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Håvamål


III.I

111.

It is time to sing in the seat of the wise,
Of what at Urd's Well I saw in silence,
saw and thought on.
Long I listened to men
Runes heard spoken, (counsels revealed.)
At Har's hall, In Har's hall:
There I heard this.

112.

Loddfafnir, listen to my counsel:
You will fare well if you follow it,
It will help you much if you heed it.
Never rise at night unless you need to spy
Or to ease yourself in the outhouse.

113.

Shun a woman, wise in magic,
Her bed and her embraces:
If she cast a spell, you will care no longer

114.

To meet and speak with men,
Desire no food, desire no pleasure,
In sorrow fall asleep.

115.

Never seduce anothers wife,
Never make her your mistress.

116.

If you must journey to mountains and firths,
Take food and fodder with you.

117.

Never open your heart to an evil man
When fortune does not favour you:
From an evil man, if you make him your friend,
You will get evil for good.

118.

I saw a warrior wounded fatally
By the words of an evil woman
Her cunning tongue caused his death,
Though what she alleged was a lie.

119.

If you know a friend you can fully trust,
Go often to his house
Grass and brambles grow quickly
Upon the untrodden track.

120.

With a good man it is good to talk,
Make him your fast friend:
But waste no words on a witless oaf,
Nor sit with a senseless ape.

121.

Cherish those near you, never be
The first to break with a friend:
Care eats him who can no longer
Open his heart to another.

122.

An evil man, if you make him your friend,
Will give you evil for good:
A good man, if you make him your friend"
Will praise you in every place,

123.

Affection is mutual when men can open
All their heart to each other:
He whose words are always fair
Is untrue and not to be trusted.

125.

Bandy no speech with a bad man:
Often the better is beaten
In a word fight by the worse.

126.

Be not a cobbler nor a carver of shafts,
Except it be for yourself:
If a shoe fit ill or a shaft be crooked"
The maker gets curses and kicks.

127.

If aware that another is wicked, say so:
Make no truce or treaty with foes.

128.

Never share in the shamefully gotten,
But allow yourself what is lawful.

129.

Never lift your eyes and look up in battle,
Lest the heroes enchant you,
who can change warriors
Suddenly into hogs,

130.

With a good woman, if you wish to enjoy
Her words and her good will,
Pledge her fairly and be faithful to it:
Enjoy the good you are given,

121.

Be not over wary, but wary enough,
First, of the foaming ale,
Second, of a woman wed to another,
Third, of the tricks of thieves.

132.

Mock not the traveller met On the road,
Nor maliciously laugh at the guest:
Scoff not at guests nor to the gate chase them,
But relieve the lonely and wretched,

133.

The sitters in the hall seldom know
The kin of the new-comer:
The best man is marred by faults,
The worst is not without worth.

134.

Never laugh at the old when they offer counsel,
Often their words are wise:
From shrivelled skin, from scraggy things
That hand among the hides
And move amid the guts,
Clear words often come.

135.

Heavy the beam above the door;
Hang a horse-shoe On it
Against ill-luck, lest it should suddenly
Crash and crush your guests.

137.

Medicines exist against many evils:
Earth against drunkenness, heather against worms
Oak against costiveness, corn against sorcery,
Spurred rye against rupture, runes against bales
The moon against feuds, fire against sickness,
Earth makes harmless the floods.

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