Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anonymous Poems (Anon)

VII. Sólarljóð (Sól) - 83

not in Skj

Sólarljóð (‘Song of the Sun’) — Anon SólVII

Carolyne Larrington and Peter Robinson 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Sólarljóð’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 287-357.

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Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XII]: G [6]. Sólarljóð, digt fra det 12. årh. (AI, 628-40, BI, 635-48)

SkP info: VII, 287-357

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1 Fé ok fjörvi
rænti fyrða kind
sá inn grimmi greppr;
yfir þá götu,
er hann varðaði,
mátti enginn kvikr komaz.
The fierce man stole property and life from the offspring of men; no one might pass alive over that road which he guarded.
2 Einn hann át,
opt, harðliga;
aldri bauð hann manni til matar,
áðr en móðr
ok meginlítill
gestr gangandi af götu kom.
He ate alone, often, sternly; he never invited anyone for a meal, before a weary, exhausted stranger came walking from the road.
3 Drykks of þurfi
lézk inn dæsti maðr
ok vanmettr vera;
hræddu hjarta
hann lézk trúa,
þeim er áðr hafði vályndr verit.
The weary man said he was in need of a drink and was very hungry; with a fearful heart he said he trusted the man who before had been hostile.
4 Mat ok drykk
veitti hann, þeim er móðr var,
alt af heilum hug;
guðs hann gáði,
góðu honum beindi,
þvít hann hugðiz váligr vera.
He offered food and drink to the one who was tired, all with a good intention; he paid heed to God, offered him good things, although he [the robber] realised he was wicked.
5 Upp hinn stóð;
ilt hann hugði;
eigi var þarfsamliga þegit;
synð hans svall;
sofanda myrði
fróðan fjölvaran.
That one [the guest] got up; he had evil in mind; it [the host’s generosity] was not received gratefully; his sin swelled up; he murdered the wise, very cautious sleeping man.
6 Himna guð
bað hann hjálpa sér,
þá er hann veginn vaknaði,
en sá gat
við syndum taka,
er hann hafði saklausan svikit.
He asked God of the heavens to help him when he awoke slain, and the one [the guest] who had betrayed him without cause took on his sins.
7 Helgir englar
kómu ór himnum ofan
ok tóku sál hans til sín;
í hreinu lífi
hon skal lifa
æ með almátkum guði.
Holy angels came down from the heavens above, and gathered his soul to themselves; it will live in a pure existence forever with almighty God.
8 Auði né heilsu
ræðr enginn maðr,
þótt honum gangi greitt;
margan þat sækir,
er minst of varir;
enginn ræðr sættum sjálfr.
No man has control over riches or health, though it may go smoothly for him; what he least expects comes upon many a man; no one can set his own terms.
9 Ekki þeir hugðu
Unnarr ok Sævaldi,
at þeim mundi heill hrapa;
nöktir þeir urðu
ok næmðir hvervetna
ok runnu sem vargar til viðar.
Unnarr and Sævaldi did not think that their good fortune would tumble down; they became naked and deprived everywhere, and ran like wolves to the woods.
10 Munaðar ríki
hefr margan tregat;
opt verðr kvalræði af konum;
meingar þær urðu,
þótt inn mátki guð
skapaði skírliga.
The power of desire has brought many a man to grief; torment often stems from women; they become harmful, though the mighty God created them purely.
11 Sáttir þeir urðu
Sváfaðr ok Skartheðinn;
hvárgi mátti annars án vera,
fyrr en þeir ædduz
fyr einni konu;
hon var þeim til lýta lagin.
Sváfaðr and Skartheðinn were on good terms; neither could be without the other, until they went mad over a single woman; she was destined to bring disgrace to them.
12 Hvárskis þeir gáðu
fyr þá hvítu mey
leiks né ljóssa daga;
engan hlut
máttu þeir annan muna
en þat ljósa lík.
They paid no heed to anything, neither sport nor the radiant days, because of the shining girl; they could think about no other thing than that radiant body.
13 Daprar þeim urðu
inar dimmu nætr;
engan máttu þeir sætan sofa;
en af þeim harmi
rann heipt saman
millum virktavina.
The dark nights became gloomy for them; they could sleep no sweet [sleep]; but enmity sprang up from that grief between those affectionate friends.
14 Fádæmi verða
í flestum stöðum
goldin grimliga;
á hólm þeir gengu
fyr it horska víf,
ok fengu báðir bana.
Abnormal events are repaid fiercely in most places; they went to duel for the wise lady, and both were killed.
15 Ofmetnað drýgja
skyldi engi maðr,
— þat hefk sannliga sét —
þvít þeir hverfa,
er honum fylgja,
flestir guði frá.
No man should cultivate pride — I have truly seen that — because most of those who pursue it turn away from God.
16 Rík þau urðu
Ráðný ok Véboði
ok hugðuz gótt eitt gera;
nú þau sitja
ok sárum snúa
ýmsum elda til.
Ráðný and Véboði became powerful and thought to do only good; now they sit and turn now one, now another wound towards the fires.
17 Á sik þau trúðu
ok þóttuz ein vera
allri þjóð yfir,
en þó leiz
þeira hagr
annan veg almátkum guði.
They trusted in themselves and thought that they alone were above all people, but yet their condition seemed quite different to almighty God.
18 Munað þau drýgðu
á marga vegu
ok höfðu gull fyrir gaman;
nú er þeim goldit,
er þau ganga skulu
meðal frosts ok funa.
They experienced sensuality in many ways and had gold for pleasure; now they are repaid, since they have to walk between frost and fire.
19 Óvinum þínum
trú þú aldrigi,
þótt fagrt mæli fyr þér;
góðu þú heit;
gótt er annars
víti hafa at varnaði.
Never trust your enemies, though they speak fair words to you; promise good things; it is good to have another’s punishment as a warning.
20 Svá honum gafz
Sörla inum góðráða,
þá er hann lagði á vald hans Vígolfs;
tryggliga hann trúði,
en hinn at tálum varð,
sínum bróðurbana.
So it turned out for Sörli the well-meaning, when he put the matter in Vígolfr’s power; he trusted securely in his brother’s killer, but that man engaged in deceit.
21 Grið hann þeim seldi
af góðum hug,
en þeir hétu honum gulli í gegn;
sáttir létuz,
meðan saman drukku,
en þó kómu flærðir fram.
He offered them a truce with a good intention, and they promised him gold in exchange; they pretended to be reconciled while they drank together, but yet falsehoods emerged.
22 En þá eptir
á öðrum degi,
er þeir höfðu í Rýgjardal riðit,
sverðum þeir meiddu,
þann er saklauss var,
ok létu hans fjörvi farit.
And then afterwards on the second day, when they had ridden into Rýgjardalr, they maimed with swords the man who was innocent and deprived him of life.
23 Lík hans þeir drógu
á leynigötu
ok brytjuðu í brunn niðr;
dylja þeir vildu,
en dróttinn sá
heilagr himni af.
They dragged his body along a secret path and dismembered it [putting it] down into a well; they wanted to conceal it, but the holy Lord saw it from heaven.
24 Sál hans bað
inn sanni guð
í sinn fögnuð fara;
en sökudólgar
hygg ek síðla myni
kallaðir frá kvölum.
The true God commanded his soul to journey into his joy; but I think that his enemies will be summoned late from torments.
25 Dísir bið þú þér
dróttins mála
vera hollar í hugum;
viku eptir
mun þér vilja þíns
alt at óskum gá.
Ask the confidential-dísir of the Lord to be gracious to you in their thoughts; one week later everything will go according to the desires of your will.
26 Reiðiverk,
þau er þú unnit hefr,
bæt þú eigi illu yfir;
grættan gæla
skaltu með góðum hlutum;
þat kveða sálu sama.
The angry deeds that you have committed, do not compensate for them with wickedness; you must comfort the weeping one with good things; they say that befits the soul.
27 Á guð skaltu heita
til góðra hluta,
þann er hefr skatna skapat;
mjök fyrir verðr
manna hverr,
er sér finnrat föður.
You must pray to God for good things, the one who has created men; each man perishes who does not find the Father for himself.
28 Æsta þykkir
einkum vandliga,
þess er þykkir vant vera;
alls á mis verðr,
sá er einskis biðr;
fár hyggr þegjanda þörf.
It seems [right] to ask especially carefully for what seems to be lacking; he who asks for nothing, will go amiss in everything; few consider the need of the one who is silent.
29 Síðla ek kom
snemma kallaðr
til dómsvalds dura;
þangat ek ætlumz;
því mér heitit var;
sá hefr krás, er krefr.
I came late, [I was] called early to the doors of the ruler of judgement; I intend to go there; that was promised to me; he who asks gets the delicacy.
30 Synðir því valda,
at vér hryggvir förum
ægisheimi ór;
engi óttaz,
nema ilt geri;
gótt er vammalausum vera.
Sins cause this, that sorrowful we journey out of the terrible world; no-one is afraid, unless he does wrong; it is good to be without stains.
31 Úlfum líkir
þykkja allir þeir,
sem eiga hverfan hug;
svá mun gefaz,
þeim er ganga skal
þær inar glæddu götur.
All those who have a changeable heart seem like wolves; it shall turn out thus for the one who has to tread the glowing-hot paths.
32 Vinsamlig ráð
ok viti bundin
kenni ek þér sjau saman;
görla þau mun
ok glata aldri;
öll eru þau nýt at nema.
I teach you seven counsels in all, friendly and bound with wit; remember them fully and never forget them; they are all useful to learn.
33 Frá því er at segja,
hvé sæll ek var
ynðisheimi í;
ok inu öðru,
hvé ýta synir
verða nauðgir at náum.
It is to be told how happy I was in the delightful world; and the other thing, how the sons of men are forced to become corpses.
34 Vil ok dul
tælir virða sonu,
þá er fíkjaz á fé;
ljósir aurar
verða at löngum trega;
margan hefr auðr apat.
Desire and delusion trap the sons of men, those who are greedy for wealth; shining pieces of silver turn to grief in the long run; riches have made a monkey of many a man.
35 Glaðr at mörgu
þótta ek gumnum vera,
þvít ek vissa fátt fyrir;
dularheim
hefr dróttinn skapat
munafullan mjök.
I seemed to men to be happy at many a thing, because I knew little of what lay ahead; the Lord has created a worldof delusion very full of pleasures.
36 Lútr ek sat;
lengi ek hölluðumz;
mjök var ek þá lystr at lifa;
en sá réð,
sem ríkr var;
frammi eru feigs götur.
I sat bowed; I was leaning over for a long time; I was then very eager to live; but he prevailed, who was powerful; the doomed man’s roads are at an end.
37 Heljar reip
kómu harðliga
sveigð at síðum mér;
slíta ek vilda,
en þau seig váru;
létt er lauss at fara.
The ropes of Hell came around my sides, powerfully twisted; I wanted to tear them but they were tough; it is easy to move unbound.
38 Einn ek vissa,
hvé alla vegu
sullu sútir mér;
heljar meyjar
mér hrolla buðu
heim á hverju kveldi.
I alone knew how agonies surged over me in all directions; Hell’s maidens dealt shivers home to me every evening.
39 Sól ek sá
sanna dagstjörnu
drjúpa dynheimum í;
en heljar grind
heyrða ek annan veg
þjóta þungliga.
I saw the sun, the true day-star, bow down in the noisy world; and in the other direction I heard the gate of Hell roaring weightily.
40 Sól ek sá
setta dreyrstöfum;
mjök var ek þá ór heimi hallr;
máttug hon leiz
á marga vegu
frá því, sem fyrri var.
I saw the sun, set with bloody staves; I was then forcefully tilting out of this world; it appeared mighty in many ways compared with how it was before.
41 Sól ek sá;
svá þótti mér,
sem ek sæja á göfgan guð;
henni ek laut
hinzta sinni
aldaheimi í.
I saw the sun; it seemed to me as if I were looking at worshipful God; I bowed to it for the last time in the world of men.
42 Sól ek sá;
svá hon geislaði,
at ek þóttumz vætki vita;
en gylfar straumar
grenjuðu annan veg
blandnir mjök við blóð.
I saw the sun; it dazzled so much that I seemed to know nothing; but the currents of the sea roared in the other direction, greatly mingled with blood.
43 Sól ek sá
á sjónum skjálfandi
hræzlufullr ok hnipinn,
þvít hjarta mitt
var harðla mjök
runnit sundr í sega.
Terrified and cowed, I saw the sun, trembling in my eyes, for my heart had completely turned to shreds.
44 Sól ek sá
sjaldan hryggvari;
mjök var ek þá ór heimi hallr;
tunga mín
var til trés metin
ok kólnat at fyrir utan.
I saw the sun, [I was] seldom more grief-stricken; I was then forcefully tilting out of this world; my tongue was as if turned to wood and it was chilled on the outside.
45 Sól ek sá
síðan aldri
eptir þann dapra dag,
þvít fjalla vötn
lukðuz fyrir mér saman,
en ek hvarf kaldr frá kvölum.
I saw the sun never again after that gloomy day, for the waters of the mountains closed together in front of me, and I turned away cold from the torments.
46 Vánarstjarna fló
— þá var ek fæddr —
burt frá brjósti mér;
hátt at hon fló;
hvergi hon settiz,
svát hon mætti hvílð hafa.
A star of hope flew away from my breast; then I was born; it flew on high; nowhere did it come down so that it might have rest.
47 Öllum lengri
var sú in eina nótt,
er ek lá stirðr á stráum;
þat merkir þat,
er guð mælti,
at maðr er moldu samr.
That one night, when I lay stiff on the straw, was longer than all; that demonstrates what God has spoken, that man is the same as earth.
48 Virði þat ok viti
inn virki guð,
sá er skóp hauðr ok himin,
hversu munaðarlausir
margir fara,
þótt við skylda skili.
May the precious God, who created earth and heaven, value and know that, how many journey loveless, though they part from their kin.
49 Sinna verka
nýtr seggja hverr;
sæll er sá, sem gótt gerir;
auði frá
* mér ætluð var
sandi orpin sæng.
Every man benefits from his deeds; fortunate is he who does good; away from riches there was intended for me a bed heaped up with sand.
50 Hörundar hungr
tælir hölða opt;
hann hefr margr til mikinn;
laugavatn
mér leiðast var
eitt allra hluta.
The hunger of the flesh often entraps men; many a one possesses it in the extreme; washing water was alone to me most hateful of all things.
51 Á norna stóli
sat ek níu daga;
þaðan var ek á hest hafinn;
gýgjar sólir
skinu grimmliga
ór skýdrúpnis skýjum.
I sat for nine days on the norns’ seat; from there I was lifted onto a horse; the ogress’s suns shone fiercely out of the cloud-lowerer’s clouds.
52 Utan ok innan
þóttumz ek alla fara
sigrheima sjau;
upp ok niðr
leitaða ek æðra vegar,
hvar mér væri greiðastar götur.
It seemed to me that I travelled outside and inside all the seven victory-worlds; up and down I looked for better ways where the roads would be easiest for me.
53 Frá því er at segja,
hvat ek fyrst um sá,
þá er ek var í kvölheima kominn;
sviðnir fuglar,
er sálir váru,
flugu svá margir sem mý.
It must be related what I saw first when I came into the worlds of torment; singed birds, which were souls, flew as many as midges.
54 Vestan sá ek fljúga
vánardreka
ok fell á Glævalds götu;
vængi þeir skóku,
svát víða þótti mér
springa hauðr ok himinn.
From the west I saw a dragon of expectation flying and it landed on Glævaldr’s road; they shook their wings, so that earth and heaven seemed to me to spring widely apart.
55 Sólar hjört
leit ek sunnan fara;
hann teymðu tveir saman;
fætr hans
stóðu foldu á,
en tóku horn til himins.
I saw the hart of the sun journey from the south; two together had bridled him; his feet stood on the earth, and his horns reached to heaven.
56 Norðan sá ek ríða
niðja sonu
ok váru sjau saman;
hornum fullum
drukku þeir inn hreina mjöð
ór brunni Baugreyris.
I saw the sons of the dark phases of the moon riding from the north, and they were seven together; they drank the pure mead from the well of Baugreyrir out of full horns.
57 Vindr þagði;
vötn stöðvaði;
þá heyrða ek grimligan gný;
sínum mönnum
svipvísar konur
moluðu mold til matar.
The wind fell silent; the waters stood still; then I heard a terrible din; treacherous women were crushing earth into food for their men.
58 Dreyrga steina
þær inar dökku konur
drógu daprliga;
blóðug hjörtu
hengu þeim fyr brjóst utan
mædd við miklum trega.
Those dark women were sorrowfully dragging gory stones; bloody hearts hung outside their breasts, exhausted by great grief.
59 Margan mann
sá ek meiddan fara
á þeim glæddum götum;
andlit þeira
sýnduz mér öll vera
rýgjar blóði roðin.
I saw many a maimed man journey on the glowing paths; all their faces seemed to me to be reddened with an ogress’s blood.
60 Marga menn
sá ek moldar gengna,
þá er eigi máttu þjónustu ná;
heiðnar stjörnur
stóðu yfir höfði þeim
fáðar feiknstöfum.
I saw many men gone into earth, those who had not managed to obtain the sacrament; heathen stars stood over their heads, coloured with terrible staves.
61 Menn sá ek þá,
er mjök ala
öfund um annars hagi;
blóðgar rúnir
váru á brjósti þeim
merkðar meinliga.
I saw men then who greatly nourish envy of another’s affairs; bloody runes were painfully marked on their breasts [lit. breast].
62 Menn sá ek þá
marga ófegna;
þeir váru villir vega;
þat kaupir sá,
er þessa heims
apaz at óheillum.
I saw many unhappy men then; they had gone astray [lit. were erring with regard to ways]; he purchases that [unhappiness], who fools himself into the misfortunes of this world.
63 Menn sá ek þá,
er mörgum hlutum
véltu um annars eign;
flokkum þeir fóru
til Fégjarns borgar
ok höfðu byrðar af blýi.
I saw men then, who had defrauded another of property in many things; they travelled in crowds to Fégjarn’s fortress, and carried burdens of lead.
64 Menn sá ek þá,
er margan höfðu
fé ok fjörvi rænt;
brjóst í gegnum
rendu brögnum þeim
öflgir eitrdrekar.
I saw men then who had robbed many a one of property and life; mighty poisonous dragons ran through the breasts of those men.
65 Menn sá ek þá,
er minst vildu
halda helga daga;
hendr þeira
váru á heitum steinum
neglðar nauðliga.
I saw men then who least wished to observe holy days; their hands were nailed painfully onto hot stones.
66 Menn sá ek þá,
er af mikillæti
virðuz vánum framar;
klæði þeira
váru kýmiliga
eldi um slegin.
I saw men then who from pride esteemed themselves beyond expectation; their clothes were amusingly set on fire.
67 Menn sá ek þá,
er margt höfðu
orð á annan logit;
heljar hrafnar
ór höfði þeim
harðliga sjónir slitu.
I saw men then who had greatly slandered another; Hell’s ravens violently tore the eyes out of their heads.
68 Allar ógnir
fær þú eigi vitat,
þær sem helgengnir hafa;
sætar synðir
verða at sárum bótum;
æ koma mein eptir munuð.
You will never get to know all the terrors which those who have gone to Hell have; sweet sins turn into bitter compensations; injuries always come after pleasure.
69 Menn sá ek þá,
er margt höfðu
gefit at guðs lögum;
hreinir kyndlar
váru yfir höfði þeim
brendir bjartliga.
I saw men then who had given much according to God’s laws; pure candles were being burned brightly over their heads.
70 Menn sá ek þá,
er af miklum hug
veittu fátækum frama;
lásu englar
helgar bækr
ok himna skript yfir höfði þeim.
I saw men then who from a generous spirit offered support to the poor; angels read holy books and heavenly writing [lit. writing of the heavens] over their heads.
71 Menn sá ek þá,
er mjök höfðu
hungri farit hörund;
englar guðs
lutu öllum þeim;
þat er it æzta unað.
I saw men then who had greatly afflicted their flesh with hunger; God’s angels bowed to them all; that is the highest delight.
72 Menn sá ek þá,
er móður höfðu
látit mat í munn;
hvílur þeira
váru á himingeislum
hafðar hagliga.
I saw men then who had placed food in the mouth of their mothers [lit. mother]; their resting-places were comfortably appointed on heavenly rays.
73 Helgar meyjar
höfðu hreinliga
sál af synðum þvegit
manna þeira,
er á mörgum degi
pína sjálfa sik.
Holy maidens had washed clean [lit. cleanly] of sin the souls of those men who on many a day mortify themselves.
74 Hávar reiðir
sá ek með himnum fara;
þær eigu götur til guðs;
menn þeim stýra,
er myrðir eru
alls fyrir öngvar sakir.
I saw tall wagons journeying along the heavens; they have paths to God; men drive them who are murdered for no cause [lit. causes] at all.
75 Inn mátki faðir,
inn mæzti sonr,
heilagr andi himins!
Þik bið ek skilja,
sem skapat hefr,
oss alla eymðum frá.
Mighty Father, most glorious Son, Holy Spirit of heaven! I ask you who have created [us] to release us all from miseries.
76 Bjúgvör ok Listvör
sitja í Herðis dyrum
organs stóli á;
járnadreyri
fellr ór nösum þeim;
sá vekr fjón með firum.
Bjúgvör and Listvör sit on an organ stool in Herðir’s doorway; iron blood falls from their nostrils; that awakens hatred among men.
77 Óðins kván
rær á jarðar skipi
móðug á munað;
seglum hennar
verðr síð hlaðit,
þeim er á þráreipum þruma.
Óðinn’s wife, mighty in desire, rows on the ship of the earth; her sails will be late furled, those which hang on the ropes of longing.
78 Arfi, faðir
einn ek ráðit hefi,
ok þeir Sólkötlu synir
hjartarhorn,
þat er ór haugi bar
inn vitri Vígdvalinn.
Heir, I alone, the father, and the sons of Sólkatla, have interpreted the hart’s horn which the wise Vígdvalinn carried out of the burial mound.
79 Hér eru þær rúnir,
sem ristit hafa
Njarðar dætr níu,
Böðveig in elzta
ok Kreppvör in yngsta
ok þeira systr sjau.
Here are the runes which the nine daughters of Njǫrðr have carved, Böðveig the eldest and Kreppvör the youngest and their seven sisters.
80 Hverju bölvi
þeir belt hafa
Sváfr ok Sváfrlogi;
blóð þeir vöktu
ok benjar sugu
ey undir illum vana.
Every evil they have ventured, Sváfr and Sváfrlogi; they awakened blood and sucked wounds, always with a bad habit.
81 Kvæði þetta,
er þér kent hefi,
skaltu fyr kvikum kveða,
Sólarljóð,
er sýnaz munu
minst at mörgu login.
This poem which I have taught you, you must recite before living people, ‘Sólarljóð’ which will appear in many ways to be least untruthful [lit. lying].
82 Hér vit skiljumz
ok hittaz munum
á feginsdegi fira;
dróttinn minn
gefi þeim dauðum ró
ok hinum líkn, er lifa.
Here we two part and we will meet on men’s day of joy; may my Lord give to the dead peace, and grace to those who live.
83 Dásamligt fræði
var þér draumi kvadd,
en þú sázt it sanna;
fyrða engi
var svá fróðr skapaðr,
er áðr hefði heyrt Sólarljóðs sögu.
Admirable advice was addressed to you in a dream, but you feared the truth; no man was created so wise that he would have heard ‘Sólarljóð’s’ tale before.
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