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My English Translation of the Havamal

This is a work in progress and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence

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Look around when you get to a door,
Always be careful, always be alert;
For you never know
If you might see an enemy.


Greetings to the giver!
A stranger has arrived!
Where will the stranger sit?
Give them a seat by the fire,
and test their luck.


Give the wanderer a fire
To warm their cold knees
Meat and dry clothes are needed by those
Who have traveled through the mountains.


Give the guest water with a meal,
A towel, a warm welcome,
Conversation, and then silence
So that they may tell their story.


Those who travel need wisdom;
A fool should stay at home;
The fool will be laughed at
In the company of the wise.


One should not brag about their wisdom,
But instead be careful;
When wise folks come,
Those who are silent
Rarely say mistakes.
One will not find a better friend
Than their own wisdom.


A cautious guest
Who comes to a meal
Sits in silence;
Keeping their ears alert;
Keeping their eyes alert.
This keeps the wise person safe.


One is happy
When they receive
The praise of others,
Because it is difficult to know
What is in the mind of another person.


One is happy
When they themself
Receive praise and has wisdom in their life,
Because bad advice
Is often given
Among folks.


The best thing
One can carry with them
Is wisdom.
It is better than wealth
In unknown places.


The best thing
One can carry with them
Is wisdom.
The worst thing
One can carry with them
Is a head full of booze.


Alcohol is not as good
As one might think,
Because the more one drinks,
The less wise one becomes.


Like a bird named Mindlessness
That flies over meals,
Waiting to steal the wisdom of folks;
That bird had a hold on me
When I was a guest of Gunnloth.


I was drunk.
I was too drunk.
I was wise when I was with Fjalar:
Drinking booze is best
When you can still keep your wits about you.


The child of royalty
Should be silent and thoughtful,
And also brave in battle;
One should be happy and joyful
Until the day they themself die.


The fool thinks that they will live forever
If they avoid battle,
But old age will kill them
Even if they are spared from spears.


The fool stares when they visit a friend,
And mumbles and is shy,
But if they drink alcohol, immediately
Everyone will know what a fool they are.


Only one who has traveled to many places
And experienced many things,
Can underderstand the mind of another person,
Assuming that person is also wise.


Drink your booze, but in moderation.
Speak wisely, or be silent.
No one will think that you are rude
If you go to bed early.


A greedy person, without wisdom,
Will eat until they are sick;
Wise folks will often mock them
Because of their big belly.


The flocks know when to go home
And leave the grazing grass behind,
But a fool does not know
How much food their stomach can hold.


The miserable person, maliciously,
Will make fun of everyone else,
But is unable to see
Their own flaws.


The fool stays awake the whole night
Worrying about everything.
In the morning, they will still be worried
And everything will still be the same as before.


The fool thinks that those
who laugh at them are their friends.
When they are with wise folks, the fool does not know
That they are being mocked.


The fool thinks that those
who laugh at them are their friends.
But when the fool is on trial, they will find very few
Who will speak favorably of them.


A fool thinks they know everything,
When they sit alone in their own home;
But they can't answer a single question
That is asked by others.


It is best for a fool to be silent
When they are around others,
Because no one will notice how unwise the fool is
Until the fool starts talking;
But a fool does not know how unwise they are
When they keep talking.


A person seems wise when they ask good questions
And give good answers.
Anything folks know can't be hidden
And will be gossiped about.


A fool who never stops talking,
Saying useless things:
A blabbering mouth, if it can't be controlled,
Will often lead to pain and trouble.


Do not mock or ruin the reputation of another,
Even if they are a guest;
A person will still appear wise
If they aren't asked questions
And they stay out of trouble.

Blanket Fort Webring

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