The Norwegian runic poem was preserved in a 17th-century copy of a 17th-century manuscript that had been destroyed. The Norwegian runic poem is preserved in a metre belonging to the skaldic poem composed of examiner couplets, each of which contains two semi-detached statements of a sentencing character.

 

Norwegian Ancient

Norwegian Runic PoemFé vældr frænda róge;
føðesk ulfr í skóge.

Úr er af illu jarne;
opt løypr ræinn á hjarne.

Þurs vældr kvinna kvillu;
kátr værðr fár af illu.

Óss er flæstra færða
fo,r; en skalpr er sværða.

Ræið kveða rossom væsta;
Reginn sló sværðet bæzta.

Kaun er barna bo,lvan;
bo,l gørver nán fo,lvan.

Hagall er kaldastr korna;
Kristr skóp hæimenn forna.

Nauðr gerer næppa koste;
nøktan kælr í froste.

Ís ko,llum brú bræiða;
blindan þarf at læiða.

Ár er gumna góðe;
get ek at o,rr var Fróðe.

Sól er landa ljóme;
lúti ek helgum dóme.

Týr er æinendr ása;
opt værðr smiðr blása.

Bjarkan er laufgrønstr líma;
Loki bar flærða tíma.

Maðr er moldar auki;
mikil er græip á hauki.

Lo,gr er, fællr ór fjalle
foss; en gull ero nosser.

Ýr er vetrgrønstr viða;
vænt er, er brennr, at sviða.

Translation

Wealth is a source of discord between relatives;
the wolf lives in the forest.

The slag comes from the defective iron;
the reindeer often runs over the icy snow.

The giant torments women;
misfortune makes few men serene.

The estuary is the route of many journeys;
but a sheath is that of swords.

Riding is said to be the worst thing for horses;
Reginn has forged the most beautiful sword.

Ulcer is deadly for children;
death makes a body pale.

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

The constraint gives the limited choice;
a naked man is cooled by frost.

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

Abundance is a favor to men;
I say Frothi was generous.

The sun is the light of the world;
Bow me to the divine design.

Tyr is the monk god;
often the blacksmith has to blow.

The birch has the greenest leaves of all shrubs;
Loki was lucky in his cunning.

Man is the growth of dust;
great is the claw of the falcon.

A waterfall is a river that falls from the side of a mountain;
but the ornaments are golden.

The badger is the greenest of the winter trees;
it doesn’t crack when it burns.


read the other runic poems

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