Hrafnagaldur Óðins – Odin’s Ravens’ Song

The storyline of Hrafnagaldr Óðins involves the goddess Iðunn and the gods Loki, Heimdallr and Bragi. Illustration by Lorenz Frølich. Click the picture for the wiki .

a.k.a Odins’s Raven Song, Odin’s Raven Chant

This very obscure poem has been regarded as a fragment only of a poem, of which the beginning and end are wanting. With regard to the beginning, the want may possibly be more apparent than real; the strophes 2-5 being in fact a sort of introduction, although they do not at first strike us as such, in consequence of the obscurity of the 1st strophe, which seems very slightly connected with the following ones, in which the gods and dwarfs are described as in council, on account of certain warnings and forebodings of their approaching downfall, or Ragnarök. Another point of difficulty is its title, there being nothing in the whole poem to connect it with Odin’s ravens, except the mention of Hugr (Hugin) in the 3rd strophe. Erik Halson, a learned Icelander, after having spent or wasted ten years in an attempt to explain this poem, confessed that he understood little or nothing of it. In its mythology, too, we find parts assigned to some of the personages, of which no traces occur in either Sæmunds’ or Snorri’s Edda; though we are hardly justified in pronouncing it, with more than one scholar of eminence, a fabrication of later times.

Translation by Benjamin Thorpe 1865

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