Words for the Traveler
(Verses 41 - 79)

41
Vapnom oc váðom
scolo vinir gleðiaz,
þat er a sialfvm synst;
viðrgefendr oc endrgefendr
erosc lengst vinir,
ef þat biþr at verþa vel.


With weapons and clothes,
shall friends gladden each other
those that prove themselves
Those that give are given in return
they are friends the longest
if life endures, and fate be just.
 
   61
   Þveginn oc mettr
   ríði maþr þingi at,
   þot hann seð veddr til vel;
   scva oc bróca
   scammiz engi maþr,
   ne hestz in heldr,
   þot hann hafið góðan.


Washed and fed,
one should ride to the moot
though his clothes are worn;
of shoes and breeches,
let no man be ashamed
Nor of the horse either,
Though it is no thoroughbred.

42
Vin sinom
scal maþr vinr vera
oc gialda giof viþ giof;
hlátr viþ hlátri
scyli ha/lþar taca,
en la/sung viþ lygi.


To his friend
a man must be a friend
and give a gift for gift.
laughter in return for laughter,
And they should use
and deception in return for a lie.

   62
   Snapir oc gnapir,
   er til sevar komr,
   orn a aldinn mar;
   sva er maþr,
   er meþ morgom komr
   oc a formelendr fá.


It snatches and stretches
when it comes to the sea,
the eagle, the ancient sea;
so is he who finds at the moot
he has few supporters
to defend his cause.

43
Vin sinom
scal maþr vinr vera,
þeim oc þess vin;
enn ovinar sins
scyli engi maþr
vinar vinr vera.


To his friend
a man must be a friend
for himself and for the friend,
but no man should
be a friend of a friend
of his foe.
 
   63
   Fregna oc segia
   scal froðra hverr,
   sa er vill heitinn horscr;
   einn vita,
   ne annarr scal,
   þioþ veit, ef þriro.


Ask and reply properly,
each of the wise must,
who wishes to be called wise;
one alone may know
but not another;
and if there are three, all know.

44
Veitztv, ef þv vin átt
þann er þv vel trvir,
oc vill þv af hanom gott geta:
geði scaltv við þann blanda
oc giofom scipta,
fara at finna opt.

Know, if you have a friend
in whom you have faith,
and you wish good from him,
you must share thoughts
and exchange gifts,
and go often to seek him out.
     64
   Ríki sit
   scyli radsnotra hverr
   i hófi hafa;
   þa hann þat finnr,
   er meþ frocnom komr,
   at engi er einna hvatastr.

Of his power;
the prudent must
hold in moderation;
for he finds that,
when he is among valiant men,
none is keenest of all.

45
Ef þv átt annan
þannz þv illa trvir,
vildv af hanom þo gott geta:
fagrt scaltv viþ þann mela,
en flátt hyggia
oc gialda la/svng viþ lygi.


If you have another
of whom you mistrust,
but you want good from him,
you must speak fair to him,
but keep deceit in your thoughts,
and give deception in return for a lie.
 
   65
   orða þeirra,
   er maþr a/ðrom segir,
   opt hann giold vm getr.


For the words
spoken to another,
a man often receives repayment.
46
Þat er enn of þann
er þv illa trvir,
oc þer er grvnr at hans gedi:
hleia scaltv viþ þeim
oc vm hvg mela,
glic scolo giold giofom.

There is more about the one
whom you mistrust
and whose mind you suspect:
you should laugh with him
and speak not of your thoughts,
for gift with like gift should be paid.
     66
   Micilsti snemma
   kom ec i marga staði,
   enn til sið i svma;
   a/l var drvccit,
   svmt var olagat,
   sialdan hittir leiðr i lid.


Too soon,
I came to many places
and too late to some;
sometimes the ale was drunk,
sometimes it was not yet ready;
the one that is disliked rarely pleases.

47
Vngr var ec forðom,
for ec einn saman,
þa varð ec villr vega;
a/digr þottvmz,
er ec annan fann,
maþr er mannz gaman.


Long ago I was young,
I traveled on my own,
then I lost my path:
But I felt myself rich
when I found another,
man is man's merriment.
 
   67
   Her oc hvar
   mvndi mer heim vf boðit,
   ef þyrptac at malvngi mat,
   eða tvá/ ler hengi
   at ins tryggva vinar,
   þars ec hafða eit etiþ.


Here and there
I would be asked to a home
if I needed no meat at meals;
or two hams would hang
at the house of that friend
where I had eaten one.

48
Mildir frocnir
menn bazt lifa,
sialdan svt ala;
en osniallr maþr
vggir hotvetna,
sytir e glæyggr viþ giofom.


The generous and bold
men live best,
and rarely possess sorrow;
but the cowardly man
fears all sorts of things
and gifts always trouble the miser.
 
   68
   Eldr er beztr
   meþ yta sonom
   oc solar sýn,
   heilyndi sitt
   ef maþr hafa nair
   án vid la/st at lifa.


Fire is best
for the sons of men
and the sight of the sun;
his health,
if he can keep it,
and to live without dishonor.

49
Vaðir minar
gaf ec velli at
tveim tremonnom;
reccar þat þottvz,
er þeir rift hofðo,
neíss er neycqvidr halr.


My clothes
I gave in a field
to two wooden men:
they thought themselves warriors
when they had clothing:
the naked man is shamed.
 
   69
   Erat maþr allz vesall,
   þott hann se illa heill;
   svmr er af sonom sell,
   sumr af frondom,
   svmr af fe orno,
   svmr af vercom vel.


A man is not wholly wretched,
though he be in poor health;
one is blessed with sons,
another with kinsmen,
another with riches,
another with deeds well done.

50
Hra/rnar þa/ll
sv er stendr þorpi a,
hlyrat henne ba/rcr ne barr;
sva er maþr
sa er manngi ann,
hvat scal hann lengi lifa?


The fir decays,
the one that stands in the hamlet:
neither bark nor foliage protects it.
So is a man,
who none doth love:
how long should he live?
 
   70
   Betra er lifðom
   enn se olifðom,
   ey getr qvicr kv;
   eld sa ec vpbrenna
   a/ðgom manne fyr,
   enn vti var da/þr fyr dvrom.


It is better for the living
than for the dead,
the living man always gets the cow;
I saw the fire burning
before a rich man,
but death lying outside by the door.

51
Eldi heitari
brennr meþ illom vinom
friþr fimm daga;
enn þa slocnar,
er inn setti komr,
oc versnar allr vinscapr.


Friendship among bad friends
is hotter than fire
for five days;
but it is extinguished
when the sixth day comes
and the whole friendship spoils.
 
   71
   Haltr riðr hrossi,
   hiorð recr handarvanr,
   da/fr vegr oc dvgir;
   blindr er betri
   enn brendr se,
   nytr mangi náss.


The lame can ride a horse,
the one handed man drives the herd,
the deaf man fights and prevail;
it is better to be blind
than to be on the pyre:
a corpse can do nothing.

52
Micit eitt
scala manne gefa,
opt ca/pir ser i litlo lof;
meþ halfom hleif
oc meþ ha/llo keri
fecc ec mer felaga.


Great gifts one should not give
When one can obtain
with a little praise,
a half a loaf
and a tilted goblet
I gained myself an ally.
 
   72
   Sonr er betri,
   þott se siþ of alinn
   eptir genginn gvma;
   sialdan ba/tarsteinar
   standa bra/to ner,
   nema reisi niþr at nið.


A son is better,
though he be late born,
to a father that no longer lives;
monument stones seldom
stand by the road
save when raised by kinsmen to kin.

53
Litilla sanda,
litilla seva
litil ero geð gvma;
þvi allir menn
vrðot iafnspakir,
halb er a/ld hvar.


Little sands,
little seas,
little are the minds of men;
because all men
have not turned out equally wise,
the wisdom of mankind is halved.
     73
   Tveir íro eins heriar,
   tvnga er ha/fuþs bani,
   er mer i hedin hvern
   handar veni.

Two men are the destroyers of one:
the tongue is the head's slayer;
In every fur cloak,
I expect a fist.

54
Meþalsnotr
scyli manna hverr,
eva til snotr se;
þeim er fyrða
fegrst at lifa,
er vel mart vito.


Moderately wise,
each man must be
but never too wise;
for peoples
lives are most pleasant
when ignorant of many things.
 
   74
   Nott verþr feginn
   sa er nesti trvir;
   scammar íro scips rár;
   hverb er ha/stgrima;
   fiolþ vm vidrir
   a fimm da/gom,
   enn meira a manaði.


He becomes happy at night
who trusts his provisions;
a ship's sails are short;
an autumn night is changeable.
The wind may veers much
in five days,
and more in a month.

55
Meðalsnotr
scyli manna hverr,
eva til snotr se;
þviat snotrs mannz hiarta
verþr sialdan glatt,
ef sa er alsnotr, er á.


Moderately wise,
each man must be
never too wise;
because the wise man's heart
is seldom glad,
if he who owns it, is all knowing.
 
   75
   Veita hinn
   er vetki veít:
   margr verþr af a/ðrom api;
   maþr er a/ðigr,
   annarr oa/ðigr,
   scylit þann vítca vár.


He does not know,
he who knows nothing:
that ores make a fool of man;
that one man is rich,
and another poor;
there is no blame to be had.

56
Meðalsnotr
scyli manna hverr,
eva til snotr se;
orla/g sín viti
engi maþr fyrir,
þeim er sorgala/sastr sevi.


Moderately wise,
each man must be,
never too wise;
for of his fate
he who looks not forward,
bears a heart unburdened.
 
   76
   Deýr fe,
   deyia frondr,
   deyr sialfr it sama;
   enn orztírr
   deyr aldregi
   hveim er ser goðan getr.


Cattle die,
kinsmen die,
you will die one day as well;
but honor never dies,
for the one who has earned it
through great deeds.

57
Brandr af brandi brenn,
vnnz brvnninn er,
fvni qveykiz af fvna;
maþr af manni
verþr at mali kvðr,
enn til dolscr af dvl.


Brand is from brand
it burns, until it is burnt,
spark is kindled from spark;
from man is known to man
by wisdom in speech,
but the foolish is known from folly.
 
   77
   Deyr fe,
   deyia frondr,
   deyr sialfr it sama;
   ec veit einn
   at aldri deýr:
   domr vm da/þan hvern.


Cattle die,
kinsmen die,
you will die one day as well;
I know one thing
that never dies:
the renown of the brave dead.

58
Ar scal risa
sa er annars vill
fe eþa fior hafa;
sialdan liggiandi vlfr
ler vm getr,
ne sofandi maþr sigr


He must rise early,
the one who wants to have another's
wealth or life;
seldom does a lying wolf
get the prey
or a sleeping man victory.
 
   78
   Fvllar grindir
   sa ec fyr Fitivngs sonom,
   nv bera þeir vanar vol;
   sva er a/þr
   sem a/gabragð,
   hann er valtastr vina.


I saw the full folds
of the sons of Fitjung,
who bear now the staff of the beggar;
thus wealth is brief
like the blink of an eye
it is the most faithless of friends.

59
Ár scal rísa
sa er á yrkendr fá
oc ganga sins verca a vit;
mart vm dvelr
þann er vm morgin sefr,
halfr er a/ðr vnd hva/tom.


He must rise early,
he who rules few servants,
and set to work at once:
He is hindered
who sleeps through the morning;
wealth belongs to the industrious.
 
   79
   Osnotr maþr
   ef eignaz getr
   fe eþa flioðs mvnoð,
   metnadr hanom þroaz,
   en manvit aldregi,
   fram gengr hann drivgt i dvl.


If the foolish man
shall come into possession
of wealth or a woman's love,
pride grows in him
but never commonsense;
and onward he heads into folly.

60
Þvrra sciða
oc þakinna nefra
þess kann maþr miot,
þess viðar,
er vinnaz megi
mal oc missere.


Of dry sticks
and of birch bark for roofing,
man should know the measure,
and of wood
which will last
the quarter and half years to come.
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   









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