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~ Historical & Classical Poetry ~

 

The Norwegian Rune Poem
Jump to the modern English translation below

Here you have both alliterative Fornyrislag meter, and end rhyme.

F vldr frnda rge; 
fesk ulfr skge.

r er af illu jarne; 
opt lypr rinn hjarne.

urs vldr kvinna kvillu; 
ktr vrr fr af illu.

ss er flstra fra fr; 
en skalpr er svra.

Ri kvea rossom vsta; 
Reginn sl svret bzta.

Kaun er barna blvan; 
bl grver nn flvan.

Hagall er kaldastr korna; 
Kristr skp himenn forna.

Naur gerer nppa koste; 
nktan klr froste.

s kllum br bria; 
blindan arf at lia.

r er gumna ge; 
get ek at rr var Fre.

Sl er landa ljme; 
lti ek helgum dme.

Tr er inendr sa; 
opt vrr smir blsa.

Bjarkan er laufgroenstr lma; 
Loki bar flra tma.

Mar er moldar auki; 
mikil er grip hauki.

Lgr er, fllr r fjalle foss; 
en gull ero nosser.

r er vetrgroenstr via; 
vnt er, er brennr, at svia.

Translation:

Wealth is a source of discord among kinsmen; 
the wolf lives in the forest.

Dross comes from bad iron; 
the reindeer often races over the frozen snow.

Giant causes anguish to women;
misfortune makes few men cheerful.

Estuary is the way of most journeys; 
but a scabbard is of swords.

Riding is said to be the hardest for horses; 
Reginn forged the finest sword.

Ulcer is fatal to children; 
death makes a corpse pale.

Hail is the coldest of grain; 
Christ created the world of old.

Need gives scant choice; 
a naked man is chilled by the frost.

Ice we call the broad bridge; 
the blind man must be led.

Harvest is a boon to men; 
I say that Froi was generous.

Sun is the light of the world; 
I bow to the divine decree.

Tr is a one-handed God; 
often has the smith to blow.

Birch has the greenest leaves of any shrub; 
Loki was fortunate in his deceit.

Man is an augmentation of the dust; 
great is the talon-span of the hawk.

Waterfall is a River falling from a mountain; 
but ornaments are of gold.

Yew is the greenest of trees in winter; 
it is wont to crackle when it burns.