The Old Norse Rune Poem
Rune poems were created as mnemonic aids for remembering the rune symbols, their names, meanings and properties. Here is a very old Runic poem:
Wealth is a source of discord among kinsmen;
the wolf lives in the forest.
Dross comes from bad iron;
the reindeer often races over the frozen snow.
Giant causes anguish to women;
misfortune makes few men cheerful.
Estuary is the way of most journeys;
but a scabbard is of swords.
Riding is said to be the worst thing for horses;
Reginn forged the finest sword.
Ulcer is fatal to children;
death makes a corpse pale.
Hail is the coldest of grain;
Christ created the world of old.
Constraint gives scant choice;
a naked man is chilled by the frost.
Ice we call the broad bridge;
the blind man must be led.
Plenty is a boon to men;
I say that Frodi was generous.
Sun is the light of the world;
I bow to the divine decree.
Tyr is a one-handed god;
often has the smith to blow.
Birch has the greenest leaves of any shrub;
Loki was fortunate in his deceit.
Man is an augmentation of the dust;
great is the claw of the hawk.
A waterfall is a River which falls from a mountain-side;
but ornaments are of gold.
Yew is the greenest of trees in winter;
it is wont to crackle when it burns.
From: Runic and Heroic Poems by Bruce Dickins
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