Sólarljóð – Songs of the Sun

1. Of life and property a fierce freebooter despoiled mankind; over the ways beset by him might no one living pass.

2. Alone he ate most frequently, no one invited he to his repast; until weary, and with failing strength, a wandering guest came from the way.

3. In need of drink that way-worn man, and hungry feigned to be: with trembling heart he seemed to trust him who had been so evil-minded.

4. Meat and drink to the weary one he gave, all with upright heart; on God he thought, the traveller’s wants supplied; for he felt he was an evil-doer.

5. Up stood the guest, he evil meditated, he had not been kindly treated; his sin within him swelled, he while sleeping murdered his wary cautious host.

6. The God of heaven he prayed for help, when being struck he woke; but he was doomed the sins of him on himself to take, whom sackless he had slain.

7. Holy angels came from heaven above, and took to them his soul: in a life of purity it shall ever live with the almighty God.


8. Riches and health no one may command, though all go smoothly with him. To many that befalls which they least expect. No one may command his tranquil-

9. Unnar and Saevaldi never imagined that happiness would fall from them, yet naked they became, and of all bereft, and, like wolves, ran to the forest.


10. The force of pleasure has many a one bewailed. Cares are often caused by women; pernicious they become, although the mighty God them pure created.

11. United were Svafud and Skarthedin, neither might without the other be, until to frenzy they were driven for a woman: she was destined for their perdition.

12. On account of that fair maid, neither of them cared for games or joyous days; no other thing could they in memory bear than that bright form.

13. Sad to them were the gloomy nights, no sweet sleep might they enjoy: but from that anguish rose hate intense between the faithful friends.

14. Hostile deeds are in most places fiercely avenged. To the holm they went, for that fair woman, and each one found his death.


15. Arrogance should no one entertain: I indeed have seen that those who follow her, for the most part, turn from God.

16. Rich were both, Radey and Vebogi, and thought only of their well-being; now they sit and turn their sores to various hearths.

17. They in themselves confided, and thought thenv selves alone to be above all people; but their lot Almighty God was pleased otherwise to appoint.

18. A life of luxury they led, in many ways, and had gold for sport. Now they are requited, so that they must walk between frost and fire.


19. To thy enemies trust thou never, although they speak thee fair: promise them good: ’tis good to have another’s injury as a warning.

20. So it befell Sorli the upright, when he placed himself in Vigolf’s power; he confidently trusted him, his brother’s murderer, but he proved false.

14. That Is, they engaged in iingle combat; the spot (or such encounters being called a holm, consisting of a circular space marked out by stones.