Codex Regius: Voluspo

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The excerpt below is the most well known poem in Norse Mythology. Believed to be created by a Pagan Icelander, Voluspo tells the story of how the world came into being and how it shall end. This document has been preserved inside Codex Regius. There is a second version of the document, involving editions. The stanzas were changed and so was the name in the second version.


1. Hearing I ask | from the holy races,

From Heimdall's sons, | both high and low;

Thou wilt, Valfather, | that well I relate

Old tales I remember | of men long ago.

2. I remember yet | the giants of yore,

Who gave me bread | in the days gone by;

Nine worlds I knew, | the nine in the tree

With mighty roots | beneath the mold.

3. Of old was the age | when Ymir lived;

Sea nor cool waves | nor sand there were;

Earth had not been, | nor heaven above,

But a yawning gap, | and grass nowhere.

4. Then Bur's sons lifted | the level land,

Mithgarth the mighty | there they made;

The sun from the south | warmed the stones of earth,

And green was the ground | with growing leeks.

5. The sun, the sister | of the moon, from the south

Her right hand cast | over heaven's rim;

No knowledge she had | where her home should be,

The moon knew not | what might was his,

The stars knew not | where their stations were.

6. Then sought the gods | their assembly-seats,

The holy ones, | and council held;

Names then gave they | to noon and twilight,

Morning they named, | and the waning moon,

Night and evening, | the years to number.

7. At Ithavoll met | the mighty gods,

Shrines and temples | they timbered high;

Forges they set, and | they smithied ore,

Tongs they wrought, | and tools they fashioned.

8. In their dwellings at peace | they played at tables,

Of gold no lack | did the gods then know,--

Till thither came | up giant-maids three,

Huge of might, | out of Jotunheim.

9. Then sought the gods | their assembly-seats,

The holy ones, | and council held,

To find who should raise | the race of dwarfs

Out of Brimir's blood | and the legs of Blain.

10. There was Motsognir | the mightiest made

Of all the dwarfs, | and Durin next;

Many a likeness | of men they made,

The dwarfs in the earth, | as Durin said.

11. Nyi and Nithi, | Northri and Suthri,

Austri and Vestri, | Althjof, Dvalin,

Nar and Nain, | Niping, Dain,

Bifur, Bofur, | Bombur, Nori,

An and Onar, | Ai, Mjothvitnir.

12. Vigg and Gandalf) | Vindalf, Thrain,

Thekk and Thorin, | Thror, Vit and Lit,

Nyr and Nyrath,-- | now have I told--

Regin and Rathsvith-- | the list aright.

13. Fili, Kili, | Fundin, Nali,

Heptifili, | Hannar, Sviur,

Frar, Hornbori, | Fr?g and Loni,

Aurvang, Jari, | Eikinskjaldi.

14. The race of the dwarfs | in Dvalin's throng

Down to Lofar | the list must I tell;

The rocks they left, | and through wet lands

They sought a home | in the fields of sand.

15. There were Draupnir | and Dolgthrasir,

Hor, Haugspori, | Hlevang, Gloin,

Dori, Ori, | Duf, Andvari,

Skirfir, Virfir, | Skafith, Ai.

16. Alf and Yngvi, | Eikinskjaldi,

Fjalar and Frosti, | Fith and Ginnar;

So for all time | shall the tale be known,

The list of all | the forbears of Lofar.

17. Then from the throng | did three come forth,

From the home of the gods, | the mighty and gracious;

Two without fate | on the land they found,

Ask and Embla, | empty of might.

18. Soul they had not, | sense they had not,

Heat nor motion, | nor goodly hue;

Soul gave Othin, | sense gave H?nir,

Heat gave Lothur | and goodly hue.

19. An ash I know, | Yggdrasil its name,

With water white | is the great tree wet;

Thence come the dews | that fall in the dales,

Green by Urth's well | does it ever grow.

20. Thence come the maidens | mighty in wisdom,

Three from the dwelling | down 'neath the tree;

Urth is one named, | Verthandi the next,--

On the wood they scored,-- | and Skuld the third.

Laws they made there, and life allotted

To the sons of men, and set their fates.

21. The war I remember, | the first in the world,

When the gods with spears | had smitten Gollveig,

And in the hall | of Hor had burned her,

Three times burned, | and three times born,

Oft and again, | yet ever she lives.

22. Heith they named her | who sought their home,

The wide-seeing witch, | in magic wise;

Minds she bewitched | that were moved by her magic,

To evil women | a joy she was.

23. On the host his spear | did Othin hurl,

Then in the world | did war first come;

The wall that girdled | the gods was broken,

And the field by the warlike | Wanes was trodden.

24. Then sought the gods | their assembly-seats,

The holy ones, | and council held,

Whether the gods | should tribute give,

Or to all alike | should worship belong.

25. Then sought the gods | their assembly-seats,

The holy ones, | and council held,

To find who with venom | the air had filled,

Or had given Oth's bride | to the giants' brood.

26. In swelling rage | then rose up Thor,--

Seldom he sits | when he such things hears,--

And the oaths were broken, | the words and bonds,

The mighty pledges | between them made.

27. I know of the horn | of Heimdall, hidden

Under the high-reaching | holy tree;

On it there pours | from Valfather's pledge

A mighty stream: | would you know yet more?

28. Alone I sat | when the Old One sought me,

The terror of gods, | and gazed in mine eyes:

"What hast thou to ask? | why comest thou hither?

Othin, I know | where thine eye is hidden."

29. I know where Othin's | eye is hidden,

Deep in the wide-famed | well of Mimir;

Mead from the pledge | of Othin each mom

Does Mimir drink: | would you know yet more?

30. Necklaces had I | and rings from Heerfather,

Wise was my speech | and my magic wisdom;

Widely I saw | over all the worlds.

31. On all sides saw I | Valkyries assemble,

Ready to ride | to the ranks of the gods;

Skuld bore the shield, | and Skogul rode next,

Guth, Hild, Gondul, | and Geirskogul.

Of Herjan's maidens | the list have ye heard,

Valkyries ready | to ride o'er the earth.

32. I saw for Baldr, | the bleeding god,

The son of Othin, | his destiny set:

Famous and fair | in the lofty fields,

Full grown in strength | the mistletoe stood.

33. From the branch which seemed | so slender and fair

Came a harmful shaft | that Hoth should hurl;

But the brother of Baldr | was born ere long,

And one night old | fought Othin's son.

34. His hands he washed not, | his hair he combed not,

Till he bore to the bale-blaze | Baldr's foe.

But in Fensalir | did Frigg weep sore

For Valhall's need: | would you know yet more?

35. One did I see | in the wet woods bound,

A lover of ill, | and to Loki like;

By his side does Sigyn | sit, nor is glad

To see her mate: | would you know yet more?

36. From the east there pours | through poisoned vales

With swords and daggers | the river Slith.

37. Northward a hall | in Nithavellir

Of gold there rose | for Sindri's race;

And in Okolnir | another stood,

Where the giant Brimir | his beer-hall had.

38. A hall I saw, | far from the sun,

On Nastrond it stands, | and the doors face north,

Venom drops | through the smoke-vent down,

For around the walls | do serpents wind.

39. I saw there wading | through rivers wild

Treacherous men | and murderers too,

And workers of ill | with the wives of men;

There Nithhogg sucked | the blood of the slain,

And the wolf tore men; | would you know yet more?

40. The giantess old | in Ironwood sat,

In the east, and bore | the brood of Fenrir;

Among these one | in monster's guise

Was soon to steal | the sun from the sky.

41. There feeds he full | on the flesh of the dead,

And the home of the gods | he reddens with gore;

Dark grows the sun, | and in summer soon

Come mighty storms: | would you know yet more?

42. On a hill there sat, | and smote on his harp,

Eggther the joyous, | the giants' warder;

Above him the cock | in the bird-wood crowed,

Fair and red | did Fjalar stand.

43. Then to the gods | crowed Gollinkambi,

He wakes the heroes | in Othin's hall;

And beneath the earth | does another crow,

The rust-red bird | at the bars of Hel.

44. Now Garm howls loud | before Gnipahellir,

The fetters will burst, | and the wolf run free;

Much do I know, | and more can see

Of the fate of the gods, | the mighty in fight.

45. Brothers shall fight | and fell each other,

And sisters' sons | shall kinship stain;

Hard is it on earth, | with mighty whoredom;

Axe-time, sword-time, | shields are sundered,

Wind-time, wolf-time, | ere the world falls;

Nor ever shall men | each other spare.

46. Fast move the sons | of Mim, and fate

Is heard in the note | of the Gjallarhorn;

Loud blows Heimdall, | the horn is aloft,

In fear quake all | who on Hel-roads are.

47. Yggdrasil shakes, | and shiver on high

The ancient limbs, | and the giant is loose;

To the head of Mim | does Othin give heed,

But the kinsman of Surt | shall slay him soon.

48. How fare the gods? | how fare the elves?

All Jotunheim groans, | the gods are at council;

Loud roar the dwarfs | by the doors of stone,

The masters of the rocks: | would you know yet more?

49. Now Garm howls loud | before Gnipahellir,

The fetters will burst, | and the wolf run free

Much do I know, | and more can see

Of the fate of the gods, | the mighty in fight.

50. From the east comes Hrym | with shield held high;

In giant-wrath | does the serpent writhe;

O'er the waves he twists, | and the tawny eagle

Gnaws corpses screaming; | Naglfar is loose.

51. O'er the sea from the north | there sails a ship

With the people of Hel, | at the helm stands Loki;

After the wolf | do wild men follow,

And with them the brother | of Byleist goes.

52. Surt fares from the south | with the scourge of branches,

The sun of the battle-gods | shone from his sword;

The crags are sundered, | the giant-women sink,

The dead throng Hel-way, | and heaven is cloven.

53. Now comes to Hlin | yet another hurt,

When Othin fares | to fight with the wolf,

And Beli's fair slayer | seeks out Surt,

For there must fall | the joy of Frigg.

54. Then comes Sigfather's | mighty son,

Vithar, to fight | with the foaming wolf;

In the giant's son | does he thrust his sword

Full to the heart: | his father is avenged.

55. Hither there comes | the son of Hlothyn,

The bright snake gapes | to heaven above;

Against the serpent | goes Othin's son.

56. In anger smites | the warder of earth,--

Forth from their homes | must all men flee;-

Nine paces fares | the son of Fjorgyn,

And, slain by the serpent, | fearless he sinks.

57. The sun turns black, | earth sinks in the sea,

The hot stars down | from heaven are whirled;

Fierce grows the steam | and the life-feeding flame,

Till fire leaps high | about heaven itself.

58. Now Garm howls loud | before Gnipahellir,

The fetters will burst, | and the wolf run free;

Much do I know, | and more can see

Of the fate of the gods, | the mighty in fight.

59. Now do I see | the earth anew

Rise all green | from the waves again;

The cataracts fall, | and the eagle flies,

And fish he catches | beneath the cliffs.

60. The gods in Ithavoll | meet together,

Of the terrible girdler | of earth they talk,

And the mighty past | they call to mind,

And the ancient runes | of the Ruler of Gods.

61. In wondrous beauty | once again

Shall the golden tables | stand mid the grass,

Which the gods had owned | in the days of old,

62. Then fields unsowed | bear ripened fruit,

All ills grow better, | and Baldr comes back;

Baldr and Hoth dwell | in Hropt's battle-hall,

And the mighty gods: | would you know yet more?

63. Then H?nir wins | the prophetic wand,

And the sons of the brothers | of Tveggi abide

In Vindheim now: | would you know yet more?

64. More fair than the sun, | a hall I see,

Roofed with gold, | on Gimle it stands;

There shall the righteous | rulers dwell,

And happiness ever | there shall they have.

65. There comes on high, | all power to hold,

A mighty lord, | all lands he rules.

66. From below the dragon | dark comes forth,

Nithhogg flying | from Nithafjoll;

The bodies of men on | his wings he bears,

The serpent bright: | but now must I sink.


I will try to create an analysis for this document. It'll take me longer because this poem is longer than Baldrs Draumar but I will created one as soon as I can.

Added to on Oct 26, 2014
Last edited on Feb 25, 2022
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