Harvest

In this Old Frisian hymn, the section on Wêda (Wóden) draws not only from the myth of the mead of poetry, but from a couple of Low Saxon harvest-songs mentioned by Grimm in Teutonic Mythology that call upon Wode or Wold, which seem to be names in Low Saxon folklore derived from Old Saxon Wōdan.

(Originally published on Ordgeþanc 12/13/2010)

 

Wî hugiath ûta alde · êdere tîdum
eldiûre mêre, · êdilena rîmar:
wî goda hêrdon · grâtere mechte,
enste gôdere · tô offrerum:
urjetath wî ne · grâtena dêda,
nerendum wî thankiath · fora nêdhelpe.
Kumath jî mith Hâga · hêrlike Êse,
Êsinna alle · ethele mith Frîa!
Bakkenes brâdes · brêdera hlêva,
biâres brewenes · blîthmôdiges,
bêthera ondfâth · barmhertiga,
langlîvige · lof âk froude!

Herefedre wî singath, · hâchsta âk ferista,
warlde skeppre · âk weifara,
the landa lane · ûrlange geng
tô finda âk ofnima · fîand-handum
wîsdôm urstilen · efter wîch-grithe.
Geng sâ Baluwirza · bivia linda
ekkrum rîpe · Etenalandes,
mêdum brôthres · meda hôderes.
Nigun ther sturvun · in nîthslachta,
wrise thâ warth nû · wimmerelâs;
nigunfalde wimmede · nêta gêres,
mēde sumurlang · jēn mededranke
berge in, of breide · bergade, junge.
Slanga bilîke · smûgede hî binna,
upward hî flâch · ernlîke thana,
mede hî brochte · mêna Êsa;
breide thoch lâvde · bittere târar.
Thû heven-kening · fon hâchêdum siuchst
hwet biskiath elle · and thû skâwast dene;
in ûsere feldum · stath fôder gôd
fora hungerich hars; · kum Hâga tô ûs,
thi lest allra skôva · lêvath wî thî,
wesa walkumen · Wêda hâchsta
âka ik lof jâta · the ût lippum rinnth;
hî môd frîath · hî mênhêde stêrth,
fon thîne medejefte · sē mîn mûth â full!
Jef gôd âr jâ · jefst thû ûs êr
thâ jef thes eft · jêrum efter!

Folde wî singath · feste onstallde
môder gomena · âk môder goda,
full bist thû waxen · fethmes Êses;
thû erthe brâd · âk alberand,
ûseren sang hêr thû · onsiuch ûs hîr
unwrêthe âgum, · enstlike môde!
Jef gôd âr jâ · jefst thû ûs êr
thâ jef thes eft · jêrum efter!

Thunere wî singath · thrûthiga kampa
hwâm mith fîr-wurpna · fioriga hamre
bergiath thâ feld, · bringeth rîpe
geldene âre · gerstakornes,
hwît-berdades · hwêtekornes,
râd-geldenes · roggakornes,
gêt-fêdandes, · god-fêdanes havra,
ellik kornes · allera felda.
Mechtich ist sîn wald · mann tô helpa!
Thuner Ellemechtich · ûsere thankar hêr!
Loviath wî tô himle · thene hlûden dôm
wîheftiges · Wêdnes suna,
almechtiges · Erthe suna!
Jef gôd âr jâ · jefst thû ûs êr
thâ jef thes eft · jêrum efter!

Inge wî singath · ever-bald wîgand,
waldande hêra · weinrîdande,
fretho thû bringest · froude mith and hêle
skiprîdere · âk skôfberand
the wela bringeth gôd, · walnissa alle,
rîza and sunde, · rein hâlsumen.
Under thînre walde · waxe thâ feld,
korn wal grôwe, · thet kind ekkra!
Under thînre walde · waxe swêga,
hrîtherfiâ grôwe · hôvedes kennes!
Under thînre walde · waxe thet folk,
wer-kind âk wîf-kind · wammum ûtberne,
megar and megitha, · mann uppa erthe,
thrûthige liôde, · thiâd ûrmechtich!
Jef gôd âr jâ · jefst thû ûs êr
thâ jef thes eft · jêrum efter!

Hrôpath wî ji hâga · hêrlika, ethela,
hêrath âk siath ûs, · hugiath wî ji âmmêr,
enst wî biâdath · edilena goda,
jerne wî offrath · grâtum êsum!

 

Translation:

We remember out of old, early times
very precious tales, ancestors’ tales:
we heard of the gods’ great might,
of good favor to sacrificers:
we do not forget the great ones’ deeds,
we thank the saving ones for help in need.
Come you with the High One, lordly gods,
all noble (beautiful) goddesses with Frige!
Of broad loaves of baked bread,
of blithe-mooded brewed beer,
receive both, Gracious Ones,
long-living praise and joy!

To Army-father we sing, highest and first,
world’s maker and wayfarer
who walked the over-long road of lands
to find and take from enemy hands
wisdom stolen after battle-truce.
The shaker of shields walked as Bale-Worker
to the ripe acres of the land of giants,
to the meadows of the mead-warden’s brother.
Nine died there in hate-slaughter,
the giant then became reaper-less;
nine-fold reaped the user of the spear,
a summer-long payment for a mead-drink
in the mountain, guarded by a young bride.
Like a snake he crept therein,
upward he flew, eagle-like, from there,
mead he brought to the gathering of gods;
though he left behind bitter tears for the bride.
You heaven-king, from the heights you see
all that happens when you look down;
in our fields stands good fodder
for a hungry horse; come High One to us,
the last of all sheaves we leave to you,
be welcome, highest Wóden
as I pour praise that runs out of lips;
he frees the mind, he destroys falsehood,
may my mouth be ever full of your mead-gift!
If ever before you gave us good harvest
then give thus again in years after!

To Earth we sing, firmly placed
mother of men and mother of gods,
you are grown full of a god’s embrace;
You broad and all-bearing earth,
hear our song, look upon us here
(with) unwroth eyes, favorable mood!
If ever before you gave us good harvest
then give thus again in years after!

To Thuner we sing, powerful fighter
who with far-thrown, fiery hammer
protects the fields, brings to ripeness
golden ears of barley-corn,
of white-bearded wheat-corn,
of red-golden rye-corn,
of goat-feeding, god-feeding oats,
every corn of all fields.
Mighty is his power to help men!
Thunor Almighty, hear our thanks!
We praise to heaven the loud fame
of the hallowed son of Wóden,
of the almighty son of Earth!
If ever before you gave us good harvest
then give thus again in years after!

To Ing we sing, boar-bold fighter,
ruling lord, wagon-riding,
you bring frith with joy and hail,
ship-rider and sheaf-bearing
who brings good wealth, all of wellnesses,
riches and health, wholesome rain.
Under your power may the fields wax,
grain grow well, the child of fields!
Under your power may the herds wax,
cattle grow of the hoofed kin!
Under you power may the folk wax,
man-child and woman-child born out of wombs,
youths and maidens, men upon the earth,
a powerful people, a greatly mighty tribe!
If ever before you gave us good harvest
then give thus again in years after!

We call you high ones, lordly ones, noble ones,
hear and see us, we remember you always,
we wish for good favor of ancestors’ gods,
eagerly we sacrifice to the great gods!

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