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  1. An Ash I Know

From The Recordings Html

Music: Karoline Hausted
Words: from the POETIC EDDA translated by Lee M. Hollander, 2nd edition, revised, copyright©1962, renewed 1990. By permission of the University of Texas Press.

The Poetic Edda is a collection of Scandinavian poems dating back to the ninth century, and is a rich source for envisioning the cosmos as seen by these northerners before and after the coming of Christianity. Yggdrasil according to the Edda is the great central tree, a mysterious evergreen Ash that stands in the middle of the universe, holding up the skies and the stars. Yggdrasil offers protection and saves the last two people, Lif and Lifthrasir, housing them in its trunk and feeding them with dew.

The text we used is verse 19 of The Voluspa in The Poetic Edda: a narration by the Seeress who is telling the creation of the world.

An ash I know, hight Yggdrasil,
the mighty tree moist with white dews;
thence come the floods that fall adown;
evergreen o’ertops, Urth’s well this tree.

Ask veit ek standa, heitir Yggdrasill,
hár ba∂mr, ausinnn hvítaauri.
Pa∂an koma doggvar, pærs í dala falla.
Stendr æ yfir grænn, Ur∂ar brunni.

Lyrics

An ash I know, hight Yggdrasil,
the mighty tree moist with white dews;
thence come the floods that fall adown;
evergreen o’ertops, Urth’s well this tree.