Alvíssmál – The Ballad of Alvis

Thor spake:

11. “Answer me, Alvis! | thou knowest all,
Dwarf, of the doom of men:
What call they the heaven, | beheld of the high one,
In each and every world?”

Alvis spake:

12. “Heaven men call it, | The Height the gods,
The Wanes The Weaver of Winds;
Giants The Up-World, | elves The Fair-Roof,
The dwarfs The Dripping Hall.”

Thor spake:

13. “Answer me, Alvis! | thou knowest all,
Dwarf, of the doom of men.:
What call they the moon, | that men behold,
In each and every world?”

Alvis spake:

14. “Moon with men, Flame | the gods among,
The Wheel in the house of hell;
The Goer the giants, | The Gleamer the dwarfs,
The elves The Teller of Time.”

Thor spake:

15. “Answer me, Alvis! | thou knowest all,
Dwarf, of the doom of men:
What call they the sun, | that all men see,
In each and every world?”

11. Lines I, 2, and 4 of Thor’s questions are regularly abbreviated in the manuscript. Beheld, etc.: the word in the manuscript is almost certainly an error, and all kinds of guesses have been made to rectify it. All that can be said is that it means “beheld of” or “known to” somebody. 14. Flame: a doubtful word; Vigfusson suggests that it properly means a “mock sun.” Wheel: the manuscript adds the adjective “whirling,” to the destruction of the metre; cf. Hovamol, 84, 3.

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