"Odin Rides to Hel." The Elder or Poetic Edda; commonly known as Sæmund's Edda. Edited and translated with introduction and notes by Olive Bray. Illustrated by W.G. Collingwood (1908) Page 238

One Thing Which Never Dies

From Havamal, verses 75-79. I’m sharing the Larrington translation; you might also want to check out Bellows or Hollander, each of which translate this passage in different and revealing ways.

Even a man who knows nothing
knows that many are fooled by money;
one man is rich, another is not rich,
he should not be blamed for that.

Cattle die, kinsmen die,
the self must also die;
but glory never dies,
for the man who is able to achieve it.

Cattle die, kinsmen die,
the self must also die;
I know one thing which never dies:
the reputation of each dead man.

Fully stocked folds I saw for Fitiung’s sons,
now they carry beggars’ staffs;
wealth is like the twinkling of an eye,
it is the most unreliable of friends.

The foolish man, if he manages to get
money or the love of a woman,
his arrogance increases, but not his common sense;
on he goes deeply sunk in delusion.

One comment on “One Thing Which Never Dies

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