30 Days for Njord, Day 9: Generosity

Since this series was inspired not just by Njord but also by his attitudes on generosity and gift-giving, I give to you some wise words on the subject from the Havamal. (TL; DR: Be as generous as you can, otherwise you will have no friends and life will be bad.)

  1. Hail, ye Givers! a guest is come;
    say! where shall he sit within?
    Much pressed is he who fain on the hearth
    would seek for warmth and weal.
  2. He hath need of fire, who now is come,
    numbed with cold to the knee;
    food and clothing the wanderer craves
    who has fared o’er the rimy fell.
  3. I found none so noble or free with his food,
    who was not gladdened with a gift,
    nor one who gave of his gifts such store
    but he loved reward, could he win it.
  4. Let no man stint him and suffer need
    of the wealth he has won in life;
    oft is saved for a foe what was meant for a friend,
    and much goes worse than one weens.
  5. With raiment and arms shall friends gladden each other,
    so has one proved oneself;
    for friends last longest, if fate be fair
    who give and give again.
  6. To his friend a man should bear him as friend,
    and gift for gift bestow,
    laughter for laughter let him exchange,
    but leasing pay for a lie.
  7. Hast thou a friend whom thou trustest well,
    from whom thou cravest good?
    Share thy mind with him, gifts exchange with him,
    fare to find him oft.
  8. My garments once I gave in the field
    to two land-marks made as men;
    heroes they seemed when once they were clothed;
    ’tis the naked who suffer shame!
  9. Not great things alone must one give to another,
    praise oft is earned for nought;
    with half a loaf and a tilted bowl
    I have found me many a friend.

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