The Swedish Rune Poem with Rune Prophecies

Since I made a small video on the Swedish rune poem, I have received many requests to share this little known part of rune literature. This particular poem is interesting because it is followed by little omens aimed at agrarian life through the year. It is a historical example of pre-modern runic divination from the Nordic area. Below is my attempt at an edition of the poem in Swedish with English translation.

As you will see the poem has similarities to the Norwegian rune poem, but it has only one line reformulating the name of each rune. Here this line is followed by “|”, and the line below represents the meanings and omens for agrarian life as they were recorded by the early modern scholar Georg Stiernhielm.

The Swedish Rune Poem

ᚠ - Fä frande ro |

Frid all roo i.e. Frucht åhr

Fä kinsmens peace. |

Peace and quiet i.e. Fertile Year

ᚢ- Ur Väder Värst |

i.e. Urwäder - urwinter

Ur worst of weather. |

un-weather i.e. Bad winter

ᚦ - Tors qŭinne qŭal |

i.e. Swär Qwinnefödsell

Thor woman’s affliction. |

i.e. Difficult birth

ᚮ- Ōs i vario å |

Oos-Qwaal -o-roo - osund Lufft - Oos i hwarie Wrå

Mouth/smoke in each river. |

Smoke- affliction, unhealthy air, fume/smoke in each corner.

ᚱ - Ridh er hästespräng |

i.e. Riddare Lycka godh

Ride is horse’s leap -|

i.e. Rider/knight good fortune

ᚴ - Kön i köte värst |

i.e. Kättia måste flys

Sex, worst in the flesh |

i.e. Must flee the flesh

ᛡ - Hagal er i bo bäst |

Hagl Regn hårdast i.e. Tijdwinter godt Korn åhr

Hail is best when in home |

Hail is hardest rain i.e. Timely winter, good grain year.

ᚾ - nöd er enda kŭst |

nordanwäder kallast i.e. dyr Tijdh

Need is the only choice |

North weather coldest i.e. hard times

ᛁ - Is bro bredast |

i.e. Isköld, Winteråhr

Ice is broad bridge |

i.e. Ice cold winter year.

ᛆ - År i bladhe vidast |

i.e. åhr öfwer alt godt

Year in leaves widely |

i.e. Year makes all well.

ᛋ - Sōl i himbla högest i.e. Blåsåhr

Sol in heaven highest i.e. Windy Year.

ᛏ - Tyr i Vatŭm ledast |

Tyri brinner bäst i.e. dyrast

Tyr (bull) is badly off in water / Tyr is meanest of spirits. |

Wood is hardest for burning

ᛒ - Biörkahult grönast |

Biörkbrumar frodast i.e. bäst til Wärke

Birch forest greenest |

Birch branches fertile, i.e. Best for working

ᛚ - Lagh är landsens ära / Landzrätt |

Lagom boo bäst i.e. Träteåhr

Law is lands honor/glory |

Middle way is best in the home i.e. a year of conflict

ᛘ - Mager Mullägor |

try Lius i.e. gyllen åhr

Man earthen field |

Three lights i.e. Golden Year

ᛦ - Aur madur Ϸing söker |

i.e. dyr Tijd

(meaning unclear) |

I.e. hard times

ᛮ - Aflagt / olagit |

i.e. Alt godt

(meaning unclear) |

i.e. Everything good.

ᛯ - Twe sämer bäst |

i.e. Dubbelt gyllen åhr

Good double agreement |

i.e. Double golden Year.

ᛰ - Belgbunden Thor |

i.e. Swårt | odrygt åhr | doch godt Kornåhr

Bellybound (inflated) Thor |

I.e. Black year of hartship, but good crops.


ATTRIBUTION OF COVER PHOTO Kat nr 085 Runkalender av trä Bengt A Lundberg Riksantikvarieämbetet: Public Domain, original cropped