Skírnismál – The Ballad of Skirnir

36. “Base wretches there | by the root of the tree
Will hold for thee horns of filth;
A fairer drink | shalt thou never find,
Maid, to meet thy wish,
(Maid, to meet my wish.)

37. “I write thee a charm | and three runes therewith,
Longing and madness and lust;
But what I have writ | I may yet unwrite
If I find a need therefor.”

Gerth spake:
38. “Find welcome rather, | and with it take
The frost-cup filled with mead;
Though I did not believe | that I should so love
Ever one of the Wanes.”

Skirnir spake:
39. “My tidings all | must I truly learn
Ere homeward hence I ride:
How soon thou wilt | with the mighty son
Of Njorth a meeting make.”

Gerth spake:
40. Barri there is, | which we both know well,
A forest fair and still;
And nine nights hence | to the son of Njorth
Will Gerth there grant delight.”

36. For the combination of this stanza with the preceding one, cf. note on stanza 35. The scribe clearly did not consider that the stanza began with line I, as the first word thereof in the manuscript does not begin with a capital letter and has no period before it. The first word of line 3, however, is so marked. Line 5 may well be spurious.

37. Again the scribe seems to have been uncertain as to the stanza divisions. This time the first line is preceded by a period, but begins with a small letter. Many editors have made line 2 {footnote p. 119} into two half-lines. A charm: literally, the rune Thurs (b); the runic letters all had magic attributes; cf. Sigrdrifumol, 6-7 and notes.

40. Barri: “The Leafy.”

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