The Call (Kvaðning)
Relecture demandée par l’auteur(e)
traduction en anglais
I’m lying back after long dreams,
I’m lying stiff; my mind is dull.
I feel hatred simmer vigorously,
revenge was squeezing, when I swore it before.
A heathen lives on blind ways,
I’m looking at the gathering of black mountaintops,
Hel1lives there in many different shapes:
darkness, cold, ice and snow.
Hel’s soul fell down from heaven,
I had a farm and I had a staff.
Hatred was engraved into my mind,
yet, it was keeping me alive.
Your ominous longboat is what brought all this evil2;
I feel you on the sea and on the land.
I come to you, my ancient enemy,
our encounter is approaching.
The morning sun shines upon the middle of the heath;
memories keep crawling in.
Great and fierce is the wrath,
tearing open the wounds of hatred.
Once, I had to meet my wife3
That wonderfully kept my children safe,
but now, I’ve got work to do,
we slay, we smear blood, we sting and we flay4.
- 1. Hel = a being from Norse mythology, who presides over a realm of the same name, where she receives a portion of the dead.
- 2. upon me
- 3. The singer/protagonist had to meet the woman he is now married to, and that wonderfully kept his children safe all those years.
- 4. to flay = (lit.) to strip off the skin or surface of something. Here it’s used figuratively, as reference is made to a battle. (Therefore the word might as well be replaced with “slay” or a synonym of this word.)
- 5. “Deadly encounter” refers to a “battle”, as, from a pessimistic point of view, one is very likely to die in a battle.
- 6. Reference is made to the idiom “somebody’s/something’s days are numbered”.
- 7. vor = our (in elevated/poetic/formal style)
- 8. This trip will become a saga.
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