The Icelandic Rune Poem

Rune poems were created as mnemonic aids for remembering the rune symbols, their names, meanings and properties. This one has been rendered in modern English.

  • – Wealth

Source of discord among kinsmen
and fire of the sea
and path of the serpent.

  • Úr – Shower

Lamentation of the clouds
and ruin of the hay-harvest
and abomination of the shepherd.

  • Thurs – Giant

Torture of women
and cliff-dweller
and husband of a giantess.

  • Óss – God

Aged Gautr
and prince of Ásgardr
and lord of Vallhalla.

  • Reid – Riding

Joy of the horsemen
and speedy journey
and toil of the steed.

  • Kaun – Ulcer

Disease fatal to children
and painful spot
and abode of mortification.

  • Hagall – Hail

Cold grain
and shower of sleet
and sickness of serpents.

  • Naud – Constraint

Grief of the bond-maid
and state of oppression
and toilsome work.

  • Iss – Ice

Bark of rivers
and roof of the wave
and destruction of the doomed.

  • Ár – Plenty

Boon to men
and good summer
and thriving crops.

  • Sól – Sun

Shield of the clouds
and shining ray
and destroyer of ice.

  • Tyr  – Tyr (The God)

God with one hand
and leavings of the wolf
and prince of temples.

  • Bjarken – Birch

Leafy twig
and little tree
and fresh young shrub.

  • Madr – Man

Delight of man
and augmentation of the earth
and adorner of ships.

  • Lögr – Water

Eddying stream
and broad geyser
and land of the fish.

  • Yr – Yew

Bent bow
and brittle iron
and giant of the arrow.

From: Runic and Heroic Poems by Bruce Dickins

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