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Odin’s Shaman Song (from Eldar Edda)

I know I hung on the gust-beat gallows
     nine full nights,
gashed with a stake and given to fire-see,
     myself to myself,
on that ash-tree of which none know
     from where the roots rise.

They did not comfort me with bread
     nor with a drinking horn:
     I looked down,
I took up the runes, shrieking their names
     I fell back from there.

I got nine mighty songs from the famous son
     of Bolthorn, Bestla’s father,
and I got a drink of precious mead
     sprinkled as from the heart.

Then I began to thrive and bear wisdom
     I grew and prospered;
Each word drew another word from me,
each deed drew another deed from me.

Runes you will find, fateful signs
     that the king of singers coloured
and the great gods have made,
good strong staves good stout staves
carved by a god-ruling spirit.

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