Alvíssmál – The Ballad of Alvis

Alvis spake:

16. “Men call it Sun, | gods Orb of the Sun,
The Deceiver of Dvalin the dwarfs;
The giants The Ever-Bright, | elves Fair Wheel,
All-Glowing the sons of the gods.”

Thor spake:

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

Alvis spake:

18. “Clouds men name them, | Rain-Hope gods call them,
The Wanes call them Kites of the Wind;
Water-Hope giants, | Weather-Might elves,
The Helmet of Secrets in hell.”

Thor spake:

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

Alvis spake:

20. “Wind do men call it, | the gods The Waverer,
The Neigher the holy ones high;
The Wailer the giants, | Roaring Wender the elves,
In hell The Blustering Blast.”

16. Deceiver of Dvalin: Dvalin was one of the foremost dwarfs; cf. Voluspo, 14, Fafnismol, 13, and Hovamol, 144. The sun “deceives” him because, like the other dwarfs living under ground, he cannot live in its light, and always fears lest sunrise may catch him unaware. The sun’s rays have power to turn the dwarfs into stone, and the giantess Hrimgerth meets a similar fate (cf. Helgakvitha Hjorvarthssonar, 30). Alvis suffers in the same way; cf. stanza 35.

20. Snorri quotes this stanza in the Skaldskaparmal. Waverer: the word is uncertain, the Prose Edda manuscripts giving it in various forms. Blustering Blast: two Prose Edda manuscripts give a totally different word, meaning “The Pounder.”

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