View Full Version : The Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem (and Modern English Translation)

Tuesday, June 21st, 2005, 10:37 AM
Feoh by■ frofur fira gehwylcum;
sceal ­eah manna gehwylc miclun hyt dŠlan
gif he wile for drihtne domes hleotan.

Ur by■ anmod ond oferhyrned,
felafrecne deor, feohte■ mid hornum
mŠre morstapa; ■Št is modig wuht.

Ůorn by■ ­earle scearp; ­egna gehwylcum
anfeng ys yfyl, ungemetum re■e
manna gehwelcum, ­e him mid reste­.

Os by■ ordfruma Šlere sprŠce,
wisdomes wra■u ond witena frofur
and eorla gehwam eadnys ond tohiht.

Rad by■ on recyde rinca gehwylcum
sefte ond swi■hwŠt, ­am­e sitte■ on ufan
meare mŠgenheardum ofer milpa■as.

Cen by■ cwicera gehwam, cu■ on fyre
blac ond beorhtlic, byrne■ oftust
­Šr hi Š■elingas inne resta■.

Gyfu gumena by■ gleng and herenys,
wra■u and wyr■scype and wrŠcna gehwam
ar and Štwist, ­e by■ o■ra leas.

Wenne bruce■, ­e can weana lyt
sares and sorge and him sylfa hŠf■
blŠd and blysse and eac byrga geniht.

HŠgl by■ hwitust corna; hwyrft hit of heofones lyfte,
wealca■ hit windes scura; weor■e■ hit to wŠtere sy­­an.

Nyd by■ nearu on breostan; weor■e■ hi ■eah oft ni■a bearnum
to helpe and to hŠle gehwŠ■re, gif hi his hlysta■ Šror.

Is by■ ofereald, ungemetum slidor,
glisna■ glŠshluttur gimmum gelicust,
flor forste geworuht, fŠger ansyne.

Ger byŮ gumena hiht, ­onne God lŠte■,
halig heofones cyning, hrusan syllan
beorhte bleda beornum ond ­earfum.

Eoh by■ utan unsme■e treow,
heard hrusan fŠst, hyrde fyres,
wyrtrumun underwre■yd, wyn on e■le.

Peor­ by■ symble plega and hlehter
wlancum [on middum], ­ar wigan sitta■
on beorsele bli■e Štsomne.

Eolh-secg eard hŠf■ oftust on fenne
wexe­ on wature, wunda■ grimme,
blode brene­ beorna gehwylcne
­e him Šnigne onfeng gede■.

Sigel semannum symble bi■ on hihte,
­onne hi hine feria■ ofer fisces be■,
o■ hi brimhengest bringe■ to lande.

Tir bi■ tacna sum, healde­ trywa wel
wi■ Š■elingas; a bi■ on fŠrylde
ofer nihta genipu, nŠfre swice■.

Beorc by■ bleda leas, bere■ efne swa ­eah
tanas butan tudder, bi■ on telgum wlitig,
heah on helme hrysted fŠgere,
geloden leafum, lyfte getenge.

Eh by■ for eorlum Š■elinga wyn,
hors hofum wlanc, ­Šr him hŠle■ ymb[e]
welege on wicgum wrixla■ sprŠce
and bi■ unstyllum Šfre frofur.

Man by■ on myrg■e his magan leof:
sceal ■eah anra gehwylc o­rum swican,
for­um drihten wyle dome sine
■Št earme flŠsc eor■an betŠcan.

Lagu by■ leodum langsum ge■uht,
gif hi sculun ne■an on nacan tealtum
and hi sŠy■a swy■e brega■
and se brimhengest bridles ne gym[e­].

Ing wŠs Šrest mid East-Denum
gesewen secgun, o■ he si­­an est
ofer wŠg gewat; wŠn Šfter ran;
­us Heardingas ­one hŠle nemdun.

E■el by■ oferleof Šghwylcum men,
gif he mot ­Šr rihtes and gerysena on
brucan on bolde bleadum oftast.

DŠg by■ drihtnes sond, deore mannum,
mŠre metodes leoht, myrg■ and tohiht
eadgum and earmum, eallum brice.

Ac by■ on eor■an elda bearnum
flŠsces fodor, fere■ gelome
ofer ganotes bŠ■; garsecg fanda■
hwŠ■er ac hŠbbe Š■ele treowe.

Ăsc bi■ oferheah, eldum dyre
sti■ on sta■ule, stede rihte hylt,
­eah him feohtan on firas monige.

Yr by■ Š■elinga and eorla gehwŠs
wyn and wyr■mynd, by■ on wicge fŠger,
fŠstlic on fŠrelde, fyrdgeatewa sum.

Iar by■ eafix and ­eah a bruce■
fodres on foldan, hafa■ fŠgerne eard
wŠtre beworpen, ­Šr he wynnum leofa■.

Ear by■ egle eorla gehwylcun,
­onn[e] fŠstlice flŠsc onginne■,
hraw colian, hrusan ceosan
blac to gebeddan; bleda gedreosa■,
wynna gewita■, wera geswica■.


(Feoh) Wealth is a comfort to all men;
yet must every man bestow it freely,
if he wish to gain honour in the sight of the Lord.

(Ur) Aurochs is proud and has great horns;
it is a very savage beast and fights with its horns;
a great ranger of the moors, it is a creature of mettle.

(Thorn) is exceedingly sharp,
an evil thing for any knight to touch,
uncommonly severe on all who sit among them.

(Os) God is the source of all language,
a pillar of wisdom and a comfort to wise men,
a blessing and a joy to every knight.

(Rad) Riding seems easy to every warrior while he is indoors
and very courageous to him who traverses the high-roads
on the back of a stout horse.

(Ken) Torch is known to every living man by its pale, bright flame;
it always burns where princes sit within.

(Gyfu) Gift brings credit and honour, which support one's dignity;
it furnishes help and subsistence
to all broken men who are devoid of aught else.

(Wynn) Bliss he enjoys who knows not suffering, sorrow nor anxiety,
and has prosperity and happiness and a good enough house.

(Hagal) Hail is the whitest of grain;
it is whirled from the vault of heaven
and is tossed about by gusts of wind
and then it melts into water.

(Nyd) Need is oppressive to the heart;
yet often it proves a source of help and salvation
to the children of men, to everyone who heeds it betimes.

(Is) Ice is very cold and immeasurably slippery;
it glistens as clear as glass and most like to gems;
it is a floor wrought by the frost, fair to look upon.

(Ger) Year is a joy to men, when God, the holy King of Heaven,
suffers the earth to bring forth shining fruits
for rich and poor alike.

(Eoh) Yew is a tree with rough bark,
hard and fast in the earth, supported by its roots,
a guardian of flame and a joy upon an estate.

(Peorth) Lot-box is a source of recreation and amusement to the great,
where warriors sit blithely together in the banqueting-hall.

(Eolh-secg) Elk-sedge is mostly to be found in a marsh;
it grows in the water and makes a ghastly wound,
covering with blood every warrior who touches it.

(Sigel) Sun is ever a joy in the hopes of seafarers
when they journey away over the fishes' bath,
until the courser of the deep bears them to land.

(Tir) is a guiding star; well does it keep faith with princes;
it is ever on its course over the mists of night and never fails.

(Beorc) Birch bears no fruit; yet without seed it brings forth suckers,
for it is generated from its leaves.
Splendid are its branches and gloriously adorned
its lofty crown which reaches to the skies.

(Eh) Horse is a joy to princes in the presence of warriors.
A steed in the pride of its hoofs,
when rich men on horseback bandy words about it;
and it is ever a source of comfort to the restless.

(Man) is dear to his kinsmen;
yet every man is doomed to fail his fellow,
since the Lord by his decree will commit the vile carrion to the earth.

(Lagu) Sea seems interminable to men,
if they venture on the rolling bark
and the waves of the sea terrify them
and the courser of the deep heed not its bridle.

(Ing) was first seen by men among the East-Danes,
till, followed by his chariot,
he departed eastwards over the waves.
So the Heardingas named the hero.

(Ethel) Estate is dear to every man,
if he can enjoy there in his house
whatever is right and proper in constant prosperity.

(Dag) Day, the glorious light of the Creator, is sent by the Lord;
it is beloved of men, a source of hope and happiness to rich and poor,
and of service to all.

(Ac) Oak fattens the flesh of pigs for the children of men.
Often it traverses the gannet's bath,
and the ocean proves whether the oak keeps faith
in honourable fashion.

(Aesc) Ash is exceedingly high and precious to men.
With its sturdy trunk it offers a stubborn resistance,
though attacked by many a man.

(Yr) Bow is a source of joy and honour to every prince and knight;
it looks well on a horse and is a reliable equipment for a journey.

(Iar) Serpent is a river fish and yet it always feeds on land;
it has a fair abode encompassed by water, where it lives in happiness.

(Ear) Dust is horrible to every knight,
when the corpse quickly begins to cool
and is laid in the bosom of the dark earth.
Prosperity declines, happiness passes away
and covenants are broken.

Wednesday, July 13th, 2005, 08:25 AM
The Anglo-Saxon 33-Rune Futhark



1 = Feo ........ f
2 = Ur ......... u
3 = Thorn .... th
4 = Os .........short a
5 = Rad ....... r
6 = Ken ....... k
7 = Geofu .... g
8 = Wynn .... w
9 = Hagall .... h
10 = Nied ..... n
11 = Is ......... i
12 = Jara ...... j
13 = Yr ........ e
14 = Pertra ... p
15 = Eolh ...... r
16 = Sigel ...... s
17 = Tir ........ t
18 = Beroc .... b
19 = Eoh ....... e
20 = Mann ..... m
21 = Lagu ...... l
22 = Ing ........ ng
23 = Daeg ...... d
24 = Otael ...... o
25 = Ac .......... long a
26 = Asec ....... short a
27 = Yr .......... y
28 = Ior .......... io
29 = Ear ......... ea
30 = Cweorp ... qu
31 = Calk ........ k
32 = Stan ........ st
33 = Gar ......... hard g

The Anglo - Saxon runes had their own unique development from 700 AD to 1200 AD. These runes are very beautiful inscriptions.

Codex Cotton:


Salzburg Futhork:


The Thames knife:

Source (http://www.arild-hauge.com)

Thursday, August 4th, 2005, 02:05 PM
The Northumbrian runes (probably date from the 9th century) are an extension of the Anglo-Saxon runes, which in turn are an extension of the Elder Futhark rune set. The Northumbrian runes add 4 more runes to the Anglo-Saxon set making the total of 33 runes. Again due to the set up of the Anglo-Saxon runes, you may see this set also being referred to as the Northumbrian Futhork.

Sound: "q"
Stands for: Flames of a fire
Casting meaning: This rune represents a process of transformation through fire. The spirit of a body from a person on a funeral pyre is liberated by fire. Cweorth refers to the sacredness of the hearth and ritual cleansing by fire.

Sound: "k"
Stands for: Offering Cup
Casting meaning: Calc denotes the death of the individual, however it is not seen as a death rune. Like Ear, Calc indicates the natural ending or conclusion of a process. Do not view this ending as a termination, but as the end of an old era resulting in a spiritual transformation.

Sound: "st"
Stands for: Stone
Casting meaning: Stan represents an obstruction in our path, like a boulder at the entrance to a cave. It also represents the stone playing pieces used in board games. Symbolically it represents a link between heavenly bodies and earthly beings. This rune can be used to obstruct and turn back any opposition in our lives.

Sound: "g" as in "gap"
Stands for: Spear (specifically Gungnir - Odin's Spear)
Casting meaning: The Gar rune is a special one. Unlike the previous 32 runes in the Northumbrian set, Gar does not belong to an Štt. However this rune is said to be the center point of all the other runes in this set. It is also said to contain all the other runes in itself, making it a powerful and useful rune.

Source (http://my.execpc.com/~gronitz/futhark/meanings/northumbrian.html)

Thursday, August 25th, 2005, 04:03 PM
These are the runes I am working with...

Friday, August 26th, 2005, 07:39 PM
I have recently begun making some runes using Ash. What do people think about blooding the runes? Would you do it?

Saturday, August 27th, 2005, 02:56 AM
I didn't blood my runes but I'm not opposed to it.

I cut mine out of willow and painted them. I made them while camping

beside a raging river in Utah, alone. The whole trip was for the rune making.

The energy of the river was magnetic and I feel my runes are imbued with

this power.

Saturday, August 27th, 2005, 09:45 AM
It is a difficult decision to make. It confers a power to them that is not always beneficial.

Saturday, September 24th, 2005, 01:31 AM
I think it is important to stain your runes with your own blood. The runes were gained through self sacrafice (Odin hanging from Yggdrasil pierced with his spear). As it says in Hßvamßl stanza 144:

Know how to cut them, know how to read them,
Know how to stain them, know how to prove them,
Know how to evoke them, know how to score them,
Know how to send them"; know how to send them,
(Note the red text)
We know from the Saga's that many people wrote runes in blood (Egil's saga for example). It was something our ancestors did to give them "power" for casting and rune work, something to truely make them your runes and no one elses. I dont let anyone else even touch my runes.
I carved my set out of ash, cut them out with hand tools, sanded them, carved the runes into them and mixed some of my own blood with wood stain to preserve them so they last me a while.

Saturday, September 24th, 2005, 04:27 AM
I agree, blooding them is paying homage to - and emulating - the sacrifice Odin made to attain the runes, it also intrinsically empowers them with your life essence, and binds them to you.

Blood is a common theme in almost every school of ritual magic, divination or will-work, and our ancestral culture is no different. Blood is life, life is divine power, by staining the causal manifestation of the runes with blood, you are granting them acausal power; bringing them a touch of the divine, if you will.

I always always always stress staining the runes with your blood when I'm asked for advice on cutting them.

Saturday, September 24th, 2005, 05:53 AM
Blood is needed for sacred.. ....things.

Friday, December 16th, 2005, 03:06 PM
A thread, not by me, but not likely by the person who posted it either, from Odinist.com. I believe this could be out of Wikipedia?

The Frisian Futhorc
Like it's precursor the Elder Futhark, the origins of the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc are somewhat murky. Sometime in the 5th century AD, language shifts in Frisia had rendered the 24-stave Elder Futhark insufficient, so a 25th stave, Ac, was added The 4th stave of the Elder Futhark, Ansuz, became known as Aesc and was moved to 26th place, with another new stave, Os, filling it’s vacant position. This stage of the transformation was completed with the inclusion of a 27th stave, Yr. This is known as the Frisian Futhorc, which was brought to Britain by the Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Frisians who began to invade Britain in 449 AD. Early evidence suggests the initial presence of the Elder Futhark, and it is difficult to determine if an object was inscribed in England or inscribed in Frisia and brought there with the settlement. The oldest English Runic inscription found thus far appears to be in the Elder Futhark, but only because the Hagall stave has one crossbar instead of two. The earliest definite example of the Frisian Futhorc is 5th or 6th century AD.

The Anglo-Saxon Futhorc
Towards the end of the 7th century, a 28th stave was added, known as Ear. This is the Anglo-Saxon or Anglo-Frisian Futhorc, of which the Thames Scramaseax is our only example of an inscription:


The Anglo-Saxon Futhorc is also recorded in the 9th Century Vienna Codex and Old English Rune Poem. Some instability is still apparent, as the three sources do not agree on the exact sequence. The OERP also describes another new stave, Ior, in 28th place.

The Northumbrian Futhorc
In the Anglian kingdom of Northumbria, the 29-stave Futhorc was extended again to include four additional staves: Queorth, Calc, Stan and Gar, bringing the total to 33. Some commentators have suggested Keltic Christianity influenced these final additions, particularly that the cup is the Holy Grail of Arthurian myth.

Literal meanings of the additional Anglo-Saxon rune staves are as follows:

04: Os = As (singular of Aesir, also mouth/speech)
25: Ac = Oak
26: Aesc = Ash
27: Yr = Yew bow
28: Ior = Iormundgar (the Midgard Serpent)
29: Ear = Burial Mound
30: Queorth = Ritual fire
31: Calc = Cup
32: Stan = Stone
33: Gar = Spear

Source (http://www.odinist.com/othala/showthread.php?t=330)

Friday, March 24th, 2006, 05:38 PM
The last three runes of the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc are interesting;




As they can be interpreted as Cup [Calc], Stone [Stan] & Spear [Gar] and so relate to the Grail mythos.

Thursday, August 24th, 2006, 10:32 PM
There is a very good website on the Anglo-Saxon runes at: http://www.ealdriht.org/modules/runes/

Sunday, December 17th, 2006, 07:10 AM
The last three runes of the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc are interesting;

As they can be interpreted as Cup [Calc], Stone [Stan] & Spear [Gar] and so relate to the Grail mythos.

More interpretations on the fourth aett can be found on the Woden's Folk (http://www.wodensfolk.org.uk/secondindex.htm) site under Rune-Lore.

Monday, September 19th, 2011, 08:02 PM
I think people need to look more at the Anglo Saxon Runes, as most people seem to think that there is only the Elder Futhark..