The Words of Odin the High One from the Elder or Poetic Edda (Sæmund's Edda) translated by Olive Bray and edited by
D. L. Ashliman Return to: Folklore and Mythology Electronic Texts. Germanic Myths, Legends, and Sagas. Odin's Home Page.
1. Wisdom for Wanderers and Counsel to Guests (verses 1-79) 2. Maxims for All Men (verses 80-88) 3. Lessons for Lovers (verses 89-93) 4. Odin's Love Quests (verses 94-100) 5. Odin's Quest after the Song Mead (verses 101-108) 6. The Counseling of the Stray-Singer (verses 109-136) 7. Odin's Quest after the Runes (verses 137-144) 8. The Song of Spells (verses 145-164)
Wisdom for Wanderers and Counsel to Guests
1. At every door-way,
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ere one enters, one should spy round, one should pry round for uncertain is the witting that there be no foeman sitting, within, before one on the floor 2. Hail, ye Givers! a guest is come; say! where shall he sit within? Much pressed is he who fain on the hearth would seek for warmth and weal. 3. He hath need of fire, who now is come, numbed with cold to the knee; food and clothing the wanderer craves who has fared o'er the rimy fell. 4. He craves for water, who comes for refreshment, drying and friendly bidding, marks of good will, fair fame if 'tis won, and welcome once and again. 5. He hath need of his wits who wanders wide, aught simple will serve at home; but a gazing-stock is the fool who sits mid the wise, and nothing knows. 6. Let no man glory in the greatness of his mind, but rather keep watch o'er his wits. Cautious and silent let him enter a dwelling; to the heedful comes seldom harm, for none can find a more faithful friend than the wealth of mother wit. 7. Let the wary stranger who seeks refreshment keep silent with sharpened hearing; with his ears let him listen, and look with his eyes; thus each wise man spies out the way.