1. One whom stands at strange threshold
Should be cautious before crossing it
Glance this way and that:
Who knows before hand
What foes may sit awaiting in the hall.
2. Greeting to the host the guest has arrived
In which seat shall one sit?
Rash are those who at unknown doors
Relies on their good luck.
3. Fire is needed by the newcomer
Whose knees are frozen numb:
Food and clean linen the guest needs
Who has travelled far the way.
4. Water too, that one may wash before eating
Hand clothes and a hearty welcome
Courteous words, then courteous silence
That one may tell their tale.
5. A guest should be courteous
When coming to the table
And sit in wary silence:
Ones ears attentive, ones eyes alert
So one protects themselves.
6. The wise guest has a way of dealing
With those who taunt them at the table:
One smiles through the meal not seeming to hear
The twaddle talked by ones foe.
7. The tactful guest will take their leave early
Not linger long:
One starts to stink who outstays their welcome
In a hall that is not their own.
8. The fastest friends may fall out
When they sit at the banquet board:
It is and shall be a shameful thing
When guest quarrels with guest.
9. An early meal one should take
Before visiting friends
Least when one gets there
One goes hungry afraid to ask for food.
10. Too early to many homes I came
Too late it seemed to some:
The ale was finished or else un-brewed
The unpopular cannot please.
11. Some would invite me to visit their homes
But none thought i
Had eaten a whole joint
Just before with a friend who had two.
12. Let one with their guest be merry and glad
Modest one should be
But talk well if one intends to be wise
And expects praise from them:
Fimbulfambi is the fool called
Unable to open ones mouth.
13. Scoff not at guests nor to the gate chase them
But relive the lonely and wretched.
14. The sitters in the hall seldom know
The kin of the new comer:
The best person is marred by faults
The worst is not without worth.
15. Mock not the traveller met on the road
Nor maliciously laugh at the guest.
Friends and Foes
1. One among friends should not mock another
Many believe the one whom is not questioned
To know much and so escapes their scorn.
2. To a false friend the footpath winds
Though their house be on the highway
To a sure friend there is a short cut
Though they live a long way off.
3. With presents friends should please each other
Mutual giving makes for friendship
So long as life goes well.
4. One should be loyal though life to friends
To them and to friends of theirs
But never shall one make offer
Of friendship to ones foes.
5. If you find a friend you fully trust
And wish for their good will:
Exchange thoughts exchange gifts
Go often to their house.
6. If you deal with another you don’t trust
But wish for their good will:
Be fair in speech but false in thought
And give them lie for lie.
7. Even with one you ill trust
And doubt what they mean to do
False words with false smiles
May get you the gift you desire.
8. Hotter than fire among false hearts
Burns friendship for five days
But suddenly slackens when the sixth dawns
Feeble their friendship then.
9. A kind word need not cost much
The price of praise can be cheap
With half a loaf and an empty cup
I found myself a friend.
10. It is safe to tell a secret to one
Risky to tell it to two
To tell it to three is thoughtless folly
Everyone else will know.
11. One should be watchful and wary in speech
And slow to put faith in friends:
Often words uttered to another
Have reaped an ill harvest.
12. Fields and flocks had fit Jung’s sons
Who now carry begging bowls:
Wealth may vanish in the wink of an eye
Gold is the falsest of friends.
13. Never open your heart to an evil person
When fortune does not favour you:
From an evil person if you make them your friend
You will get evil for good.
14. A good person if you make them your friend
Will praise you in every place.
15. If you know a friend you can fully trust
Go often to their house:
Grass and brambles grow quickly
Upon untrodden tracks.
16. With a good person it is good to talk
Make them your fast friend
But waste no words on a witless oaf
Nor sit with a senseless ape.
17. Cherish those near you
Never be the first to break with a friend
Care eats them who can no longer
Open their hearts to another.
18. Affection is mutual
When people can open all their hearts to each other
One whose words are always fair
Is untrue and not to be trusted.
19. Bandy no speech with a bad person
Often the better is beaten
In a word fight by the worse.
20. If aware that another is wicked say so
Make no truce or treaty with foes.
21. One should be loyal through life to friends
And return gift for gift
Laugh when they laugh
But with lies repay a false foe who lies.
Men and Woman
1. To love a woman whose ways are false
Is like sledding over slippery ice
With unshod horses out of control
Or drifting rudderless on a rough sea
Think not to do it.
2. Naked I may now speak for I know both
Men are treacherous too:
Fairest we speak when falsest we think
Many a maiden is deceived.
3. Gallantly shall one speak and gifts bring
Whom wishes for love
Praise the features of love
Whom courts well will conquer.
4. Never reproach another for their love
It happens often
That beauty ensnares with desire the wise
While the foolish remain unmoved.
5. The mind alone knows what is near the heart
Each is their own judge:
The worst sickness for the wise
Is to crave what one cannot enjoy.
6. Be wary of men or woman wise in magic
Their bed and their embrace.
7. Never seduce another’s wife
Never make her your mistress
Likewise for another's husband.
8. Of evil beware
Of charming smiles of deceit
Let not youth entice you
Nor husbands nor wives
Nor lead them into lawless pleasure.
9. Though fair be the youth
On the benches within the hall
Let not your sleep be ruled
By the silver of marriage
Nor beguile them with kisses.
10. I saw a warrior wounded fatally
By the words of an evil person
Their cunning tongue caused death
Though what they alleged was a lie.
11. Be not over wary
But wary enough
First of the foaming ale
Second of a one wed to another
Third of the tricks of thieves.
12. With a good love if you wish to enjoy
The words and the good will
Pledge to love fairly and be faithful to it
Enjoy the good you are given.
About Self Conduct
1. Who travels widely needs their wits about them
The stupid should stay at home:
The ignorant person is often laughed at
When they sit at meal with the sage.
2. Of one’s knowledge one should never boast
Rather be sparing of speech
When to one’s house a wiser one comes:
Seldom do those who are silent make mistakes
Mother wit is ever a faithful friend.
3. Fortunate is one who is favoured in their lifetime
With praise and words of wisdom:
Evil council is often given
By those of evil heart.
4. Blessed are they who in their own lifetime
Is awarded praise and wit:
Fore ill council is oft given
By mortal beings to each other.
5. Less good than belief would have it
Is mead for the mortal one’s:
One knows less the more one drinks
Becomes a befuddled fool.
6. I forget is the name of the heron
Who hovers over the feast.
7. Best is the banquet one looks back on after
and remembers all that happened.
8. Silence becomes the chiefs child
To be silent but brave in battle:
It befits one to be merry and glad
Until the day of ones death.
9. The coward believes they will live forever
If they hold back in battle:
But in old age they shall have no peace
Though spears have spared their limbs.
10. One who has suffered much
And knows the way of the world
Who has travelled can tell
What spirit governs the being they have met.
11. Drink mead but in moderation
Talk sense or be silent
No one is called discourteous
Whom goes to bed at an early hour.
12. The glutton who guzzles away
Brings sorrow on themselves:
At the table of the wise they are often taunted
Mocked for their bloating belly.
13. The heard knows its homing time
And leaves the grazing ground
But the glutton never knows how much
Their belly is able to hold.
14. An ill tempered unhappy person
Ridicules all they hear
Makes fun of others
Refusing always to see the faults in themselves.
15. Foolish are those who fret at night
And lies awake to worry:
One who is weary when morning comes
Finds all as bad as before.
16. The ignorant booby had best be silent
When they move amongst others:
No one will know what a nit wit they are
Until they begin to talk:
No one knows less what a nit wit they are
Than the one who talks to much.
17. To ask well to answer rightly
Are the marks of the wise one:
Mortals must speak of mortal deeds
What happens may not be hidden.
18. Wise is the one not whom is never silent
Mouthing meaningless words:
A glib tongue that goes on chattering
Sings to its own harm.
19. No person is so generous
They will jib at accepting
A gift in return for a gift:
No person is so rich
That it really gives them pain to be repaid.
20. Little a sand grain little a dew drop
Little the minds of mortals:
All are not equal in wisdom
The half wise are everywhere.
21. It is best for one to be middle wise
Not over cunning and cleaver:
The learned whose lore is deep
Is seldom happy at heart.
22. It is best for one to be middle wise
Not over cunning and cleaver:
The fairest life is led by those
Who are deft at all they do.
23. It is best for one to be middle wise
Not over cunning and cleaver:
No one is able to know their future
So let them sleep in peace.
24. Brands kindle till they burn out
Flame is quickened by flame:
One person from another is known by their speech
The simpleton by their silence.
25. Early shall one rise who has designs
On another’s land or life:
One's prey escapes the prone wolf
The sleeper is seldom victorious.
26. Early shall one rise who rules servants
And set to work at once:
Much is lost by the late sleeper
Wealth is won by the swift.
27. One should know how many logs
And stripes of bark from the Manuka tree
To stack in autumn that they may have
Enough wood for their winter fires.
28. Washed and fed one may fare to the great council
Though ones clothes be the worse for wear:
None need be ashamed of ones own shoes or clothes
Nor of the horse one owns although not a thorough bred.
29. These things are thought best
Fire the sight of the sun
Good health with the gift to keep it
And a life that avoids vice.
30. Not all the sick are utterly wretched
Some are blessed with children
Some with friends some with riches
Some with worthy works.
31. It is always better to be alive
The living can keep a cow:
Fire I saw warming a wealthy man
With a cold corpse at his door.
32. The halt can manage a horse
The handless a flock
The deaf be a doughty fighter
To be blind is better than to burn on the pyre
There is nothing the dead can do.
33. To beat on the tongue is the heads bane
Pockets of fur hide fists.
34. The halfwit does not know that gold
Makes apes of many people:
One is rich one is poor
There is no blame in that.
35. Cattle die kindred die
Men and woman are mortal:
But the good name never dies
Of one who has done well.
36. Cattle die kindred die
Men and woman are mortal:
But I know one thing that never dies
The glory of the great dead.
37. Trust not an acre early sown
Nor praise a child to soon
Weather rules the acre wit the child
Both are exposed to peril.
38. Never rise at night unless you need to spy
Or ease yourself in the out house.
39. If you must journey to the mountains and firths
Take food and fodder with you.
40. Never share in the shamefully gotten
But allow yourself what is lawful.
41. Never lift your eyes and look up in battle
Least the heroes enchant you
Who can change warriors suddenly into hogs.
42. Never laugh at the old when they offer council
Often are their words wise
From shrivelled skin from scraggy things
That hang among the hides
And move amid the guts
Clear words often come.