Hávamál – The Sayings of Hár

141. Then began I to thrive, |
and wisdom to get,
I grew and well I was;
Each word led me on | to another word,
Each deed to another deed.

142. Runes shalt thou find, | and fateful signs,
That the king of singers colored,
And the mighty gods have made;
Full strong the signs, | full mighty the signs
That the ruler of gods doth write.

143. Othin for the gods, | Dain for the elves,
And Dvalin for the dwarfs,
Alsvith for giants | and all mankind,
And some myself I wrote.

144. Knowest how one shall write, |
knowest how one shall rede?
Knowest how one shall tint, | knowest how one makes trial?
Knowest how one shall ask, | knowest how one shall offer?
Knowest how one shall send, | knowest how one shall sacrifice?

Verses 145 to 164 – Song of spells

145. Better no prayer | than too big an offering,
By thy getting measure thy gift;
Better is none | than too big a sacrifice,
. . . . . . . . . .
So Thund of old wrote | ere man’s race began,
Where he rose on high | when home he came

146. The songs I know | that king’s wives know not,
Nor men that are sons of men;
The first is called help, | and help it can bring thee
In sorrow and pain and sickness.

147. A second I know, | that men shall need
Who leechcraft long to use;
. . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . .

148. A third I know, | if great is my need
Of fetters to hold my foe;
Blunt do I make | mine enemy’s blade,
Nor bites his sword or staff.

149. A fourth I know, | if men shall fasten
Bonds on my bended legs;
So great is the charm | that forth I may go,
The fetters spring from my feet,
Broken the bonds from my hands.

150. A fifth I know, | if I see from afar
An arrow fly ‘gainst the folk;
It flies not so swift | that I stop it not,
If ever my eyes behold it.

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