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"But now one thing must be said to young skalds, to such as yearn to attain to the craft of poesy and to increase their store of figures with traditional metaphors; or to those who crave to acquire the faculty of discerning what is said in hidden phrase: let such an one, then, interpret this book to his instruction and pleasure. Yet one is not so to forget A or discredit these traditions as to remove from poesy those ancient metaphors with which it has pleased Chief Skalds to be content; nor, on the other hand, ought Christian men to believe in heathen gods, nor in the truth of these tales N otherwise than precisely as one may find here in the begin- ) ning of the book. /

II. "Now you may hear examples of the way in which
Chief Skalds have held it becoming to compose, making
use of these simple terms and periphrases: as when Arnorr
Earls' Skald says that Odin is called Allfather:

Now I'll tell men the virtue
Of the terrible Jarl;
Allfather's Song-Surf streams;
Late my sorrows lighten.

Here, moreover, he calls poesy the Song-Surf of Allfather.
Havardr the Halt sang thus:

Now is the flight of eagles

Over the field; the sailors

Of the sea-horses hie them

To the Hanged-God's gifts and feasting.

to the one-armed God of War; but, especially in compounds, it has the sense of God, the God, and is usually applied to Odin. The compounds mentioned here by Snorri are all epithets of Odin. See Gylfaginning, p. 30.

Thus sang Viga-Glumr:

With the Hanged-God's helmet
The hosts have ceased from going
By the brink; not pleasant
The bravest held the venture.

Thus sang Refr:


Oft the Gracious One came to me
At the holy cup of the Raven-God;
The king of the stem-ploughed sea's gold
From the skald in death is sundered.

Thus sang Eyvindr Skald-Despoiler:

And Sigurdr,

He who sated the ravens

Of Cargo-God

With the gore of the host

Of slain Haddings

Of life was spoiled

By the earth-rulers

At Oglo.

Thus sang Glumr Geirason:

There the Tyr of Triumph
Himself inspired the terror
Of ships; the gods of breezes
That favor good men steered them.

Thus sang Eyvindr:

Gondull and Skogull
Gauta-Tyr sent
To choose from kings
Who of Yngvi's kin
Should go with Odin
And be in Valhall.

Thus sang Ulfr Uggason:

Swiftly the Far-Famed rideth,

The Foretelling God, to the fire speeds,

To the wide pyre of his offspring;

Through my cheeks praise-songs are pouring.

Thus sang Thjodolfr of Hvin:

The slain lay there sand-strewing,
Spoil for the Single-Eyed
Dweller in Frigg's bosom;
In such deeds we rejoiced.

Hallfredr sang thus:

The doughty ship-possessor
With sharpened words and soothfast
Lures our land, the patient,
Barley-locked Wife of Thridi.

Here is an example of this metaphor, that in poesy the earth is called the Wife of Odin. Here is told what Eyvindr sang:

Hermodr and Bragi,
Spake Hropta-Tyr,

Go ye to greet the Prince;
For a king who seemeth
A champion cometh
To the hall hither.

Thus sang Kormakr:

The Giver of Lands, who bindeth
The sail to the top, with gold-lace
Honors him who pours god's verse-mead;
Odin wrought charms on Rindr.

Thus sang Steinthorr:

Much have I to laud

The ancient-made (though little)

Liquor of the valiant

Load of Gunnlod's arm-clasp.

Thus sang Ulfr Uggason:

There I think the Valkyrs follow,
And ravens, Victorious Odin
To the blood of holy Baldr.
With old tales the hall was painted.

Thus sang Egill Skallagrimsson:

No victims for this
To Vili's brother,
The High-God, I offer,
Glad to behold him;

Yet has Mimir's friend
On me bestowed
Amends of evil
Which I account better.

He has given me the art—
He, the Wolf's Opposer,
Accustomed to battle,—
Of blemish blameless.

Here he is called High God, and Friend of Mimir, and
Adversary of the Wolf.
Thus sang Refr:

Swift God of Slain, that wieldeth
The snowy billow's wave-hawks,
The ships that drive the sea-road,
To thee we owe the dwarves' drink.

Thus sang Einarr Tinkling-Scale:

'T is mine to pour the liquor
Of the Host-God's mead-cask freely
Before the ships' swift Speeder:
For this I win no scorning.

Thus sang Ulfr Uggason:

His steed the lordly Heimdallr
Spurs to the pyre gods builded
For the fallen son of Odin,
The All-Wise Raven-Ruler.

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