William Morris Archive

Translations by William Morris

The following is a working checklist, with unpublished material transcribed.

For a list specifically devoted to the Old Norse translations, see William Whitla, "Appendix B: The Old Norse Translations of William Morris and Related materials," 96-99, in 'Sympathetic Translation' and the 'Scribe's Capacity': Morris's Calligraphy and the Icelandic Sagas." Journal of Pre-Raphaelite Studies 10 (Fall 2001): 27-108.



1. “Hafbur and Signy: Translated from the Danish” ( King Hafbur & King Siward / They needs must stir up strife, )

2. “The Lay of Christine: Translated from the Icelandic” ( Of silk my gear was shapen, / Scarlet they did on me, )

3. “Hildebrand and Hellelil: Translated from the Danish” ( Hellelil sitteth in bower there, / None knows my grief but God alone, )

4. “Knight Aagen and Maiden Else: Translated From the Danish” ( It was the fair knight Aagen / To an isle he went his way, / And plighted troth to Else, / Who was so fair a may. )

5. “The Son’s Sorrow: From the Icelandic” ( The King has asked of his son so good, / “Why art thou hushed and heavy of mood? )

6. “The Mother Under the Mold” ( Svend Dyring rode on the island-way / Yea have not I myself been young )

7. “Agnes and the Hill Man: Translated from the Danish” ( Agnes went through the meadows a-weeping, / Fowl are a-singing. / There stood the hill-man heed thereof keeping. / Agnes, fair Agnes! )

8. “The Prophecy of the Vala” ( Heath-Dame they called her / At each home she came to, )

9. “The Song of Atli” ( In days long gone / Sent Atli to Gunnar / A crafty one riding, / Knefrud men called him; )

10. “The Whetting of Gudrun” ( Words of strife heard I, / Huger than any, / Woeful words spoken, / Sprung from all sorrow, )

11. “The Lay of Hamdir” ( Great deeds of bale / In the garth began, / At the sad dawning / The tide of Elves’ sorrow )

12. “The Lament of Oddrun” ( I have heard tell / In ancient tales / How a may there came / To Morna-land, )

13. “Lay of Thrym”

14. “Baldur’s Doom” (Also "The Lay of Way-Wearer" [Vegtamsgruđa])

15. Part of the Lay of Sigrdrifa” ( Now this is my first counsel, / That thou with thy kin / Be guiltless, guileless ever, / Nor hasty of wrath, )* 

16. “Iliad,” translation. ( Singer of the wrath O Goddess of Achilles Peleus seek/ Baleful that laid on Achaeans ten thousand folded need )

17. The Aeneids of Virgil

18. Part of the Second Lay of Helgi Hundings-bane” ( Dag: Loth am I, sister / Of sorrow to tell thee, / For by hard need driven / Have I drawn on the greeting; )

19. “The Short Lay of Sigurd” ( Sigurd of yore, / Sought the dwelling of Guiki, / As he fared, the young Volsung, / After fight won; )

20. “The Hell-Ride of Brynhild” ( THE GIANT WOMAN “Nay, with my goodwill / Never goest thou / Through this stone-pillared / Stead of mine! )

21. “Fragments of The Lay of Brynhild” ( HOGNI SAID: “What hath wrought Sigurd / Of any wrong-doing / That the life of the famed one / Thou art fain of taking?” )

22. “The Second or Ancient Lay of Gudrun” ( A may of all mays / My mother reared me / Bright in bower; / Well loved I my brethren, )* 

23. “Nibelungenlied” ( In the words of the ancient stories Are many wonders told )* 

24. Axel Thordson and Fair Walborg

25. Beowulf ( What! we of the Spear-Danes of yore days, so was it/ That we lear'd of the fair fame of Kings of the folks )

26. The Odyssey of Homer ( Tell me, O Muse, of the Shifty, the man who wandered afar, / After the Holy Burg, Troy-town, he had wasted with war; )

27. The Ordination of Knighthood. Available at http://morrisedition.lib.uiowa.edu/ordination.html., edited by Yuri Cowan


1. Grettis Saga: The Story of Grettir the Strong. Translated from the Icelandic by William Morris and Eiríkr Magnusson. London: F. S. Ellis, 1869.

2. Völsunga Saga: The Story of the Volsungs and Niblungs, with certain Songs from the Elder Edda. Translated by Eiríkir Magnusson and William Morris. London: Ellis, 1870.

3. Three Northern Love Stories, and Other Tales. Translated by William Morris and Eirikr Magnusson. London Ellis and White, 1875.

  • Contains The Story of Gunnlaug the Worm-Tongue and Raven the Skald; The Story of Frithiof the Bold; The Story of Viglund the Fair; The Tale of Hogni and Hedinn; The Tale of Roi the Fool; The Tale of Thorstein Staff-Smitten.

4. The Saga Library. Translated by William Morris and Eiríkr Magnússon. 6 vols. London: Bernard Quaritch, 1891-1901.

5. Of King Florus and the Fair Jehane. Translated by William Morris. Kelmscott Press, 1893.

6. The Tale of Emperor Coustans and Over Sea. Translated by William Morris, Kelmscott Press, 1894.

7. Child Christopher and Goldilind the Fair. Hammersmith: Kelmscott Press, 1895

8. "Egils Saga," [40 chapters] in May Morris, William Morris: Artist, Writer, Socialist, Oxford: Blackwell, 1936. See also unpublished ms. variant below.

9. The Story of Kormak the Son of Ogmund, translated by William Morris and Eiríkr Magnusson. London: William Morris Society, 1970.


For a list of Morris's illuminated manuscripts of his translations and other works, see William Whitla, Appendix A: "William Morris's Calligraphic Manuscripts," 80-95, in"'Sympathetic Translation' and the 'Scribe's Capacity': Morris's Calligraphy and the Icelandic Sagas." Journal of Pre-Raphaelite Studies 10 (Fall 2001): 27-108.

An additional list of Morris's illuminated manuscripts and a note on these manuscripts, both by Alfred Fairbank, may be found in The Story of Kormak the Son of Ogmund, by William Morris and Eirikr Magnusson, with an Introduction by Grace J. Calder and a Note on the manuscript work of William Morris by Alfred Fairbank. William Morris Society, 1970. See "A Note on the Manuscript Work of William Morris," Alfred Fairbank, 53-64; "An Annotated List of the Manuscript Work of William Morris," Alfred Fairbank, 65-69.

Fragment of The Aeneid, Society of Antiquaries, calligraphic trial, Book I, lines 34-89, f. 1 and 1v.

* Unpublished