Hávamál 2

Gefendr heilir!
Gestr er inn kominn,
hvar skal sitja sjá? Mjök er bráðr
sá er á bröndum skal síns of freista frama.
Greetings to the good host,
A guest has come.
Where can he sit?
He is impatient on the threshold, and from there estimates his chances.
Terryn Dave
Hávamál 2

Stanza 2 also seems clear, this refers to how you can receive a guest or visitor.
Where stanza 1 was about what to do when you enter somewhere as a guest, stanza 2 is about how you as a host or hostess can or should receive someone.
If you take this stanza literally it is a brief analysis, welcome your visit and accommodate them as soon as possible.

But if you want to be a good host or hostess, you will see in the following stanzas that there is a lot more to it than what you might think at first glance. But this will be clarified in the coming Stanzas.

Stanza 2 starts with “Greetings to the good host, a guest has come”, so someone has come to your home. This can also be read if someone new arrived.

There is a difference between the old times and the modern times.
In the old days, as I said before, life was more dangerous and harder than it is today.
There was no infrastructure as it is today and traveling could often kill you, was it not by enemies, it was because of the environment and nature since everything was done on foot or on horseback.
Not like now where we know the relative safety of cars and public transport.
So traveling somewhere could be a certain adventure and when you got somewhere you probably hoped for a hearty and safe welcome.
Nowadays the chance that you will meet a possible death when traveling in our parts is minimal, so in that respect the modern age cannot be compared with the old times, but the way in which you hope to be received has therefore not changed.
Here the Hávamál commands you, if you look at it from the standpoint of the old days, as it were to give your guest a place, as I said this could mean a difference between life and death to leave a guest outside, even if you did not know it, you had to give it shelter because one day you might end up in that position yourself.
Now in modern times it is no longer the case that if you do not let someone into your home, they will face certain death.
This is where the resemblance between past and present is not true and we can be a little more selective about who we let in.

“He is impatient on the doorstep,
and from there estimates his chances ”

So the last line actually refers to the old meaning of stanza 2, for a guest it was also unclear where he entered and had to keep stanza 1 in mind.
As a good host in the old days, it was also not done to leave your guest outside for a long time because of the environment and little shelter there was.
Nowadays if you expect visitors this is still the same, do not let your guests wait too long at the door, they will not die at your door these days but this does not show that they are welcome.
When it comes to visits from people you don’t know nowadays the rule doesn’t count that you just have to ask them into your house, they won’t die if you don’t let them in, only if you trust them you can let them in and give them a place.
If you do not trust it, it is your right to refuse anyone access to your house and you are not normally in violation of Stanza 2 in Hávamál. Later Stanzas will clarify this.

So so far we’ve looked at Stanza 2 from a home visit point of view.

If you view the stanza over a wider area, you can also use it in work-related areas.

For example, if a new colleague starts at your work.
Everyone will normally welcome him, and he will be assigned his place in the group.
In the beginning he will be seen as a guest in the group until he is judged by everyone, as it were.
And for the new colleague it will also be more likely to estimate his chances or position in the group.
He’ll have to prove himself for a while,
people will talk to him colleagues as well as supervisors,
he will be assessed and weighed,
they will get to know him.
Over time, he may or may not earn a place in the group.
This process happens fairly inconspicuously and unspoken but really always happens.
So know when you are new somewhere this will happen, use Stanza 1 as a new colleague in the group in some way, and you might earn your place.

As a guest,
Know that as a bad guest / colleague you may not be accepted or invited back if it concerns a party or home visit.
As a host / hostess,
If you are in the other group, that is, in some form as a host or hostess, know that you have ever stayed in the same position or maybe will be.

Stanza 2 can be traced back to much more than just a visit to your home or work area
like someone new to the circle of friends or new to the family through relationships.
All these situations can be seen as stanza 2, a guest has arrived.
Once everyone arrived at a place or moment in life as a guest before you grew further in the situation.

As a short summary of Stanza 2, I can be really very brief.

Receive guests as you would like to be received yourself, but just as in Stanza 1, always stay on your good side, both as a guest and / or as host / hostess until all parties involved have proven themselves to some extent.

Translations by other translators:

Elsa-Brita TitchenellMarcel Otten
Greetings, generous! A guest has come. Assign him a seat. He is in a hurry to prove himself by the fire.

A greeting to the host! A guest has come where can he sit? He waits impatiently at the doorpost and weighs his chances from there
Auden en TaylorBellows
Greetings to the host,
The guest has arrived,
In which seat shall he sit?
Rash is he who at unknown doors
Relies on his good luck,
Hail to the giver! | a guest has come;
Where shall the stranger sit?
Swift shall he be who, | with swords shall try
The proof of his might to make.
Hail, ye Givers! a guest is come;
say! where shall he sit within?
Much pressed is he who fain on the hearth
would seek for warmth and weal.
Hail the givers! A guest has come
where shall he sit?
Hard pressed is he,
who tests his luck by the fire.
All hail to the givers! A guest hath come
say where shall he sit?
In haste is he to the hall who cometh
to find a place by the fire.
Hail to hosts! A guest is in the hall,
where shall he sit down?
To please him, quickly give him a place
in front of the blazing fire.

Givers, hail!
A guest is come in:
where shall he sit?
In much hast is he,
who on the ways has
to try his luck.


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