Dvalinn for the Dvergar,
Alsvith among Jotnar, but for earth-born men
wrought I some myself.

Know’st how to write, know’st how to read
know’st how to stain, how to understand,
know’st how to ask, knows’st how to offer,
know’st how to supplicate, know’st how to sacrifice?

’Tis better unasked than offered overmuch;
for ay doth a gift look for a gain;
’tis better unasked than offered overmuch:
thus did Odhinn write ere the earth began,
when he rose up in after time.

Those spells I know which the spouses of kings
wot not, nor earthly wight
“Help” one is hight with which holpen thou’lt be
in sorrow and care and sickness.

Rune Poems

Heroes of Midhgardhur Valerianus Valerianus