The Völuspá in a pocket-sized format. Othin, chief of the gods, always conscious of impending disaster and eager for knowledge, calls on a certain “Volva,” or wise-woman, presumably bidding her rise from the grave. She first tells him of the past, of the creation of the world, the beginning of years, the origin of the dwarfs, of the first man and woman, of the world-ash Yggdrasil, and of the first war, between the gods and the Vanir. Then, as a further proof of her wisdom, she discloses some of Othin’s own secrets and the details of his search for knowledge. Rewarded by Othin for what she has thus far told, she then turns to the real prophesy, the disclosure of the final destruction of the gods. This final battle (ragna rök, “the fate of the gods”) in which fire and flood overwhelm heaven and earth as the gods fight with their enemies. The wise-woman tells of the Valkyries, who bring the slain warriors to support Othin and the other gods in the battle. She tells of the slaying of Baldr, best and fairest of the gods, through the wiles of Loki, of the enemies of the gods, of the summons to battle on both sides, and of the mighty struggle, till Othin is slain, and “fire leaps high about heaven itself”. But this is not all. A new and beautiful world is to rise on the ruins of the old; Baldr comes back, and “fields unsowed bear ripened fruit”. This text (by HENRY ADAMS BELLOWS) is in the public domain because it was not renewed in a timely fashion as required at the time by copyright law. 1936 (U.S. Copyright Office online records) A PDF is available online. The footnotes, which contained attempted explanations, have been eliminated; encouraging the reader to form their own opinions and meanings behind the verse, for each of us has his/her own truth within.
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