The Manuscript Texts of  
Völuspá 
  I. Codex Regius: The King's Book 
      The Völuspá Study Guide
The poem we know today as Völuspá is actually a combination of two different versions of the same poem found in two separate manuscripts: Codex Regius and Hauksbók. While many verses of the two poems are identical, both manuscripts contain unique lines and verses, and arrange the existing verses in different manners. The combined text is then further refined using variant versions of the verses cited by Snorri Sturluson in his Edda. The translations of Voluspa available today are all of this blended nature. Thus the English reader is denied a true picture of what the actual manuscript versions of this important poem look like. This is an attempt to remedy that.
This is the Codex Regius Manuscript
 
See Also: Hauksbók

Icelandic Text from
Jormungrund
English Translation modified from that of Benjamin Thorpe 1865
Text in red indicates significant variants from the Hauksbok version
1. Hliods bið ec 
allar kindir
 
meiri
& miNi 
mavgo heimdalar
 
vildo at ec ualfa
/þ r
uel fyr telia
 
forn spioll fíra
 
þa
/ e r fremst u m man.
1. For silence I pray
all children,
great and small,
sons of Heimdall
they will that I Valfather´s [Odin's]
deeds recount,
men´s ancient saws,
those that I best remember.
2. Ec man iotna  
ár um borna  
þa e r fordo m mic
fodda hofdo  
nio man æc hei ma
nío iviþi ur
miot uið moraN  
f yr mold neðan.
*2/6: The reading íviði ['in the wood'] is erroneous, as proven by an x-ray scan of the document.  
2. I remember Jötuns
early born,
those who have
reared me of old

I remember nine worlds
nine wood-wives,

the great measuring tree,
beneath the earth.
3. Ar uar alda  
þa r er ymir bygði
vara sandr ne se 
ne sualar uN ir
iorð faNz eva  
ne upp himin
gap uar giNvnga  
eN gras hv ergi.
3. When time was young,
where Ymir dwelt,
was no sand, no sea,
nor cool waves;
earth existed not,
nor heaven above,
A chasm gaped,
and grass nowhere.
4. Adr bvrs synir
bioðom um ypðo
þeir er mið garð
moran scopo.  
sol scein suNan  
a salar steina  
þa var grvnd groin  
gronom lauki.

 4. Before Bur´s sons
raised up heaven´s vault,
they who the noble
Midgard shaped.
The sun shone from the south
over the stones of the hall:
then out of the ground grew
green leeks.

 
5. Sol varp svNan  
siNi mana  
hendi iNi hogri  
vm himin iodyr
sol þat ne uiSi
huar hon sali at ti
stiornor þat ne viSo
hvar þer staði atto  
mani þat ne vissi
hvat hann megins atti.
5. The sun from the south,
the moon´s companion,
her right hand cast
about the edge of heaven;
The sun did not now
what halls she possessed.
The stars did not know

where they had a station.
The moon did not know
what power he possessed
.
6. Þa gengo regin oll  
ara/k stola 
 
giN
heilog god  
& v
m þat gettuz
not
t & niþiom
na/fn v
m gafo
morgin heto 
 
& miðian dag 
 
vndorn & aptan 
 
árom at telia
.

6. Then went all the powers went
to their judgment seats,
the all-holy gods,
and thereon held council:
to night and waning moon
gave names;
morn they named,
and mid-day,
afternoon and eve,
to reckon years.
7. Hittoz æsir  
a ida uelli  
þeir er ha/rg & hof
hatimbroðo.
  
afla la/gðo  
a/ð smiðoþo  
tangir scopo
& tól gorðo.
  

7. The Æsir met

on Ida’s plain;
they built altars and
high temples,

furnaces established,
precious things forged,
shaped tongs,
and made tools;
8. Teflðo itvni  
teítir voro
var þei m vettergis
vant or gulli.  
vNz iii. qvomo
þursa meyiar  
amatkar mioc  
or iotvn heimom.
8. at tables played at home;
joyous they were;
to them was naught
want of gold,
until three came
thurs- maidens,
all powerful,
from Jötunheim.
9. Þa g. r. a. ar.  
    
hverr scyldi duerga
drotin scepia  
or brimis bloði
& or blam leGiom.
9. Then all the powers went
to the judgement seats...

Who of the dwarves
should create men
from the blood of Brimir
and blue limbs (or: bones)

10. Þar motsognir
moztr vm orðinn
dv erga allra
eN dvriN aNar  
þeir manlicon
morg vm gorðo
dv ergar or iorðo
sem duriN sagdi.  
10. There Mótsognir
the most esteemed
of all the dwarves,
but Durinn the second.
human forms they
made many
dwarves out of the earth
as Durinn commanded.
11. Nyi & niþi  
norðri & suðri  
a/stri & uestri  
alþiofr dvaliN.  
biva/R bava/R  
ba/mbuR nori  
án & ánaR  
ai mioðvitnir.   

11. Nýi and Nidi,

Nordri and Sudri,
Asutri and Vestri,
Althiöf, Dvalin
Bivör, Bavör,
Bömbur, Nori,
An and Anar,
Ai, Miödvitnir,
12. Veigr & gandalfr  
vindalfr þraiN  
þeccr & þoriN  
þror vitr & litr  
nár & nyraþr  
nú hefi ec dv erga  
regiN & raðsuidr  
rett um talþa.  

12. Veig and Gandálf,
Vindálf Thrain,

Thekkr and Thorin,
Thror, Vitr, and Litr,
Nýr and Nýrád,
Now have I dwarves
Regin and Rádsvid.

tallied up right.
13. Fili kili  
fvndiN. náli.  
hepti. vili.  
hanaR svioR.  
frar hornbori  
fregr & loni  
a/rvangr. iari  
eikinscialdi.
  
13. Fili, Kili,
Fundin, Nali,
Hepti, Vili,
Hanar, Sviðr,
Frár, Fornbogi,

Fræg and Lóni,
Aurvang, Iari,

Eikinskialdi.
14.  Mal er dv erga  
idvaliNs liði  
liona kindom  
til lofars telia.  
þeir er sotto  
fra salar stæini  
a/rvanga sia/tt  
til ioro valla.  
 

14. Speak of the dwarves
in Dvalin´s band,

to the sons of men,
up to Lofar to reckon,
those who came forth
from the stone halls,
earth´s foundation,
to Iora´s plains.
15.  Þar v ar dra/pnir  
& dolgþrasir  
hár ha/g spori  
hlevangr gloi  
scirvir. virvir.  
scafiþr. ai.  
alfr & yngvi  
eikinscialdi.  
fialaR & frostri  
fiNr & giNaR.   
15. There were Draupnir,
and Dólgthrasir,
Hár, Haugspori,
Hlævang, Glóin,
Skirvir, Virvir,
Skafid, Ai,
Alf and Yngvi,
Eikinskialdi,
Fjalar and Frosti
Finr and Ginar
16.  Þat man vppi  
meðan olld lif
 ir
langniðia tal 
 
lofars hafat.
  
16. That above shall,
while mortals live,
be counted,
the progeny of Lofar,
17. Vnz þriár quomo
or þvi liþi 
a/flgir oc astgir 
esir at hvsi. 
fvndo alandi 
lit t megandi
asc & emblo 
orla/gla/sa. 
17. Until three came
out of that company
mighty and benevolent
Æsir to the house.
They found on land,
with little strength,
Ask and Embla,
örlog (destiny)-less.
 
18. ond þau ne attu 
oð þau ne hofðu
 
laa ne læti
 
ne litv goða.
 
Ond gaf oðin
n
od gaf hen
ir
laa gaf loðv
R 
ok litv goða.
 
18. önd (spirit/breath) they did not possess,
óðr (mind, inspiration) they did not have,
blood nor motive powers,
nor good colour.
Önd gave Odin,
óðr gave Hoenir,
blood gave Lodur,
and good color.
19. Asc ueit ec standa 
heitir yGdrasill*
hárbaðmr ausiN 
huíta aúri. 
þan coma da/Gvar
þers idala falla 
stendr e yf ir groN
vrðar brvNi.  

*In Snorri's Edda, Codex Regius mss. [r],  Gylfaginning 16, reads "heitir Yggdrasils"
19. I know an ash standing
named Yggdrasil,
a high tree, laved
with white mud:
thence come the dews
that fall into dales
stands ever green

Urd´s fountain.

20. Þaðan coma meyiar
margs uitandi 
þriar or þei
 m se
er und þolli stendr 
vrð héto eina 
aðra verþandi
scáro asciði 
scvld ena þriðio. 
Þer la/g la/gðo 
þer líf kvro 
alda bornom 
órla/g seGia. 
20. Thence come maidens,
much knowing,
three from the sea,
which under tree stands;
Urd hight one,
the second Verdandi, -
on a tablet they graved -
Skuld the third.
they laid down laws,

they allotted life
human born;
örlog (destiny) pronounced.
21. Þat man hon folc uíg
fyrst iheimi
er gvll ueigo 
geirom stvddv
& iha/ll hárs 
haná brendo.
Þrysvar brendo 
þrysvar borna 
opt osialdan 
þo hon eN lif ir.
21. She remembers that folk-war,
the first in the world,
when Gullveig
was studded with spears,
and in the High One´s hall
burnt her,
thrice burnt,
thrice born,
often not seldom;
yet she still lives.
22. Heidi hána heto 
hvars til hvsa com
uólo vel spá 
uitti hon ganda
seiþ hon kvNi
seiþ hon leikiN
e var hon angan
illrar þioðar. 
22. Heid they called her,
to whatever house she came,
the well-foreseeing Vala:
she enchanted
gandr*
sorcery she knew,
sorcery
she played;
she was ever the joy
of evil people.
 
*a wand or other magical object; a wolf or monster.
23. Þa g. r. a. a. 
  
    
huart scyldo esir 
afrað gialda 
a scyldo goðin a/ll
gildi eiga.  
23. Then all the powers went to their judgment-seats,
the high-holy gods
And thereon held counsel;
whether the Æsir should
pay a fine,
or all the gods
pay tribute.


24. Fleygði oðiN 
& ifolc um scá/t
þat var eN folc vig
fyrst iheimi.
brotiN var borð uegr 
borgar asa 
knatto vanir uigspá
uollo sporna. 
24. Odin cast (his spear),
and shot into the people
that was the folk-war
first in the world.
Broken was the board wall
of the Æsir´s burgh.
The Vanir, prophetic in war,
tramp the plains.
25. Þa g. r. a. 
  
  
  
hverir hefði lopt alt
levi blandit 
a et t iotvns
oþs mey gefna. 

25. Then all the powers went
to their judgment-seats,
the high-holy gods
and thereon held council:
who had mingled all
the air with evil?
or to the Jötun race
 had given Od´s maid [Freyja]?
 
26. Þorr eiN þar var
þrungin móði
ha
nn sialdan sitr
er hann slict vm fregn
agengoz eiðar
 
orð & s
eri 
mál a/ll megin lig
 
er amedal fóro.
 
22. Thor was there alone
swollen with anger.
He seldom sits,
when he hears of the like.
Oaths are not held sacred;
nor words, nor swearing,
nor binding compacts
reciprocally made.
27. Veit hon hei mdalar
hlioð vm folgit
undir heiðvonom
helgom baðmi. 
á sér hon a/saz
a/rgom forsi
af ueði val fa/drs 
uitoþ er en e. h
va t.
27. She knows
that Heimdall’s

hearing is hidden
under the heaven-bright
holy tree.
A river she sees flow,
with foamy falls,
from Valfather’s pledge.
Know ye yet, or what?
 28. Eín sat hon úti
þa er iN aldni com
yGióngr asa 
& ia/go leit. 
hv ers fregnit mic
hvi freistiþ mi n
alt ueit ec oðiN 
hvar þv a/ga falt 
ienom mera
mimis bruNi
dreckr mióð mimir
morgin hverian
af veþi v. 
v. e. e. h. 
 
28. Alone she sat without,
when came that ancient

dread Æsir´s prince;

and in his eyes she gazed.
 
“Of what wouldst thou ask me?

Odin! I know all,

where thou thine eye didst sink
in the pure well of Mim.”
Mim drinks mead each morn
from Valfather’s pledge.
Know ye yet, or what?
29. Valþi henne herfa/ðr
hringa & men
fe spioll spaclig  
& spa ganda  
sa hon uit t & vm vit t
of v erold hv er ia.
 
29.  The Host-father
gave to her
rings and a necklace,
useful discourse,
and a divining spirit:
she saw wide and far
over every world.
30. Sa hon valkyrior
vít t vm komnar
ga/rvar at riða  
til goðþioðar.
scvld helt scildi 
enn sca/gul a/Nor
gvNr. hildr ga/ndul 
& geir sca/gul.  
nv ero talþar 
na/Nor herians
gorvar at ríþa 
grvnd valkyrior. 
30. She saw Valkyriur
coming from afar ,
ready to ride
 to the gods’ people:
Skuld held a shield,
and Skögul another.
Gunn, Hild, Göndul,
and Geirskögul.
Now are tallied
Herian´s maidens,
ready to ride
over the earth
the Valkyriur.
31. Ec sa baldri 
blodgom tivor
odins barni 
or log folgiN 
stóð vm vaxiN
vollo heri 
miór & mioc fagr 
mistilteiN. 
31.  I saw Baldr,
the bloody god's,
Odin’s son,
hidden fate.
stand grown
high on the plain,
slender and very fair,
mistletoe.
32. Varð af þei m meiði
er mer syndiz
harmfla/g hettlig
ha/þr nam scióta.
baldrs broðir vár 
of boriN snemma
sa nam oþi ns sónr
ein nettr vega.  
32. Of that shrub became,
it seems to me,
a deadly dart.
Hödr took the shot;
Baldur's brother was
born quickly
so  Odin's son
one night old
began to fight.
33. Þo hann eva hendr
ne ha/f  kembþi
r a bál vm bar
baldrs andscota. 
en friG um grét
ifensa/lom
ua val hallar 
v. e. e. e. h. 
 
33. He never washed hands
nor combed head
till he bore to the bale
Baldur's adversary

When Frigg cried
in Fensalir
for Valhall's woe.
Know ye yet, or what?
34. Hapt sa hon liGia
und ir hv era lundi
le giarn lici 
loca aþeckian. 
þar sitr sigyn 
þeygi vm sinom
ver velglyioð 
v. þ. e. h.  
34.  Bound she saw lying, under Hvera-lund (Kettle-grove),
a monstrous form,
like unto Loki.
There sits Sigyn,
for her husband's sake,
not right glad.
Know ye yet, or what?
35. A fellr a/stan 
um eitr dala
sa/xom & sv erþom
sliþr heitir sv. 
 
35. A river east,
through venom dales,
with knives and swords,
Slid is its name.
36. stod fyr norðan 
aniþa vollom
salr or gvlli
sindra ettar. 
enn aN
aR stoð
a okolni 
bior salr iotvns 
en sa brimir heitir.
36. Stood facing north
on Niði's plains
halls of gold
Sindri's clans';
And another stood
on Okolnir (Not-Cold)
the giant's beer-hall
and so called Brimir.
37. Sal sa hon standa
solo fiáRi 
na strondo a 
norþr horfa dyR
fello eitr dropar 
iN vm lióra
sa er undiN salr
orma hryGiom.
37. She saw a hall standing,
far from the sun,
on Náströnd (Corpse-beach);
its doors face northward,
venom-drops fall
in through apertures:
So that hall is woven of
serpent’s backs.
38. Sa hon þar vaþa
þvnga stra/ma 
menn meinsvara
& morð vargar. 
& þaNz aNars glepr 
eyra rúno 
þar súg niþ ha/Gr 
nái f ram gengna
sleit vargr v era
v. e. e. e. h. 
 
38. There she saw wade
sluggish streams
bloodthirsty men
and perjurers,
and him who begiles the ear
of another’s wife.

There Nidhögg sucks
the corpses of the dead;
the wolf tears men.
Know ye yet, or what?
39. Avstr sát in aldna 
i iarn uiþi 
& foddi þar 
fenris kind ir.
verþr af þei m a/llom
eiNa noccorr
tvngls tivgari 
itrollz hami. 
 
39. East sat the crone,
in Ironwood,
and bore there
Fenrir´s progeny:

of them all
one especially shall be
the moon’s devourer,
in a troll’s guise.
40. Fylliz fiorvi 
feigra manna
ryþr ragna siót 
ra/ðom dreyra
svart var þa sol scín
of svmor eptir
veþr oll valynd
v. e. h. 
40. Sated with the last
fated breath;

the gods’ seat he
defiles with red blood:
swart was the sunshine then
for summers after;
weather all wicked.
Know ye yet, or what?
41. Sat þar a ha/gi 
& sló ha/rpo 
gygiar hirþir
gladr eGþér. 
gól vm hanom
igagl viþi 
fagr ra/dr háni 
sa er fialaR heitir.
 
41. Sat there on a mound,
and striking a harp,
the giantess’s herder,
the joyous Egthir;
over him crowed,
in the gosling-wood,
the bright red cock,
so named Fjalar.
42. Gól um ásom
gullincambi
sa uecr ha/lþa 
at hiarar at heriafa/drs.
eN aNaR gelr 
f yr iorð neðan
sót rá/þr háni 
at sa/lom heliar. 
42.  Crows over the Æsir
Gullinkambi (Gold-comb),
which wakens heroes
at Host-father's;
but another crows
down below earth,
a soot-red cock,
in the halls of Hel.
43. Geyr garmr mioc 
f yr gnipa helli
festr mvn slitna 
eN freki reNa 
fiolþ veit hon froða
fram se ec lengra
vm ragna ra/c 
ra/m sigtyva. 
 
43. Loud bays Garm
before the Gnipa-cave,
his bonds he rends asunder;
and the wolf runs.
Further forward I see,
much can I say
of Ragnarök
and the gods´conflict.
44. Broþr mvno beriaz
& at ba/nom verþa
mvno systrvngar 
sifiom spilla
hárt er i heimi
hór domr micill 
sceGa/ld scalm a/ld 
scildir ro klofnir
vi nda/ld varga/ld
r v erold steypiz
mvn engi maþr
oðrom þyrma.
44. Brothers shall fight,
and slay each other;
sisters’ children
shall violate kinship;
Hard is the world
much whoredom
an axe age, a sword age
Shields are cloven.
A wind age, a wolf age,
before the world sinks.
no man will
spare another

45. Leica mims synir
eN miotvðr kyndiz 
at en galla
 
giallar horni
 
hat
 t bless heimdallr
horn e
r alopti
melir oðiN 
við mims ha/
f uþ
45. Mim’s sons play,
and the fate-tree kindles
at the resounding
Gjallar-horn.
Hard blows Heimdall,
his horn is aloft;
Odin speaks
with Mim’s head.
46. ymr iþ aldna tre 
eN iótvN losnar 
scelfr yGdrasils 
ascr standandi.
 
46.  groans that aged tree, and the jötun is loosed. Trembles Yggdrasil’s
ash yet standing;
47. Geyr nv g. 
47. Bays Garm now.
48. Hrymr ekr a/stan 
hefiz lind f
 yr
snyz iormvngandr
 
i iotvn moði.
 
ormr knyr vN
ir
eN ari hlaccar 
slitr nai nef fa/lr
 
nagl far losnar.
 
48. Hrym steers from the east,
his shield raised in front,
Jormungandr is coiled
in jötun-rage.
The worm beats the waves,
and the eagle screams:
pale-beak tears carcasses;
Naglfar is loosed.

   
49. Kioll feR a/stan 
koma mvno mvspellz 
vm la/g lydir
eN loki styrir
fara fifls megir
m freka allir
þei m er brodir
by leipz ifór. 
49.  The ship fares from the east:
Muspell’s men will come  over the waves,
and Loki steers.
Fifel's kin fares
all with Freki;
in their company is
the brother of Byleist.
50. Hvat er m asom
hvat er m alfom
gnyr allr iotvn hei mr
esir ro aþingi 
stynia dv ergar
f yr stein dvrom
veG bergs visir
v. e. e. h. 
50. How is it with the Æsir?
How with the Alfar?
All Jötunheim roars;
the Æsir are in council.
The dwarfs groan
before stone doors,
the wise ones of the rock-wall.
Know ye yet, or what?
51. Surtr feR svNan 
m sviga lefi
sciN af sv erþi
sol valtífa. 
griot biorg gnata 
eN gífr rata 
troþa halir helveg 
en himin clofnar.
51. Surt fares from the south
with the bane of branches;
shines from the sword
the Val-god’s (or Valgods') sun
The stony hills gnash,
gifur totter
;
men tread the Hel-way,
and heaven is cloven.
52. Þa comr hlinar
harmr aNaR f ram
er oðiN feR 
við ulf vega 
en bani belia 
biartr at surti 
þa mvn f riGiar
falla angan tyr.
52. Then comes Hlin´s
second grief,
when Odin goes
to fight with the wolf,
and the bright slayer
of Beli with Surt.
Then will Frigg´s
'sweet scent' god fall.

53. Þa komr iN micli
ma/gr sigfa/d ur
víðar vega 
at val dyri. 
letr hann megi hvedrvngs
mvnd vm standa
hiór til hiarta
þa er hefnt fa/d ur.

53. Then comes the great
Victory-father's son,
Vidar, to fight
with the deadly beast.
In the mouth of
Hvethrung's [Loki's]
son, he made stand
a sword in the heart;
Then he avenges his father.
54. Þa komr iN mori
ma/gr hlodyniar 
gengr oþins sonr
vid ulf vega 
drepr hann af moþi
miðgarz ueor 
mvno halir allir 
hei m stod ryþia
gengr fet nío 
fiorgyniar bvR 
neppr f ra naðri
niðs oqviðnom.

54. Then comes the mighty
son of Hlódyn:
Odin’s son goes
to fight with the wolf;
in his rage will slay the worm.
Midgárd´s Veor
All men will abandon
their homes.
Nine feet will go
Fiörgyn´s son,
bowed by the serpent,
who feared no foe.

55. Sol ter sortna 
sigr fold imar 
hv erfa af hi mni
heiðar stiornor. 
geisar eími 
viþ aldr nara 
leicr har hiti 
uið himin sialfan.
55. Sun turns dark,
earth sinks in sea,
hurl from heaven
the bright stars,
fire´s breath assails
the all-nourishing tree,
high flames play
against heaven itself.
56. Geyr n. 
56. Bays now ....
57. Ser hon upp koma
a/ðro siNi 
iorð or egi 
iþia grona 
falla forsar
flygr a/rn yf ir
sa er afialli 
fisca ueiðir. 
 57. She sees arise,
a second time,
earth from ocean,
beauteously green,
waterfalls descending;
the eagle flying over,
which in the fell
captures fish.
58. FiNaz esir 
aiþa velli 
& vm mold þinvr
matkaN doma
& a fimbvltys 
fornar rvnar. 
The Æsir are found
on Ida´s plain,
and of the mighty earth-encircler speak, and of the great-god’s ancient runes.
59. Þar mvno eptir
vndr samligar 
gvllnar ta/flor
igrasi fiNaz. 
þers i ardaga 
attar hofðo. 
59. Then again shall
the wondrous

golden tables
be found in the grass;
those they had owned
in early days
.
60. Mvno osánir 
acrar uaxa 
ba/ls mvn allz batna 
baldr mun coma.
bva þeir ha/þr & baldr
hroptz sigtopt ir
vel valtivar 
v. e. e. h. 
60. Unsown shall
fields produce,
bale may all be better;
Baldr shall come;
They inhabit,
Hödr and Baldr,

Hropt´s victory-walls
the sanctuaries of the gods of the slain

Know ye yet, or what?
61. Þa kna honir
hla/t viþ kiosa 
& byrir byGia  
brodra tveGia. 
vind heim vidan
v. e. e. h. 
61. Then can Hoenir
choose by lot,
and the sons of two brother´s inhabit
wide Windheim.
Know ye yet, or what?
62. Sal ser hon standa 
solo fegra 
gvlli þacþan 
agimlé. 
þar scolo dyGvar
drótt ir byGia
& vm aldr daga 
ynþis niota. 
62. She a hall sees standing
brighter than the sun,
bedecked with gold,
on Gimle:
there shall the righteous
people dwell,
and forever more
enjoy happiness.
 
63. Þar komr iN di mmi
dreki flivgandi 
naþr fraN neþan
fra niþa fiollom.
beR ser ifioþrom
flygr va/ll yf ir
niþha/Gr nai 
nv mun hon seyquaz.
63.  There comes the dark
dragon flying
the snake from below,

from Nida-fells.
Bearing on his wings 
flying over the plain,
Nidhögg, a corpse.

Now she will sink.

 


The Völuspá Study Guide

Germanic Mythology