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Debate with the Father of Poetry          In Swedish: Ordskifte med Skaldefadern

I heard, in my dream, the High One speak--
Odin, who begot clans in ancient times.
To bear his people he commanded me,
though conceived in the depths of the soul, 
not of the womb:

"Proclaim the power of the runes to the world,
give me sons through your poetic gift,
men who will preserve my wisdom forever"--
I still tremble at the message I received.

Yet Odin had to hear my words of unwillingness:
"--I am devoted only to the father of the Ynglingar, 
to Sweden's sacrificial god
I swear oaths of loyalty--
only he owns the homeland I seek!"

"You seem to be holding on to your original faith,"
the High One said to me scornfully,
"the way you talk about Sweden's god:
he does not rule alone, like the Prince of Israel!

"All the most holy host of Asgard received
sacrifice and prayer in the ancient groves;
my wooden image stood with Thor's
and Frey's in that holy place of the
Swedes you revere so highly!"

"--Indeed I have seen that the Swedes
gave you sacrifice and prayer
and an image in ancient times,
you and the many powers in Asgard--
but the god of the Vanir is my friend all the same.

"He shall lead me home to the land I seek:
wherever Skidbladnir goes,
a fair wind is sure to follow."
"--From the dwarves he got that fair ship;
from the dwarves comes the gift I gave to you:

"They brewed from blood the best of drinks,
which Suttung hid deep inside the mountain.
I glided in there in the form of a snake,
then lay three nights with Suttung's daughter,

"got from Gunnlod that good mead,
journeyed back home in the shape of an eagle.
Suttung flew behind me and sought my death--
blood for the blood that I carried back.

"I made a great effort--
the giant's strength failed him,
and I reached the walls, the mead still with me.
The powerful drink flowed in the kettles,
but the worst of it fell down into the world.

"For you I ladled up, in the days of your youth,
the pure mead of the right word:
with your words you must win the homeland you seek,
through teaching the runes,
the land shall become your own."

© Ingeborg Svea Norden


Ingeborg´s Norse Heathen Pages       Mirror Site on OoCities.com


Image: possibly by Frölich/Lundbye/Skvogaard (?)


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