The Snartemo Sword

Keep thy eyes about thee when thou enterest
be wary alway, be watchful alway,
for one never knoweth when need will be
to meet hidden foe in the hall.

All hail to the givers! A guest hath come
say where shall he sit?
In haste is he to the hall who cometh
to find a place by the fire.

The warmth seeketh who hath wandered long
and is numb about the knees;
meat and dry clothes the man needeth
over the fells who hath fared.

The Words of Odin the High One
(Lee M. Hollander translation, 1928)

Gáttir allar,
áðr gangi fram,
um skoðask skyli,
um skyggnast skyli,
því at óvíst er at vita,
hvar óvinir
sitja á fleti fyrir.

Gefendr heilir!
Gestr er inn kominn,
hvar skal sitja sjá?
Mjök er bráðr,
sá er á bröndum skal
síns of freista frama.

Elds er þörf,
þeims inn er kominn
ok á kné kalinn;
matar ok váða
er manni þörf,
þeim er hefr um fjall farit.

(Image: The Snartemo sword, found 1933 in tomb at Snartemo, Vest-Agder, Norway, dated to ca. AD 500.

The Nazis were fascinated by the Snartemo Sword, because the woven baldric discovered with it incorporated the swastika. When the Nazis occupied Norway, party leaders made it clear to officials of the University Museum in Oslo (where the sword is housed) that it would be a wonderful gift to give to Heinrich Himmler, who was coming for a big rally.

University officials were not enthusiastic, and soon after the sword mysteriously disappeared, not to come to light again until the occupation ended.

The Quisling government prevailed on the (unwilling) David Anderson jewelry company to make a copy for Himmler. But when he arrived, Himmler refused it, saying he wanted the original (presumably for its presumed mystical powers) or nothing at all.

Today both the original and the copy are exhibited in the University Museum.

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