Níu Heimar

Níu Heimar, Nine homes,
Nine Worlds the Universe is made.
Through the center Yggdrasil,
The cosmic backbone grows.

At the start there was only
Muspelheim, Niflheim
And the gap in between
Muspelheim, home of world wrecker
Surtr and his Eldjötnar,
Fire giants living in volcanic furnaces
Waiting to break Bifröst to bits.

Icy Niflheim, mist-home,
World of dim darkness and fog
Surrounding Hvergelmir,
Bountiful bubbling spring
—filled by dew drops from the rack
of EikÞyrnir, Valhallan stag—
Where lives Níðhǫggr malice-striker;
From where Elivágar flows,
Feeding the rivers of the worlds.

In between in the yawning empty void,
The gaping abyss of Ginnungagap,
Where fire and ice meet
Under the second root of the World Ash,
Arose Ymir Jötnar-föðr,
Aurglemir Æsir enemy,
Murdered by Bor’s sons,
Who built the world from his carcass.
Alföðr created Ásgarðr Ásheim,
Æsir-garden god-home,
Foliage planted from seeds found
In Aurglmir’s left testicle.
Behind the walls of Ásgarðr
Was Oðinn’s shining home.
Glaðsheimr, where stood Valhalla,
Great hall of the slain.
Judged by a Valkyrja to be
Worthy of Wotan’s army,
Awaiting Ragnarök, meade in hand.
The rest of the battle-fallen
Fly to Freyja’s field Fólkvangr.
The other dead approach Ásgarðr not,
Descending instead to the misty home of
Hel Loki-daughter: Niflhel,
Vast hall of all dead souls
In the dark outskirts of Niflheim.

Burning Bifröst shining Ásbrú,
Bridge of gods,
Stretching from Himinbjörg
Heimdallr-home to Midgarðr,
Fortified garden given to the saplings
Of Ask and Embla by High
Just-As-High and Third.
Its walls built of Ymir eyebrows,
Battlements crafted from the nails of his toes
To guard against his progeny living yonder
In Jötunheimr near the sea shore.

Vanaheimr, home of gods,
Ælfar-cousins, fertile, wize and far seeing,
Making war with Æsir, Jötnar-born.
Treaties make peace, make friends, make families.
All become one in Ásgarðr, til twighlight falls.

Alfheimr, Elf-home,
Fair, beautiful, glowing and wize,
Its dwellers stand apart and above us all,
Casting a shadow as black as they are light,
North near the mists of Niflheim
On Niðavellir Myrkheim,
The ebony fields where darkness dwells,
In the mines of Svartalfheimr
Are the master craftsmen: The Dvergr
Dwarves, crawling in the earth like maggots in the muscle of a frost giant.

At twighlight,
When the Nine Worlds have fallen to dust,
All is dead; destroyed.
The surviors, rightious and good,
Shall dwell in the golden hall of Gimlé
On the south side of Ásgarðr.
Moved for safety, some say,
Southward and upward
End long through the second and
Ever upward to the wind wide blue third Heaven,
Far from fire and death,
Where, ’tis said, only the Ljósálfar still dwell.


Pronunciation Key:
ð = th in “father”
Þ = th in “thick”
Níu Heimar = Nyew Haym-ar
Yggdrasil = Eeg-drass-ill
Muspelheim = Mus-pel-haym
Niflheim = Nif-l-haym
Eldjötnar = Eld Yote-nar
Bifröst = Bye-Frost
EikÞyrnir = Ayk-thear-near
Níðhǫggr = Nith-hog
Ymir = Ee-mere
Jötnar-föðr = Yote-Nar Fa-ther
Alföðr = All Fa-ther
Ásgarðr = As-garth
Ásheim = As-hayme
Oðinn = O-thin
Glaðsheimr = Glaths-haym
Ragnarök = Rag-na-rok
Jötunheimr = Yote-un Haym
Niðavellir = Nith-avel-lir
Myrkheim = Mirk-Haym
Dvergr = De-ver-gar
Ljósálfar = l-juice-al-far

Edited to add the final verse.