The Speech of the
        High One

I know I hung on that windswept tree,
Swung there for nine long nights,
Wounded by my own blade,
Bloodied for Odin,
Myself an offering to myself:
Bound to the tree,
That no man knows,
Whither the roots of it run.

None gave me bread,
None gave me drink,
Down to the deepest depths I peered,
Until I spied the Runes.
With a roaring cry I seized them up,
Then dizzy and fainting, I fell.

Well being I won,
And wisdom too.
I grew and took joy in my growth:
From a word to a word,
I was led to a word,
From a deed to another deed.


The Poetic Edda
(circa A.D. 1200)