Nú skalk flotnum, þats forðum vas,
— hlýði fróðir mér fyrðar — segja,
at buðlungr sat Bretlandi at;
hét vellskati Vortígernus.
‘Listen to me, wise men; now I shall tell men what once was, that a king resided in Britain; the generous man was called Vortigern. ’
Jǫrð vas forðum fyrr kend Bretum,
sús Englum es eignuð síðan,
þvíat in enska þjóð áðan vélti
breks ósama brezka lýði.
‘The land, which has since been assigned to the English, was previously called after the Britons in former days, for the English people beforehand deceived the British people, [who were] averse to the extortion of land. ’
Ok láð þeira með liði miklu
sjǫlf eignaðisk í sǫgum fornum.
Ok, þars kristnir kœnir byggja,
áðr tók heiðin þjóð hallir smíða.
‘And according to the ancient stories, they themselves took possession of their land with a great army. And where wise Christians settle, heathen people had previously taken to constructing halls. ’
Es áttbogi enskrar þjóðar
saxneskr sagaðr í sǫgum fornum.
Þaðan eflðusk þeir til þrimu geira
landi at ræna lofðung Breta.
‘The lineage of the English people is said in ancient stories to be Saxon. From there they strengthened themselves for the clash of spears [BATTLE] to deprive the king of the Britons of the land. ’
En hers jaðarr halda máttit
brezkri jǫrðu né bauga fjǫlð.
Alt fór inn heiðni herr it eystra
eldi ok jarni eylands jaðar.
‘And the leader of the army [RULER = Vortigern] could not hold the British land nor the mass of treasures. The heathen army overran the edge of the island, all the east, with fire and iron. ’
En hertogi hœlis leitar;
gerisk traustan turn tyggi at smíða.
Ok þangat til þeirar gerðar
samnar mǫrgum mildingr smiðum.
‘But the duke searches for a stronghold; the lord sets about building a trusty tower. And the king assembles many craftsmen there for that work. ’
Kómu til smíðar spakir vǫlundar
— þats ýtum sagt — uppi í fjalli.
En, þats drengir á degi gerðu,
sá þess engan stað annan morgin.
‘Skilful builders came to the work up on the mountain; that is told to men. But what the men achieved by day, nowhere was it to be seen the next morning. ’
Kalla lét fylkir fróða seggi;
frá gunnþorinn gramr hvat olli,
es gǫrla hvarf grundvǫllr sá brott,
se*m grund gǫmul gleypði steina
eða †hamloðin harmin seldi†.
‘The king had wise men summoned; the battle-bold lord inquired what was the cause, when that foundation completely vanished, as if the ancient earth swallowed stones or … . ’
Einn vas maðr sá, es myrkva frétt
fyr skata skýrum skynja kunni.
Hét yngva vinr Ambrósíus,
en inn ágæti ǫðru nafni
Merlínus sá maðr kallaðisk.
‘That man was [the] only [one], who could explain the obscure portent to the wise king. The friend of the king was called Ambrosius but that excellent man was known by another name, Merlin. ’
Þat kvað valda verdags hǫtuðr,
at þar undir vas ólítit vatn.
Bauð grund grafa gumna stjóri;
reynisk spaklig spámanns saga.
‘The hater of the sea-day [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN = Merlin] said the cause was that a not small lake lay underneath. The commander of men [RULER = Vortigern] ordered the ground to be dug up; the prophet’s account turns out to be percipient. ’
Ok inn fróði halr frétti lofða,
hvat und vatni væri niðri.
Ok, es engi þat annarr vissi,
sagði fylki fleinþollr spǫkum:
‘And the wise man asked people what was further down beneath the lake. And, when nobody else knew that, the spear-fir [WARRIOR = Merlin] said to the sagacious king: ’
‘Sofa þar í dimmu djúpi niðri
tvennir ormar tveim hellum í.
Þeir eru lindar lands ólíkir;
sék rauða seil rás ok hvíta.
‘‘Two snakes sleep there in the dark depth down in two caves. Those girdles of the land [SNAKES] are unlike [one another]; I see a red and a white rope of the earth [SNAKE]. ’
‘Lát grund grafa, gera skorninga,’
sagði Merlínus menja deili.
‘Veitið vatni, ok vitið síðan,
hvat spát hafi spillir bauga,
— þat es nýlunda — niðr ór fjalli.’
‘‘Have the earth dug, form channels,’ Merlin said to the sharer of neck-rings [GENEROUS MAN = Vortigern]. ‘Drain the lake down from the mountain and then find out what the despoiler of rings [GENEROUS MAN = Merlin] has prophesied; that is a novelty.’ ’
Gerðu greppar, þats gumnum bauð;
varð vatni niðr veitt ór fjalli.
Ok seimgefendr snáka þekðu
tryggðarlausa, sem Týr firum
hafði Hristar hugspár sagat.
‘Men did as he ordered them; the lake was drained down from the mountain. And the givers of treasure [GENEROUS MEN] could see the treacherous snakes, just as the prophetic-minded Týr <god> of Hrist <valkyrie> [WARRIOR = Merlin] had said to men. ’
Ok drjúgligir drekar vǫknuðu;
gerðusk báðir brott úr rúmi.
Rennask síðan snart at móti
fróns fásýnir frœknir baugar.
‘And the mighty serpents woke; both moved away from their resting-places. The rarely-seen ferocious rings of the earth [SNAKES] then swiftly run towards each other. ’
Gerisk sókn mikil snáka tveggja;
gapa grimmliga grundar belti.
Hǫggvask hœknir hauðrs gyrðingar,
blásask eitri á ok blôm eldi.
‘A great fight commences between the two snakes; the belts of the ground [SNAKES] gape savagely. The vicious girdles of the earth [SNAKES] strike each other, blow venom and blue fire on each other. ’
Forflótti vas fránn inn rauði;
bar inn ljósi hann liðr at bakka.
En hann hagliga hrøkkr at móti;
elti hann inn hvíta hugtrúr dreka.
‘The red serpent took flight, the white snake drove it to the bank. But it [the red snake] nimbly twists to resist; valiant, it pursued the white serpent. ’
Þeir víg gera vatns farveg í,
ok lengi hvatt linnar berjask.
Mega ormar þar ýmsir meira
ok ýmsir þar undan leggja.
‘They wage battle in the lake’s outlet and the snakes fight each other fiercely for a long time. Now one snake, now the other has the advantage there; now one, now the other takes refuge there. ’
‘Seg, Merlínus,’ kvað menbroti,
‘— est þú fróðari fyrðum ǫðrum —,
hvat tákna mun tveggja orma
ógurligt víg aldar bǫrnum.’
‘‘Say, Merlin,’ said the neck-ring breaker [GENEROUS MAN = Vortigern], ‘— you are wiser than other men —, what the fearsome battle of the two snakes will mean for the children of men.’ ’
Grét gumna vinr, es hann greiða bað
þengill gǫfugr þessa hegju.
Ok eptir þat aldar snytrir
rǫkstælta spá rekkum sagði.
‘The friend of men wept when the noble king bade him explain this happening. And after that the teacher of the people [PROPHET = Merlin] spoke well-grounded prophecy to the men. ’
‘Táknar inn rauði rás fagrsili,’
kvað bjóðr bragar, ‘brezka lýði,
en inn hvíti naðr ina heiðnu þjóð,
es byggja mun brezkar jarðir.
‘‘The red fine rope of the earth [SNAKE],’ said the offerer of poetry [POET = Merlin], ‘stands for the British people, and the white snake for the heathen folk who will settle the British lands. ’
‘Es harmr mikill hǫlðum at segja;
segik sigr hafa snák inn hvíta.
Láð mun leggjask ok lýða fjǫlð;
munu dreyrgar ár ór dǫlum falla.
‘‘A great sorrow is to be told to men; I say the white snake has the victory. The land and the multitude of people will be subjugated; blood-stained rivers will fall from the valleys. ’
‘Farask mun krístni, kirkjur falla;
sás harmr hǫfugr; herr es í landi.
Þá mun enn eflask in auma þjóð;
áðr es harðla hnekt hennar kosti.
‘‘Christianity will vanish, churches collapse; that is a grievous sorrow; the [invading] army is in the land. Then the miserable people will gain strength once more; prior to that their welfare is sorely checked. ’
‘Mun þar í líki lofðungr koma
— sás vegligastr — villigaltar.
Hann fulltingir fárôðum her
ok und fótum trøðr ferðir Saxa.
‘‘A king will come there in the likeness of a wild boar; he is the most glorious. He will help the bewildered army and will tread the armies of the Saxons underfoot. ’
‘Fersk undir hann foldu grœnni
ok eyja fjǫlð í úthafi,
Íra ok Engla ok Út-Skota,
víðum lǫndum valskra þjóða,
Nóregs síðu ok Norðr-Dana.
‘‘Under him is brought the green land and a multitude of islands in the outer ocean, of the Irish and the English and the outlying Scots, extensive territories of the French people, the coast of Norway and [lands] of the northern Danes. ’
‘Ok Rúmverjar ræsi ugga;
megut reisa þeir rǫnd við stilli.
Mart veitk annat of menbrota,
en óglǫgt sék ørlǫg konungs.
‘‘And the Romans will fear the king; they will not be able to raise a shield against the lord. I know much else about the breaker of ring [GENEROUS MAN = Arthur], but the fate of the king I see indistinctly. ’
‘Hann munu tígna tungur lýða;
sá mun gramr vera gumnum tíðastr.
Ey mun uppi ǫðlings frami
ok hans hróðr fara með himinskautum.
‘‘The tongues of men will honour him; that king will be the most renowned among men. The lord’s prowess will always be remembered and his glory will travel to the corners of heaven. ’
‘Ok ôttungar ins ítra grams
laða at lofðungi landi ok þegnum.
En eptir þat orms ins hvíta
verðr meira vald en verit hafði.
‘‘And the descendants of the illustrious king will attract land and subjects to the ruler. But after that the power of the white snake will become greater than it had been. ’
‘Honum fulltingir Fenrir sjóvar,
þeims Affríkar útan fylgja.
Verðr kristnibrot of kyni þjóðar;
þó munu sjalfir síðar nøkkvi
enskir lýðir allir skírask.
‘‘The Fenrir <mythical wolf> of the sea, which Africans follow from overseas, will help it. There will be a breakdown of Christianity among the kindred of the people; yet the English people will themselves all be baptised somewhat later. ’
‘Líðr byskups stóll Lundúnum ór
í ina breiðu borg Kantara.
Ok langa tígn Légíónum
taka mun in mæta Menelógía.
‘‘The bishop’s seat will move from London to the broad Canterbury. And the splendid Menelogia will take over the long-held distinction of Caerleon. ’
‘Stór verða rǫk, rignir blóði,
hár snarpr at þat sultr mannkyni.
En inn rauði snákr eflisk síðan;
fær hann af miklu mátt erfiði.
‘‘Great wonders will occur, it will rain with blood, acute famine will thereupon afflict mankind. But the red snake gathers strength afterwards; he will acquire power from great exertion. ’
‘Líðr nauðr yfir naðr inn hvíta;
es hans kyn kvalit ok konur ristnar.
Ræntr es hann borgum ok búi mǫrgu,
fé hvers konar, foldu grœnni;
eru grimmliga gumnar drepnir.
‘‘Hardship will overwhelm the white snake; his kindred will be tormented and his women lacerated. He will be robbed of cities and many an estate, property of every kind, the green land; men will be slaughtered savagely. ’
‘Hníga fyr brezkum bragninga kon
siklingar sjau, sigri numnir.
Ok heilagr verðr herja deilir
einn af enskum ǫðlingum sjau.
‘‘Seven kings, deprived of victory, will fall before the British scion of kings [KING = Caduallo]. And the commander of armies [LEADER = S. Oswald], one of the seven English lords, will become a saint. ’
‘Sá, es slíkt gerir, mun sjalfr taka
eirmann á sik, aldar stjóri;
ok of hô hliði hilmir síðan
eirhesti á ítarligr sitr.
Gætir Lundúna lofsæll konungr.
‘‘That ruler of the people [KING = Caduallo] who does this will take a copper form upon himself, and thenceforward the ruler will sit in splendour on a copper horse above the high gate. The renowned king will watch over London. ’
‘Þá gerisk þat of þjóð Breta,
es þeim enn hefir áðr of grandat,
at þeir sjalfir sízt sáttir verða.
Deila þeir of veldi ok of víða fold;
eru kappsamar kindir brezkar.
‘‘Then it will come about for the British people, as has also harmed them in the past, that they themselves will not at all be in harmony. They will compete for power and for the wide territory; the British peoples will be in rivalry. ’
‘Kemr bardagi buðlungs himins
ákafr of her, ári steypir.
Kvelr inn harði helverkr fira;
megut dauðan her dróttir hylja.
Líðr sultr ok sótt at sigrviðum
— missir manna — mǫrg stríð hǫfug.
‘‘The violent scourge of the king of heaven [= God] will come over the people, will ruin the harvest. The harsh torment of Hell will afflict men; men will not be able to bury the dead people. Hunger and sickness will advance on victory-trees [WARRIORS], [and] many grievous hardships; there is loss of men. ’
‘Láð munu láta þeirs lifa eptir;
ferr in þingdjarfa þjóð ór landi.
Býr blezaðr gramr — sás brezkr jǫfurr —
skip sín á brott, ok hann skjótla verðr
taliðr tírgǫfugr í tolfta hǫll
sæll með sælum settr guðs vinum.
‘‘Those who survive will abandon the land; the battle-daring people will go from the territory. A blessed king — he is the British leader — prepares his ships for departure and he will soon become reckoned glorious, seated in the twelfth hall, blessed among the blessed friends of God. ’
‘Svá tœmir láð lýða bǫrnum,
— drífr hryggr heðan herr ór landi —
at skógar þar skjótla vaxa,
es ársamir akrar vôru
fyrr með fyrðum á fold Breta.
‘‘Thus the land will be emptied of the children of men [MANKIND] — the grieving people will stream from here out of the land — so that the forests will quickly grow there where previously among men there were fertile fields in the land of the Britons. ’
‘Þá mun inn hvíti hjarlþvengr fara
snót saxneska snarráðr laða.
Ok með miklum mannfjǫlða kemr
fjarðbyggs Skǫgul fold at byggja.
‘‘Then the white thong of the earth [SNAKE] will travel, with swift resolution, to invite the Saxon woman. And the Skǫgul <valkyrie> of fjord-barley [JEWEL (steinn ‘stone’) > WOMAN] will come with a great multitude of men to settle the land. ’
‘Mun sáð koma sinni ǫðru
útlent yfir óra garða.
En samt yfir á svǫlum barmi
eylands þrumir ormr inn rauði;
fær hann lítit af landinu.
‘‘Foreign seed will come a second time over our precincts. And still the red snake remains on the cool fringe of the island; he will gain little from the land. ’
Þá kórónask kapps hvítdreki,
ok saxneskir seggir ríkja.
En eirjǫfurr ofan at stíga
verðr af brǫttum borgararmi.
‘Then the white serpent of belligerence will be crowned and Saxon men will rule. And the copper lord has to climb down from the sheer city wall. ’
‘Eru laufviðar ljósum fjǫtri
takmǫrk gefin í tali ára.
Munat hann ríkja of in rǫmmu skǫp
né því inu fagra fróni ráða.
‘‘Limits are set to the white fetter of the leafy tree [SNAKE] as to number of years. He will not govern the mighty fates nor rule that fair land. ’
‘Vera mun* ára í aga miklum
fimtán tigi foldar belti.
En tírœð tíri gǫfgaðr
hundruð þrjú hann mun sitja
Lundúnum at ok lýða fjǫlð.
‘‘The belt of the earth [SNAKE] will be in great strife for fifteen decades. But for three hundred years, counted decimally, he will reign in London, endued with glory, and a multitude of people [with him]. ’
‘Þá mun grimmum ganga at móti
landnyrðingr hvass lundar fjǫtri
ok blóma þá á brott reka,
es vestrœnir vindar grœddu.
‘‘Then a sharp northeast wind will come against the savage fetter of the grove [SNAKE], and drive away the flowers that the westerly winds fostered. ’
‘Mun gull glóa guðs húsum á,
en lǫgðis veðr lægir þeygi.
Mun trautt taka tálsamr dreki
híð sín mega, þvíat honum nálgask
víti fyr vélar, þats hann verðr bera.
‘‘Gold will shine in God’s houses, but the storm of the sword [BATTLE] will not cease. The treacherous dragon will scarcely manage to reach its lairs, since retributions for its machinations will come upon it, that it will have to endure. ’
‘Fá mun hann uppgang afarlitla stund;
hnekkir hônum hringserkjat lið.
Kømr sunnan sú sveit of ægi,
es hann ríki mun ræna miklu.
‘‘He will obtain success for a very short time; the mail-shirted army will check him. That band will come from the south across the sea, which will rob him of his great kingdom. ’
‘Sá mun lofðungr, es liði stýrir,
brátt brezkum her byggva jarðir.
Mun sáð tekit snáks ins hvíta
endr ór órum aldingǫrðum.
‘‘The lord who leads the army will swiftly settle the lands with British people. The white snake’s seed will be taken once more out of our orchards. ’
‘Þá mun hann gjalda grimmra ráða;
es hans tíundat tálaukit kyn.
Verðr hann grœna grund at vinna,
ok hann upp frá því aldri ríkir.
Tekr hann svá fyr svik sárar hefnðir.
‘‘Then he will pay for his savage actions; his treacherous kindred will be decimated. He will have to work the green earth and from that time onwards he will reign no more. Thus he will incur grievous retributions for his treachery. ’
‘Ríkir enn at þat ormar tvennir;
missir annarr þar aldrs fyr skeyti,
en annarr mun aptr of hverfa
und skugga nafns at skǫpum vinna.
‘‘After that two more snakes will rule; one will lose his life there to an arrow, but the other will return under the cover of a name to contend against the fates. ’
‘Þá mun ríkja réttlætis dýr,
þats eyverskir ormar hræðask.
Ok fyr sunnan sæ sjalfir ugga
víz rammligir valskir turnar.
‘‘Then the beast of justice will rule, which the island-dwelling serpents will dread. And south across the sea the French towers themselves, redoubtable on every side, will be fearful. ’
‘Þá mun gull snarat af grasi mǫrgu;
flýtr ór klaufum kalfs ættar silfr.
Eru fagrbúin fljóð í landi;
verðrat snótum siðbót at því.
‘‘Then gold will be wrung from many a herb; silver will flow from the hooves of the kindred of the calf [CATTLE]. There will be finely dressed women in the land; there will not be moral reform for the ladies on account of that. ’
‘Sprett es í miðju mótpenningum;
mun gǫrst gleðu glatask ránsemi.
Tennr munu gylðis trausti numnar,
ok léons vargar verða at fiskum
hvassir hvelpar hvaltúnum í.
‘‘There will be a split down the middle of stamped pennies; the thieving ways of the kite will completely come to a stop. The wolf’s teeth will be deprived of their strength, and the lion’s wolves, keen cubs, will become fish in the whale-enclosures [SEA]. ’
‘Verðr meinliga mæki brugðit;
sék blóði ben blása móður;
líðr mart hǫfugt of lýða kyn.
Rýðr varðar blóð Venedócíam,
ok síðan sex snarpir lifra
kynsmenn drepa Kórínéus.
‘‘The sword will be drawn with ill intent; I see the wound spurt with the mother’s blood. Much hardship will come over the race of men. The blood of the woman will redden Venedotia and then bold kinsmen of Corineus will slay six brothers. ’
‘Þá munu gumnar gráta á nóttum
ok þjóð gera þægjar bœnir.
Þá munu hǫlðar til himins kosta;
fá it langa líf lǫfðar nýtir.
‘‘Then men will weep at night and people will say acceptable prayers. Then men will strive after heaven; worthy men will obtain the long life. ’
‘Enn munu í skógi skœðir síðan
vargar vakna veiða í borgum.
Þeir munu sína sjalfir dolga
fella eða fjǫtra; fáir munu verða,
þeirs treystask þeim telja at móti.
‘‘Then once more will vicious wolves awaken in the forest, hunt in the cities. They will themselves kill or shackle their foes; few will there be, who have confidence to complain against them. ’
‘Einn sitr nýtastr Néústríe
Englandi at auðar skelfir.
Þó ’ro siklingar sunnan komnir
fimm eða fleiri foldu at ráða.
‘‘The one worthiest shaker of riches [GENEROUS MAN] of Neustria will preside over England. Yet five kings or more have come from the south to rule the land. ’
‘Sá bjartar brýtr borgir Íra
ok foldar til fellir skóga.
Gerir ræsir eitt ríki margra;
tekr léónis lávarðr hǫfuð.
‘‘He will destroy the splendid cities of the Irish and fell the forests to the ground. The leader will create one kingdom out of many; the lord will take on the head of a lion. ’
‘Es í reiðingu ráð þjóðkonungs
inn fyrra hlut fylkis ævi.
En inn øfri aldr auðvarpaðar
líkar helgum himinstilli vel.
‘‘The behaviour of the mighty king will waver for the first part of the leader’s life. But the later life of the wealth-flinger [GENEROUS MAN] will please the holy ruler of heaven [= God] well. ’
‘Mun hann byskupa borgum skrýða
ok helgan stað hefja margan.
Tígnar borgir tvær pallío;
gefr hann þýjum Krists þægjar hnossir.
‘‘He will endue bishops with cities and elevate many a holy place. He will honour two cities with the pallium; he will give acceptable treasures to the servant-women of Christ. ’
‘Verðr af slíku sverðéls hǫtuðr
himna ferðar hugþekkr grami.
Ok at þetta líf þingdjarfr konungr
taliðr es tyggja tungls með englum.
‘‘The hater of the sword-storm [BATTLE > HOLY MAN] will be dear to the lord of the host of the heavens [ANGELS > = God] because of such [deeds]. And the king bold in encounters will be counted after this life with the angels of the lord of the moon [= God]. ’
‘Glíkt mun gaupu grams jóð vesa;
vill þat sinni þjóð sjalfri steypa.
En af þeim sǫkum þermlask bæði
Íra ok Engla auðgrar jarðar
Néústría ok numin tígnum.
‘‘The king’s son will resemble a lynx; it will wish to destroy its own people. And for those reasons Neustria will be stripped of the rich land of both the Irish and the English and deprived of honours. ’
‘En eptir þat óðals á vit
fara fráliga fyrðar brezkir.
Þó es illa áðr ært í landi;
eru ósáttar enskar þjóðir.
‘‘But the British people will go back swiftly after that to their ancestral land. Yet there has been a poor harvest previously in the land; the English peoples will be at odds with one another. ’
‘Ríðr inn prúði til Peritónis ár
hvítum hesti hvatr ǫldurmaðr.
Ok hvítum þar hann markar staf
aldrœnn yfir ô kvernar hús.
‘‘The splendid man, a bold lord, will ride a white horse to the river Periron. And there he, the aged [man], will mark out a mill-house above the river with a white staff. ’
‘Kalla mun Kónan Káðvaládrus
ok skilfinga* Skotlandi af.
Rýkr af grimmu Gǫndlar éli;
verðr it mikla malmþing háit.
‘‘Cadwallader will summon Conan and kings from Scotland. Smoke will rise from the savage storm of Gǫndul <valkyrie> [BATTLE]; the great metal-encounter [BATTLE] will be waged. ’
‘Svífr it hvassa hagl tvíviðar
— hnígr hǫlða lið — hart af strengjum.
En geyst hinig gaflok fara;
megut Skǫglar ský við skotum halda.
‘‘The cutting hail of the bow [ARROWS] flies hard from the strings; the troop of men sinks down. And javelins travel this way ferociously; the clouds of Skǫgul <valkyrie> [SHIELDS] cannot withstand the volleys. ’
‘Bresta brynjur, bíta malmar,
eru dreyrfáið dǫrr á lopti,
fleinn á flaugun, folk í dreyra,
bíldr í benjum, broddar á skildi,
hjalmr á hǫfði, hlíf fyr brjósti,
geirr á gangi, guðr í vexti.
‘‘Mail-shirts split, weapons bite; blood-stained darts are in the air, the spear in flight, the army in blood, the arrow in wounds, spear-points in the shield, the helmet on the head, the shield before the breast, the spear in motion, battle on the increase. ’
‘Hittisk targa ok inn togni hjǫrr,
hjalmr ok hneitir, hlíf ok ǫrvar,
brynja in brezka ok brandr roðinn,
manns môttug hǫnd ok meðalkafli,
hvítmýlingar ok hǫlða brjóst.
‘‘Shield and the drawn sword meet, helmet and sword, shield and arrows, the British mail-shirt and red-stained sword, a man’s strong hand and a sword-grip, white-muzzled arrows and the breasts of men. ’
‘Hrapa hræva gǫr, hátt gjalla spjǫr,
es malmþrima mest á hjarli.
Verðr einn við einn valkǫstr hlaðinn;
munu blóðgar ár af bjǫðum falla,
en vígroða verpr á hlýrni.
‘‘Heaps of corpses tumble, spears scream loudly, the weapon-tumult [BATTLE] is greatest on the earth. One pile of slain is built up beside another; bloody rivers will fall from the lands, and the redness of battle is cast up into heaven. ’
‘Falla fyrðar í fleindrífu;
verðr enskri þjóð aldrspell skipat.
Es vǫllr roðinn en víg boðin;
hlýtr hôvan sigr helmingr Breta.
‘‘Men will fall in the arrow-blizzard [BATTLE]; loss of life will be allotted for the English people. The field will be stained red and killing proffered; the forcè of Britons will win a great victory. ’
‘Yppir fjǫllum fljótt Valbreta;
munu Brútus þau bera kórónu.
Grœnask ǫflgar eikr Kornbreta;
fagnar slíku fús Kambría.
‘‘The mountains of French Britons will be swiftly raised up; they will bear the crown of Brutus. The mighty oaks of the Cornish Britons will grow green; eager Cambria rejoices at that. ’
‘Eyðisk eyjar it enska nafn;
mun hon Anglía eigi kǫlluð.
Hlýtr hon at halda heiti inu forna;
kend es við Brútum Brítannía.
‘‘The English name of the island is expunged; it will not be called Anglia. It gets to retain the old name; it is called Britain after Brutus. ’
‘Mun villigǫltr vígdjarfr koma
ór kynstórri Kónánus ætt
sá vigra konr Vallandi á.
Høggr yngva sonr eikr ór skógi;
þó mun hilmir hollr smáviði.
‘‘A wild boar, that scion of pigs, will issue, daring in combat, from the mighty lineage of Conan in France. The prince’s son hews down oaks from the forest; yet the ruler will be kindly to small trees. ’
‘Munu Rábítar ræsi ugga
út í heimi ok Affríkar.
Fǫr mun vísi víðlendr gera
á it ýtra œgr Ispáníam.
‘‘The Arabs and Africans will fear the leader out in the world. The awe-inspiring leader with extensive territories will make an expedition to Spain on its farther side. ’
‘Sitr ept hilmi hafr at lǫndum;
hans esat skilja skap frá vífni.
Berr hann á hǫfði horn ór gulli;
es skegg skata skapat ór silfri.
‘‘A he-goat will preside over the lands after the king; his temperament cannot be separated from desire for women. He will bear on his head horns of gold; the leader’s beard will be formed from silver. ’
‘Blæs Mistar vinr ór nǫsum †tiossa†
þoku þvílíkri, at þekr of ey.
Friðr es of fylkis fastr lífdaga;
brestr eigi þá ár í landi.
‘‘The friend of Mist <valkyrie> [WARRIOR] blows such a fog out of his nostrils … that it covers the island. Peace is fixed throughout the king’s lifetime; prosperity does not fail then in the land. ’
‘Þá munu á foldu fǫgr víf draga;
blístrar meyjum metnuðr í spor.
Munu kvensemi kastra smíðuð;
svíkr gumna vin girnð in ranga.
‘‘Then beautiful women will make their way on the ground: pride hisses in the maidens’ trail. Castles of desire for women will be built; the wrongful concupiscence betrays the friend of men [RULER]. ’
‘Verðr at blóði brunnr inn fagri;
þós á grundu gnótt hvers konar.
En á holmi hildingar tveir
berjask of brúði bjarthaddaða;
sús í víðri Vaðbatúli.
‘‘The fine spring turns to blood; yet there is every kind of bounty on the earth. And two leaders fight on an island over a bright-haired woman; she is in broad Vadum batuli. ’
‘Sjá þessi rǫk þrennar aldir,
— þó es lýða ráð ljótt fyr dróttni —
unz landrekar Lundúnum í
grafnir ór grundu gumnum vitrask.
‘‘Three ages witness these wonders — yet the conduct of men is odious before the Lord —, until kings disinterred from the ground in London are revealed to men. ’
‘Kømr árgalli enn inn mikli
ok meinliga manndauðr of her;
eyðask borgir við bragna tjón.
Es nauðr mikil nýtra manna;
flýr margr á brott maðr ór landi.
‘‘Once more there will come a great failure of the harvest and mortality [with it], hurtfully over the people; cities will be devastated with the loss of men. There will be great adversity for valiant men; many a man will flee away from the land. ’
‘Kømr kaupskapar kappgóðr þinig
villigalti virðum samna,
þeims af fróni flýðu áðan.
Lætr hann byggva þá brezkar jarðir,
borgir eyddar, ból góligust.
‘‘The wild boar of commerce, exceedingly good, will come there to gather men who had previously fled from the land. He causes them to settle the British lands, the devastated cities, the choicest estates. ’
‘Mun hans brjóst vesa brǫgnum fœzla,
þeims fátt hafa fjár með hǫndum.
Ok in tállausa tunga hilmis
sløkkvir þorsta þjóðans liði.
‘‘His breast will be sustenance for men who have little property at their disposal. And the ruler’s tongue, free of deception, will slake thirst for the following of the lord. ’
‘Falla ór orða almærri vǫk
dynjandi ár dróttar stýris.
Þær munu dǫggva dýrar jarðir
geðs í glæstum gollorheimi
ok þurrar kverkr þjóðar margrar.
‘‘Resounding rivers will fall from the much-famed gap of words [MOUTH] of the ruler of the entourage [PRINCE]. They will spread dew on the beloved lands of the mind [HEARTS] in the splendid home of the pericardium [BREAST] and on the dry throats of many a people. ’
‘Upp renn síðan — sék þat fyrir —
traust í turni tré Lundúna;
þrír eru kvistir þeim lundi á,
en hann laufi þekr land með hringum.
‘‘A sturdy tree will shoot up then in the tower of London: I foresee that. There are three branches on that tree and with its foliage it completely shelters the land. ’
‘Kømr þar af lœgi landnyrðingr hvass;
lýstr hann illum byl einn af stofni.
Þar munu kvistir, es þruma eptir,
þess rúm taka; þat sék gǫrla.
‘‘A sharp northeast wind will come there from the sea; it will knock one [branch] from the trunk with a malevolent gust. The branches that remain afterwards will take up its space there; I see that clearly. ’
‘Hylja þeir alla ey með laufi,
unz annarr þar ǫðrum bœgir
ok eyðir hans ǫllu laufi;
tekr hann þrjú rúm þrekstórr hafa.
‘‘They will cover the entire island with foliage until one [branch] subdues the other there and destroys all its foliage; very vigorous it will commence to have the three places. ’
‘Ok hann síðan þekr þykku laufi
einn of alla eybarms fjǫru.
Megut þá fljúga foglar í landi,
þvíat hann œgir þeim, en hann enn til sín
laðar fogla fljótt ferð útlendra.
‘‘And then it alone will cover with its dense foliage the entire foreshore of the island’s fringe. The birds within the land will then be unable to fly, because he will frighten them, but yet he will quickly entice a host of foreign birds to himself. ’
‘Þá mun illingar asni ríkja;
sás fljótr taka fé gullsmiða.
Es lofða vinr latr at hefna
gylðis barna gramr ránsemi.
‘‘Then will the ass of evil reign; he will be quick to take the property of goldsmiths. The fierce friend of men [RULER] will be slow to avenge the rapacity of the children of the wolf [WOLVES]. ’
‘Ok á hans dǫgum harðla brenna
ófs rammligar eikr ór skógum.
Enn á lítlum lindar kvistum
vex ǫrliga akarn í lundi.
‘‘And in his days exceedingly mighty oaks from the forests will burn fiercely. Once more an acorn will grow rapidly on the slender twigs of the lime-tree in the grove. ’
‘Ok Ránar vegr renn of ósa
Sábrínus sjau; sék þat fyrir.
En Óskarô — þat es undr mikit —
mun mánuðr sjau môttug vella.
Gervisk fiskum fjǫrtjón at því,
en ór sjǫlfum þeim snákar verða.
‘‘And the path of Rán <sea-goddess> [SEA] will run through seven mouths of the Severn; I foresee that. And the river Usk will boil powerfully for seven months; that is a great marvel. Loss of life for the fish will come of that, and snakes will be engendered out of them. ’
‘Munu Bádónis borgar verða
— líðr mart yfir — laugar kaldar.
Ok hennar vǫtn heilnæm firum
gera þá dauða drjúgt mannkyni.
‘‘The baths of the city of Bath will become cold: many a thing will come to pass. And her waters, beneficial to men, will then cause deaths relentlessly for mankind. ’
‘Verðr tuttugu tjón þúsunda
ljóna ferðar Lundúnum í.
Þeir munu drengir drepnir allir;
gerir karla tjón Tems at blóði.
‘‘The loss of twenty thousand of the host of men will come to pass in London. Those men will all be slain; the loss of men will turn the Thames to blood. ’
‘Munu kapps mǫnnum kvánfǫng boðin:
eru ekkjur þar orðnar margar.
En á kǫldum kall þeira næst
menn Mundíu montum heyra.’
‘‘Marriages will be offered to men of bravery: many [women] have become widows there. But men will hear their cry afterwards on the cold mountains of the Alps.’ ’
Hér munk létta ljóð at semja
ok spásǫgu spillis bauga.
Þó eru fleiri orð ins fróða manns;
hefk sumt af þeim samit í kvæði.
‘Here I will leave off composing the song and the prophetic tale of the destroyer of rings [GENEROUS MAN = Merlin]. Yet there are more words of the wise man; I have arranged some of them in a poem. ’
Þau eru ǫnnur ljóð upp frá þessum;
†alvisk† eigi auðs berdraugar
— biðk þjóðir þess — við þenna brag,
þó at ek mynt hafa mál at hætti,
þeims spár fyrir spjǫllum rakði
malmþings hvǫtuðr, í mǫrgum stað.
‘There are other songs following on from these; may bearing logs of wealth [MEN] not … with this poem — this I ask of people —, although I have formed my sayings in many a place after the style in which the whetter of the metal-meeting [BATTLE > WARRIOR = Merlin] recited prophecies in speeches. ’
Viti bragnar þat, þeirs bók lesa,
hvé at spjǫllum sé spámanns farit,
ok kynni þat kjaldýrs viðum,
hverr fyrða sé framsýnna hôttr
môl at rekja, þaus menn vitut.
‘ May men, who read the book, know that, how the prophet’s sayings have been rendered, and teach that to trees of the keel-beast [SHIP > SEAFARERS], what the style of prophetic persons is in narrating matters that men do not know. ’
Lesi sálma, spjǫll lesi spámanna,
lesi bjartar þeir bœkr ok roðla,
ok finni þat, at inn fróði halr
hefr horskliga hagat spásǫgu,
sem fyr hônum fyrðar helgir.
‘Let them read the psalms, read the sayings of the prophets, let them read bright books and rolls, and discover that the wise man has devised his prophecy sagaciously, like holy men before him. ’
Virði engi þat vitlausu,
þótt hann hoddskǫtum heiti gæfi
viðar eða vatna eða veðrs mikils
eða alls konar orma eða dýra.
Táknar eðli talðrar skepnu
spjǫrráðanda spjǫll eða kosti.
‘ Let nobody think it nonsense if he gives treasure-chieftains [RULERS] the name of a wood or lakes or a great storm or all kinds of serpents or beasts. The nature of the creature described signifies the flaws or strengths of the wielders of the spear [WARRIORS]. ’
Segir Dáníel drauma sína
margháttaða merkjum studda.
Kvezk drjúglig sjá dýr á jǫrðu,
þaus tôknuðu tyggja ríki,
þaus á hauðri hófusk síðan.
‘Daniel tells his diverse dreams, supported by miracles. He says that he sees mighty animals on earth that signified the realms of kings that later came into being on earth. ’
Rekr inn dýri Dávíð konungr
margfalda spô, ok mælir svá:
‘Fjǫll munu fagna ok inn fríði skógr,
en skœðar ár skella lófum,
ok dalir ymna dróttni syngja.’
‘The noble King David utters manifold prophecy and speaks thus: ‘The mountains and the fair forest will rejoice, and dangerous rivers clap their hands and the valleys sing hymns to the Lord.’ ’
Hirtisk hǫlðar at hæða bœkr;
nemi skynsemi ok skili gǫrla,
hvat táknat mun í tǫlu þessi;
esat enn liðin ǫll spásaga;
þó eru mǫrgum myrk môl própheta.
‘Let men be chary of scorning books; let them learn wisdom and understand fully what is signified in this narration; the entire prophecy has not yet come to pass; yet the words of the prophets are obscure to many. ’
Frétti fyrðar, þeirs á fold búa
enn at óra ævi liðna,
hvat of her gerisk ok huga leiði.
Beri in nýju spjǫll við spásǫgu;
sé síðan þat, hvé saman falli.
‘Let men who remain on earth after our lifetime has passed find out what becomes of men and pay heed. Let them compare the new tidings with the prophecy; then let them see how the two coincide. ’
Varð sú in enska ætt fyr stundu
veldis missa; nús valskr konungr.
Þós þeygi enn þeira hætti
liðit af láði, né lýðs Breta
hvǫssum mæki hjarl eignaðisk.
‘The English people had to lose their dominion some time ago; now there is a French king. Yet their character has still in no way vanished from the land, neither has the land of the people of the British been taken over by the sharp sword. ’
Heilir allir, þeirs hlýtt hafa,
fleinvarpaðir frœði þessu.
Geri gótt gumar en glati illu,
bíði bráða bót afruna,
hafi hylli guðs ok himinríki.
‘Hail all barb-throwers [WARRIORS] who have listened to this lore. Let men do good and shun evil, experience a speedy remedy for their errors, have the grace of God and the heavenly kingdom. ’