Stanza 6

Of the Accomplishments of Odin

When Odin of Asaland came to the north, and the Diar with him, they introduced and taught to others the arts which the people long afterward have practiced. Odin was the cleverest of all, and from him, all the others learned their arts and accomplishments; and he knew them first, and knew many more than other people. But now, to tell why he is held in such high respect, we must mention various causes that contributed to it.

When sitting among his friends his countenance was so beautiful and dignified, that the spirits of all were exhilarated by it, but when he was in a war, he appeared dreadful to his foes. This arose from his being able to change his skin and form in any way he liked. Another cause was that he conversed so cleverly and smoothly that all who heard believed him. He spoke everything in rhyme, such as now composed, which we call scald-craft. He and his temple priests were called song-smiths, for from them came that art of song into the northern countries. Odin could make his enemies in battle blind, or deaf, or terror-struck, and their weapons so blunt that they could no more but than a willow wand; on the other hand, his men rushed forwards without armour, were as mad as dogs or wolves, bit their shields, and were strong as bears or wild bulls, and killed people at a blow, but neither fire nor iron told upon themselves. These were called Berserker.