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Håvamål


III.III

146.

The first charm I know is unknown to rulers
Or any of human kind;
Help it is named,
for help it can give In hours of sorrow and anguish.

147.

I know a second that the sons of men
Must learn who wish to be leeches.

148.

I know a third: in the thick of battle,
If my need be great enough,
It will blunt the edges of enemy swords,
Their weapons will make no wounds.

149.

I know a fourth:
it will free me quickly
If foes should bind me fast
With strong chains, a chant that makes Fetters spring from the feet,
Bonds burst from the hands.

150.

I know a fifth: no flying arrow,
Aimed to bring harm to men,
Flies too fast for my fingers to catch it
And hold it in mid-air.

151.

I know a sixth:
it will save me if a man
Cut runes on a sapling' s Roots
With intent to harm; it turns the spell;
The hater is harmed, not me.

152.

If I see the hall
Ablaze around my bench mates,
Though hot the flames, they shall feel nothing,
If I choose to chant the spell.

153.

I know an eighth:
that all are glad of,
Most useful to men:
If hate fester in the heart of a warrior,
It will soon calm and cure him.

154.

I know a ninth:
when need I have
To shelter my ship on the flood,
The wind it calms, the waves it smoothes
And puts the sea to sleep,

155.

I know a tenth:
if troublesome ghosts
Ride the rafters aloft,
I can work it so they wander astray,
Unable to find their forms,
Unable to find their homes.

156.

I know an eleventh:
when I lead to battle Old comrades in-arms,
I have only to chant it behind my shield,
And unwounded they go to war,
Unwounded they come from war,
U unscathed wherever they are.

157.

I know a twelfth:
If a tree bear
A man hanged in a halter,
I can carve and stain strong runes
That will cause the corpse to speak,
Reply to whatever I ask.

158.

I know a thirteenth
if I throw a cup Of water over a warrior,
He shall not fall in the fiercest battle,
Nor sink beneath the sword,

159.

I know a fourteenth, that few know:
If I tell a troop of warriors
About the high ones, elves and gods,
I can name them one by one.
(Few can the nit-wit name.)

160.

I know a fifteenth,
that first Thjodrerir
Sang before Delling's doors,
Giving power to gods, prowess to elves,
Fore-sight to Hroptatyr Odhinn,

161.

I know a sixteenth:
if I see a girl
With whom it would please me to play,
I can turn her thoughts, can touch the heart
Of any white armed woman.

162.

I know a seventeenth:
if I sing it,
the young Girl will be slow to forsake me.

163.

I know an eighteenth that I never tell
To maiden or wife of man,
A secret I hide from all
Except the love who lies in my arms,
Or else my own sister.

To learn to sing them, Loddfafnir,
Will take you a long time,
Though helpful they are if you understand them,
Useful if you use them,
Needful if you need them.

164.

The Wise One has spoken words in the hall,
Needful for men to know,
Unneedful for trolls to know:

Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.


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