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The Codex Regius

18:54 Sep 07 2007
Times Read: 731


The Codex Regius is a manuscript that was composed in the late 13th century by an unknown writer which contains twenty-nine of the poems contained in the Poetic Edda, making it the most important Eddic manuscript. It has come to us with 45 leaves and nothing is known about it's past before 1643. Here are the first 20:







1

Within the gates before a man shall go,

(Full warily let him watch,)

Full long let him look about him;

For little he knows where a foe may lurk,

And sit in the seats within.





2

Hail to the giver! a guest has come;

Where shall the stranger sit?

Swift shall he be who, with swords shall try

The proof of his might to make.





3

Fire he needs who with frozen knees

Has come from the cold without;

Food and clothes must the farer have,

The man from the mountains come.





4

Water and towels and welcoming speech

Should he find who comes, to the feast;

If renown he would get, and again be greeted,

Wisely and well must he act.





5

Wits must he have who wanders wide,

But all is easy at home;

At the witless man the wise shall wink

When among such men he sits.





6

A man shall not boast of his keenness of mind,

But keep it close in his breast;

To the silent and wise does ill come seldom

When he goes as guest to a house;

(For a faster friend one never finds

Than wisdom tried and true.)





7

The knowing guest who goes to the feast,

In silent attention sits;

With his ears he hears, with his eyes he watches,

Thus wary are wise men all.





8

Happy the one who wins for himself

Favor and praises fair;

Less safe by far is the wisdom found

That is hid in another's heart.





9

Happy the man who has while he lives

Wisdom and praise as well,

For evil counsel a man full often

Has from another's heart.





10

A better burden may no man bear

For wanderings wide than wisdom;

It is better than wealth on unknown ways,

And in grief a refuge it gives.





11

A better burden may no man bear

For wanderings wide than wisdom;

Worse food for the journey he brings not afield

Than an over-drinking of ale.





12

Less good there lies than most believe

In ale for mortal men;

For the more he drinks the less does man

Of his mind the mastery hold.





13

Over beer the bird of forgetfulness broods,

And steals the minds of men;

With the heron's feathers fettered I lay

And in Gunnloth's house was held.





14

Drunk I was, I was dead-drunk,

When with Fjalar wise I was;

It's the best of drinking if back one brings

His wisdom with him home.





15

The son of a king shall be silent and wise,

And bold in battle as well;

Bravely and gladly a man shall go,

Till the day of his death is come.





16

The sluggard believes he shall live forever,

If the fight he faces not;

But age shall not grant him the gift of peace,

Though spears may spare his life.





17

The fool is agape when he comes to the feast,

He stammers or else is still;

But soon if he gets a drink is it seen

What the mind of the man is like.





18

He alone is aware who has wandered wide,

And far abroad has fared,

How great a mind is guided by him

That wealth of wisdom has.





19

Shun not the mead, but drink in measure;

Speak to the point or be still;

For rudeness none shall rightly blame you

If soon your bed you seek.





20

The greedy man, if his mind be vague,

Will eat till sick he is;

The vulgar man, when among the wise,

To scorn by his belly is brought.



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18:44 Sep 07 2007
Times Read: 734



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