Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Havamal, Part 4

Some day reading the Havamal reminds me of the saying "the problem with common sense is that it's so uncommon.   So much of this can be summarized by as 'Don't be a Douche'!

Be restrained in your drinking - if you can't remember the night before, you failed and were a fool.  Talk little, let your bold, brave actions be your statement.   Don't be a pig, especially one who eats/drinks too much then complains that you're SO FULL or so wasted.  Don't disrespect others at a gathering, not only because it makes you look bad but if you cause a fight it screws up EVERYONE.  Be able to judge who is laughing with  you vs laughing at you, your friends from everyone else.  Don't count on others taking care of your needs.

Yup.  Don't be a douche.

I-forget is the name men give the heron
Who hovers over the fast: 
Fettered I was in his feathers that night,  
When a guest in Gunnlod's court 


Drunk I got, dead drunk, 
When Fjalar the wise was with me: 
Best is the banquet one looks back on after,  
And remembers all that happened, 


Silence becomes the Son of a prince, 
To be silent but brave in battle: 
It befits a man to be merry and glad  
Until the day of his death, 


The coward believes he will live forever
If he holds back in the battle, 
But in old age he shall have no peace  
Though spears have spared his limbs 


When he meets friends, the fool gapes, 
Is shy and sheepish at first, 
Then he sips his mead and immediately 
All know what an oaf he is, 
He who has seen and suffered much, 
And knows the ways of the world, 
Who has travelled', can tell what spirit 
Governs the men he meets, 
Drink your mead, but in moderation, 
Talk sense or be silent: 
No man is called discourteous who goes  
To bed at an early hour 


A gluttonous man who guzzles away 
Brings sorrow on himself: 
At the table of the wise he is taunted often,  
Mocked for his bloated belly, 


The herd knows its homing time, 
And leaves the grazing ground: 
But the glutton never knows how much  
His belly is able to hold, 


An ill tempered, unhappy man 
Ridicules all he hears, 
Makes fun of others, refusing always  
To see the faults in himself 


Foolish is he who frets at night, 
And lies awake to worry' 
A weary man when morning comes,  
He finds all as bad as before, 


The fool thinks that those who laugh 
At him are all his friends, 
Unaware when he sits with wiser men  
How ill they speak of him. 


The fool thinks that those who laugh 
At him are all his friends: 
When he comes to the Thing and calls for support,  
Few spokesmen he finds 


The fool who fancies he is full of wisdom 
While he sits by his hearth at home. 
Quickly finds when questioned by others .  
That he knows nothing at all. 


The ignorant booby had best be silent 
When he moves among other men, 
No one will know what a nit-wit he is 
Until he begins to talk; 
No one knows less what a nit-wit he is  
Than the man who talks too much. 


To ask well, to answer rightly, 
Are the marks of a wise man: 
Men must speak of men's deeds,  
What happens may not be hidden. 


Wise is he not who is never silent, 
Mouthing meaningless words: 
A glib tongue that goes on chattering  
Sings to its own harm. 


A man among friends should not mock another: 
Many believe the man 
Who is not questioned to know much 
And so he escapes their scorn. 
An early meal a man should take 
Before he visits friends, 
Lest, when he gets there, 
he go hungry,  
Afraid to ask for food. 


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,


  1. Don't be a Douchebag is a great way to sum it up. :-)

  2. Good thing to read on this Wodensday. Don't be a Douche pretty well covers it too. Personally, I might go with 'All things in Moderation' as well.