Völuspá in skamma – The Short Voluspo

11. The wolf did Loki | with Angrbotha win,
And Sleipnir bore he | to Svathilfari;
The worst of marvels | seemed the one
That sprang from the brother | of Byleist then.

12. A heart ate Loki,– | in the embers it lay,
And half-cooked found he | the woman’s heart;–
With child from the woman | Lopt soon was,
And thence among men | came the monsters all.

13. The sea, storm-driven, | seeks heaven itself,
O’er the earth it flows, | the air grows sterile;
Then follow the snows | and the furious winds,
For the gods are doomed, | and the end is death.

14. One there was born, | the best of all,
And strong was he made | with the strength of earth;
The proudest is called | the kinsman of men
Of the rulers all | throughout the world.

15. Then comes another, | a greater than all,
Though never I dare | his name to speak;
Few are they now | that farther can see
Than the moment when Othin | shall meet the wolf.

11. Probably a lacuna before this stanza. Regarding the wolf Fenrir, born of Loki and the giantess Angrbotha, cf. Voluspo, 39 and note. Sleipnir: Othin’s eight-legged horse, born of the stallion Svathilfari and of Loki in the guise of a mare (cf. Grimnismol, 44). The worst: doubtless referring to Mithgarthsorm, another child of Loki. The brother of Byleist: Loki; cf. Voluspo, 51.

12. Nothing further is known of the myth here referred to, wherein Loki (Lopt) eats the cooked heart of a woman and thus himself gives birth to a monster. The reference is not likely to be to the serpent, as, according to Snorri (Gylfaginning, 34), the wolf, the serpent, and Hel were all the children of Loki and Angrbotha.

13. Probably an omission, perhaps of considerable length, before this stanza. For the description of the destruction of the world, cf. Voluspo, 57.

14. In Bellows’ translation this is stanza 40. It has been moved back to its position in the manuscript.

15. Cf. Voluspo, 65, where the possible reference to Christianity is noted. With this stanza the fragmentary “short Voluspo” ends, and the dialogue between Freyja and Hyndla continues in the Hyndluljóð.


Bellows Corona Edda Eiriksmal Fb Frigg Goddess Eir Hakonarmal Harald Fairhair Havamal Havamol Heathen Heathens Heimdallr Heimskringla Helgakviða Hjörvarðssonar I – The First Lay of Helgi the Hunding Sólarljóð – Songs of the Sun Gróttasöngr – The Lay of Grotti Hymiskviða Hyndluljóð Hárbarðsljóð Hávamál Lokasenna Mimir Nine worlds NNV Odin Othin Petition Poetic Edda Prophecy of the Seeress Ragnarök Reginsmál Sacred text Skaldskaparmal Skírnismál Snorri Sturluson social media Study Toughts Vafþrúðnismál Valhalla Viking Völundarkviða Völuspá Yggdrasil Þrymskviða