Words to Love By
(Verses 90 - 95)


90
Sva er friþr qvenna
þeirra er flát hyggia,
sem aki io obryddom
a isi hálom,
teitom tvevetrom,
oc se tamr illa,
eþa i byr óþom
beiti stiornlavso,
eþa scyli halltr henda
hreín i þáfialli.


The love of a woman
who is deceitful in spirit
is like riding a smooth shod horse
on slippery ice,
a spirited two year old
who is poorly raised,
or a raging wind,
on a rudderless boat
it is like a lame man trying to catch
a reindeer on a thawing hill side.
 
   93
   Astar firna
   scyli engi maþr
   annan aldregi;
   opt fá á horscan,
   er a heimscan ne fá,
   lostfagrir litir.


No man may mock
another's love.
for beauty often
captures the heart of
the wise man
when it does not capture the fool.

91
Bert ec nv meli,
þviat ec beði veit,
brigðr er karla hvgr konom;
þa ver fegrst melom,
er ver flast hyggiom,
þat telir horsca hvgi.


Now I will speak openly,
because I know both:
the hearts of men are untrue to maidens;
when we speak most fair
then we think most false.
Cunning that fools even the wisest of hearts.

   94
   Eyuitar firna
   er maþr annan scal
   þess er vm margan gengr gvma;
   heimsca ór horscom
   gorir ha/lþa sono
   sa inn matki mvnr.


A man must not
mock another
for what happens to many men;
the strength of love
makes the sons of men
into fools
who once were wise.

92
Fagrt scal mela
oc fe bióþa
sa er vill fliods ast fá,
liki leyfa
ens liosa mans;
sa for er friár.


Fairly must he speak
and offer gifts,
he who wants to win the love of a woman;
praise the form
of the radiant maiden;
he wins who flatters in such a manner.
 
   95
   Hvgr einn þat veit
   er býr hiarta ner,
   einn er hann ser vm seva;
   a/ng er sot verri
   hveim snotrom manne
   enn ser a/ngo at vna.


Only the mind knows
what lives near the heart;
a man is alone with his own soul.
There is no sickness worse
for any wise man
than to have nothing to love.

Verses  1 - 40      41 - 79      80 - 89      90 - 95       96 - 102      103 - 110      111 - 137      138 - 143      144 - 164
Hávamál Library


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