Havamal (Words of the High One)

This post is a birthday present to my son Edward who is deep into Old Norse literature. ‘Hamaval’ is a single poem found in the Codex Regius (The Royal Book), the Icelandic codex in which many Old Norse poems are preserved. The verses of the Hamaval  are attributed to Odin and the poem itself is a combination of different gnomic poems presenting advice for living, proper conduct and wisdom.Tolkien frequently lectured on the subject of the Codex Regius during his decades long career as an Oxford professor.

Translated by W.H. Auden & P.B. Taylor

Young and alone on a long road,
Once I lost my way:
Rich I felt when I found another;
Man rejoices in man,

A kind word need not cost much,
The price of praise can be cheap:
With half a loaf and an empty cup
I found myself a friend,…

Read the complete poem here

 

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