The Birth and Death of Mankind
Warmth they had not, with wooden flesh as cold as stone.
A soul did not fill them, sacred örlög for them was unknown.
Their bodies were stiff and vegetative, not any different than a tree.
They stood on the shores of Miðgarðr, powerless until there came three.
Lifting them up, Óðinn, Hnir, and Lóðurr changed the trees into the form of mankind.
With önd, Wralda-Óðinn blessed us with breath and life, and us to him he did bind.
Hnir gave us óðr, which is conscious thought and movement, a swift body and a clever mind.
Lóðurr granted lá with læti and litr goða, which are form, speech, hearing and sight, in kind.
Newly born, the man named Askr and woman named Embla were embarrassed of their bareness.
Seeing their state, Óðinn gave them his own clothes, their looks bordering to greatness.
Behind Ymir's eyebrows in Miðgarðr, man and woman were given a home, their lives safe and sound.
They learned to build, raise animals, and raise life itself out of the fertile ground.
The Ásaföör ordered their dead to be burned, and then for their ashes to be spread in the sea, or buried.
Also he demanded objects heaped into the fire, so that to Valhöll one could keep whatever riches the pyre carried.
For men and women of renown, a burial mound was to be erected, for all to know their greatness.
For all others, a runestone was to be raised, their warrior spirit revered with fondness.
Before dying, a mortal's fylgja comes to visit him, her attitude reflecting her companion's life.
She's beautiful and happy for the just and pious, but miserable to those whom are cruel and dire.
A journey all must make, to the kingdom of Hel-Urðr, can either be pleasant or full of strife.
The path is the same for all, the trip more or less painful depending on the man before the fire.