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Digitized by the Internet Archive


in

2010 with funding from


University of Toronto

http://www.archive.org/details/eldereddaofsaemuOOthor

&

OF THE

IRo^al
There are but four hundred
the world,

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fifty complete sets

of which

No..

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HORRCENA
ANGLO-SAXON CLASSICS

COPYRIGHT
T.

H.

SMART

1905

It

The Elder Edda


OF SAEMUND SIGFUSSON.
Translated from the Original Old Norse Text into English

BY

BENJAMIN THORPE,
AND THE

YOUNGER EDDA
OF SNORRE STURLESON.
Translated from the Original Old Norse Text into English

BY
I.

A.

BLACKWELL.

HON. RASMUS

B.

ANDERSON,

LL.D.,

EDITOR IN CHIEF.
J.

W. BUEL,

Ph.D.,

\aK^

MANAGING EDITOR.

/0
PUBLISHED BY THE

NORRNA

SOCIETY,

LONDON STOCKHOLM COPENHAGEN BERLIN NEW YORK


1907

LIST

OF PHOTOGRAVURES.

(Elder and Younger Eddas.)

Frontispiece

Gunnar

(Gunther).
Page

Siegfried

Awakens Brynhild

159

Death of Atli

247

331

Feast in Valhalla

CONTENTS.
THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND.
Page
Preface by the Translator
Introduction to the Voluspa
The Vala's Prophecy
The Lay of Vafthrudnir
The Lay of Vegtam, or Baldur's

ix

xv
1

Dream

The High One's Lay


Odin's Rune Song
The Lay of Hymir
The Lay of Thrym, or the Hammer Recovered
The Lay of the Dwarf Alvis
The Lay of Harbard
The Journey, or Lay of Skirnir
The Lay of Rig
Egir's Compotation, or Loki's Altercation

The
The
The
The
The
The
The
The

Lay
Lay

48
53

57
63
71

78
84

102

Hyndla

Incantation of Groa
Song of the Sun

109

Lay
Lay

121

of

Ill

Volund

Son
First Lay of Helgi Hundingcide
Second Lay of Helgi Hundingcide

Sinfiotli's

The Lay
The Lay
The Lay

of Helgi Hiorvard's

End

First

137
144

180

of Sigrdrifa

of

157

172

of Fafnir

Lay

127

155

Prophecy

of Sigurd, or Gripir's

Fragments of the Lay of Sigurd and Brynhild


The Third Lay of Sigurd Fafnicide
Fragments of the Lay of Brynhild

The

29

44

95

of Fiolsvith

of

26

Gudrun

186
194

203
206

Brynhild's Hel-ride

210

The Slaughter of the Niflungs


The Second Lay of Gudrun
The Third Lay of Gudrun
Oddrun's Lament
The Lay of Atli
The Greenland Lay of Atli

212
213
219
221

226

233

CONTENTS
Page
Gudrun's Incitement

248

Hamdir

251

The Lay

of

THE YOUNGER EDDA OF SNORRE.


The Deluding of
Of the Primordial

856

Gylfi

State of the Universe

Of the Cow Audhumla, and Birth


The M aking of Heaven and Earth

of

Odin

and Woman
Night and Day, Sun and Moon
Wolves that Pursue the Sun and Moon
The Way that Leads to Heaven
The Golden Age
Origin of the Dwarfs, and Norns of Destiny
The Ash Yggdrasill and Mimer's Well
Creation of

Man

The Norns that Tend Yggdrasill


The Wind and the Seasons
Thor and His Hammer
Balder and Njord
Njord and His Wife Skadi

202
203

265

266
267
268

269
270
271

273

275
277
278
279

The God Frey and Goddess Freyja


Tyr and Other Gods
Hodur the Blind, Assassin of Baldur
Loki and His Progeny
Binding the Wolf Fenrir
The Goddesses and their Attributes
Frey,

259
200

Origin of the Frost-Giants

and Gerda the Beautiful

The Joys of Valhalla


The Wonderful Horse Sleipnir
The Ship Adapted to Sail on Sea or Land
Thor's Adventures in the Land of Giants
The Death of Baldur
Baldur in the Abode of the Dead

280
281
283

284
285
289
291
293
297

299
300
315
319

Loki's Capture and Punishment

321

Destruction of the Universe


Restoration of the Universe
How Loki Carried Away Iduna
The Origin of Poetry
Odin Beguiles the Daughter of Baugi
Glossary

323

vi

327
329
331

333

335

PREFACE.
Saemund, son
poems bearing
Elder, and the

his

of Sigfus, the reputed collector of the

name, which

is

sometimes also called the

Edda, was of a highly distinguished


family, being descended in a direct line from King Harald
Hildetonn. He was born at Oddi, his paternal dwelling in
the south of Iceland, between the years 1054 and 1057, or
about 50 years after the establishment by law of the Christian religion in that island; hence it is easy to imagine that
many heathens, or baptized favourers of the old mythic
songs of heathenism, may have lived in his days and imparted to 'him the lays of the times of old, which his unfettered mind induced him to hand down to posterity.
The youth of Smund was passed in travel and study,
in Germany and France, and, according to some accounts,
in Italy.
His cousin John Ogmundson, who later became
first bishop of Holum, and after his death was received
among the number of saints, when on his way to Rome, fell
in with his youthful kinsman, and took him back with him
to Iceland, in the year 1076.
Smund afterwards became
a priest at Oddi, where he instructed many young men in
useful learning; but the effects of which were not improbably such as to the common people might appear as witchcraft or magic and, indeed, Smund's predilection for the
sagas and songs of the old heathen times (even for the magical ones) was so well known, that among his countrymen
there were some who regarded him as a great sorcerer,
though chiefly in what is called white or innocuous and dePoetic,

Vll

PREFACE
fensive sorcery, a repute which

among
to

common

the

still

clings to his

memory

people of Iceland, and will long adhere

through the numerous and popular stories regarding

it

him (some of them highly entertaining)


1
transmitted from generation to generation.

Smund
work on

died at the age of 77, leaving behind

the history of

almost entirely

The first
known as

are orally

that

Norway and

Iceland, which

him a
is

now

lost.

who

ascribed to

bishop of Skalholt.

the collection of

poems

was Brynjolf Svensson,


This prelate, who was a zealous colEdda,

Poetic

the

Smund

lector of ancient manuscripts,

found

in the year 1643, the

following, the first among many, may serve as a specimen.


residing, in the south of Europe, with a famous Master,
by whom he was instructed in every kind of lore while, on the other hand,
he forgot (apparently through intense study) all that he had previously
so that when the holy man John Ogmundlearned, even to his own name
but on John
son came to his abode, he told him that his name was Koll
insisting that he was no other than Smund Sigfusson, born at Oddi in
Iceland, and relating to him many particulars regarding himself, he at
length became conscious of his own identity, and resolved to flee from the
For the purpose of deceiving the master, John
place with his kinsman.
continued some time in the place, and often came to visit him and Smund
No sooner had
till at last, one dark night, they betook themselves to flight.
but in vain,
the Master missed them than he sent in pursuit of them
and the heavens were too overcast to admit, according to his custom, of
reading their whereabouts in the stars. So they traveled day and night and
But the next night was clear, and the Master at once
all the following day.
read in the stars where they were, and set out after them at full speed.
Then Smund, casting his eyes up at the heavens, saP, "Now is my Master
in chase of us, and sees where we are." And on John asking what was to
be done, he answered "Take one of my shoes off, fill it with water, and set
it on my head."
John did so, and at t -.e same moment, the Master, looking
up at the heavens, says to his companion "Bad news the stranger John
has drowned my pupil there Is water about his forehead." And thereupon
returned home. The pair now again prosecute their journey night and day
but, in the following night, the Master again consults the stars, when, to his
great amazement, he sees the star of Smund directly above his head, and
again sets off after the fugitives.
"The
Observing this, Smund says
astrologer is again after us, and again we must look to ourselves; take my
shoe off again, and with your knife stab me in the thigh
fill
the shoe
with blood, and place it on the top of my head." John does as directed, and
the Master, again gazing at the stars, says "There is blood now about the
star of Master Koll. and the stranger has for certain murdered him," and
so returns home. The old man now has once more recourse to his art but
on seeing Smund's star shining brightly above him, he exclaimed: "My
pupil is still living
so much the better.
I have taught him more than
enough for he outdoes me both in astrology and magic. Let them now
proceed in safety I am unable to hinder their departure."
J

The

Smund was

Bishop

P. E.

Muller supposes the greater number of the Eddaic poems


Sagabibliothek II, p. 131.

to be of the 8th century.

viii

PREFACE
old vellum codex, which

known manuscripts
script to

the most complete of

is

of the

Edda;

be made, which he entitled

The

all

the

of this he caused a tran-

Edda Saemundi Mul-

came into the possession of the royal


historiographer Torfus the original, together with other
MSS., was presented to the King of Denmark, Frederick
III., and placed in the royal library at Copenhagen, where
1
it now is.
As many of the Eddaic poems appear to have
tiscii.

transcript

been orally transmitted

in

an imperfect

state, the collector

has supplied the deficiencies by prose insertions, whereby


the integrity of the subject

The

collection

called

Smund's Edda

of those which

English version.

is

consists

and the Heroic.

parts, viz., the Mythological

mer

to a certain degree restored.

is

now

two

of

It is the for-

offered to the public in an

In the year 1797, a translation of this

first

by A. S. Cottle, was published at Bristol. This work


nor have I seen any English version
I have never met with
of any part of the Edda, with the exception of Gray's spirited but free translation of the Vegtamskvida.
The Lay of\Volund (Volundarkvida) celebrates the story
of Volund's doings and sufferings during his sojourn in
Volund (Ger.
the territory of the Swedish king Nidud.
Wieland, Fr. Veland and Galans) is the Scandinavian and
Germanic Vulcan (Hephaistos) and Ddalus. In England

part,

his story, as a skillful smith, is traceable to a very early

period.

In the Anglo-Saxon

poem

of Beowulf

we

find that

hero desiring, in the event of his falling in conflict with


Grendel, that his corslets
as he says, the

may

be sent to Hygelac, being,

work of Weland

and king lfred,

in his

words
Welondes?

translation of Boethius de Consolatione, renders the


fidelis

ossa

Fabricii,

etc.

by

Hwt (hwr)

iCodex Regius, No. 2365, 4to.


The handwriting of this MS.
posed to be of the beginning of the 14th centurj'.
ix

is

sup-

PREFACE
(Where
smith

now

arc

famous and wise gold-

the bones of the

Weland?), evidently taking the proper name of

Eabricius for an appellative equivalent to faber.

poem

In the

substance closely re-

a
Exeter Book, too, there
In his novel of Kenilworth,
sembling the Eddaic lay.
Walter Scott has been guilty of a woeful perversion of the
old tradition, travestied from the Berkshire legend of Wayis

As

land Smith.
in a

On

in

we

a land-boundary

find

Weland's smithy

Charter of king Eadred A. D. 955.

Lay of Helgi Hiorvard's Son there is nothing to


remark beyond what appears in the poem itself.
The Lays of Helgi Hundingcide form the first of the
the

series of stories relating to the

Volsung

race,

and the Giu-

kungs, or Niflungs.

The connection
these

poems

will

of the several personages celebrated in

appear plain from the following tables

Hunaland, said to be a son of Odin

Sigi, king of
I

Eerir
I

Volsung

a daughter of the giant Hrimnir

III

Sigmund

Signi

Ilamund. Sinfiotli. Helgi

Borghild

= Sigrun

Hiordis

Sigurd

= Gudrun

Sigmund, Svanhild.

Giuki

Jormunrek.

Grimhild.

Gunnar=Glaumvor. Hogni Kostbera. Guthorm. Gudrun,= l


|

Solar.

Giuki.

Snvar.

Sigurd.

2 Atli.
3 Jonakr.

PREFACE
Bndli.
Atli

= Gudruu:

Bryiiliild

Oddrun.

Gimnar.

Beckhild

Heimir.

Kip.

Alsvid.

Eitil

Jouakr

Erp

The Eddaic

Gudruu

Harudir.

series of the

Sorli.

Yolsung and Niflung

minates with the Lay of Hamdir

Melody

is

the one entitled Gunnar's

no doubt a comparatively

being written in the true ancient

lays ter-

late

composition

spirit of the

North

is

yet

well

among the Eddaic poems. Nor, indeed,


Lay of Grotti to rank among the poems
by Smund, by any means clear, we know it only

deserving of a place
is

the claim of the

collected

from

its

antiquity,

existence in the
its

editions of the

present

out

intrinsic

Skalda

worth, and

Edda, both

yet
its

in original

work would seem, and

on account of
reception

and

in

its

other

translation, the

justly so, incomplete with-

it.

The

Prose, or

Younger Edda,

celebrated Snorre Sturleson,

is

generally ascribed to the

who was born

of a distinguished

Icelandic family, in the year 1178, and after leading a turbu-

and being twice the supreme magistrate of the Republic, was killed a. d. 1241,1 by three of his
sons-in-law and a step-son. When Snorre was three years
lent

and ambitious

life,

1 Snorre, at the death of John Loptson


(a. d. 1197), does not appear to
have possessed any property whatever, though he afterwards became the
His rise in the world was chiefly owing to his
weathiest man in Iceland.
marriage with Herdisa, the daughter of a priest called Bersi the Rich,
very enviable surname, which no doubt enabled the Rev. gentleman to
brave the decrees of Popes aDd Councils, and take to himself a wife who
brought him a very considerable fortune. If we may judge from Snorre's
biography, Christianity appears to have effected very little change in the
character of the Icelanders. We have the same turbulent and sanguinary
scenes, the same loose conduct of the women, and perfidy, and remorseless
cruelty of the men, as in the Pagan times.

xi

PREFACE
John Loptson of Oddi, the grandson of Smund the
Wise, took him into fosterage. Snorre resided at Oddi until
his twentieth year, and appears to have received an excellent
education from his foster father, who was one of the most
learned men of that period. How far he may have made use
of the manuscripts of Smund and Ari, which were preserved at Oddi, it is impossible to say, neither do we know
old,

the precise contents of these manuscripts

but

it

is

highly

probable that the most important parts of the work,

known under

the

title

of

now

"The Prose Edda," formed a part

who may be regarded as the


Euhemerus merely added a few chapters,

of them, and that Snorre

Scandinavian

in

order to render the mythology more conformable to the erro-

neous notions he appears to have entertained respecting

Be

its

may, the Prose Edda, in its present form, dates from the thirteenth century, and consists of
1. Formali (Fore discourse)
or the prologue.
2. Gylfasignification.

this as

it

ginning (The deluding of Gylfi).


versations of Bragi).

4.

3.

Braga-roedur (Con-

Bptirmali (After discourse)

or

The Prologue and Epilogue were probably written by Snorre himself, and are nothing more than an absurd
syncretism of Hebrew, Greek, Roman, and Scandinavian
Epilogue.

myths and legends, in which Noah, Priam, Odin, Hector,


Thor, neas, &c, are jumbled together much in the same
manner as in the romances of the Middle Ages. These dissertations, utterly worthless in themselves, have obviously
nothing in common with the so-called "Prose Edda/' the
part of which, containing fifty-three chapters, forms a
complete synopsis of Scandinavian mythology, derived prin-

first

cipally

from the Poetical Edda.

THE TRANSLATOR.
xii

INTRODUCTION TO THE VOLUSPA.


As

introductory to the Voluspa, the following description

may

of a wandering Vala or prophetess


sirable

and interesting:

of children,

"We

when they seem

find

be thought both de-

them present

to represent the

at the birth

Norns.

They

acquired their knowledge either by means of seid, during


the night, while

all

others in the house were sleeping, and

uttered their oracles in the morning; or they received sud-

den inspirations during the singing of certain songs appropriate to the purpose, without which the sorcery could not
perfectly succeed. These seid-women were common over all
the North. When invited by the master of a family, they
appeared in a peculiar costume, sometimes with a considerable number of followers, e. g. with fifteen young men and
fifteen girls.
For their soothsaying they received money,
rings,
gold
and other precious things. Sometimes it was
necessary to compel them to prophesy. An old description
of such a Vala, who went from guild to guild telling fortunes, will give the best idea of these women and their
proceedings"

"Thorbiorg, nicknamed the

little

Vala, during the winter

attended the guilds, at the invitation of those

know

who

desired

fate, or the quality of the coming year.


prepared in the most sumptuous manner
was
Everything
for her reception. There was an elevated seat, on which lay
a cushion stuffed with feathers. A man was sent to meet
her.
She came in the evening dressed in a blue mantle

to

their

fastened with thongs and set with stones


xiii

down

to the lap;

INTRODUCTION
round her neck she had a necklace of glass beads, on her
head a hood of black lambskin lined with white catskin
in her hand a staff, the head of which was mounted with
brass and ornamented with stones round her body she wore
a girdle of agaric (knoske), from which hung a bag containing her conjuring apparatus; on her feet were rough
calfskin shoes with long ties and tin buttons, on her hands
catskin gloves, white and hairy within. All bade her welcome with a reverent salutation the master himself conducted her by the hand to her seat.
She undertook no
prophecy on the first day, but would first pass a night there.
In the evening of the following day she ascended her elevated seat, caused the women to place themselves round
her, and desired them to sing certain songs, which they did
in a strong, clear voice.
She then prophesied of the coming
year, and afterwards, all that would advanced and asked
her such questions as they thought proper, to which they
;

received plain answers."

In the following grand and ancient lay, dating most


probably from the time of heathenism, are set forth, as the
utterances of a Vala, or wandering prophetess, as above
described, the story of the creation of the world

from chaos,

of the origin of the giants, the gods, the dwarfs, and the

human

race,

together with other

events

relating

to

the

mythology of the North, and ending with the destruction


of the gods and the world, and their renewal.

XIV

VLUSPA.
THE VALA'S PROPHECY.
For

1.

small,

silence I pray all sacred children, great

sons of Heimdall,

they will that

and

Valfather's

deeds recount, men's ancient saws, those that

best re-

early born, those

who me

member.
2.

The Jotuns

of old have reared.

remember
I

nine worlds remember, nine trees,

the great central tree, beneath the earth.


3.

There was

in times of old,

where Ymir dwelt, nor

nor gelid waves; earth existed not, nor


heaven above, 'twas a chaotic chasm, and grass nowhere.
sand nor

4.

who

sea,

Before Bur's sons raised up heaven's vault, they


the noble mid-earth shaped.

The sun shone from

the south over the structure's rocks: then

was the earth

begrown with herbage green.


The sun from the south, the moon's companion, her
5.
right hand cast about the heavenly horses. The sun knew
2
not where she a dwelling had, the moon knew not what
power he possessed, the stars knew not where they had a
station.
Iu the Rigsmal we are informed how Heimdall, under the name of
became the progenitor of the three orders of mankind. 2 In the Germanic tongues, as in the Semitic, the sun is fern., the moon masc.
J

Rig,

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND

Then went

6.

the powers

all

to their judgment-seats,

the all-holy gods, and thereon held council

to night

and

waning moon gave names morn they named, and


mid-day, afternoon and eve, whereby to reckon years.
The sir met on Ida's plain they altar-steads and
7.
to the

temples high constructed

their strength they proved, all

things tried, furnaces established, precious things forged,

formed tongs, and fabricated tools;


8.
At tables played at home; joyous they were; to
them was naught the want of gold, until there came
Thurs-maidens three, all powerful, from Jotunheim.

Then went

9.

all

the powers to their judgment-seats,

the all-holy gods, and thereon held council,

who

should

of the dwarfs the race create, from the sea-giant's blood

and

livid bones.

10.

Then was Mtsognir

created greatest of

all

the

dwarfs, and Durin second; there in man's likeness they


created

many dwarfs from

earth, as

Durin

said.

Ni and Nidi, Nordri and Sudri, Austri and Vestri, Althif, Dvalin Nr and Nin, Niping, Dain, Bivr,
Bavr, Bmbur, Nori, An and Anar, Ai, Miodvitnir,
12.
Veig and Gandlf, Vindlf, Thrain, Thekk and
Thorin, Thrr, Vitr, and Litr, Nur and Nrd, Regin
and Rdsvid. Now of the dwarfs I have rightly told.
11.

13.

Fili,

Kili,

Fundin,

Nali,

Hepti,

Vili,

Hanar,

Svior, Billing, Bruni, Bild, Bri, Frr, Hornbori,

and Lni, Aurvang,


14.

Time

'tis

Iari, Eikinskialdi.

of the dwarfs in Dvalin's band, to the

sons of men, to Lofar up to reckon, those

from the world's


plains.

Frg

rock,

earth's

who came

foundation, to

forth
Iora's

THE VALA'S PROPHECY


There were Draupnir, and Dlgthrasir, Hr,
Haugspori, Hlvang, Gli, Skirvir, Virvir, Skafid, Ai,
Alf and Yngvi, Eikinskialdi,
Fialar and Frosti, Finn and Ginnar, Heri, Hgg16.
15.

Hlidlf,

stari,

Moin

that above shall, while mortals live,

the progeny of Lofar, accounted be.

Until there came three mighty and benevolent

17.

JEsir to the world from their assembly.


earth, nearly powerless,

Ask and Embla, void

Spirit they possessed

18.

They found on

not,

of destiny.

sense they had

blood nor motive powers, nor goodly colour.

Spirit

not,

gave

Odin, sense gave Hnir, blood gave Lodur, and goodly


colour.
19.
tree,

know an

ash standing Yggdrasil hight, a lofty

laved with limpid water

the dales that

fall

ever stands

thence
it

come

dews

the

into

green over Urd's foun-

tain.

Thence come maidens, much knowing, three from


the hall, which under that tree stands; Urd hight the
on a tablet they graved
one, the second Verdandi,
20.

Skuld the

the sons of
21.

Laws

third.

men;

Alone she

they established,

life allotted to

destinies pronounced.
1

sat without,

when came

that ancient

dread sir's prince; and in his eye she gazed.

"Of what wouldst thou ask me? Why temptest


thou me? Odin! I know all, where thou thine eye didst
sink in the pure well of Mim." Mim drinks mead each
morn from Valfather's pledge. 2 Understand ye yet, or
22.

what ?
x
The Vala here speaks of herself in the third person.
understood to signify the sun.

His eye, here

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUbID

The

23.

gave her rings and necklace,

chief of hosts

useful discourse, and a divining spirit: wide

saw

and

far she

o'er every world.

She the Valkyriur saw from afar coming, ready to


ride to the god's people
Skuld held a shield, Skgul
was second, then Gunn, Hild Gndul, and Geirskgul.
Xow are enumerated Herian's maidens, the Valkyriur,
24.

ready over the earth to

ride.

She that war remembers, the first on earth, when


Gullveig 1 they with lances pierced, and in the high one's 2
25.

hall her burnt, thrice burnt, thrice

not seldom

yet she

brought her forth, oft

still lives.

Heidi they called her, whithersoe'r she came, the

2G.

well-foreseeing Vala

wolves she tamed, magic arts she

knew, magic arts practised

ever was she the joy of evil

people.

Then went

27.

the powers

all

to their judgment-seats,

the all-holy gods, and thereon held council, whether the

sir should avenge

the crime,

or

all

the gods receive

atonement.

Broken was the outer wall of the sir's burgh.


The Vanir, foreseeing conflict, tramp o'er the plains.
Odin cast [his spear], and mid the people hurled it:
that was the first warfare in the world.
28.

Then went

29.
seats,

had

the powers

all

to

their

judgment-

the all-holy gods, and thereon held council

all

who

the air with evil mingled? or to the Jotun race

Od's maid had given?


*A personification of gold.
With the Introduction of gold was the
end of the golden age. H. e., Odin's his hail is the world. 3 Of introduc:

ing the use of gold.

THE VALA'S PROPHECY


There alone was Thor with anger swollen. He
seldom sits, when of the like he hears. Oaths are not
held sacred nor words, nor swearing, nor binding com30.

pacts reciprocally made.

She knows that Heimdall's horn

31.

the heaven-bright holy tree.


i

is

river she sees flow, with

foamy fall, from Valfather's pledge.


or what?

Understand ye

yet,

East sat the crone, in Iarnvidir, and there reared

32.

up Fenrir's progeny of all shall be one


moon's devourer, in a troll's semblance.
:

He

33.

is

summers after
Understand ye yet, or what?
shine then for

There on a height

34.

especially the

men;

sated with the last breath of dying

the god's seat he with red gore defiles

ess's

hidden under

all

swart

is

the sun-

weather turns to storm.

sat, striking

a harp, the giant-

watch, the joyous Egdir; by him crowed, in the

bird-wood, the bright red cock, which Fialar hight.


35.

Crowed

o'er the

sir Gullinkambi, which wakens

heroes with the sire of hosts

but another crows beneath

the earth, a soot-red cock, in the halls of Hel.

saw of Baldr, the blood-stained god, Odin's son,


There stood grown up, high on the
the hidden fate.
plain, slender and passing fair, the mistletoe.
36.

37.

From

that shrub

a deadly, noxious dart.

was made,

Hdr

shot

as to
it

38.

it

seemed,

forth; but Frigg

bewailed, in Fensalir, Valhall's calamity.


yet, or

me

Understand ye

what?

Bound she saw

lying,

under Hveralund, a mon-

THE ELDER EDO A OF SAEMUND


strous form, to Loki

like.

There

Sigyn, for her con-

sits

Understand ye yet, or what?


Then the Vala knew the fatal bonds were twist39.
ing, most rigid, bonds from entrails made.
40.
From the east a river falls, through venom dales,
with mire and clods, Slid is its name.
sort's sake,

On

41.

not right glad.

the north there stood,

gold, for Sindri's race

on

Nida-fells, a hall of

and another stood

in Oklnir, the

Jotuns beer-hall which Brimir hight.

She saw a hall standing, far from the sun, in


Nstrnd; its doors are northward turned, venom-drops
fall in through its apertures: entwined is that hall with
42.

serpents' backs.

saw wading the sluggish streams


bloodthirsty men and perjurers, and him who the ear
beguiles of another's wife.
There Nidhgg sucks the
corpses of the dead the wolf tears men.
Understand ye
yet, or what?
44.
Further forward I see, much can I say of Ragnark and the gods' conflict.
45.
Brothers shall fight, and slay each other; cousins
She there

43.

shall kinship violate.


flee;

no man

46.

Hard

The

earth resounds, the giantesses

will another spare.


is it in

whoredom, an axe
be cloven, a wind age, a

the world, great

sword age, shields shall


wolf age, ere the world sinks.
47.
Mim's sons dance, but the
age, a

at the
his

Loud blows Heimdall,


Odin speaks with Mim's head.

resounding Giallar-horn.

horn

48.

central tree takes fire

is

raised;

Trembles Yggdrasil's ash yet standing;


6

groans

THE VALA'S PROPHECY


that aged tree, and the jtun

is

loosed.

Loud bays Garni

before the Gnupa-cave, his bonds he rends asunder; and


the wolf runs.

Hrym

49.

steers

mundane snake

is

from the

east,

coiled in jtun-rage.

the water, and the eagle screams


carcases

Naglfar

the waters

is

rise,

The worm

the

beats

the pale of beak tears

loosed.

from the east: come will MusThe monster's


pell's people o'er the sea, and Loki steers.
kin goes all with the wolf; with them the brother is of

That ship

50.

fares

Byleist on their course.

Surt from the south comes with flickering flame


shines from his sword the Val-gods' sun. The stony hills
51.

are dashed together, the giantesses totter

path of Hel, and heaven

How

52.

is it

is

men

tread the

cloven.

with the sir?

All Jotunheim resounds; the

sir

How

with the Alfar?

are in council.

The

dwarfs groan before their stony doors, the sages of the


rocky walls. Understand ye yet, or what?

Then

53.

arises Hlin's second grief,

with the wolf to

54.

his

and the bright slayer of Beli with

Then will Frigg's beloved fall.


Then comes the great victor-sire's

Surt.

fight

fight,

when Odin goes

with the deadly beast.

sword

He

son, Vidar, to

with his hands will make

pierce to the heart of the giant's son: then

avenges he his father.

Hldyn: (Odin's
son goes with the monster to fight) Midgrd's Veor in
his rage will slay the worm. Nine feet will go Firgyn's
55.

Then comes

the mighty son of


;

son,
will

bowed by the serpent, who feared no


their homes forsake.

foe.

All

men

THE ELDER HDD A OF SAEMUND


56.

The sun

darkens, earth in ocean sinks,

heaven the bright

stars, fire's

ishing tree, towering


57.

She

from

breath assails the all-nour-

plays against heaven

fire

fall

itself.

from ocean,

sees arise, a second time, earth

beauteously green, waterfalls descending; the eagle

ing over, which in the


58.

fell

The sir meet on

captures

fly-

fish.

Ida's plain,

and of the mighty

and there to memory call their


mighty deeds, and the supreme god's ancient lore.
There shall again the wondrous golden tables in
59.
the grass be found, which in clays of old had possessed
earth-encircler

speak,

the ruler of the gods,


60.

Unsown

amended; Baldr

and

Filnir's race.

shall the fields

bring forth,

come; Hdr and

all

evil

be

Balclr, the

heav-

enly gods, Hropt's glorious dwellings shall inhabit.

Un-

shall

derstand ye yet, or what?


61.

Then can Hoenir choose

62.

She a

and the two


brothers' sons inhabit the spacious Vindheim. Understand ye yet, or what?
his

hall standing than the

gold bedecked, in Gimill

lot,

sun brighter, with

there shall be righteous peo-

and for evermore happiness enjoy.


64.
Then comes the mighty one to the great judgment, the powerful from above, who rules o'er all.
He
shall dooms pronounce, and strifes allay, holy peace establish, which shall ever be.
65.
There comes the dark dragon flying from beneath the glistening serpent, from Nida-fels.
On his
wings bears Nidhgg, flying o'er the plain, a corpse,

ple dwell,

Now

she will descend.

THE LAY OF VAFTIIRUDNIR

THE LAY OF VAFTHRUDNIR.


Odin

visits

(Jtun) Vafthrdnir, for the

the Giant

They propose ques-

purpose of proving his knowledge.


tions relative to the

Cosmogony

of the Northern creed, on

the conditions that the baffled party forfeit his head.

The

Jotun incurs the penalty.


Odin.

Counsel thou

1.

thrudnir to

visit

me now,

Frigg! as

great desire,

long to go Vaf-

say, I have,

in ancient

lore with that all-wise Jtun to contend.

Frigg.

At home

2.

Hrfather

to bide

would

the gods' dwellings; because no Jtun

mighty

is,

counsel, in
believe, so

as is Vafthrudnir.

Odin.

Much

3.

ones

have

many proved;

Vafthrudnir's halls

journeyed,

much

but this

fain

it

experienced, mighty

would know, how

in

return;

in

is.

Frigg.
4.

In safety mayest thou go,

safety on thy journeyings be;

when

thou, father of

men!

in

may

safety

thy wit avail thee,

shalt hold converse with the

Jtun.
5.

Then went Odin

the lore to prove of that all-wise

ELDER EDDA OF SAF.MUND

THF.

Jtun.

Ygg

To

the hall he

went forthwith

came which Im's

father owned.

in.

Odin.

Vafthrudnir

Hail to thee,

6.

come, thyself to see; for

to thy hall I

would know, whether

fain

am now

thou art a cunning and all-wise Jtun.

Vaf thrudnir.

What man is this, that in my habitation by word


addresses me?
Out thou goest not from our halls, if
7.

thou art not the wiser.


Odin.

Gagnrd

8.

my

is

my

name, from

journey

thirsty to thy halls, needing hospitality,

journeyed

and

for

I
I

am come
long have

kind reception from thee, Jotun!

Vaf thrudnir.

Why

9.

floor?

wdiich

then,

Gagnrd!

from the
be proved

thou

speakest

Take in the hall a seat; then shall


knows most, the guest or the ancient talker.
Gagnrd.

10.

poor

man

who

should,

speak usefully or hold his tongue


him,

ween, no good,

who

to a rich

over-much

visits

man

comes,

talk brings

an austere man.

Vaf thrudnir.
11.

Tell me,

Gagnrd! since on the

how the horse


human kind ?

prove thy proficiency,


each day forth over

10

is

floor thou wilt

called that draw?,

THE LAY OF VAFTHRUDNIR


Gagnrad.
12.

Skinfaxi he

forth over

among

human

named, that the bright day draws

is

Of

kind.

coursers he

Ever sheds

the Reid-goths.

best accounted

is

light that

horse's

mane.
Vafthrudnir.
13.

me now, Gagnrd! since on the floor thou


thy proficiency, how that steed is called, which

Tell

wilt prove

from the

east

draws night

o'er the beneficent

powers?

Gagnrad.
14.

Hrimfaxi he

called,

is

forth over the beneficent powers.


fall

drops every morn, whence in

each

that

night

draws

He

from his bit lets


the dales comes dew.

Vafthrudnir.
15.

Tell me,

Gagnrd

prove thy proficiency,

since

how

on the

the stream

floor thou wilt


is

called,

which

Gods?

earth divides between the Jotuns and the

Gagnrad.
16.

Ifing the stream

is

called

which earth divides be-

tween the Jtuns and the Gods open


On that stream no ice
out all time.
:

shall

it

run through-

shall be.

Vafthrudnir.
17.

Tell me,

Gagnrad!

prove thy proficiency,


fight shall

how

since

on the

that plain

is

floor
called,

thou wilt

where

in

meet Surt and the gentle Gods?


Gagnrad.

18.

Vigrid the plain

is

called
II

where

in fight shall

THE ELDER HDD A OF SAEMUND


meet Suit and the gentle Gods a hundred
That plain is to them decreed.
every side.
;

rasts

it

is

on

Vafthrudnir.
19.

Wise

art thou,

bench, and sitting

let

in the hall pledge,

guest

guest!

Approach the Jtuns

us together talk
!

we

will

our heads

for wise utterance.

Gagnrad.
20.

Tell

me

first,

thy wit suffices, and thou, Vaf-

if

thrudnir! knowest, whence

first

came the

earth,

and the

high heaven, thou, sagacious Jtun?


Vafthrudnir.
21.

from

From Ymir's
his

bones the

ice-cold giant,

was formed, and


the heaven from the skull of that

flesh

hills,

and from

the earth

his blood the sea.

Gagnrd.
22.

Tell

me

secondly,

if

thy wit suffices, and thou,

Vafthrudnir! knowest, whence came the moon, which


over mankind passes, and the sun likewise?
Vafthrudnir.
23.

Mundilfceri hight he,

who

the moon's father

is,

and eke the sun's: round heaven journey each day they
must, to count years for men.
Gagnrad.
24.
if

Tell

me

thirdly, since

thou, Vafthrudnir!

thou art called wise, and

knowest, whence came the day,

which over people passes, and night with waning moons ?


12

THE LAY OF VAFTHRUDNIR


Vafthrudnir.

night was of Norvi born


beneficent

who

he

Delling- hight

25.

the

powers created,

the clay's

father

is,

new and waning moons

to count years for

but
the

men.

Gagnrdd.
Tell

2G.

me

fourthly, since they pronounce thee sage,

and

if

and

warm summer

whence winter came,


among the wise gods ?

thou, Vafthrudnir! knowest,


first

Vafthrudnir.
27.

Vindsval hight

he,

who

winter's father

Svsud summer's; yearly they both


until the powers perish.

is,

and

shall ever journey,

Gagnrdd.
28.

and

if

earliest,

Tell

me

fifthly,

since they

pronounce thee sage,

thou, Vafthrudnir! knowest,

which of the sir

or of Ymir's sons, in days of old existed?

Vafthrudnir.
29.

Countless winters,

ere

earth

Bergelmir born; Thrudgelmir was his

was formed, was


sire, his

grandsire

Aurgelmir
Gagnrdd.
30.

Tell

me

sixthly, since thou art called wise,

thou, Vafthrudnir! knowest,

mir,

among

whence

first

and

if

came Aurgel-

the Jtun's sons, thou sagacious Jotun?

Vafthrudnir.
31.

From EHvgar sprang venom


13

drops, which

grew

THli

till

ELDER linn A OF S/iliMUNn

they became a Jotun

world

but sparks flew from the south-

gave

to the ice the fire

life.

Gagnrad.
Tell

32.
if

me

seventhly, since thou are called wise, and

thou knowest, Vafthrudnir!

the bold Jtun, as he

had no

how he

giantess's

children begat,

company?

Vafthrudnir.
33.

Under

the armpit grew,

'tis

said, of the

Hrim-

and boy together; foot with foot begat, of

thurs, a girl

that wise Jtun, a six-headed son.

Gagnrad.
34.
if

Tell

me

eighthly, since thou art called wise,

thou knowest, Vafthrudnir! what thou doest

member, or

earliest

Thou

knowest?

first

and
re-

an all-wise

art

Jtun.

Vafthrudnir.
35.

Countless winters, ere earth was formed, Bergel-

That I first remember, when that wise


an ark was laid.

mir was born.


Jtun in

Gagnrad.
36.
if

Tell

me

ninthly, since thou art called wise,

and

thou knowest, Vafthrudnir! whence the wind comes,

that over ocean passes, itself invisible to

man?

Vafthrudnir.
37.

Hrsvelg he

is

called,

sits,

a Jtun in an eagle's

it is

said, the

who

at the

plumage from
:

wind, that over


14

all

men

end of heaven

his

wings comes,

passes,

THE LAY OF VAFTHRUDXIR


Gagnrdd.
38.

me

Tell

tenthly, since thou all the origin of the

gods knowest, Vafthrudnir whence Nird came among


the sir's sons?
O'er fanes and offer-steads he rules
!

by hundreds, yet was not among the sir born.


Vafthrudnir.

Vanaheim wise powers him created, and to


gods a hostage gave. At the world's dissolution, he

39.

the

In

will return to the wise Vanir.

Gagnrdd.
40.

me

Tell

eleventhly, since all the condition of the

gods thou knowest, Vafthrudnir! what the Einheriar do


in Hrfather's halls, until the

powers perish?

Vafthrudnir.
41.

All the Einheriar in Odin's halls each day to-

gether fight

the fallen they choose, and from the conflict

sir drink, of Shrimnir


harmony together.

ride; beer with the


fill,

then

sit in

eat their

Gagnrdd.
42.

Tell

me

twelfthly, as thou

all

the condition of the

gods knowest, Vafthrudnir! of the Jotuns' secrets, and


of all the gods', say what truest is, thou all-knowing
Jotun
Vafthrudnir.
43.
I

Of

can truly

and of all the gods,


have over each world travelled; to

the secrets of the Jtuns


tell;

for I

15

THE ELDER EDDA


nine worlds

SABM'JND

Oi :

came, to Niflhel beneath

here die

men

from Hel.

Gagnrdd.

Much have
mighty ones many
44.

much

journeyed,

What

proved.

experienced,

mortals

when

the great "Fimbul"-winter shall from

passed

will

live,

men have

Vafthrudnir.

and Lifthrasir; but they will be concealed in


Hoddmimir's holt. The morning dews they will have
45.

Iyi

From, them

for food.

shall

men

be born.

Gagnrdd.
4G.

Much

have

mighty ones many proved.


in that fair heaven,

much

journeyed,

experienced,

Whence

will

come

when Fenrir has

this

devoured?

the sun

Vafthrudnir.
47.

daughter

have swallowed

powers

die,

shall Alfrdull bear, ere Fenrir shall

her.

The maid

shall

ride,

when

the

on her mother's course.


Gagnrdd.

48.

Much have

journeyed,

etc.

ens that o'er the ocean travel, wise of

Who

are the maid-

spirit,

journey?

Vafthrudnir.
49.

O'er people's dwellings three descend of

thrasir's maidens,

the sole

Hamingiur who are

world, although with Jotuns nurtured.


16

Mgin the

THE LAY OF VAFTHRUDNIR


Gagnrd.
50.

Much have

journeyed,

etc.

will rule o'er the gods' possession,

be quenched

Which of
when Surt's

the

sir

fire shall

Vafthrudnir.
51.

when

Vidar and Vali


Surt's

be quenched.

shall

fire

will Millnir possess,

will the gods' holy fanes inhabit,

and warfare

Modi and Magni

strive to end.

Gagnrad.
52.

the

Much have

life's

end

be,

journeyed,

when

etc.

What

of Odin will

the powers perish?

Vafthrudnir.
53.

Vidar
flict

The wolf
will

avenge

of

will the father


:

he his cold jaws

men devour; him


will cleave, in con-

with the wolf.

Gagnrd.
54.

Much have

in his son's ear, ere

journeyed,

he on the

pile

etc.

was

What

said

Odin

laid ?

Vafthrudnir.

That no one knoweth, what thou in days of old


With dying mouth my ancient
saidst in thy son's ear.
saws I have said, and the gods' destruction. With Odin
55.

have contended

in wise utterances: of

art the wisest!

17

men thou

ever

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUhlD

THE LAY OF GRIMNIR.


The

subject

wholly mythological.

is

King Hraudung had two

Agnar was ten,


They both rowed out

other Geirrd.
ters old.

one named Agnar, the


and Geirrod eight win-

sons,

in

a boat, with their

wind drove
them out to sea. In the darkness of the night they were
wrecked on the shore, and went up into the country,
where they found a cottager, with whom, they stayed
hooks and

lines, to

catch small fish; but the

The

through the winter.

wife brought up

cottager's

Agnar, and the cottager, Geirrd, and gave him good


advice.

In the spring the

when he and
the

man

man

got them a ship; but

accompanied them to the strand,

his wife

They had

talked apart with Geirrd.

a fair

Geirrd was at

wind, and reached their father's place.

prow he sprang on shore, but pushed the ship


out, saying, "Go where an evil spirit may get thee." The
vessel was driven out to sea, but Geirrd went up to the
town, where he was well received; but his father was
dead.
Geirrd was then taken for king, and became a
the ship's

famous man.
Odin and Frigg were
over

all

the world.

foster-son,
in a

where he

Odin
is

said,

in

Hlidskilf,

looking

"Seest thou Agnar, thy

getting children with a giantess

cave? while Geirrd,

ing in his country."

sitting

my

foster-son,

Frigg answered,
18

is

a king resid-

"He

is

so inhos-

THE LAY OF GRIMNIR


pitable that he tortures his guests,

many come."

Odin

if

he thinks that too

replied that that

was the greatest


Frigg sent her

falsehood; and they wagered thereupon.

waiting-maid Fulla to bid Geirrd be on his guard,


the trollmann

who was coming

lest

should do him harm, and

whereby he might be known was,


that no dog, however fierce, would attack him.
But that
King Geirrd was not hospitable was mere idle talk.
He, nevertheless, caused the man to be secured whom no
dog would assail. He was clad in a blue cloak, and was
named Grimnir, and would say no more concerning himself, although he was questioned.
The king ordered him
to be tortured to make him confess, and to be set between
two fires and there he sat for eight nights. King Geirrd had a son ten years old, whom he named Agnar, after
his brother.
Agnar went to Grimnir and gave him a full
also say that a token

horn to drink from, saying that the king did wrong


causing him to be tortured, though innocent.

drank from
his cloak

cloak

is

thou art hot, and

My

Grimnir

had then so approached him that

us separate.

my

fire

was burnt whereupon he

Fire

1.

The

it.

in

garment

is

scorched before

said

much

too great

singed, although I

flame
lift it

let

up,

it.

and

to

me no one food has offered, save only Agnar, the son


Geirrd, who alone shall rule over the land of Goths.

of

Eight nights have

2.

Be thou

3.

men

blessed,

bids thee to be.

I sat

fires here,

Agnar! as blessed as the god of


For one draught thou never shalt

get better recompense.


3

between

19

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND


4.

Holy

is

which

the land,

see lying to

sir and

Alfar near; but in Thrudheim Thor shall dwell until the

powers

perish.

where Ullr has himself a dwellAlfheim the gods to Frey gave in days of

Ydalir

5.

ing made.

it is

called,

yore for a tooth-gift.

The

6.

with

silver

third dwelling

where the kind powers have


Valaskilf 'tis called, which

is,

decked the hall;

As

for himself acquired the

in

days of

old.

Skkvabekk the fourth is named o'er which the


gelid waves resound; Odin and Saga there, joyful each
day, from golden beakers quaff.
7.

named, there the goldenbright Valhall stands spacious, there Hropt selects each
8.

Gladsheim the

fifth

is

day those men who die by weapons.


9.

Easily to be

the mansion by
its

hall

known

is,

aspect.

its

with shields

is

by those

who

to

Odin come,

roof with spears

Its

laid,

is

with corslets are

decked,

its

benches strewed.
10.

Easily to be

come, the mansion by


the western door, over
11.

Thrymheim

by those who to Odin


aspect.
A wolf hangs before

known
its
it

is,

an eagle hovers.

the sixth

is

named, where Thiassi

dwelt that all-powerful Jotun; but Skadi

now

inhabits,

the bright bride of gods, her father's ancient home.


12.

Breidablik

is

the seventh, where Baldr has built

for himself a hall, in that land, in

which

know

exists

the fewest crimes.


13.

Himinbirg

is

the eighth,

20

where Heimdall,

it

is

THE LAY OF GR1MNIR


holy fanes

said, rules o'er the

there the gods' watchman,

home, drinks joyful the good mead.


Flkvang is the ninth, there Freyia directs the

in his tranquil

14.

She half the

sittings in the hall.

but Odin

other half.

tlr

Glitnir

15.

fallen chooses each day,

is

on gold sustained, and


There Forseti dwells through-

the tenth;

eke with silver decked.

is

it

and every strife allays.


16.
Xatn is the eleventh, there Nird has himself a
dwelling made, prince of men; guiltless of sin, he rules

out

time,

all

o'er the high-built fane.

O'ergrown

IT.

with

branches

and

high

grass

is

There will the son descend,


from the steed's back, bold to avenge his father.
Andhrimnir makes, in Eldhrimnir, Shrimnir to
18.

Vidar's spacious Landvidi

boil,

of meats the best; but few

heriar

feeds.

it

19.

know how many Ein-

Geri and Freki the war-wont sates, the triumph-

ant sire of hosts; but on wine only the famed in arms,

Odin, ever
20.

lives.

Hugin and Munin

earth.

fear for

more anxious am
21.

the fish

Thund
;

fly

each day over the spacious

Hugin, that he come not back, yet

I for

Munin.

roars; joyful in Thiodvitnir's water lives

the rapid river seems too great for the battle-

steed to ford.
22.

Yalgrind

is

the lattice called, in the plain that

stands, holy before the holy gates

but few only


23.

know how

it is

ancient

is

that lattice,

closed with lock.

Five hundred doors, and forty eke,


21

think, are

THE ELDER EDDA OE SAEMUND


Eight hundred Einheriar will at once from

in Valhall.

each door go

when they

Five hundred

24.

Bilskirnir with

its

issue with the wolf to fight.

floors,

and forty

Of

windings.

all

eke, I think, has

the roofed houses

know, is my son's the greatest.


25.
Heidrun the goat is called, that stands o'er Odin's
hall, and bites from Lrd's branches.
He a bowl shall
fill with the bright mead
that drink shall never fail.
that I

Eikthyrnir the hart

26.

Odin's

hall,

horns

fall

rise

is

called,

stands o'er

that

from Lrd's branches; from his


drops into Hvergelmir, whence all waters
and

bites

Sid and Vid, Scekin and Eikin, Svl and Gunn-

27.

Firm and Fimbulthul, Rin and Rennandi, Gipul


and Gpul, Gmul and Geirvimul they round the gods'
dwelling wind. Thyn and Vin, Thll and Hll, Grd
thr,

and Gunnthorin.

Vina one is called, a second Vegsvin, a third


Thiodnuma; Nyt and Nn and Hrn, Slid and Hrid,
Sylg and Ylg, Vid and Van, Vond and Strnd, Gioll and
Leipt; these (two) fall near to men, but fall hence to
28.

Hel.

Krmt and Ormt, and the Kerlaugs twain these


Thor must wade each day, when he to council goes at
29.

Yggdrasil's ash

waters

for the As-bridge

is all

on

fire,

the holy

boil.

Glad and Gyllir, Gler and Skeidbrimir, Sillfrintopp and Sinir, Gisl and Falhfnir, Gulltopp and Lett30.

feti;

on these steeds the sir each day

to council go, at Yggdrasil's ash.

22

ride,

when they

THE LAY OF GRIMXIR


Three roots stand on three ways under Yggdrasil's ash
Hel under one abides, under the second the
Hrimthursar, under the third mankind.
32.
Ratatsk is the squirrel named, which has to run
31.

YggdrasiFs ash; he from above the eagle's words must


carry, and beneath to Xidhgg repeat.
Harts there are also four, which from its sum33.
mits, arch-necked, gnaw.
Din and Dvalin, Duneyr and
in

Durathrr.
34.

More

serpents

lie

under Yggdrasil's ash. than

anv one would think of witless mortals Gin and Min.


they are Grafvitnir's sons
Grbak and Grafvollud.
Ofnir and Svafnir, will, I ween, the branches of that tree
:

ever lacerate.
35.

Yggdrasil's

men know

of; a hart bites

Xidhgg beneath
36.

hardship suffers greater than

ash

tears

it

above, and in

its

side

it

rots,

it.

Hrist and Mist the horn shall bear

me

Skeggld

and Skgul, Hlkk and Herfiotur, Hildi and Thrudi,


Gll and Geirlul, Randgrid and Rdgrid, and Reginleif,

these bear beer to the Einheriar.

Arvakr and Alsvid, theirs 'tis up hence fasting


the sun to draw under their shoulder the gentle powers,
37.

the sir, have concealed an iron-coolness.

which stands before


the sun, the refulgent deity; rocks and ocean must, I
ween, be burnt, fell it from its place.
30.
Skll the wolf is named, that the fair-faced goddess to the ocean chases another Hati hight. he is Hrd38.

Svalin the shield

is

called,

vitnir's son

he the bright maid of heaven shall precede.

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND

Of Ymir's

40.

flesh

the sea, of his bones the

was earth

created, of his blood

of his hair trees and plants,

hills,

of his skull the heaven

And

41.

of his brows the gentle powers formed Mid-

gard for the sons of men; but of his brain the heavy
clouds are
42.

ever

created.

all

and

Ullr's

first shall

be, to the

look to the

fire

went

who-

for open will the dwelling

sir's sons, when the kettles are

Ivaldi's sons

43.

the gods' favour shall have,

all

lifted off.

days of old Skidbladnir to

in

form, of ships the best, for the bright Frey, Nird's be-

nign son.
Yggdrasil's ash

44.

of

all

is

Skidbladnir,

ships,

of

all

trees

most

of the sir,

excellent,

and

Odin, and of

and of skallds, Bragi,


Hbrk of hawks, and of dogs, Garm, [Brimir of

horses, Sleipnir, Bifrst of bridges,

swords.]

Now

45.

my

face have raised to the gods' triumph-

ant sons, at that will welcome help awake; from

all

the

/Esir, that shall penetrate, to CEgir's bench, to CEgir's


2

compotation.
46.

am

called

Grim,

am

called Gangleri,

Herian

and Hialmberi, Thekk and Thridi, Thund and Ud, Helblindi and Hr,

Sad and

47.

Svipall,

and Sanngetall, Herteit and

What

in this strophe is said of Ullr has apparently reference to a lost


that, through the intervention of the kettles, the
sir were unable to see Odin's unpleasant position between the two fires.
2
My version of this strophe is not in accordance with those of other interpreters.
Odin raises his countenance to heaven, in full confidence that when
seen help will forthwith be afforded him. Under the name of gir, Gierrod is generally understood I rather think the meaning to be, that all the
sir who [sit at] CEgir's compotation will forthwith come to his aid.
x

myth.

It

would seem

24

THE LAY OF GRIMNIR


Hnikar

Bileyg,

Blverk,

Bleyg,

Grim

Filnir,

and

Grimnir, Glapsvid and Filsvid,


48.

Sidskegg

Sidhtt,

Sigfdr,

Valfdr, Atrid and Farmatyr

been

called, since

Grimnir

among men

am

Hnikud,

by one name

Alfodr,

never have

have gone.

and at Asmund's Jalk and Kialar, when a sledge I drew Thrr at


the public meetings, Vidur in battles, Oski and Omi,
Jafnhar and Biflindi, Gndlir and Harbard with the
49.

called

at

Geirrd's,

gods.
50.

Svidur and Svidrir

was

at

Skkmimir's

called,

and beguiled that ancient Jotun, when of Midvitnir's

nowned son I was the sole


51.
Drunken art thou,

re-

destroyer.

Geirrd, thou hast drunk too

much, thou art greatly by mead beguiled. Much didst


thou lose, when thou wast of my help bereft, of all the
Einheriar's and Odin's favour.
52.
Many things I told thee, but thou hast few re-

membered thy
:

friends mislead thee.

lying I see, with blood

all

My

friend's

sword

dripping.

The fallen by the sword Ygg shall now have; thy


life is now run out Wroth with thee are the Disir Odin
thou now shalt see draw near to me if thou canst.
54.
Odin I now am named, Ygg I was called before,
before that, Thund, Vakr and Skilfing, Vfudr and
53.

Hrptatyr, with the gods, Gaut and Jalk,


Svafnir,

all

which

believe to be

Ofnir and

names of me

alone.

King Geirrd was sitting with his sword lying across


his knees, half drawn from the scabbard, but on finding
25

THE ELDER EDDA OF S/1EMUND

was Odin, he

removing him
from the fires, when the sword slipt from his hand with
the hilt downwards; and the king having stumbled, the
sword pierced him through and killed him. Odin then
that

it

vanished, and

rose for the purpose of

Agnar was king

for a long time after.

THE LAY OF VEGTAM, OR BALDR'S


DREAMS.
TOGETHER were

sir

and the
Asyniur all in conference, and they consulted, the mighty
gods, why Baldr had oppressive dreams.
1.

[To

the

all

in council,

god his slumber was most afflicting; his


auspicious dreams seemed departed.
They the Jtuns
questioned, wise seers of the future, whether this might
2.

that

not forebode calamity?


3.

The

responses said

Ullr's kinsman, of

all

that to

the dearest

death destined

was

that caused grief to

Frigg and Svafnir, and to the other powers

On

a course

they resolved
4.

That they would send

to solicit, Baldr not to harm.

spare
5.

him Frigg received


;

all

to every being, assurance

All species swore oaths to


their

vows and compacts.

Valfather fears something defective; he thinks the

Hamingiur may have departed; the sir he convenes,


their counsel craves: at the deliberation
6.

much

is

devised.]

Uprose Odin lord of men and on Sleipnir he the


26

THE LAY OF VEGTAM


saddle laid

down

rode thence

to Niflhel.

dog he met,

from Hel coming.


It

7.

was blood-stained on

its

craving throat, and nether jaw.

gaped
8.

at the sire of

magic song:

Forth

Odin

rode

the

on

breast,
It

its

slaughter-

bayed and widely

long

it

ground

howled.
rattled

Then rode Ygg to the


where he knew there was a Vala's grave.

Hel's lofty house he came.

ern gate,

To

9.

to

till

east-

the prophetess he began a magic song to chant,

towards the north looked, potent runes applied, a

spell

pronounced, an answer demanded, until compelled she


rose,

and with deathlike voice she said


Vala.

"What man

10.

me

is

this, to

me unknown, who

increased an irksome course?

have

have with snow been

decked, by rain beaten, and with

has for

dew moistened: long

been dead."

Vegtam.

"Vegtam

11.

thou

me

of Hel

is

my

name,

from earth

am

I call

Valtam's son.

on

thee.

For

Tell

whom

are those benches strewed o'er with rings, those costly

couches o'erlaid with gold?"


.

12.

"Here stands mead,

bright potion a shield


despair.

Vala.

By

is

compulsion

for Baldr brewed, over the

laid; but the


I

sir

have spoken.

silent."

27

race are in

I will

now

be

THE ELDER EDD/1 OE S/1EMUND


Vegtam.

"Be not

13.
I

know

all.

Vala!

silent,

life

will question thee, until

know who

will yet

and Odin's son of

will Baldr's slayer be,

bereave."
Vala.

"Hdr

14.

will hither his glorious brother send,

of Baldr will the slayer

By compulsion

and Odin's son of

be,

have spoken;

I will

now be

life

he

bereave.

silent."

Vegtam.

"Be not

15.
I

know

Vala!

silent,

question thee, until

know who on Hdr vengeance

I will yet

all.

I will

will inflict, or Baldr's slayer raise

on the

pile."

Vala.

"Rind a son

16.

shall slay

will not

shall bear, in the

Odin's son,

when one night

old.

He

wash, nor his head comb, ere he to the

By compulsion

borne Baldr's adversary.


I will

western halls

now

he

hand

pile

has

have spoken;

be silent."

Vegtam.

"Be not

17.
I

know

weep

me

I will yet

all.

at will,

but that

silent,

Vala!

I will

know who

and heavenward cast


till

question thee, until

the maidens are, that


their neck-veils ?

Tell

then thou sleepest not."


Vala.

18.

"Not Vegtam

art

thou,

rather art thou Odin, lord of

28

as

men!"

before believed;

THE HIGH ONE'S LAV


Odin.

"Thou

19.

no Vala, nor wise woman, rather

art

art

thou the mother of three Thursar.''


Vala.

"Home

20.

ride thou,

man

never more

again

Odin

and

Thus

exult.

shall

me, until Loki free from his

visit

bonds escapes, and Ragnark all-destroying comes."

THE HIGH ONE'S


1.

All

LAY.

door-ways, before going forward, should be

looked to; for

difficult it is to

foes

may

sit

where

shall

he

know where

within a dwelling.
2.

sit?

Givers, hail

In

much

haste

guest

is

he,

come

is

who on

in

the

ways has

to try

his luck.
3.

Fire

is

needful to him

knees are frozen;

wheo'er the
4.

fell

Water

to

who

is

come

food and raiment a

in,

and whose

man

requires,

has travelled.

him

is

needful

who

for refection comes,

a towel and hospitable invitation, a good reception

can get
5.
is

it,

Wit

easy.

if

he

discourse and answer.


is

who travels far at home all


is he who nothing knows, and

needful to him

A laughing-stock

with the instructed

sits.

iOdin is the "High One." The poem is a collection of rules and maxims,
and stories of himself, some of them not very consistent with our ideas of
a supreme deity.

29

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND


6.

Of

understanding no one should be proud, but

his

When

rather in conduct cautious.

turn

come

the prudent and taci-

harm seldom

to a dwelling,

tious; for a firmer friend

befalls the cau-

no man ever gets than great

sagacity.
7.

wary

who

guest, 1

to refection comes, keeps a

cautious silence, with his ears listens, and with his eyes

observes
8.

kind

He

so explores every prudent man.

w or4s

who

happy,

is

less sure is

fame and
that which a man must have in
for himself obtains

another's breast.
9.

He

happy,

is

who

in himself possesses

fame and

wit while living; for bad counsels have oft been received

from another's
10.

breast.

better burthen

much good

sense; that

strange place; such

is

is

no man bears on the way than


thought better than riches in a

the recourse of the indigent.

worse provision on the way he cannot carry


than too much beer-bibbing; so good is not, as it is said,
beer for the sons of men.
11.

worse provision no man can take from table


than too much beer-bibbing: for the more he drinks the
12.

less control

13.

he has of his

Oblivion's heron

own mind.
'tis

called that over potations

hovers; he steals the minds of men.


pinions I

was

fettered in

With

this bird's

Gunnlods dwelling.

1
In the Copenhagen paper Ms. F. this strophe begins with the following
three lines
Wit is needful
to him who travels far
harm seldom befalls the wary
They are printed in the Stockholm edition of the original Afzelius and
Rask, and in tbe Swedish translation by Afzelius.
:

30

THE HIGH ONE'S LAY


Drunk

14.

Fialar's.
it

was,

the best

It's

was over-drunk, at that cunning


drunkenness, when every one after

regains his reason.

Taciturn and prudent, and

15.

a king's children be

joyous and

in

war

liberal

daring, should

every one should

be until his hour of death.

16.

cowardly

fare he avoids

spears

may

17.
self

thinks he will ever

live, if

war-

but old age will give him no peace, though

spare him.

fool gapes

mutters or

then

man

is

when

silent;

to a house he comes, to him-

but

all

at once, if

he gets drink,

the man's mind displayed.

is

He

18.

alone knows

who wanders

wide, and has

much experienced, by what disposition each man is ruled,


who common sense possesses.
19.
Let a man hold the cup, yet of the mead drink
moderately, speak sensibly or be silent.
As of a fault
no man

admonish thee, if thou goest betimes to sleep.


A greedy man, if he be not moderate, eats to his
20.
mortal sorrow. Oftentimes his belly draws laughter on
a silly man, who among the prudent comes.
21.
Cattle know when to go home, and then from
will

man

grazing cease; but a foolish

never knows his stom-

ach's measure.
22.

miserable man, and ill-conditioned, sneers at

every thing

one thing he knows

know, that he
23.

is

not,

which he ought to

not free from faults.

foolish

man

is all

night awake, pondering over

everything; he then grows tired; and

comes,

all is

lament as before.
3i

when morning

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND

24.

his friends

when he

he feels

it

thinks
not,

all

who on him

smile to be

although they speak

among the clever.


foolish man thinks all who

ill

of him,

sits

25.

man

foolish

speak him fair to be

he comes, that

his friends; but he will find, if into court

he has few advocates.

26.

man

foolish

placed in unexpected difficulty

answer,

if

knows everything
but he knows not what

thinks he

to the test he

if

to

put.

is

man, who among people comes, had


best be silent for no one knows that he knows nothing,
unless he talks too much.
He who previously knew
nothing will still know nothing, talk he ever so much.
27.

foolish
;

He

28.

and converse
cause

it

silent;

also

circulates,

He

29.

utters

its

can ask questions

conceal his ignorance

no one

among men.
too many futile words who

a garrulous tongue,

often to

who

thinks himself wise,

if

it

can, be-

never

is

be not checked, sings

own harm.

For a gazing-stock no man shall have another,


although he come a stranger to his house. Many a one
30.

thinks himself wise,


in a

he

is

not questioned, and can

sit

dry habit.

31.
if

if

Clever thinks himself the guest

he takes to

flight.

Knows

it

prates at meat, whether he babbles


32.

Many men

33.

jeers a guest,

not certainly he

among

That

who

foes.

are mutually well-disposed,

table will torment each other.

guest will guest

w ho

yet

at

strife will ever be;

irritate.

Early meals a

man

should often take, unless to a


32

THE HIGH ONE'S LAY


friend's house he goes; else he will

sit

and mope,

seem half-famished, and can of few things

Long

34.

is

and

indirect the

way

inquire.

bad

to a

though by the road he dwell; but to a good


paths lie direct, though he be far away.

35.

friend's,

friend's the

guest should depart, not always stay in one

The welcome becomes unwelcome,

place.

will

if

he too long

continues in another's house.

home

own house is best, small though it be; at


every one his own master.
Though he but two

One's

36.
is

goats possess, and a straw-thatched cot, even that


ter

than begging.

One's

37.

home is
he, who
38.
foot's

the

bet-

is

every

own house is best, small though it be,


one his own master. Bleeding at heart

at
is

has to ask for food at every meal-tide.

Leaving in the field his arms, let no man go a


length forward; for it is hard tx> know when on

way

man may

need his weapon.

have never found a man so bountiful, or so hospitable that he refused a present; or of his property so
liberal that he scorned a recompense.
39.

40.

Of

should suffer need; for the hated oft


the dear

man

the property which he has gained no

was

destined.

Much

is

spared what for

goes worse than

is

ex-

pected.

With arms and vestments

41.

other

gladden,

sightly.
[else]

those

which

are

friends
in

should each

themselves

Givers and requiters are longest friends,

goes well.

a The
sense of
Finn Magnusen.

most
if

all

this line

seems doubtful

33

have adopted the version of

THE ELDER EDDA OE SAEMUND

To

VI.

man

his friend a

should be a friend, and gifts

Laughter with laughter men should

with gifts requite.

reeeive, but leasing with lying.

To

43.

and

man

his friend a

should be a friend; to him

to his friend; but of his foe

no man

shall the friend's

friend be.

Know,

44.

and from

trustest,

whom

shouldst blend thy

and often go to

mind with

fair,

and

gifts exchange,

him

whom

thou

trustest,

little

derive, thou shouldst speak

but think craftily, and leasing pay with lying.

But of him yet

46.

and

his,

see him.

yet wouldst good from

him

thou fully

thou woulds't good derive, thou

If thou hast another,

45.

whom

thou hast a friend

if

thou

shouldst

suspectest

laugh,

further,

whom

thou

before

affection;

his

and contrary

to

little trustest,

thy

him

thoughts

thou
speak:

requital should the gift resemble.

was journeying alone, and


lost my way rich I thought myself, when I met another.
Man is the joy of man.
48.
Liberal and brave men live best, they seldom
47.

was once young,

cherish sorrow; but a base-minded

thing; the niggardly

My

49.

wooden men
cloaks

50.
it

is

garments
:

uneasy even at

51.

is

tree withers that

why

field

dreads every-

gifts.

gave away

heroes they seemed to be,

neither bark nor leaves

favours

in

exposed to insult

man

when

to

two

they got

a naked man.

on a
such

hill-top stands; protects

is

the

man whom no one

should he live long ?

Hotter than

fire

love for five days burns between

34

THE HIGH ONE'S LAY


quenched when the sixth day comes,

false friends; but is

and friendship

is

impaired.

all

Something great

52.

praise

often for a

is

a tilted vessel

With

bought.

trifle

the sand-grains,

men;

the minds of [some]

men

[always]

not

to

be given,

and

half a loaf

got myself a comrade.

Little are

53.

is

for

little

men

all

the wits,

little

are not wise alike:

are everywhere by halves.

Moderately wise should each one

54.

over-wise: of those

much

men

never

be, but

the lives are fairest,

who know

well.

Moderately wise should each one

55.

over-wise

for a wise man's heart

who owns

all-wise

is

be,

seldom glad,

he

if

is

it.

Moderately wise should each one

56.

but never

be, but

never

His destiny let know no man beforehand;


his mind will be freest from care.
57.
Brand burns from brand until it is burnt out fire
over-wise.

is

from

fire

speech, but a fool

He

58.

by

have.

or a sleeping

man

to

man becomes known by

his bashful silence.

should early

life desires to

who

rise,

another's property or

Seldom a sluggish wolf gets prey,


victory.

Early should

59.

Man

quickened.

rise

he

who

has few workers, and

work to see to; greatly is he retarded who sleeps


the morn away.
Wealth half depends on energy.
60.
Of dry planks and roof-shingles a man knows the
go

his

measure

of the fire-wood that

may

suffice,

both measure

and time.

Washed and

61.
4

refected

35

let

man

ride

to

the

THE ELDER EDDA Oh SAEMUND


Thing, 1 although his garments be not too good; of his
shoes and breeches

no one be ashamed, nor of his

let

good

horse, although he have not a


62.

who

one.

man

Inquire and impart should every

of sense,

Let one only know, a sec-

will be accounted sage.

ond may not; if three, all the world knows.


63.
Gasps and gapes, when to the sea he comes, the
eagle over old ocean so is a man, who among many
comes, and has few advocates.
64.
His power should every sagacious man use with
;

discretion

for he will find,

comes, that no one alone


65.

when among

doughtiest.

is

Circumspect and reserved every

and wary

the bold he

Of

in trusting friends.

man

should be,

the words that a

man

says to another he often pays the penalty.

came to many places, but too


late to others the beer was drunk, or not ready the disliked seldom hits the moment.
Here and there I should have been invited, if I a
67.
meal had needed or two hams had hung, at that true
friend's, where of one I had eaten.
Q6.

Much

too early

68.

Fire

of the sun,

from
69.

bad

is

if

best

among

his health a

man

can have, with a

life free

vice.

No man
one

in his

lacks everything, although his health be

sons

abundant wealth, one


70.

the sons of men, and the sight

is

in his

It is better to live,

man can always

happy, one in his kin, one in

good works.

even to

get a cow.

live

saw

miserably; a living

fire

consume the

man's property, and death stood without


iThe public meeting.

,_/:

his door.

rich

THE HIGH ONE'S LAY


The

71.

halt can ride

on horseback, the one-handed

drive cattle; the deaf fight and be useful: to be blind


better than to be burnt

72.

son

is

1
i

better,

no one

even

if

gets

born

good from a

late,

is

corpse.

after his father's

Gravestones seldom stand by the way-side

departure.

unless raised by a kinsman to a kinsman.

Two

73.

the head

are adversaries: the tongue

under every cloak

At night

74.

[A

entertainment.
is

is

an autumn night.

five days,

but

He

75.

more

[only]

who

is

in a

sure of travelling

ship's yards are short.]

Many

expect a hand.

joyful he

Variable

are the weather's changes in

month.

knows not who knows nothing,

many

a one apes another.

poor

let

the bane of

is

One man

is

that

another

rich,

him not be thought blameworthy.

we ourselves also die but


the fair fame never dies of him who has earned it.
Cattle die, kindred die, we ourselves also die but
77.
judgment on each one
I know one thing that never dies,
Cattle die, kindred die,

76.

dead.

saw at Dives'
Such are riches
they the beggar's staff.
ling of an eye of friends they are most
Full storehouses I

78.

79.
love,

sons'
;

as

is

now

bear

the twink-

fickle.

he acquires wealth or woman's


pride grows within him, but wisdom never he goes
foolish

man,

if

on more and more arrogant.


80.

Then

tionest him,
lr

That

is

'tis

made

manifest,

if

of runes thou ques-

those to the high ones known, which the

dead on the funeral pyre.

lation.

37

This line

is

evidently an interpo-

THE ELDER EDDA OE SAEMUND


great powers invented, and the great talker 1 painted, that

he had hest hold silence.

At eve

81.

she
is

the day

sword

burnt, a

is

married, ice after

to be praised, a

is

after
it

it

woman

after

proved, a maid after she

is

has passed away, beer after

is

it

drunk.

hew wood, in a breeze


with a lass many are the

In the wind one should

82.

row out to

sea, in the

is

In a ship voyages are to be made, but a

eyes of day.
shield

dark talk

for protection, a

sword for

dam-

striking, but a

a kiss.

sel for

By

83.

the

one should drink beer, on the

fire

ice

buy a horse that is lean, a sw ord that is rusty feed


a horse at home, but a dog at the farm..
84.
In a maiden's words no one should place faith,
nor in what a woman says; for on a turning wheel have
their hearts been formed, and guile in their breasts been
slide

laid;

In a creaking bow, a burning flame, a yawning

85.

wolf, a chattering crow, a grunting swine, a rootless tree,

a waxing

w ave,
r

a boiling kettle,

A flying dart,

86.

coiled serpent, a

a falling billow, a one night's

woman's

ice,

bed-talk, or a broken sword, a

bear's play, or a royal child,

A sick calf,

87.
etess,

a self-willed thrall, a flattering proph-

a corpse newly

slain, [a

serene sky, a laughing lord,

a barking dog, and a harlot's grief]

An

88.

early

turely in a son

each of which
10din

is

sown

field let

weather rules the


doubtful;

38

no one
field,

trust,

nor prema-

and wit the

son,

THE HIGH ONE'S LAY

89.

brother's murderer, though on the high road

met, a half-burnt house, an over-swift horse, (a horse

trust

any of
as

tate,

if

the love oi

is

women, who falsehood medi-

is

beaten; or as

set to catch a reindeer in the

Openly

now

when we most

fair

thawing

speak, because

unstable are men's minds towards

speak most

ice,

in

and unbroken horse; or as

raging storm a helmless ship


91.

so confiding as to

one drove not rough-shod, on slippery

spirited two-years old

were

is

these.

Such

90.

man

broken), no

useless, if a leg be

is

if

fell.

the halt

know
then we

both sexes

women

'tis

falsely think

that de-

ceives even the cautious.

Fair shall speak, and

92.

woman's

obtain a
sel

At

93.

offer,

who would

Praise the form of a fair dam-

love.

he gets who courts

money

her.

love should no one ever wonder in another: a

beauteous countenance oft captivates the wise, which captivates not the foolish.

94

Let no one wonder

at another's folly,

is

it

the lot

All-powerful desire makes of the sons of

of many.

men

fools even of the wise.

The mind

95.

that alone

is

only knows what

near the heart,

lies

conscious of our affections.

No

disease

is

worse to a sensible man than not to be content with himself.

That

96.

awaiting
creet

my

maiden

^rom

experienced,

delight.
:

this line

Body and

nevertheless
it

the reindeer
18th century, when it

origin, as

when

in

soul to

the

reeds

me was

sat,

that dis-

possess her not.

appears that the poem

is of Norwegian or Swedish
was unknown in Iceland before the middle of tht>
was introduced by royal command.

7C)

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND


Billing's lass 1

97.

sleeping.

on her couch

me seemed

prince's joy to

with that form to

found, sun-bright,

naught,

not

if

live.

"Yet nearer eve must thou, Odin, come, if thou


talk the maiden over; all will be disastrous, unless

08.

wilt

we

alone are privy to such misdeed."

09.
I

returned, thinking to love, at her wise desire.

thought

should obtain her whole heart and love.

When

100.

next

came

the bold warriors

were

all

awake, with lights burning, and bearing torches: thus

was the way

to pleasure closed.

But

101.

at

came, the household

dog alone

found

of morn,

the approach
all

was

sleeping; the

tied to the

when again

good damsel's

bed

Many a fair maiden, when rightly known, towards men is fickle that I experienced, when that dis102.

maiden

creet

strove to seduce

that wily girl heaped

contumely of every kind

upon me; nor of that damsel gained

I aught.

At home

man be

and towards a
guest liberal of wise conduct he should be, of good memory and ready speech; if much knowledge he desires, he
must often talk on good.
103.

let

cheerful,

Fimbulfambi he

104.

such

is

got

The
I

advantage
106.

called

who

little

has to say:

the nature of the simple.

105.
little

is

there by silence
in

now I am come back:


many w ords I spoke to my

old Jotun I sought;

Suttung's

in

halls.

Gunnlod gave me, on her golden

The story of Odin and Billing's daughter


compare the story of Odin and Rinda in Saxo,
x

eschow.

40

is

p.

seat, a

draught

but
no longer extant
126, edit. Muller & Vel;

THE HIGH ONE'S

LAY.

of the precious mead; a bad recompense

made

her, for her

107.

gnaw
ways

Rati's

the rock

thus

mouth

soul, her fervent love.

my

head did

a space, and to

me were

over and under

the Jotun's

peril.

made good use: few


Odhrrir is now come up to

the wise; for

fail

make

caused to

Of a well-assumed form

108.

things

whole

afterwards

men's earthly dwellings.

Tis

100.

to

me

doubtful that

On

110.
to learn
hall

whom

could have come from

Gunnlod aided me. that good

the Jotun's courts, had not

damsel, over

my

laid

arm.

came the Hrim-thursar,


High One, in the High One's

the day following

something of the

after Bolverk they inquired,

whether he with the

gods were come, or Suttung had destroyed him?


111.
Odin, I believe, a ring-oath 1 gave.
Who
faith will

Suttung defrauded, of

trust?

in his

his drink be-

and Gunnlod made to weep


112.
Time 'tis to discourse from the preacher's chair.
By the well of Urd I silent sat, I saw and meditated, I

reft,

listened to men's words.

Of

113.

vine, nor of

runes

114.

heard discourse, and of things di-

graving them were they

counsels, at the
hall.

High One's

hall.

silent,

In the

nor of sage

High One's

thus heard sav


I

wilt profit

counsel thee, Loddfafnir, to take advice: thou


if

thou takest

Rise not at night, unless to

it.

explore, or art compelled to

go

out.

*In the pagan North oaths were taken on a holy ring or bracelet, as
with us on the Gospels, a sacred ring being kept in the temple for the
purpose

41

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND


115.

counsel thee, Loddfafnir, to take advice, thou

wilt profit

if

thou takest

thou mayest not

She

116.

it.

In an enchantress's embrace

sleep, so that in

her arms she clasp thee.

thou carest not for

will be the cause that

words food thou wilt shun and human


joys; sorrowful wilt thou go to sleep.

Thing or
117.

prince's

counsel thee,

Another's wife entice thou

etc.

never to secret converse.


118.

counsel thee,

etc.

By

or firth

fell

if

thou have

to travel, provide thee well with food.

119.

know thy

counsel thee,

etc.

bad

misfortunes; for from a

good

wilt obtain a return for thy

man let
bad man

thou never
thou never

will.

saw mortally wound a man a wicked woman's


words; a false tongue caused, his death, and most un120.

righteously.

121.
friend,

counsel thee,

whom

etc.

If

thou well canst

thou knowest thou hast a

trust,

go

oft to visit

him;

brushwood over-grown, and with high grass, is


the way that no one treads.
A good man attract to thee
122.
I counsel thee, etc.
in pleasant converse; and salutary speech learn while
for with

thou

livest.

With thy friend be thou


Care gnaws the heart, if thou to
never first to quarrel.
no one canst thv whole mind disclose.
Words thou never shouldst
124.
I counsel thee, etc.
123.

counsel thee,

etc.

exchange with a witless fool


125.
For from an ill-conditioned man thou wilt never
get a return for good; but a good

favour by his praise.

man

will bring thee

THE HIGH ONE'S LAY


126.

There

another

tell

a mingling of affection,

is

all

Everything

mind.

his

He

being with the deceitful.

is

where one can


better than

is

not another's friend

who

ever says as he says.


127.
rel

counsel thee,

not with a worse

Even

etc.

man

in three

words quar-

often the better yields,

when

the worse strikes.

128.

counsel thee,

Be not

etc.

shaftmaker, unless for thyself


or a shaft
129.

if

crooked, will

counsel thee,

call

be

it

down

a shoemaker, nor a

for a shoe

on

evi!

if ill

made,

thee.

Wherever of injury thou

etc.

knowest, regard that injury as thy

own and
;

give to thy

no peace.

foes

130.

never

131.
(like

but
I

counsei thee,
let

Rejoiced at

etc.

good give thee

counsel thee,

swine the sons of

be thou

pleasure.

etc.

men

evil

In a battle look not up,

then become) that

men may

not fascinate thee.

good woman to pleasant


converse, thou must promise fair, and hold to it: no one
turns from good if it can be got.
133.
I enjoin thee to be wary, but not over wary; a L
drinking be thou most wary, and with another's wife;
132.

and

If thou wilt induce a

thirdly, that thieves delude thee not.

134.

With

or wayfarer.

insult or derision treat

They

often

little

thou never a guest

know, who

sit

within, of

what race they are who come.


135.
Vices and virtues the sons of mortals bear in
their breasts mingled; no one is so good that no failing
attends him, nor so bad as to be good for nothing.
43

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND

At

136.

a hoary speaker laugh thou never; often

is

from a shriveled hide


discreet words issue; from those whose skin is pendent
and decked with scars, and who go tottering among the

good

which the aged

that

titter,

oft

vile.

137.

counsel thee,

etc.

from thy gate thrust him;

Rail not at a guest, nor

treat well the indigent; they

will speak well of thee.

Strong

138.

Do

all.

the bar that must be raised to admit

thou give a penny, or they will

thee every
139.
est,

is

invoke

ill

against drink,

Wherever thou beer drinkpower of earth; for earth is good

thee the
fire

etc.

for distempers, the oak for constipa-

tion, a corn-ear for sorcery,

In bitter hates invoke the


juries

is

down on

in thy limbs.

counsel thee,
to*

call

a hall for domestic

moon;

strife.

the biter for bite-in-

good; but runes against calamity;

fluid let earth

absorb.

Odin's Rune-song. 1
140.

know

that I hung, on a wind-rocked tree, nine

whole nights, with a spear wounded, and to Odin offered,


myself to myself; on that tree, of which no one knows

from what root

springs.

Bread no one gave me, nor a horn of drink,

141.
lr

it

eight strophes of this composition require an explanation


incompetent to afford. They have had many interpreters and
as many interpretations. The idea of Odin hanging on a tree would seem to
have been suggested by what we read of the grove at Upsala, or Sigtuna,
in which the victims offered to that deity were suspended from the trees.
Tn the guise of an unknown wanderer, Odin may be supposed to have been
captured and thus offered to himself. It no doubt refers to some lost legend.

The

which

first

am

44

RUNE SONG

ODIN'S

downward

peered,

learnt them, then

142.

fell

precious mead,

things,

down

thence.

Potent sones nine from the famed son

of Bolthorn, Bestla's

143.

runes applied myself, wailing

to

learned

and a draught obtained of the

sire,

drawn from Odhrrir.

Then I began to bear


to grow and well thrive

out words, fact by fact

Runes thou

fruit,
:

and to know many

word by word

sought out

sought

facts.

and explained characters,


very large characters, very potent characters, which the
great speaker depicted, and the high powers formed, and
144.

wilt find,

the powers' prince graved

Odin among the sir, but among the Alfar,


Dain, and Dvalin for the dwarfs, Asvid for the Jotuns
some I myself graved.
Knowest thou how to grave them? knowest
146.
thou how to expound them? knowest thou how to depict
them? knowest thou how to prove them? knowest thou
145.

how
how

knowest thou how

to pray?
to

147.

send?

Tis

knowest thou how

to offer?
to

knowest thou

consume?

better not to pray than too

much

offer; a

'Tis better not to send than

gift ever looks to a return.

So Thund graved before the origin


of men, where he ascended, to whence he afterwards

too

much consume.

came.
148.

Those songs

knows not nor son

know which
Help the

of man.

the

king's

first is called,

that will help thee against strifes and cares.


1

Probably, send them (the runes) forth on their several missions.

45

wife
for

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUhlD


For the second

149.

who

require,

restrain

my

know, what the sons of men


*

will as leeches live.

For the third

150.

know,

if

have great need to

the weapons' edge

foes,

deaden

of

my

harm anght.
know, if men place bonds on

adversaries nor arms nor wiles

For the fourth

151.

my
my

limbs,

so sing that

can walk

the fetter starts

from

and the manacle from my hands.


152.
For the fifth I know, if I see a shot from a hostile hand, a shaft flying amid the host, so swift it cannot
feet,

cannot arrest

fly that I

For the

153.

green

sixth

tree's roots;

harm

it,

also

if

only

know,
if

one wounds

if

man

get sight of

it.

me

with a

declares hatred to me,

consume them sooner than me.


For the seventh I know, if a lofty house

shall

154.

blaze o'er

its

inmates, so furiously

it

shall not

I see

burn that

That song I can sing.


155.
For the eighth I know, what to all is useful to
that
learn where hatred grows among the sons of men

cannot save

it.

can quickly assuage.


156.

For the ninth

know,

bark on the water to save,

and the sea

allay,

157.

ing in

own

stand in need

my

can the wind on the waves

know,

if I

see troll-wives sport-

can so operate that they will forsake their

forms, and their

158.

lull.

For the tenth


air,

if

own

For the eleventh

minds.
I

know,

if I

have to lead

my

miraculous powers here ascribed by Odin to himself bear, in


a remarkable similarity to those attributed to him by
Snorri. 2 The ancient inhabitants of the North believed that the roots of
trees were particularly fitted for hurtful trolldom, or witchcraft, and that
wounds caused thereby were mortal. In India a similar superstition prelr

many

rhe

instances,

vails of the hurtfulness of the roots of trees.

46

ODIN'S

RUNE SONG

ancient friends to battle, under their shields

with power they go safe to the

fight, safe

sing,

from the

and

fight;

on every side they go.


159.
For the twelfth I know, if on a tree I see a
corpse swinging from a halter, I can so grave and in
runes depict, that the man shall walk, and with me con-

safe

verse.

know, if on a young man I


not fall, though he into battle

For the thirteenth

160.

sprinkle water, he shall

come: that man shall not sink before swords.


161.
For the fourteenth I know, if in the society of
men I have to enumerate the gods, sir and Alfar, I
know the distinctions of all. This few unskilled can do.
162.
For the fifteenth I know what the dwarf ThioStrength he sang
dreyrir sang before Delling's doors.
to the sir,

and to the Alfar prosperity, wisdom to

Hroptatyr.

For the sixteenth I know, if a modest maiden's


favour and affection I desire to possess, the soul I change
of the white-armed damsel, and wholly turn her mind.
164.
For the seventeenth I know, that that young
maiden will reluctantly avoid me. These songs, Loddfafnir thou wilt long have lacked yet it may be good if
163.

thou understandest them, profitable


165.
teach to

knows.

who

thou learnest them.

For the eighteenth I know that which I never


maid or wife of man, (all is better what one only
This

clasps

166.

if

me

Now

High-one's

is

the closing of the songs) save her alone

in her

are

hall,

arms, or

is

my

sister.

sung the High-one's songs,

to the sons of

47

men

in

the

all-useful, but useless

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND


to the Jotuns' sons.

to

TTail

him who has sung them!

May he profit who has


who knows them
them! Hail to those who have listened to them!

Hail to him
learnt

THE LAY OF HYMIR.


Once

1.

the celestial gods had been taking

fish,

and

were in compotation, ere they the truth discovered. 1


Rods 2 they shook, and blood inspected, when they found
at CEgir's a lack of kettles.

Sat the rock-dweller glad as a child,

2.

son of Miskorblindi.
steadfastly.

"Thou

much

like the

In his eyes looked Ygg's son

to the

sir

shalt oft a

compotation

give."

Caused trouble to the Jotun th' unwelcome-worded


he forthwith meditated vengeance on the gods.

3.

As

husband he besought a kettle him to bring, "in


which I beer for all of you may brew."
The illustrious gods found that impossible, nor
4.
could the exalted powers it accomplish, till from trueSif's

heartedness,

Ty

to Hlorridi

much

friendly counsel gave.

"There dwells eastward of Elivagar the all-wise


Hymir, at heaven's end. My sire, fierce of mood, a ket5.

tle

owns, a capacious cauldron, a rast in depth."


Thor.

"Knowest thou whether we can get the

6.

liquor-

boiler?"
To wit, that they were short of kettles for brewing.

lr

rods.

4s

That

is

divining

THE LAY OF HYMIR


Ty.

"Yes, friend!

if

we stratagem employ."

drove forward that day from Asgard,

home

till

Rapidly they
to the giant's

they came.

Thor stalled his goats, splendid of horn, then


turned him to the hall that Hymir owned.
The son his
granddam found to him most loathful; heads she had
7.

nine hundred.

But another came all-golden

8.

bearing the beer-cup

"Ye

9.

pair,

fair-browed,

her son

to*

Jotuns' kindred!

under the

forth,

will

My

kettles place.

you both, ye daring


husband is oftentimes

niggard towards guests, to ill-humour prone."

But the monster, the fierce-souled Hymir, late returned home from the chase.
He the hall entered, the
10.

icebergs resounded, as the churl approached; the thicket

on

his cheeks

11.

was

frozen.

Hymir be of good cheer now thy


hall, whom we expected from his long

"Hail to

thee,

come to thy
journey; him accompanies our famed adversary, the
friend of man, who Veor hight.
son

is

See where they

12.

shun thee: the

sit

under the

pillar stands

before them."

flew the pillar at the Jotun's glance

broken

hall's gable,

as

if

to

In shivers

the beam,

was

first

in two.

13.

Eight kettles

fell,

but only one of them, a hard-

hammered cauldron, whole from the column. The two


came forth, but the old Jotun with eyes surveyed his adversary.
14.

Augured

to

him

his

mind no good, when he saw

49

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND

Then were

the giantess's sorrow on the floor coming.


three oxen taken, and the Jotun bade

them forthwith be

boiled.

Each one they made by

15.

the head shorter, and to

the fire afterwards bore them,


sleep

Sif's consort ate, ere to

he went, completely, he alone, two of Hymir's

beeves.
16.

Seemed

ridi's

refection

to the hoary friend of


full

well large:

night shall be compelled on what

"We
we

Veor said he would on the


Jotun him- would with baits supply
17.

Hrungnir Hlorthree to-morrow

catch to live."

sea row,
:

"To

if

the bold

the herd be-

take thee, (if thou in thy courage trustest, crusher of the


rock-dwellers!) for baits to seek.
18.
tain. "

expect that thou wilt bait from an ox easily ob-

The

guest in haste to the forest went, where

ox before him.

stood an all-black

The Thursar's bane wrung from an ox the high


fastness of his two horns.
"To me thy work seems
19.

worse by
20.

far, ruler

The

of keels

than

if

thou hadst sat quiet."

lord of goats the apes' kinsman besought the

horse of plank farther out to move; but the Jotun declared his slight desire farther to row.
21.

The mighty Hymir drew, he

two whales
abaft Veor cunningly
alone,

up with his hook but at the stern


made him a line.
22.
Fixed on the hook the shield of men, the serpent's
slayer, the ox's head.
Gaped at the bait the foe of gods,
;

the encircler beneath of every land. 1


iThe great serpent that encircles the earth.

50

THE LAY OF
Drew up

23.

venom

glistening,

24.

MIR

boldly the mighty

up to the

own brother.
The icebergs

Thor the worm with

side; with his

on his foul head's summit,


wolf's

II Y

like

hammer

struck,

a rock towering, the

resounded, the caverns howled, the

old earth shrank together: at length the fish back into

ocean sank. 1

The Jotun was little glad, as they rowed back, so


that the powerful Hymir nothing spake, but the oar
moved in another course.
26.
"Wilt thou do half the work with me, either the
whales home to the dwelling bear^ or the boat fast bind ?"
25.

Hlorridi went, grasped the prow, quickly, with

27.
its

hold-water, lifted the water-steed, together with

its

oars and scoop; bore to the dwelling the Jotun's ocean-

wooded

swine, the curved vessel, through the

hills.

But the Jotun yet ever frowned, to strife accustomed, with Thor disputed, said that no one was strong,
however vigorously he might row, unless he his cup
28.

could break.

But Hlorridi, when to his hands it came, forthwith brake an upright stone in twain sitting dashed the
cup through the pillars: yet they brought it whole to
29.

Hymir

back.

Until

30.

the

friendly counsel,

beauteous

woman gave

which she only knew

important,

"Strike at the

head of Hymir, the Jotun with food oppressed, that is


harder than any cup."
31.
Rose then on his knee the stern lord of goats,
according to the Prose Edda, the
and severed Thor'sline.

his knife

51

giant,

overcome with

fright, took out

THE.

ELDER EDDA OF S/tEMUND

Unhurt remained
man's helm-block, but the round wine-bearer was

clad in

his godlike power.

all

the old
in shiv-

ers broken.

"Much

32.

now

that

my

man

the old

good,

cup

spake:

see

know, has departed from me,


hurled from my knees."
Thus

"I can never say again, beer thou

art too hot.

"Now

33.

'tis

to be tried

vessel out of our dwelling."

if

ye can carry the beer-

Ty

move

twice assayed to

the vessel, yet at each time stood the kettle fast.

Then Modi's

34.

father by the brim grasped

trod through the dwelling's floor.

it,

and

Sif's consort lifted

the kettle on his head, while about his heels

rings

its

jingled.

They had

35.

one look backward

mir from the

far journeyed before Odin's son cast


:

east,

he from the caverns saw, with Hya troop of

many-headed monsters

coming.

From

36.

his

shoulders he lifted the kettle

down;

Miollnir hurled forth towards the savage crew, and slew


all

the mountain-giants,

who with Hymir had him

pur-

sued.

Long

37.

they had not journeyed

goats one lay

down

when of

half-dead before the car.

Hlorridi's
It

from

the pole had sprung across the trace; but the false Loki

was of
38.
fully

this the cause.

Now
tell

paid for

it

what fabulist can more


what indemnity he from the giant got: he
ye have heard,

for

with his children both. 1

^his strophe belongs apparently

to another poem.

52

THE LAY OF THRVM


39.

In his strength exulting he to the gods' council

came, and had the

kettle,

which Hymir had possessed,

out of which every god shall beer with

gir

drink at

every harvest-tide.

THE LAY OF THRYM, OR THE HAMMER


RECOVERED.
1.

Wroth was

hammer

missed

Vingthor, when he awoke, and his

his beard he shook, his forehead struck,

the son of earth felt


2.

And

first

of

around him

all

"Hear
which no one knows any-

these words he uttered:

all

now, Loki! w hat I now say,


where on earth, nor in heaven above; the As's hammer
r

is

stolen!"
3.

these

They went

to the fair Freyia's dwelling, and he

words

of

first

all

said:

"Wilt thou me, Freyia,

thy feather-garment lend, that perchance

may

my hammer

find?"

Freyia.

would give thee, although of gold it were,


and trust it to thee, though it were of silver."
5.
Flew then Loki the plumage rattled until he
came beyond the sir's dwellings, and came within the
4.

"That

Jotun's land.
6.

his

On

mound

sat

Thrym, the Thursar's

greyhounds plaiting gold bands and

smoothing.
53

lord,

his horses'

for

manes

THE ELDER BDDA OE SAEMUND


7.

"How

goes

Why

the Alfar?

with the sir?

it

How

art thou conic alone to

goes

it

with

Jotunheim?"

Loki.
8.

"Ill

it

goes with the sir,

111

it

goes with the

Hast thou Hlorridi's hammer hidden?"

Alfar.

TJirym.
9.

"I have Hlorridi's

neath the earth;


bring

me

it

shall

hammer hidden eight rasts beno man get again, unless he

Freyia to wife."

Flew then Loki the plumage rattled until he


came beyond the Jotun's dwellings, and came within the
sir's courts; there he met Thor, in the middle court,
who these words first of all uttered.
11.
"Hast thou had success as well as labour? Tell
me from the air the long tidings. Oft of him who sits
10.

are the tales defective, and he

who

lies

down

utters false-

hood."
Loki.

"I have had labour and success:

12.

thy hammer, the Thursar's lord.


again, unless he bring

They went

13.

words

first

raiment,
14.
all

of

all

him Freyia

shall

said

"Bind

thee,

Freyia, in bridal

drive to Jotunheim."

then was Freyia, and with anger chafed,

the famed Brisinga necklace.


if

get

to wife."

the sir's hall beneath her trembled

lewdest,

has

the fair Freyia to find; and he those

we two must

Wroth

It

Thrym
no man

with thee

in shivers flew

"Know me to be

drive to Jotunheim."

54

of

women

THE LAY OF THRYM


Straightway went the sir

15.

the Asyniur

all

to council, and

all

hold converse; and deliberated the

to

mighty gods, how they Hlorridi's hammer might get


back.

Then

16.

foresaw,

like

said Heimdall, of /Esir brightest

Vanir "Let

other

him have

bridal raiment, let

the

he

well

us clothe Thor with

famed Brisinga neck-

lace.

"Let by his side keys jingle, and woman's weeds


round his knees, but on his breast place precious

17.
fall

stones,

and a neat

Then

18.

will call

coif set

on his head."

mighty As

said Thor, the

womanish,

"Me

the

sir

myself be clad in bridal

if I let

rai-

ment."

Then spake Loki, Laufey's son:


"Do thou,
Thor refrain from suchlike words forthwith the Jotuns
will Asgard inhabit, unless thy hammer thou gettest
19.

back."
20.

Then they

clad

Thor

in bridal raiment,

the noble Brisinga necklace,

and woman's weeds

fall

by

let

round

breast placed precious stones,

and with

his side keys jingle,

knees

his

and a neat

and on

coif set

his

on his

head.
21.

Then

a a servant

22.

said Loki, Laufey's son

go:

we two

will drive to

"I will with thee

Jotunheim."

Straightway were the goats homeward driven,

hurried to the traces; they had fast to run.

were shivered, the earth was

in

a blaze

The

rocks

Odin's son drove

to Jotunheim.
23.

Then

said

Thrym, the Thursar's


55

lord:

"Rise

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND


and the benches deck, now they bring
wife, Niord's daughter, from Noatun.

up, Jotuns!

Freyia to
24.

"Hither to our court

all-black oxen,

nic

bring gold-horned cows,

let

Treasures

for the Jotuns' joy.

have

many, necklaces many, Freyia alone seemed to me wanting."


25.

the evening they

In

early

Jotuns beer was brought forth.


voured, salmons eight, and

should have.

Sif's consort

all

came, and

for

the

Thor alone an ox

de-

the sweetmeats

women

drank three salds of mead.

Thrym, the Thursar's prince


"Where
hast thou seen brides eat more voraciously ?
I never saw
brides feed more amply, nor a maiden drink more mead."
26.

Then

27.

Sat the

words

fitting

said

all-crafty

serving-maid close by,

found against the Jotun's speech

who

"Freyia

has nothing eaten for eight nights, so eager was she for

Jotunheim."
28.

Under her

he stooped desirous to salute her,

veil

but sprang back along the


Freyia's looks
29.

words

"Why

hall.

Methinks that

fire

burns from her eyes."

Sat the all-crafty serving-maid


fitting

are so piercing

close

found against the Jotun's speech

for eight nights has not slept, so eager

was she

by,

who

"Freyia

for Jotun-

heim."
30.

In

came

the Jotun's luckless sister, for a bride-

gift she dared to ask

ruddy
favour

rings, if thou

"Give

wouldst gain

my

thy hands the

love,

my

love and

all."

Then said Thrym, the Thursar's lord: "Bring


hammer in, the bride to consecrate; lay Miollnir on

31.

the

me from

56

THE LAY OF THE DWARF ALVIS


hand

the maiden's knee; unite us each with other by the

of Vor."

Laughed

32.

fierce-hearted

when

Hlorridi's soul in his breast,

hammer

his

Thrym, the Thursar's

He

recognized.

lord,

the

slew

first

and the Jotun's race

all

crushed
33.

He

slew the Jotun's aged

her

sister,

who

a bride-

had demanded; she a blow got instead of skillings,


So got Odin's son
a hammer's stroke for many rings.
gift

his

hammer

back.

THE LAY OF THE DWARF

ALVIS.

Alvis.

The

1.

with
I

me

benches they are decking,

now

shall the bride

That beyond my strength


to every one appear at home naught

bend her way home.

have hurried

shall disturb

will

my

quiet.

Vingthor.

What man

2.

so pale?

me

is

this?

Hast thou

last

Why

about the nose art thou

night with corpses lain?

To

thou seemst to bear resemblance to the Thursar.

Thou

art not

born to carry off a bride.


Alvis.

3.

Alvis

under the rock

am
I

named, beneath the earth

own

a place.

iThrud, Thor's daughter by his wife

57

The
Sif.

dwell,

lord of chariots I

Skaldskap.

am

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND

come
break.

to

visit.

promise once confirmed

let

no one

Vingthor.
I will

4.

break

it

for o'er the

have, as father,

was from home when

greatest power.

was given

Among

thee.

maid

the promise

the gods I the sole giver am.

Alms.

What man

5.

maiden?

that fair, bright


will

know

who

is this,

Who

thee.

lays claim to

power over

For far-reaching shafts few

has decked thee with bracelets ?


Vingthor.

am

am named, wide I have wandered; I


son: with my dissent thou shalt not that

Vingthor

6.

Sidgrani's

young maiden have, nor

that union obtain.


Alvis.

7.

Thy

consent

Rather would

obtain.

would have, and that union

fain
I

possess than be without that

snow-white maiden.
Vingthor.
8.

The maiden's

thee denied,
to

if

love shall not, wise guest! be unto

thou of every world canst

tell all I

desire

know.
Alvis.
9.

Vingthor! thou canst

try, as

thou art desirous the

knowledge of the dwarf to prove. All the nine worlds


I have travelled over, and every being known.
iThis appears to allude to a promise
the story is lost.

58

made

to the

dwarf; but of which

THE LAY OF THE DWARF ALVIS


Vingthor.
10.

Tell me, Alvis!

sume

thee,

which

lies

for

know

dwarf, to

men's concerns

all

how

the earth

is

pre-

called,

before the sons of men, in every world.


Alvis.

11.

fold

Jord among
the Vanir call

men
it

but with the vEsir

called,

'tis

vega, the Jotuns igrcen, the Alfar

groandi, the powers supreme aur.

Vingthor.
12.

which

Tell me, Alvis,


is

how

etc.

the heaven

is

called,

perceptible in every world.


Alvis.

by men; but hlyrnir with the


gods vindofni the Vanir call it, uppheimr the Jotuns, the
13.

Himinn

'tis

called

Alfar fagrarfr, the dwarfs driupansal.


Vingthor.
14.

Tell me,

which men see

Alvis!

etc.,

how

moon

the

is

called,

in every world.

Alvis.
15.

Mani

'tis

called

by men, but mylinn with the

gods, hverfanda hvel in Hel 1

they

call

Jotuns, but the dwarfs skin; the Alfar

it,

name

skyndi the
it

artali.

Vingthor.
16.

Tell me, Alvis!

men's sons see

in

etc.,

how

the sun

is

called,

w hich
T

every world.

iWhen this composition was written,


regarded as a person, but as a place.

59

it

appears that Hel was no longer

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND


Ahns.
1 7.

sunna,

Sol

among men

the dwarfs

call

'tis

called,

but with the gods

Dvalinn's leika,

it

the

Jotuns

eyglo, the Alfar fagrahvel, the sir's sons alskir.

Vingthor.
18.

Tell me,

Alvis,

etc.,

how

which with showers are mingled

the clouds are called,


in

every world.

Alvis.
19.

gods

Sky they

are called by men, but skurvan by the

the Vanir call them vindflot, the Jotuns urvan, the

Alfar vedrmegin

in

Hel they are

called hialm hulids.

Vingthor.
20.

Tell me, Alvis

etc.,

how

the wind

is

called,

which

widely passes over every world.


Alvis.
21.

Windr

'tis

called by

the wide-ruling powers call

men, but vavudr by the gods,


it

gneggiud, the Jotuns

the Alfar dynfari, in Hel they call

it

cepir,

hvidudr.

Vingthor.
22.

Tell me, Alvis

etc.,

how

the calm

is called,

which

has to rest in every world.


Alvis.
23.

Vanir
the

Logn

'tis

called

call it vindslot,

Dwarfs

call it

by men, but lgi by the gods, the

the Jotuns ofhly, the Alfar dagsevi,

dags vera.
6o

THE LAY OF THE DWARF ALV1S


Vingthor.
24.

Tell me, Alvis!

men row

over

etc.,

what the sea

is

called,

which

every world.

in

Alvis.
25.

Sr

the vanir

called

'tis

call

it

vagr,

Dwarfs

lagastafr, the

by men, but silgia with the gods


the Jotuns

call it

alheimr,

the Alfar

diupan mar.

Vingthor.
26.

Tell me, Alvis!

etc.,

how

the

fire is called,

which

burns before men's sons in every world.


Alvis.

27.

Eldr

the Vanir

by men, but by the sir funi

called

'tis

Dwarfs

vagr, the Jotuns frekr, but the

call it

forbrennir; in Hel thev call

hrodudr.

it

Vingthor.
28.

Tell me, Alvis!

how the forest is


men in every world.

etc.,

which grows for the sons of

called,

Alvis.
29.

Hel's

Vidr

called

'tis

inmates

Alfar fagrlimi

call
;

by men, but vallarfax by the gods,

it

hlidthangr,

the Vanir call

it

eldi,

the

is called,

that

the Jotuns

vondr.

Vingthor.
30.

Tell me, Alvis!

etc.,

how

the night

Norvi's daughter hight, in every world.


Alvis.
31.

Nott

it is

called

by men, but by the gods


6i

niol

the

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND


wide-ruling powers

Alfar svefngaman

call

it

grima, the Jotuns

Dwarfs

the

call

it

olios,

the

draumniorunn.

Vingthor.
Tell me, Alvis!

32.

men sow

the sons of

etc.,

in

how

the seed

is called,

which

every world.
Alvis.

Bygg

33.

the Vanir call


tafr; in

Hel

is

it
it

'tis

called

by men, but by the gods barr,

vaxtr, the Jotuns

aeti,

the Alfar lagas-

hnipinn called.

Vingthor.
Tell me, Alvis

34.

men

the sons of

how

etc.,

the beer

is

called,

which

drink in every world.


Alvis.

01

35.

it is

Vanir

call

called

miodr

called

by men, but by the sir

biorr, the

veig, hreina logr the Jotuns, but in

it
:

Suttung's sons

call it

Hel

'tis

sumbl.

Vingthor.
In one breast

36.
lore.

Thou

have never found more ancient

By

great wiles thou hast,

art

above ground, dwarf

hall the

sun

is

shining!

6z

I tell thee,
!

at

dawn

been deluded.
already in the

THE LAY OF UARBARD

THE LAY OF HARBARD.


Thor

or sound, on the other side of which was a ferry-

strait

man

journeying from the eastern parts came to a

Thor

with his boat.

Who

1.

cried out

the knave of knaves, that by the sound

is

stands yonder?

Harbard.

Who

2.

is

the churl of churls, that cries across the

water ?
Thor.

Ferry

3.

thee.

food

and

I
:

at

me

across the sound, to-morrow

my

have a basket on

my

ease

with which

oats,

before

ate,
I

back
T

there

I'll

is

regale

no better

quitted home, herrings

yet feel sated.

Harbard.
4.

hast

Thou

art in haste to praise thy meal

no foreknowledge

mother,

for sad will

thou surely

be thy home

thy

believe, is dead.

Thor.
5.

Thou

unwelcome

sayest

to

know

now what seems

that

my

mother

to every
is

one most

dead.

Harbard.
6.

Thou

dost not look like one

who owns

three coun-

ELDER FDD A OF SAFMUND

THI:

try dwellings, bare-legged thou standest, and like a beg-

gar clothed; then bast not even breeches.


TJwr.
7.

Steer hitherward thy boat

But who owns

to land.

I will direct

this skiff,

thee where

which by the strand

thou boldest?

Harbard.
8.

HildO'lf

he

in council wise,

me

he bade
only,

name,

named who bade me hold

who

it,

dwells in Radso sound.

whom

well knew.

Tell

me

man

Robbers

not to ferry, or horse-stealers, but good

and those
if

is

men

then thy

thou wilt cross the sound.

Thor.
9.

my name will
my kin: I am

(although

tell,

am

an outlaw)

and all
Odin's son, Meili's brother, and
Magni's sire, the gods' mighty leader
With Thor thou
here mayest speak.
I will now ask how thou art called.
:

Harbard.
10.

am Harbard

called

seldom

my name

conceal.

TJwr.
11.

Why

shouldst thou thy

name

conceal, unless thou

crime hast perpetrated?

Harbard.
12.

Yet, though

nathless guard

my

life

may

crime have perpetrated,

I will

against such as thou art; unless

death-doomed am.
64

THE LAY OF 1IARBARD


Thor
13.

seems to

It

me

a foul

annoyance to wade across

my

the strait to thee, and wet

garments

mannikin! for thy sharp speeches,


come.

thee,
I

if

but

will

o'er the

pay

sound

Harbard.
14.

wilt

Here

and here await thee.

will I stand,

Thou

have found no stouter one since Hrungnir's death.


Thor.

15.

Thou now remindest me how

with Hrungnir

fought, that stout-hearted Jotun, whose head


stone; yet

made him

was

end sink before me.

fall,

all

of

What

meanwhile didst thou, Harbard?


Harbard.
16.

was with

Fiolvari five winters through, in the

There we could
which Algron hight.
slaughter make, many perils prove, indulge in

isle

fight,

and

love.

TJi or.

17.

How

did your

women

prove towards you?

Harbard.

women we had, had


meek; shrewd ones we had, had they but
18.

Sprightly

they but

been

been kind.

Of

sand a rope they twisted, and from the deep valley dug
the earth

to

them

all I

alone was superior in cunning.

rested with the sisters seven,

shared.

What meanwhile

and

their love

didst thou,

65

and pleasures

Thor?

THE ELDER EDDA OE SAEMUND


Thor.
19.

slew Thiassi, that stout-hearted Jotun: up

I cast

the eyes of Allvaldi's son into the heaven serene: they are

my

signs the greatest of


thou,

What meanwhile

deeds.

didst

Harbard?
Harbard.

20.

Great seductive arts

the night,

when from

their

used against the riders of

husbands

enticed. them.

mighty Jotun I believed Hlebard to be: a magic wand he


gave me, but from his wits I charmed him.
Thor.
21.

With

evil

mind then thou

didst

good

gifts

re-

quite.

Harbard.
22.

One

tree gets that

each one in such case


thou,

rom another scraped


What meanwhile didst

which

is f

for self.

is

Thor?
Thor.

23.

In the east

crafty in evil,

was, and slew the Jotun brides,

would have been the Jotun


not a

man

mountain went.

as they to the

left in

Midgard.

race,

had they

all

What meanwhile

Great

lived;

and

didst thou,

Harbard ?
Harbard.
24.

I excited,

was

in Valland,

and followed warfare; princes

but never reconciled.

that in conflict fall; but


Giantesses, witches,

Thor

etc.

66

Odin has

all

the jarls

the race of thralls.

THE LAY OF HARBARD


Thor.

Unequally thou wouldst divide the folk among


the sir, if thou but hadst the power.
25.

Harbard.

Thor has strength overmuch,

26.

from/ cowardice and

fear,

but courage none;

thou wast crammed into a

and hardly thoughtest thou wast Thor.

glove,

Thou

durst not then, through thy terror, either sneeze or cough,


lest

Fialar

might hear.

it

Thor.

Harbard, thou wretch

27.

could

but stretch

my arm

would

strike thee dead,

across the sound.

Harbard.

Why

28.

wouldst thou stretch thy arm across the

when there
thou, Thor?

sound,
didst

is

altogether

But what

no offence?

Thor.
29.

In the east

the sons of Svarang

me, though
the

was, and a river

me

assailed,

in their success

defended,

when

and with stones pelted


little

joyed

What meanwhile

to sue for peace.

first

they

they were
didst thou,

Harbard ?
Harbard.

was

and with a certain lass held


converse with that fair I dallied, and long meetings had.
I that gold-bright one delighted the game amused her.
30.

in the east,

Thor.
31.

Then you had kind damsels there?

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND


Harbard.
32.

Of

maiden

thy aid

had need, Thor!

in retaining that

lily-fair.

Thor.
33.

would have given

it

thee, if I

had had the op-

portunity.

Harbard.
34.

would have trusted

hadst not betrayed

thee,

my

confidence

if

thou

it.

Thor.
35.

am

not such a heel-chafer as an old leather shoe

in spring.

Harbard.
36.

What meanwhile

didst thou,

Thor?

Thor.

The

on Lsso cudgeled;
they the worst had perpetrated, the whole people had
37.

Berserkers'

brides

seduced.

Harbard.
38.

Dastardly didst thou

act,

Thor

when thou

didst

cudgel women.

Thor.
39.

She-wolves

They crushed my

they

ship,

were,

and

scarcely

which with props

women.

had secured,

with iron clubs threatened me, and drove away Thialfi.

What meanwhile

didst thou,

Harbard ?

Harbard.
40.

I in the

banners to

army was, which was

raise, lances to

redden.

68

hither sent, war-

THE LAY OF UARBARD


Thor.

Of

41.

that thou

now

speak, as thou wentest

wilt

forth us hard terms to offer.

Harbard.

That

42.

shall

as arbitrators give,

be indemnified by a hand-ring, such

who wish

to reconcile us.

TJwr.

Where

43.

words than which

didst thou learn

never

heard more irritating?

Harbard.

From men I learned


whose home is in the woods.
44.

them, from ancient men,

Thor.

Thou givest certainly a good name to gravemounds, when thou callest them homes in the woods.
45.

Harbard.

So speak

46.

of such a subject.

Thor.

Thy shrewd words

47.

solve the sound to ford.


>

howl,

trow,

if

of

will bring thee evil, if I re-

Louder than a wolf thou

my hammer

wilt

thou gettest a touch.

Harbard.
48.

to find

home; thou wilt anxious be


arduous work perform it will

Sif has a gallant at

him thou
:

beseem thee

shalt that

better.

69

THE ELDER EDO A OE SAEMUND


Thor.
49.
it

Thou

what comes upmost, so

utterest

that to

be most annoying, thou dastardly varlet!

me

believe

thou art lying.

Harbard.
50.

am

I believe I

Thou

telling truth.

art travelling

slowly; thou wouldst have long since arrived, hadst thou

assumed another form.


Thor.
51.

Harbard! thou wretch! rather

is it

thou

who

hast

detained me.

Harbard.
52.

never thought that a ferryman could the course

of Asa-Thor retard.

Thor.
53.

One

thy boat;

let

advice

now

will give thee

row

hither with

us cease from threats; approach the sire of

Magni.
Harbard.
54.

Go

farther

from the sound, the passage

is

refused

thee.

Thor.
55.

Show me

then the way,

if

thou wilt not ferry

me

across the water.

Harbard.
56.

That's too

to the stock an hour,

the left

hand way,

to refuse.

little

and

until

'Tis far to go;

'tis

to the stone another

then keep

thou reachest Verland

there will

70

THE JOURNEY OR LAY OF SKIRNIR


Fiorgyn

find her son

Thor, and point out to him his kins-

men's ways to Odin's land.


Thor.

Can

57.

get there to-day?

Harbard.

With pain and

58.

the sun

is

thou mayest get there, while

toil

up, which, I believe,

now

is

nigh.

Thor.

Our

59.

talk shall

be short, as thou answerest

me

I will re-

the powers of evil

may have

For refusing

with scoffing only.

ward

now

thee, if another time

we

to ferry

meet.

Harbard.
Just go to where

60.

all

thee.

THE JOURNEY OR LAY OF

SKIRNIR.

Frey, son of Niord, had one day seated himself in


Hlidskialf, and was looking over all regions, when turning his eyes to Jotunheim, he there saw a beautiful girl,

was passing from her father's dwelling to her


bower. Thereupon he became greatly troubled in mind.
Frey's attendant was named Skirnir; him Niord desired
to speak with Frey when Skadi said

as she

1.

Rise up now, Skirnir! go and request our son to

speak; and inquire with

whom

fended,
71

he so sage

may

be of-

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND


Skirnir.

Harsh words

have from your son to fear, if I go


to speak with him, and to inquire with whom he so sage
2.

may

be offended.
Skirnir.

3.

Tell

me now,

Frey, prince of gods! for

know, why alone thou


long day ?

sittest in

desire to

the spacious hall the live-

Frey.
4.

Why

great trouble
yet not for

thou young man,

shall I tell thee,


?

my

for the Alf

s'

my

mind's

illuminator shines every day,

pleasure.

Skirnir.
5.

Thy

care cannot,

thou canst not


together

tell it;

well might

think, be so great, that to

for in early days

we

me

we were young

trust each other.

Frey.
6.

I long.

air

and water.

7.

youth

we

saw walking a maid for whom


Her arms gave forth light wherewith shone all

In Gymir's courts

Is

more

in early

together

desirable to

days

yet will

me

that

maid than

to

any

no one, sir or Alfar, that

live.

Skirnir.
8.

Give

me

but thy steed, which can bear

the dusk, flickering flame,

me through

and that sword, which bran-

dishes itself against the Jotuns' race.

72

THE JOURNEY OR LAY OF SKIRNIR


Prey.
will

9.

my

give thee

steed,

which can bear thee

through the dusk, flickering flame, and that sword, which


will itself brandish, if

he

bold

is

who

raises

it.

Skirnir Speaks to the Horse.

Dark

10.

it

without,

is

across the misty

fells,

time, I say, for us to

'tis

over the Thursar's land

we

go

shall

both return, or the all-potent Jotun will seize us both.


Skirnir rides to Jotunheim, to Gymir's mansion, where
fierce

dogs were chained

was round Gymir's


herd was sitting on

at the gate of the enclosure that

He

hall.

on

rides

to

where a cowhim

mound, and says to


Tell me, cowherd! as on the mound thou

11.

and watchest

all

the ways,

how

I to

the speech

sittest,

may

come,

of the young maiden, for Gymir's dogs?

Cowherd.
Either thou art death-doomed, or thou art a de-

12.

parted one.

Speech wilt thou ever lack with the good

maid of Gymir.
Skirnir.

Better choices than to whine there are for

13.

who
and

is

prepared to die

my

whole

life

for one

day was

my

him

age decreed,

determined.

Gerd.
14.

What

sounding

that

is

hear

within

shaken, and with

it

all

sound of sounds, which


our

73

now

The earth
Gymir trembles.

dwelling?

the house of

is

THE ELDER EDDA OE SAEMUND

'>

serving-maid.

'A

15.

man

horse's back

is

he

dismounted

here without,

from

his

browse on the grass.

lets his steed

Gerd.

Bid him enter into our

16.

bright mead; although I fear

who

hall,

it

is

and drink of the

my

brother's slayer

waits without.

Who

17.

is

this of the Alfar's,

Why

or of the wise Vanir's?

through the hostile

fire,

our

or of the sir's sons,

come

art thou

alone,

halls to visit ?

Skirnir.
18.

am

not of the Alfar's, nor of the sir's sons,

nor of the wise Vanir's; yet


the hostile

fire,

your

am come

alone,

through

halls to visit.

Apples all-golden

19.

have here eleven

these I will

give thee, Gerd, thy love to gain, that thou mayest say
that

Frev

to thee lives dearest.

Gerd.

The

20.

apples eleven I never will accept for any

mortal's pleasure; nor will


last, live

and Frey, while our

lives

both together.
Skirnir.

The

21.

ring too I will give thee, which was burnt

with the young son of Odin.

from

it

Eight of equal weight will

drop, every ninth night.

Gerd.
2,

The

ring I will not accept, burnt though

74

it

may

THE JOURNEY OR LAY OF SKIRXIR


have been with the young son of Odin.
of gold in Gymir's courts

my

for

have no lack

father's wealth I share.

Skirnir.

young maiden! thin, glithave here in hand? I thy head

Seest thou this sword,

23.

tering-bright,
will sever

which

from thy neck,

thou speakst not favourably

if

to me.

Gcrd.
Suffer compulsion will

24.

man

yet this

foresee, if thou

never,

to please any

and Gymir meet, ye

will

eagerly engage in fight.


Skirnir.

tering-bright,

edge

young maiden! thin, glithave here in hand? Beneath its

Seest thou this sword,

25.

which

shall the old

With

26.

Jotun

fall

thy sire

a taming-wand

is

death-doomed.

smite thee, and

will

tame thee, maiden! to my will. Thou shalt go thither,


where the sons of men shall never more behold thee.
27.
On an eagle's mount thou shalt early sit, looking
and turned towards Hel. Food shall to thee more loathsome be than is to any one the glistening serpent among
men.

As

28.

prodigy thou shalt

be,

when thou

goest

Hrimnir shall at thee gaze, all beings at thee stare


more wide-known thou shalt become than the watch
among the gods, 1 if thou from thy gratings gape.
Solitude and disgust, bonds and impatience, shall
29.
Set thee down, and I will
thy tears with grief augment.
forth

tell

thee of a

whelming

flood of care, and a double grief,

75

- -

THE ELDER EDDA OE SAEMUND


Terrors shall

30.

the Jotuns'

bow

thee clown the livelong day, in

To

the Hrimthursar's halls, thou

courts.

shalt each clay crawl exhausted, joyless crawl

wail for

pastime shalt thou have, and tears and misery.

With a three-headed Thurs thou shalt be ever


bound, or be without a mate. Thy mind shall tear thee
from morn to morn as the thistle thou shalt be which
31.

has thrust

itself

To

32.

a magic
33.

on the house-top.

wold

the

have been, and to the humid grove,


A magic wand I got.

wand to get.
Wroth with thee

Odin, wroth with thee

is

is

the

sir's prince; Frey shall loathe thee, even ere thou,

wicked maid

Hear

34.

shalt

have

ye, Jotuns!

felt

the gods' dire vengeance.

hear ye, Hrimthursar! sons of

Suttung! also ye, sir's friends!

how

how

forbid,

prohibit man's joy unto the damsel, man's converse to

the damsel.

Hrimgrimnir the Thurs

35.

sess thee, in the grating of the

named, that

dead beneath

shall pos-

there shall

tree's roots, goats'

water give

Other drink shalt thou, maiden! never

get, either

wretched
thee.

is

thralls,

from the

for thy pleasure, or for

my

pleasure.

Thurs I cut for thee, and three letters mere:


ergi, and di, and othola.
So will I cut them out, as I
have cut them in, if there need shall be.
36.

Gerd.

Hail rather to thee, youth

37.
filled

with old mead; although

should love one of Vanir race.


^hurs,

etc.,

the

names

of

magical runes.

/6

and accept an

icy cup,

thought not that

ever

THE JOURNEY OR LAY OF SKIRNIR


Skirnir.

All

38.

When

my

errand will

know, ere

hence ride home.

wilt thou converse hold with the powerful son of

Niord?
Gerd.
Barri the grove

39.

named, which we both know,

is

the grove of tranquil paths.

Nine nights hence, there

to

Niord's son Gerd will grant delight.


Skirnir then rode home.

and spoke

to him, asking tidings

Tell me, Skirnir! ere thou thy steed unsaddlest,

40.

and a foot hence thou


in

Frey was standing without,

Jotunheim, for

my

goest,

what thou hast accomplished

pleasure or thine?
Skirnir.

named, which we both know,


Nine nights hence, there to
the grove of tranquil paths.
Niord's son Gerd will grant delight.
Barri the grove

41.

is

Frey.

Long

42.
shall

is

one night, yet longer two will be;

three endure.

Often a month to

seemed than half a night of longing.

11

me

less

how
has

THE ELDER EDDA OE SAEMUND

THE LAY OF

RIG.

In ancient Sagas it is related that one of the sir


named Heimdall, being on a journey to a certain seashore, came to a village, where he called himself Rig.
In
accordance with this Saga is the following:
1.

In ancient days, they say, along the green ways

went the powerful and upright sagacious As, the strong


and active Rig, his onward course pursuing.
2.
Forward he went on the mid- way, and to a dwelling came. The door stood ajar, he went in, fire was on
the floor.
The man and wife sat there, hoary-haired, by
the hearth, Ai and Edda, in old guise clad.
Rig would counsel give to them both, and himself
3.
seated in the middle seat, having on either side the domestic pair.
4.

Then Edda from

the ashes took a loaf, heavy and

and with bran mixed more besides she laid on the


middle of the board; there in a bowl was broth on the
table set, there was a calf boiled, of cates most excellent.
Then rose he up, prepared to sleep: Rig would
5.
counsel give to them both laid him down in the middle
of the bed the domestic pair lay one on either side.
6.
There he continued three nights together, then deNine months then passed way.
parted on the mid-way.
thick,

7.

Edda a

sprinkled

its

child

swarthy

brought forth
skin,

and named
78

they with water


it

Thrl,

THE LAY OF RIG


8.

It

skin

was

grew

up,

and well

throve; of

it

shriveled, the knuckles knotty,

the fingers thick; a hideous countenance

its

*
it

hands the
*

and

had, a curved

back, and protruding heels.

He

9.

make

of

it

then began his strength to prove, bast to bind,


loads

then faggots carried home, the livelong

day.

Then

10.

came a woman walking,


her arms sunburnt, her nose

to the dwelling

scarred were her foot-soles,

compressed, her

name was Thy.

In the middle seat herself she placed; by her sat

11.

the house's son.

They spoke and whispered, prepared a

bed, Thrl and Thy, and days of care.

Children they begat, and lived content:

12.

names,

think,

were Hreimr and

Kleggi, Kefsir, Fulnir,


vir,

Drumb,

Lut and Leggialdi.

Klur and

Hosfields ma-

Digraldi, Drott and

Fences they erected,

dug

nured, tended swine, kept goats,


13.

Fiosnir,

Their

turf.

The daughters were Drumba and Kumba, Ok-

kvinkalfa, and Arinnefia, Ysia and Ambatt, Eikintiasna,

Totrughypia, and Tronubeina, whence are sprung the


race of thralls.
14.

Rig then went

a house; the door stood ajar: he went in;


floor,

15.

man and wife sat there engaged at work.


The man was planing wood for a weaver's beam

his beard

was trimmed,

a lock

shirt close; his chest stood

16.

and came to
fire was on the

on, in a direct course,

His wife

was on

on the

floor.

sat by, plied her rock,

arms, prepared for clothing.

79

his forehead, his

with outstretched

hood was on her head,

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAHMUND


a loose sark over her breast, a kerchief round her neck,
studs

on her shoulders.

Afi and

Amma owned

the house.

Rig would counsel give to them' both rose from


the table, prepared to sleep laid him down in the middle
of the bed, the domestic pair lay one on either side.
17.

There he continued three nights together.

18.

months then passed away.

Amma

they with water sprinkled

it,

mother

in

linen

Nine

a child brought forth,

and called

it

The

Karl.

swathed the ruddy redhead:

its

eyes

twinkled.

grew

and well throve; learned to tame


make a plough, houses build, and bams construct,
make carts, and the plough drive.
19.

It

up,

oxen,

Then they home conveyed a

20.

lass

with pendent

and goatskin kirtle; married her to Karl. Snor


was her name, under a veil she sat. The couple dwelt
keys,

together, rings exchanged, spread couches, and a house-

hold formed.

Children they begat, and lived content.

21.

Hal and

Dreng, these were named, Held, Thegn, Smith, Breidrbondi, Bundinskegg, Bui and Boddi, Brattskegg and
Segg.

But [the daughters] were thus

22.

names:

Snot,

Brud,

Svanni,

Svarri,

called,

by other

Sprakki,

Fliod,

Sprund, and Vif, Feima, Ristil; whence are sprung the


races of churls.
23.

came

w as
r

Rig then went


to a hall

thence,

in

a direct course, and

the entrance looked southward, the door

half closed, a ring

was on the
8o

door-post.

THE LAY OF RIG


24.

He

went

in

the floor

was strewed, a couple

sat

facing each other, Fadir and Modir, with ringers playing.


25.

The husband

sat,

and twisted

string,

bent his

and arrow-shafts prepared; but the housewife


looked on her arms, smoothed her veil, and her sleeves

bow,

fastened
26.

Her head-gear

was on her
her sark was blue; brighter was

adjusted.

breast; ample her robe,

clasp

her brow, her breast fairer, her neck whiter than driven

snow.
27.

Rig would counsel give to them

self seated

on the middle

seat,

both,

and him-

having on either side the

domestic pair.
28.

Then took Modir

a figured cloth of white linen,

and the table decked. She then took thin cakes of snowwhite wheat, and on the table laid.
29.
She set forth salvers full, adorned with silver, on
In a can
the table game and pork, and roasted birds.
was wine; the cups were ornamented. They drank and
talked; the day was fast departing, Rig would counsel
give to them both.
Rig then rose, the bed prepared; there he then
30.
remained three nights together; then departed on the midway. Nine months after that passed away.
Modir then brought forth a boy: in silk they
31.
wrapped him, with water sprinkled him, and named him
Jarl.

Light was his

piercing as a
32.

There

young
at

bright his cheeks, his eyes

hair,

serpent's.

home

Jarl

grew

to shake, to fix the string, the

8i

up, learned the shield

bow

to bend, arrows to

THE ELDER EDDA OE SAEMUND

shaft, javelins to hurl, spears to brandish, horses to ride,

dogs to

let slip,

swords

to

draw, swimming to practise.

Thither from the forest came Rig walking, Rig

33.

walking: runes he taught him, his

and

his

own

son declared him,

own name gave

whom

him,

he bade possess his

alodial fields, his alodial fields, his ancient dwellings.

rode thence, through a

Jarl then

34.

over humid

fells,

till

to a hall

he came.

his falchion drew, strife

His spear he

made

his horse curvet,

began to

raise, the field to

brandished, his shield he shook,

and

murky way,

redden, carnage to make; and conquer lands.

Then he

35.

tributed,

sided
pieces.

ruled alone over eight

gave to

horses,

all

rings

vills,

riches dis-

treasures and precious things; lank-

he dispersed,

and

collars

cut

in

36.

The

nobles drove through

humid ways, came

to a

where Hersir dwelt; there they found a slender


maiden, fair and elegant, Erna her name.
37.
They demanded her, and conveyed her home, to
hall,

Jarl espoused her; she

under the linen 2 went.

They

to-

gether lived, and well throve, had offspring, and old age
enjoyed.

Bur was their eldest, Barn the second, Jod and


Adal, Arfi, Mog, Nid and Nidjung. They learned
games; Son and Svein swam and at tables played. One
was named Kund, Kon was youngest.
39.
There grew up Jarl's progeny; horses they broke,
38.

curved
40.

shields, cut arrows,

But the young Kon understood runes, fin-runes,

A common

brandished spears.

practice

the pieces served as money.

82

The nuptial

veil.

THE LAY OF RIG


and aldr-runes he moreover knew men
;

to preserve, edges

to deaden, the sea to calm.

41.

He knew

the voice of birds,

assuage and quench

sorrows to

how

allay.

fires to

He

mitigate,

of eight

men

had the strength and energy.


42.
He with Rig Jarl in runes contended, artifices
practised, and superior proved; then acquired Rig to be
called, and skilled in runes.
43.
ests,

The young Kon rode through swamps and

for-

hurled forth darts, and tamed birds.

44.

"Why

Then sang

the crow, sitting lonely on a bough!

young Kon: tame the birds? rather


*
*
*
young Kon! on horses ride

wilt thou,

shouldst thou,

and armies overcome.

Nor Dan nor Danp

more costly had, nobler


paternal seats, than ye had.
They well knew how the
keel to ride, the edge to prove, wounds to inflict.
45.

The

rest is

halls

wanting.

83

THE ELDER EDDA OE SAEMUND

COMPOTATION, OR LOKT'S
ALTERCATION.

CEGIR'S

CEgir,

who

is

also

named Gymir, had brewed

beer for

the sir, after he had got the great kettle, as has been

To

already related.

the entertainment

came Odin and

Thor did not come, being in the East,


but his wife Sif was there, also Bragi and his wife Idun,
and Ty, who was one-handed, Fenrisulf having bitten off
his hand while being bound.
Besides these there were

his wife Frigg.

Niord and

Frey and Freyia, and Odin's


son Vidar. Loki too was there, and Frey's attendants,
Byggvir and Beyla. Many other sir and Alfar were
his wife Skadi,

also present.

gir had two

servants,

Fimafeng and

gold was there used instead of


served

itself to

tuary.

The

the guests.

guests

CEgir's servants.

place

beer

was a great

sanc-

the

excellence

of

This Loki could not hear with pa-

and so slew Fimafeng whereupon the sir shook


shields, exclaimed against Loki, chased him into the
;

and then returned to drink.


and found Eldir standing without,
forest,

dressed
1.

Bright

The

fire-light.

praised

greatly

tience,

their

The

Eldir.

Loki came again,

whom

he thus ad-

Tell me, Eldir! ere thou thy foot settest one step

forward, on what converse the sons of the triumphant

gods at their potation?


84

COMPOTATION OR

OEGIR'S

LOKI'S

ALTERCATION

Eldir.

Of

2.

arms converse, and of

their

their martial fame,

Of

the sons of the triumphant gods.

the

A) far that are here within not one has a

sir and the


friendly word

for thee.

Loki.
I will

3.

Strife
their

go

into CEgir's halls, to see the compotation.

and hate to the sir's sons

mead with

I bear,

and

mix

will

bale.

Eldir.

Knowest thou not

if

thou goest into CEgir's

halls to see the compotation, but

contumely and clamour

4.

that

pourest forth on the kindly powers, they will wipe

all

it

on thee?

off

Loki.

Knowest thou not, Eldir, that


words contend, I shall be rich

5.

ter

sayest too

if

in

we two with
answers,

if

bit-

thou

much?

Loki then went into the

saw who was come

in,

hall,

they

but

when

those present

all sat silent.

Loki.
6.

Lopt

am come

thirsty into this hall,

journey, to beseech the

sir one draught

from a long

to give

me

of

the bright mead.


7.

Why

gods! are ye so

cannot speak?
board, or bid

me

seat

hie

me

silent,

so reserved, that ye

and place choose for

me

at

your

hence.

Bragi.
8.

seat

and place

will the

85

sir never choose

for

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND


thee at their board; for well the

sir know

for

whom

they ought to hold a joyous compotation.


Loki.

Odin

9.

dost thou remember

when we

When

blended our blood together?

in early

days

to taste beer thou

didst constantly refuse, unless to both 'twas offered?

Odin.
10.

Rise up, Vidar

and

compotation; that Loki

tumely in QEgir's

Vidar then

the wolfs sire

let

may

gods

Hail,

hall.

rising, presented

sir!

Loki with drink,

sir

Hail, Asyniur!

save that one As,

all,

our

not utter words of con-

fore drinking thus addressed the


11.

sit at

who

sits

who

be-

And

ye, all-holy

within there, Bragi,

on yonder bench.
Bragi.

from my stores will give


thee, and also with a ring reward thee, if thou the sir
Provoke not the gods
wilt not requite with malice.
12.

horse and falchion

against thee.

Loki.
13.

want.

Of
Of

in conflict

horse and rings wilt thou ever, Bragi

be in

the /Esir and the Alfar, that are here present,

thou art the most backward, and in the play

of darts most timid.


Bragi.
14.

know

that

the hall of GEgir,

were I without, as I am, now within,


thy head would bear in my hand, and

so for lying punish thee.

86

OEGIR'S

COMPOTATION OR

LOKI'S

ALTERCATION

Loki.
15.

Valiant on thy seat art thou, Bragi

shouldst not be, Bragi, the bench's pride


if

man

thou art angry; a brave

but so thou

Go and

fight,

not considering.

sits

Idun.
16.

and of

pray thee, Bragi

all

the bond of children,

let avail

adopted sons, and to Loki speak not in re-

proachful words, in CEgir's

hall.

Loki.
17.

Be

silent,

Idun! of

all

women

declare thee most

fond of men, since thou thy arms, carefully washed, didst


twine round thy brother's murderer.
Idun.
18.

Loki

CEgir's hall.

address not with opprobrious words, in

Bragi

soothe, by beer excited.

desire

here within,

strive

not that angry ye fight.

Geon.
19.

Why

ye,

will

/Esir twain,

with reproachful words?


deluded, and

is

Lopt perceives not that he

urged on by

is

fate.

Loki.
20.

Be

silent.

that fair youth thy

gave, arid around

now just mention, how


mind corrupted, who thee a necklace

Gefion

whom

will

thou thy limbs didst twine?


Odin.

21.

Thou

art raving,

in calling Gefion's
I

Loki! and hast

anger on thee; for

ween, she knows as thoroughly as

all

I do.

lost

thy wits,

men's destinies,

ELDER EDDA OF SAliMUND

777/;

Loki.

Be

22.

Odin

silent,

between men

flicts

thou oughtest not

Thou never

couldst allot con-

oft hast thou given to those to

whom

victory to cowards.

Odin.

Knowest thou

that I

Now

that,

gave to those I ought not


victory to cowards?
Thou wast eight winters on the
earth below, a milch cow and a woman, and didst there
23.

bear children.

methinks, betokens a base

nature.

Loki.
But,

24.

it

is

said,

thou wentest with tottering steps

Samso, and knocked at houses as a Vala. In likeness


Now
of a fortune teller, thou wentest among people.
in

methinks, betokens a base nature.

that,

Frigg.

Your doings ye should never


what ye, sir twain, did in days of
25.

publish
yore.

among men,
Ever forgot-

ten be men's former deeds!

Loki.

Be thou

26.

silent,

Frigg!

Thou

art

Fiorgyn's

daughter, and ever hast been fond of men, since


Vili,

it

bosom

is

said,

Ve

and

thou, Vidrir's wife, didst both to thy

take.

Frigg.
27.

Know

like Baldr,

sons

thou that

if I

had, in CEgir's halls, a son

out thou shouldst not go from the sir's

thou should'st have heen fiercely assailed.

88

OEGIR'S

COMPUTATION OR

LOKI'S

ALTERCATION

Loki.
28.

But wilt thou, Frigg! that of

more recount ?

am

my

wickedness

the cause that thou seest not Baldr

riding to the halls.

Frcyia.
29.

Mad

art thou, Loki! in recounting thy foul mis-

deeds.

Frigg,

she says

it

I believe,

knows

that happens, although

all

not.

Loki.
30.

Be thou

silent,

Freyia

thou art not free from vices

know

of the

thee full well

sir and

the Alfar,

that are herein, each has been thy paramour.

Frcyia.
31.

False

prate no

is

good

Henceforth

thy tongue.

it

will, I think,

Wroth with thee are the sir,


Sad shalt thou home depart.

to thee.

and the Asyniur.

Loki.

Be
with much
32.

silent,

evil

Freyia!

Thou

art

sorceress,

and

blended; since against thy brother thou

And

the gentle powers excited.

then, Freyia

what didst

thou do?
Niord.
33.

It

is

no great wonder,

themselves husbands, lovers; but

if

dames get
a wonder that a

silk-clad

'tis

wretched As, that has borne children, should herein enter.


Loki.
34.

Be

silent,

Niord!

Thou wast
89

sent

eastward

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMWND


hence, a hostage from the gods.
thee for an utensil,

Hymir's daughters had


and flowed into thy mouth. 1
Niord.

35.

'Tis to

me

a solace, as

a long

a hostage from the gods, that

sent,

no one hates, and accounted

a chief

is

way hence was

had a son,

among

whom

the sir.

Loki.

Cease now, Niord!

36.
will

no longer keep

hadst such a son

secret

it

bounds contain thyself;

in
:

it

was with thy

sister

thou

hardly worse than thyself.

Ty.

Frey is best of all the exalted gods in the sir's


courts: no maid he makes to weep, no wife of man, and
from bonds looses all.
37.

Loki.

Be

38.

silent,

Ty

Thou

two of thy right hand


which Fenrir from thee tore.

'twixt

couldst never settle a strife


also I

must mention make,

Ty.
39.

sad

is

of a hand

am

wanting, but thou of honest fame;

the lack of either.

bonds must

Nor

is

the wolf at ease: he in

bide, until the gods' destruction.

Loki.

Be

40.

son by me.

wretch

silent,

Ty

to thy wife

Nor rag nor penny

it

happened to have a

ever hadst thou, poor

for this injury.

x The events related in this strophe are probably a mere perversion, by


the poet, of what we know of Niord's history.

90

OEGIR'S

COMPOTATION OR

LOKI'S

ALTERCATION

Frey.
41.

the wolf see lying at the river's mouth, until

So

the powers are swept away.

thou art not

silent,

shalt thou be bound,

thou framer of

if

evil.

Loki.

With gold thou boughtest Gymir's daughter, and


gavest away thy sword
but when Muspell's sons

42.

so

through the dark forest

have wherewith

ride,

thou, unhappy, wilt not

to fight.

Byggvir.
43.

Know

that

were

of noble race, like Ingun's

marrow softer I
crow, and crush him limb by

Frey, and had so fair a dwelling, than

would bray

that ill-boding

limb.

Loki.
44.

What

little

thing

is

wagging

that I see

its

tail,

and snapping eagerly ? At the ears of Frey thou shouldst


ever be, and clatter under mills.
Byggvir.
45.

Byggvir

am

named, and

am

thought

gods and men therefore am I joyful


sons of Hropt drink beer together.
all

alert,

by

here, that all the

Loki.
46.

Be

silent,

Thou

Byggvir!

couldst never dole

out food to men, when, lying in thy truckle bed, thou

wast not to be found, while

men were

fighting.

Heimdall.
47.

Loki, thou art drunk, and hast lost thy wits.


9i

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND

Why

dost thou not leave

Loki?

off,

But drunkenness

knows not of

so rules every man, that he

his garrulity.

Loki.

Be

48.

silent,

For thee

Heimdall!

in early

must ever

that hateful life decreed: with a wet back thou


be,

days was

and keep watch as guardian of the gods.


Skadi.

Thou

49.

Loki

art merry,

with an unbound

tail;

Not long

wilt thou frisk

for thee, on a rock's point, with

the entrails of thy ice-cold son, the gods will bind.

Loki.

Know,

50.

my ice-cold
most

son,

was

on a rock's point, with the entrails of


the gods will bind me, that first and fore-

if

when we

at the slaying,

assailed Thiassi.

Skadi.

Know, if
slaying, when ye
51.

first

and foremost thou wast

assailed Thiassi, that from*

my

at

the

dwell-

ings and fields shall to thee ever cold counsels come.

Loki.
52.
to thy

Milder wast thou of speech to Laufey's son, when

bed thou didst invite me.

mentioned,

we

if

Then came
in

an
53.

of old

accurately

Such matters must be

must recount our

Sif forth, and poured out

mead

for

Loki

icy cup, saying:

Hail to thee, Loki

mead

at least

me

and

alone,

this cool

among

race, leave stainless.

He

vices.

took the horn, drank, and said

92

cup receive,

the blameless

full

sir

COMPOTATIOX OR

OEGIR'S
5-1.

LOKI'S

So alone shouldst thou

be,

ALTERCATION

hadst thou

prudent been towards thy mate; but one


think,

know him

that

the wily Loki.

is

and

strict

know, and,

favoured rival of Hlorridi, and

well, a

Beyla.
55.

home

The

fells

all

He

journeying.

insults all

tremble:

think Hlorridi

will bid be quiet

from

is

him who here

gods and men.


Loki.

56.

Be

Beyla!

much evil
among the sir's
with

Thor then came


57.

Thou

Byggvirs wife, and


mingled: never came a greater monster

silent,

Silence,

sons.
in

art

Thou

art a dirty strumpet.

and said:

thou impure being!

mer, Miollnir, shall stop thy prating.

My
I

mighty hamwill thy head

from' thy neck strike; then will thy life be ended.

Loki.
58.

Now

thou chafe

the son of earth

so,

Thor?

Thou

with the wolf thou hast to

is

Why

hither come.

do

wilt not dare

fight,

dost

when

so,

and he the all-powerful

father swallows whole.

Thor.
59.

Silence,

thou impure being!

mer, Miollnir, shall stop thy prating.

My

mighty ham-

Up

will hurl

thee to the east region, and none shall see thee after.

Loki.
60.

Of

thy eastern travels thou shouldest never to

people speak, since in a glove-thumb thou, Einheri

doubled up, and hardly thoughtest thou wast Thor.


93

wast

THE ELDBR EDDA OF SAEMUhlD


Thor.
61.

My

thou impure being!

Silence,

mighty ham-

mer, Miollnir, shall stop thy prating: with this right

hand

Hrungnir's bane, will smite thee, so that thy


every bone be broken.
I,

Loki.
62.

Tis

my

intention a long life to live,

hammer thou

thy

dost threaten me.

though with

Skrymir's thongs

seemed to thee hard, when at the food thou couldst not


get, when, in full health, of hunger dying.
TJwr.
63.

Silence, thou

My

impure being!

mer, Miollnir, shall stop thy prating.


shall cast thee

down

mighty ham-

Hrungnir's bane

to Hel, beneath the gratings of the

dead.

Loki.

have said before the sir, I have said before


the sir's sons, that which my mind suggested but for
64.

thee alone will I

go

out; because I

know

that thou wilt

fight.

65.

CEgir! thou hast brewed beer; but thou never

henceforth a compotation hold.

shalt

which are herein, flame


back shall burn thee.
sions,

All thy posses-

shall play over,

and on thy

After this Loki, in the likeness of a salmon, cast himself

into

the waterfall of Franangr,

where the sir

caught him, and bound him with the entrails of his son

Nari

but his other son, Narfi, was changed into a wolf.

Skadi took a venomous serpent, and fastened

94

it

up over

THE LAY OF FIOLSVITH


The venom

Loki's face.

Loki's wife, sat by,

from it. Sigyn,


and held a basin under the venom;
trickled clown

and when the basin was full, carried the venom out.
Meanwhile the venom dropped on Loki, who shrank from
This
so violently that the whole earth trembled.
it
causes what are

now

called earthquakes.

THE LAY OF FIOLSVITH.


1.

From

the outward wall he saw one ascending to

the seat of the giant race.


Fiolsvith.

Along the humid ways haste thee back


wretch!
2.

is

no place for

What monster

thee.

is it

before the fore-court standing,

Whom

and hovering round the perilous flame?

Of what

thou seek?

hence, here,

thou in quest?

art

friendless being! desirest thou to

Or

dost

what,

know?

Wanderer.
3.

ing,

What monster is that, before the fore-court standwho to the wayfarer offers not hospitality? Void

of honest fame, prattler! hast thou lived: but hence hie


thee home.
Fiolsvith.
4.

Fiolsvith

is

my

of food not prodigal.

never come

name; wise I am of mind, though


Within these courts thou shalt

so now, wretch

95

take thyself

off.

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND


Wanderer.
r>.

From

the eye's delight few are disposed to hurry,

something pleasant to be seen. These


Here I
methinks, shine around golden halls.

where there
walls,

is

my

could live contented with

lot.

Fiolsz'ith.
6.

Tell me, youth

whom

of

thou art born, or of what

race hast sprung.

Wanderer.
7.

Vindkald

named,
8.

his sire

was

my

father

Fiolkald.

Tell me, Fiolsvith

desire to

Varkald was

am. called,

know who
:

that

which

I will

ask thee, and

here holds sway, and has power

over these lands and costly halls?


Fiolsvith.
9.

Menglod

is

her name, her mother her begat with

She here holds sway, and has


power over these lands and costly halls.
Svaf,

Thorin's

son.

Vindkald.

what the grate is called,


than which among the gods mortals never saw a greater
10.

Tell me, Fiolsvith

etc.,

artifice ?

Fiolsvith.
11.

Thrymgioll

constructed
it

from

its

it

it is

called,

and

Solblindi's three sons

a fetter fastens, every wayfarer,

who

lifts

opening.

Vindkald.
12.

Tell me, Fiolsvith!

etc.,

96

what that structure

is

THE LAY OF
called,

among

than which

FI0LSV1T11

the gods mortals never

saw a

greater artifice?
Fiolsvith.

13.

Gastropnir

Leirbrimir's limbs.

and

called,

is

it

constructed

have so supported

ever stand while the world

it,

that

it

it

of

will

lasts.

Vindkald.
14.
called,

what those dogs are


that chase away the giantesses, and safety to the
Tell

me,

Fiolsvith

etc.,

fields restore?

Fiolsvith.
15.

Gifr the one

wouldst know.

powers

is called,

the other Geri,

if

thou that

Eleven watches they will keep, until the

perish.

Vindkald.
16.

Tell me, Fiolsvith!

etc.,

whether any man can

enter while those fierce assailants sleep?


Fiolsvith.

them enjoined,
One sleeps by
since to the watch they were appointed.
night, by day the other, so that no wight can enter if he
17.

Alternate sleep

was

strictly

to

comes.
Vindkald.
18.

that

Tell me, Fiolsvith!

men

etc.,

whether there

is

any food

can get, such that they can run in while they

eat?
Fiolsvith.

19.

Two

repasts

lie in

Vidofnir's wings,

97

if

thou that

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND

know

wouldst

that

is

men

alone such food as

them, and run in while they

can give

eat.

V hid k aid.
Tell me, Fiolsvith!

20.

that with

its

what that

etc.,

branches spreads

itself

tree

is

called

over every land?

Fiolsvith.

Mimameidir

21.

it is

called

but few

what roots it springs: it by that will


know. Nor fire nor iron will harm it.

men know from


which fewest

fall

Vindkald.
Tell me, Fiolsvith

22.
that

famed

tree applied,

etc.,

to

what the virtue

which nor

is

of

fire

nor iron will

laid,

for labouring

harm?
Fiolsvith.

23.

Its fruit shall

women;
it

on the

fire

be

out then will pass what would in remain: so

is

a creator of mankind.

Vindkald.
24.

Tell me, Fioisvith!

what the cock

etc.,

that sits in that lofty tree, and all-glittering

is

called

is

with gold ?

called; in the clear air

he stands,

Fiolsvith.

25.
in the

Vidofnir he

is

boughs of Mima's

tree: afflictions only brings, to-

gether indissoluble, the swart bird at his lonely meal.

Vindkald.
26.

Tell me,

Fiolsvith!

etc.,

weapon, before which Vidofnir


98

whether there be any

may

fall

to Hel's abode?

THE LAY OF FIOLSVITH


Fiolsvith.

Hvatein the twig is named, and Lopt plucked


In an iron chest it lies
it, down by the gate of Death.
with Sinmcera, and is with nine strong locks secured.
27.

Vindkald.
Tell me,

28.
return,

who

Fiolsvith

etc.,

whether he

alive

will

seeks after, and will take, that rod?


Fiolsvith.

He

29.

rod,

if

will return

who

seeks after, and will take, the

he bears that which few possess to the dame of the

glassy clay.

Vindkald.
Tell me,

30.

Fiolsvith!

etc.,

whether there

treasure, that mortals can obtain, at

is

any

which the pale giant-

ess will rejoice?

Fiolsvith,

The

31.

bright sickle that

lies

in Vidofnir's

wings,

thou in a bag shalt bear, and to Sinmcera give, before she


will think

fit

to lend an

arm

for conflict.

Vindkald.
32.

which

Tell me, Fiolsvith!


is

girt

etc.,

what

this hall is called,

round with a curious flickering flame?


Fiolsvith.

Hyr

and it will long tremble as on a


lance's point.
This sumptuous house shall, for ages
hence, be but from hearsay known.
33.

it is

called,

99

ELDER

THi:

1:

1)1)

A OF SAHMUND

Vindkald.

which of the sir's sons


has that constructed, which within the court I saw?
34.

Tell me, Fiolsvith

etc.,

Fiolsvith.

35.

Uni and

Iri,

Bari and Ori,

Var and

Vegdrasil,

Dorri and Uri, Delling and Atvard, Lidskialf, Loki.


Vindkald.
36.
called,

me,

Tell

on which

what that mount


a splendid maiden stand?

Fiolsvith!
I see

etc.,

is

Fiolsvith.

Hyfiaberg

37.
to the

'tis

and long has

called,

it

a solace been

bowed-down and sorrowful each woman becomes


:

healthy, although a year's disease she have,

but ascend

she can

if

it.

Vindkald.
Tell me,

38.
called,

who

sit

at

Fiolsvith!

etc.,

Menglod's knees

how
in

those maids are

harmony together?

Fiolsvith.

Hlif the

39.

first is called,

the second

is

Hlifthursa,

the third Thiodvarta, Biort and Blid, Blidr, Frid, Eir and

Orboda.
Vindkald.
40.

those

Tell

who

me,

Fiolsvith!

offer to them,

etc.,

if it

whether they protect

should, be needful

Fiolsvith.

Every summer in w hich men offer to them, at


the holy place, no pestilence so great shall come to the
sons of men, but they will free each from peril.
41.

TOO

THE LAY OF riOLSVITII


"uidkald.

Tell me, Fiolsvith!

42.
that

may

in

Menglod's

etc.,

whether there

is

any man

arms sleep?

soft

Fiolsvith.

There

43.

arms
maid

sleep,
is

no man who may

is

save only Svipdag; to

him

soft

the sun-bright

for wife betrothed.


r
J

44.

Menglod's

in

indkald.

Let the gate stand wide;

Set the doors open!

go

learn

hither

come

here thou mayest Svipdag see: but yet

my

glod will accept

if

Men-

love.
Fiolsvith-.

45.

Hear, Menglod

man

is

go and

behold the stranger; the dogs rejoice; the house has


opened.

think

it

itself

must be Svipdag.
Menglod.

46.

Fierce ravens shall, on the high gallows, tear out

thy eyes,

if

thou art lying, that hither from afar

my

the youth unto


47.

Whence

neyed?

How

and name

is

come

halls.

art thou

Whence

come ?

do thy kindred

must have a token,

call
if I

thee?

hast thou jour-

Of

thy race

was betrothed

to thee.

Svipdag.

was my father
named; thence the winds on the cold ways drove me.
Urd's decree may no one gainsay, however lightly ut48.

Svipdag

am named,

tered.

IOI

Solbiart

THE ELDER EDDA OE SAEMUND


Menglod.
49.

Welcome thou

my

art:

greeting a kiss shall follow.

dens most persons,


50.

Long have

expecting thee.

when one
I sat

Now

on

that

have obtained;

sight unlooked-for glad-

the other loves.

my
is

will

loved

come

day and night

hill,

to pass

hoped, that thou, dear youth, again to

my

which

halls art

have
come.

Sznpdag.
51.

Longing

thou, for

my

have undergone for thy love; and

affection.

Now

it

is

certain, that

we

shall

pass our lives together.

THE LAY OF HYNDLA.


Freyia

rides with her favourite Ottar to

Hyndla, a

Vala, for the purpose of obtaining information respect-

ing Ottar's genealogy, such information being required

by him

in a legal dispute

with Angantyr.

Having

ob-

Hyndla to give Ottar


enable him to remember all

tained this, Freyia further requests


a potion (minnisol) that will

that has been told him.

This she refuses, but

is

forced

comply by Freyia having encircled her cave with


flames.
She gives him the potion, but accompanied by a
malediction, which is by Freyia turned to a blessing.

to

Freyia.

Wake, my
Wake, maid of maids!
Hyndla! Sister! who in the cavern dwellest.
1.

102

friend!

Now

THE LAY OF HYNDLA


there

dark of darks;

is

we

will both to Valhall ride,

and

to the holy fane.

Let us Heria father pray into our minds to enter,

2.

He

he gives and grants gold to the deserving.

Hermod
sword

gave to

him Sigmund a

a helm and corslet, and from

received.

Victory to his sons he gives, but to some riches;

3.

eloquence to the great, and to men, wit; fair wind he


gives to traders, but poesy to skallds; valour he gives to

many

a warrior.

She to Thor

4.

he

to thee
to

be well disposed

will pray, that

although he bears

ill

will

Jotun females.
5.

let

may

him

will offer, she to

Now

of thy wolves take one from out the

him run with

runic rein.

stall;

Hyndla.
6.

Sluggish

is

way

thy hog the god's

to tread

Freyia.
7.

I will

my

noble palfrey saddle.

Hyndla.
False are thou, Freyia

8.

eyes thou showest

man

hast

it,

who

temptest

so fixed upon us

me

by thy

while thou thy

on the dead-road, the young Ottar,

Innstein's

son.

Dull art thou, Hyndla

9.

since thou sayest that

me;

there where

hight Hildisvini,
J

That

is,

my

my man

methinks thou dreamest,


is

on the dead-road with

hog sparkles with

which for

me made

with a rein inscribed with runes.

I03

its

golden
the

The road

two

bristles,

skilful

to Valhall.

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND

From

dwarfs, Dain and Nabbi.

the saddle

we

will talk:

and of princely families discourse, of those


chieftains who from the gods descend.
They have conns

sit,

tested

for

the

duty

let

young and An-

dead's gold, Ottar the

gantyr.
10.

'tis

paternal heritage

An

11.

structed

may

is

his

have, after his kindred.

offer-stead to

now

young prince

to act so that the

me

he raised, with stones con-

that stone as glass become.

blood of oxen he newly sprinkled

With

the

Ottar ever trusted

it.

in the Asyniur.

Now

12.

let

us reckon up the ancient families, and

Who

the races of exalted men.

Who

are the Skilfings?

Ylfings?

The

Who

W ho
r

the

Skioldungs?

the Odlings?

the hold-born?

choicest race of

are

Who

Who

the

the hers-born?

men under heaven?


Hyndla.

Thou, Ottar! art of Innstein born, but Innstein


was from Alf the Old, Alf was from Ulf, Ulf from
13.

Sfari, but Sfari from

Thy

14.

famed, she,

father
I

Svan the Red.

had a mother,

think,

for

was named Hledis

her

necklaces

the priestess;

Frodi her father was, and her mother Friant:


stock

is

reckoned

among

all

that

chieftains.

was of old of men the

Halfdan
before him, the highest of the Skioldungs; (Famed were
the wars by those chieftains led) his deeds seemed to
15.

i\li

strongest,

soar to the skirts of heaven.


16.

By Eimund

aided, chief of men, he Sigtrygg slew

104

THE LAY OF HYNDLA


with the cold

He Almveig

steel.

They begat and had

women.

From them

had

to wife, first of

eighteen sons.

from them the Skilfings, from them the Odlings, from them the Ynglings,
from them the hold-born, from them the hers-born, the
choicest race of men under heaven.
All that race is
thine, Ottar Heimski!
18.
Hildegun her mother was, of Svafa born and a
sea-king.
Carest
All that race is thine, Ottar Heimski
17.

the Skioldungs,

thou this to
19.

know?

Wishest thou a longer narrative?

Dag wedded

Thora, mother of warriors

of that

race were born the noble champions, Fradmar, Gyrd, and


the Frekis both,

Am,

thou this to know


20.

Ketil their

Josur, Mar, Alf the Old.

Carest

Wishest thou a longer narrative ?


friend was named, heir of Klyp; he

was maternal grandsire of thy mother. Then was Frodi


yet before Kari, but the eldest born was Alf.
21.
Nanna was next, Nokkvi's daughter; her son
I
was thy father's kinsman, ancient is that kinship.
knew both Brodd and Horfi. All that race is thine, Ottar
Heimski
Isolf, Asolf, Olmod's sons and Skurhild's Skek22.
kil's daughter; thou shalt yet count chieftains many.
All that race is thine, Ottar Heimski
Gunnar, Balk, Grim, Ardskafi, Jarnskiold, Tho23.
rir,

Ulf,

Ginandi, Bui and Brami, Barri and Reifnir,

Tind and Hyrfmg, the two Haddingis. All that race is


thine, Ottar Heimski
24.
To toil and tumult were the sons of Arngrim
ferocious berserkir, calamity of
born, and of Eyfura
:

105

THE ELDER HODA OF SAEMUND


every kind, by land and sea, like
that race

25.

is

thine, Ottar

court of Hrolf the Old;

of nations, him
26.

He was

who

they carried.

All

Heimski

knew both Brodd and

son-in-law of Sigurd.

fire

all

were in the
descended from Jormunrek,
Horfi, they

(Listen to

my

story) the dread

Fafnir slew.

a king, from Volsung sprung, and Hior-

from Hrodung; but Eylimi from the Odlings. All


that race is thine, Ottar Heimski!
Gunnar and Hogni, sons of Giuki; and Gudrun
27.
dis

Guttorm was not of Giuki's race,


although he brother was of them both. All that race is
thine, Ottar Heimski
Harald Hildetonn, born of Hrrekir Slongvan28.
baugi; he was a son of Aud, Aud the rich was Ivar's
They
daughter; but Radbard was Randver's father.
were heroes to the gods devoted. All that race is thine,
Ottar Heimski!
There were eleven sir reckoned, when Baldr
29.
on the pile was laid him Vali showed himself worthy to
likewise, their sister.

avenge, his
race

is thine,

own

brother

he the slayer slew.

All that

Ottar Heimski

was son of Bur Frey to w ife had


Gerd, she was Gymir's daughter, from Jotuns sprung and
Aurboda; Thiassi also was their relation, that haughty
Jotun; Skadi was his daughter.
31.
We tell thee much, and remember more: I admonish thee thus much to know. Wishest thou yet a
30.

Baldr's father

longer narrative?
32.

Haki was not the worst of Hvedna's


106

sons,

and

THE LAY OF IIYNDLA


Hiorvard was Hvedna's father; Heid and Hrossthiof
were of Hrimnir's race.
33.

All the Valas are from Vidolf

all

the soothsay-

from Vilmeidr, all the sorcerers from Svarthofdi; all


the Jotuns come from Ymir.
34.
We tell thee much, and more remember, I admonish thee thus much to know. Wishest thou yet a

ers

longer narrative?

There was one born, in times of old, with w ondrous might endowed, of origin divine nine Jotun maids
gave birth to the gracious god, at the world's margin.
36.
Gialp gave him birth, Greip gave him birth,
Eistla gave him birth, and Angeia; Ulfrun gave him
birth, and Eyrgiafa, Imd and Atla, and Jarnsaxa.
The boy was nourished with the strength of
37.
earth, with the ice-cold sea, and with Son's blood.
YVe
tell thee much, and more remember.
I admonish thee
thus much to know.
Wishest thou a yet longer narra35.

tive?

Loki begat the wolf with Angrboda, but Sleipnir


he begat with Svadilfari one monster seemed of all most
deadly, which from Byleist's brother sprang.
38.

39.

Loki, scorched up in his heart's affections, had

found a half-burnt woman's heart.


ful

from

that wicked

woman

Loki became guile-

thence in the world are

all

giantesses come.
40.

Ocean towers with storms

o'er the land; the air

rapid winds
41.

then

it is

is

to

heaven

rent: thence

itself,

flows

come snows and

decreed that the rain should cease.

There was one born greater than


107

all,

the boy

was

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUNI)


nourished with the strength of earth; he was declared a
mightiest and

ruler,

richest,

by kinship

allied

to

all

princes.

Then

42.
I

shall

another come, yet mightier, although

name

dare not his

when Odin meets

than

Few may

declare.

see further forth

the wolf.

Frcyia.

Bear thou the memory-cup to

43.

may

he

all

my

guest, so that

the words repeat of this discourse, on the third

morn, when he and Angantyr reckon up

races.

Hyndla.

Go

44.

my

thou quickly hence,

wondrous power thou

runnest,

my

long to sleep

gettest not

more of

Thou

from me.

hot friend, out at nights, as

among

he-goats

the she-goat goes.

Thou

45.

hast run thyself mad, ever longing;

Thou

a one has stolen under thy girdle.


friend,

g es

out at nights, as

among

runnest,

many

my

hot

he-goats, the she-goat

Freyia.

46.

Fire

strike over thee, dweller of the

away from

that thou goest not ever

wood! so

hence.

Hyndla.
47.
will

Fire

have their

tar's

and the earth blazing; many


save.
Bear thou the cup to Ot-

see burning,

hand, the

lives to

mead with venom mingled,

hour!
48.

thou,

in

an

evil

Freyia.

Thy

malediction

Jotun-maid! dost

delicious draughts.

shall
evil

be

powerless

threaten.

He

although

shall

drink

All the gods I pray to favour Ottar.

108

THE INCANTATION OF GROA

THE INCANTATION OF GROA.


Son.

Groa wake up, good woman at the


gates of death I wake thee! if thou rememberest, that
thou thy son badest to thy grave-mound to come.

Wake

1.

up,

Mother.

What now

2.

affliction art

who

to dust

my

troubles

only son?

With what

thou burthened, that thou thy mother

human homes departed?

come, and from

is

callest,

Soil.

game

woman, didst set before me, whom my has father in his bosom cherished,
when thou badest me go no one knows whither, Menglod
3.

hateful

thou, crafty

to meet.

Mother.

Long

4.

men's

the journey, long are the ways, long are

is

If

desires.

tainest, the event

it

so

fall

out, that thou thy will ob-

must then be as

it

may.

Son.

Sing

5.

tect

thy son.

young

to

me

songs which are good.

Dead on my way

fear to

Mother proI seem too


be.
!

in years.

Mother.
6.

I will

sing to thee

first

109

one that

is

thought most

EIDER RDDA OF SAHMUND

TH:

useful,

which Rind sang to Ran; that from thy shoulders

thou shouldst cast what to thee seems irksome:

let

thy-

self thyself direct.

7.

second

sing to thee, as thou hast to wan-

I will

May

der joyless on thy ways.


thee on every side,

8.

third

I will

to thy life's peril

down

to Hel,

9.

where thou

Urd's protection hold

seest turpitude.

sing to thee.

If the

mighty

Horn and Rud, may

fall,

fourth

I will

to thee be power,

10.

they flow

and for thee ever be diminished.


sing to thee.

If foes assail thee

ready on the dangerous road, their hearts shall

and

rivers

fifth I will

and

their

minds

sing to thee.

thy limbs, friendly spells

w ill
T

and the lock from thy arms

let

fail

them,

to peace be turned.

If

bonds be cast on

on thy

shall start,

joints be sung,

[and from thy

feet the fetter].

on the sea thou


comest, more stormy than men have known it, air and
water shall in a bag attend thee, and a tranquil course
11.

sixth I will sing to thee.

If

afford thee.
12.

seventh

sing to thee.

I will

If

on a mountain

high frost should assail thee, deadly cold shall not thy
carcase injure, nor
13.
thee,

An
when

eighth

draw thy body

thy limbs.
If night overtake

sing to thee.

I will

out on the misty way, that the dead Christian

woman no power may have


14.

to'

to

do thee harm.

ninth I will sing to thee.

If

with a far-famed

spear-armed Jotun thou words exchangest, of words and


wit to thy mindful heart abundance shall be given.
15.

Go now

ever

w here
T

calamity

no

may

be,

and no

THE SONG OF THE SUN


harm

On

shall obstruct thy wishes.

a stone fast in the

earth I have stood within the door, while songs

sang to

thee.

My

16.

thy breast

son! bear hence thy mother's words, and in

them dwell

let

thou have in

life,

while of

for happiness

my words

abundant

shalt

thou art mindful.

THE SONG OF THE

SUN.

This singular poem, the authorship


some manuscripts, assigned to Smund

of which
himself,

is,

in

may

be

termed a Voice from the Dead, given under the form of


a dream, in which a deceased father

dress his son from another world.

is

The

supposed to adfirst

7 strophes

seem hardly connected with the following ones, which,


as far as the 32nd consist chiefly in aphorisms with examples, some closely resembling those in the Havamal.
In the remaining portion
illness

through on the way to

The composition
poet's

given the recital of the

last

of the supposed speaker, his death, and the scenes

his soul passed

tianity

is

allusions to

religion

home.

exhibits a strange mixture of Chris-

and Heathenism, whence

own

its final

was

Heathenism

it

would seem

in a transition state.
it

is,

that the

Of

the

however, to be observed

and actions of which there


the Odinic mythology, as known to us, and

that they are chiefly to persons


is

no

trace in

are possibly the fruits of the poet's

in

own

imagination.

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND

The

poem

no doubt derived from the allu45.


sion to the Sun at the beginning of strophes 39
of the

title

is

For an elaborate and learned commentary, with an interlinear version of "the Song of the Sun," the reader
may consult "Les Chants de Sol," by Professor Bergmann, Strasbourg & Paris, 1858.
1.

Of

life

and property a

mankind over the ways


;

fierce freebooter despoiled

beset by

him might no one

living

pass.

most frequently, no one invited he to


his repast; until weary, and with failing strength, a wandering guest came from the way.
3.
In need of drink that way-worn man, and hungry
feigned to be: with trembling heart he seemed to trust
2.

Alone he

ate

him who had been so evil-minded.


4.
Meat and drink to the weary one he gave,
upright heart; on
supplied
5.

Up

God he

for he felt he

all

with

thought, the traveller's wants

was an

evil-doer.

stood the guest, he evil meditated, he had not

been kindly treated

his sin within

sleeping murdered his

him

wary cautious

swelled,

he while

host.

The God of heaven he prayed for help, when being


struck he woke; but he was doomed the sins of him on
6.

himself to take,

whom

sackless he

had

slain.

Holy angels came from heaven above, and took


them his soul in a life of purity it shall ever live with

7.

to

the almighty God.

may command, though


all go smoothly with him.
To many that befalls which
they least expect.
No one may command his tranquil8.

ity

Riches and health no one

112

THE SONG OF THE SUN


Unnar and Svakli never imagined

9.

would

that happiness

from them, yet naked they became, and of

fall

all

bereft, and, like wolves, ran to the forest.

many a one bewailed.


Cares are often caused by women pernicious they become, although the mighty God them pure created.
The

10.

force of pleasure has

were

United

11.

Svafud

might without the other


driven for a

On

12.

woman

she

and

Skarthedin,

frenzy they were

be, until to

was destined

neither

for their perdition.

account of that fair maid, neither of them

cared for games or joyous days; no other thing could

they in
13.

sleep

memory

bear than that bright form.

Sad to them were the gloomy nights, no sweet


might they enjoy but from that anguish rose hate
:

intense between the faithful friends.


14.

To

Hostile deeds are in most places fiercely avenged.

the holm they went, 1 for that fair

woman, and each

one found his death.

Arrogance should no one entertain I indeed have


seen that those who follow her, for the most part, turn
from God.
15.

16.

Rich were both, Radey and Vebogi, and thought

only of their well-being;

now

they

sit

and turn

their sores

to various hearths.

17.

They

in

themselves confided, and thought them-

selves alone to be

God was
18.

above

all

people

but their lot Almighty

pleased otherwise to appoint.

life

of luxury they led, in

many ways, and had

1
That is, they engaged in single combat; the spot for such encounters
being called a holm, consisting of a circular space marked out by stones.

113

THE ELDER EDDA OE S/IEMUND

Now

gold for sport.

must walk between

To

19.

they are requited, so that they

frost

and

fire.

thy enemies trust thou never, although they

speak thee fair

promise them good

'tis

good

to

have

another's injury as a warning.

So

20.

it

Sorli the upright,

befell

when he

placed

himself in Vigolf's power; he confidently trusted him, his


brother's murderer, but he proved false.

Peace to them he granted, with heart sincere;

21.

they in return promised him gold, feigned themselves


friends, while they together

drank; but then came forth

their guile.

Then

22.
in

when they
they with swords wounded him who

afterwards, on the second day,

Rygiardal rode,

go forth.
23.
His corpse they dragged (on a lonely way, and
cut up piecemeal) into a well, and would it hide; but the
holy Lord beheld from heaven.
His soul summoned home the true God into his
24.
joy to come but the evil doers will, I wean, late be from
sackless was,

and

let his life

torments

called.

Do

25.

thou pray the Disir of the Lord's words to be

kind to thee in

spirit

for a

week

after, all shall then

go

happily, according to thy will.

For a deed of

26.

ire

that thou hast perpetrated,

never atone with evil: the weeping thou shalt soothe with
benefits

27.

who
who

that

is

On God

salutary to the soul.


a

man

shall for

has mankind created.

good things

Greatly sinful

late finds the Father.

114

is

call,

on him

every

man

THE SOXG OF THE SCX

To

28.

solicited,

which

for that

who

he

be

is

we

opine,

lacking: of

for nothing asks

all

is

with

things

all

may

earnestness

be destitute

few heed the wants of the

silent

29.

Late

came, though called betimes, to the su-

preme Judge's door


promised me, he
30.
this

31.

who

it is

no one stands

mind

it

was

we

depart from

he does no

evil

all

those seem

who

who have

Of

has to go through

gleeds.

Friendly counsels, and wisely composed, seven

get them never

consider thou them well, and for-

they are

useful to learn.

all

that I will speak,

world, and secondly,

3-i.

for

shall of the feast partake.

so he will prove

have imparted to thee

come

to be blameless.

ways strewed with

33.

it

yearn

in dread, if

Like unto wolves

faithless

32.

craves

Sins are the cause that sorrowing

world

good

thitherward

how

the

how happy I was in


sons of men reluctantly

the
be-

corpses.

Pleasure and pride deceive the sons of

men who

money crave; shining riches at last become a sorrow many have riches driven to madness.
35.
Steeped in joys I seemed to men; for little did I

after
:

see before
in delights

36.

me

our worldly sojourn has the Lord created

abounding.

Bowed down

sat,

long

I tottered,

of

life

was

most desirous but He prevailed who was all-powerful


onward are the ways of the doomed.
The cords of Hel were tightly bound round my
37.
'Tis
sides; I would rend them, but they were strong.
;

easy free to go.

THE ELDER l-DDA OF


38.

alone knew,

The maids

creased.

me

to their

all

sides

my

pains

in-

of Hel each eve with horror bade

home.

The sun

39.

how on

S AE MUNI)

saw, true star of day, sink in

roar-

its

ing home; but Hel's grated doors on the other side

heard heavily creaking.

The sun

40.

was

saw with blood-red beams

beset: (fast

then from this world declining) mightier she ap-

many ways, than she was


The sun I saw, and it seemed

peared, in
41.

glorious god:

bowed before

before.
to

me

as

if I

saw a

her, for the last time, in

the world of men.

The sun I saw she beamed forth so that I seemed


nothing to know; but Gioll's streams roared from the
other side mingled much with blood.
43.
The sun I saw, with quivering eyes, appalled and
shrinking; for my heart in great measure was dissolved
42.

in languor.

The sun

44.

saw seldom sadder;

had then almost


tongue was as wood beI

from the world declined my


come, and all was cold without me.
45.
The sun I saw never after, since that gloomy
day for the mountain-waters closed over me, and I went
called from torments.
46.
The star of hope, when I was born, fled from my
breast away; high it flew, settled nowhere, so that it
might find rest.
:

Longer than

47.

on

my

word

straw

"Man

I
is

all

was

lay; then

the

same

that

one night, when

stiff

becomes manifest the divine


as earth."

n6

THE SONG OF THE SUN


The Creator God can it estimate and know, (He
who made heaven and earth) how forsaken many go
48.

hence, although from kindred parted.

Of

49.

who

his

happy is he
to me was des-

works each has the reward

does good.

Of my

wealth bereft,

tined a bed strewed with sand.

Bodily desires

50.

has

many

a one too

men
much

oftentimes seduce, of them


:

water of baths was of

all

me

most loathsome.
51.
In the Norns' seat nine days I sat, thence I was
mounted on a horse there the giantess's sun shone
grimly through the dripping clouds of heaven.
52.
Without and within, I seemed to traverse all the
things to

seven nether worlds: up and down,

sought an easier

might have the readiest paths.


53.
Of that is to be told, which I first saw, when I to
scorched birds, which
the worlds of torment came
way, where

numerous as flies.
54.
From the west I saw Von's dragons fly, and
GlvaFs paths obscure: their wings they shook; wide
around me seemed the earth and heaven to burst.
The sun's hart I saw from the south coming, he
55.
was by two together led his feet stood on the earth, but
his horns reached up to heaven.
56.
From the north riding I saw the sons of Nidi,
they were seven in all from full horns, the pure mead
they drank from the heaven-god's well.
The wind was silent, the waters stopped their
57.

were

souls, flew

course

then

false-faced

heard a doleful sound

women ground

for their

earth for food.

"7

husbands

THE ELDER EDDA OF S/WMUND


58.
fully;

with

Gory stones those dark women turned sorrowbleeding- hearts hung out of their breasts, faint

much

59.

affliction.

Many

man

strewed paths; their

saw wounded go on those gleedfaces seemed to me all reddened

with reeking blood.


60.

service

Many men

saw

to earth

might not have; heathen

gone down, who holy

stars stood

above their

heads, painted with deadly characters.

saw those men who much envy harbour at


another's fortune; bloody runes were on their breasts
61.

graved painfully.

saw men many not joyful they were all


wandering wild this he earns, who by this world's vices
62.

there

is

infatuated.
63.

saw those men who' had

in various

ways

ac-

quired other's property: in shoals they went to Castlecovetous, and burthens bore of lead.
64.

saw those men who many had of

erty bereft

life

and prop-

through the breasts of those men passed

strong venomous serpents.

saw those men who' the holy days would not


observe: their hands were on hot stones firmly nailed.
66.
I saw those men who from pride valued themselves too highly; their garments ludicrously were in fire
65.

enveloped.

saw those men who had many false words of


others uttered: Hel's ravens from their heads their eyes
67.

miserably tore.
68.

All the horrors thou wilt not get to

n8

know which

THE SONG OF THE SUN


HeFs inmates
alties

suffer.

Pleasant sins end in painful pen-

pains ever follow pleasure.

saw those men who had much given for God's


laws; pure lights were above their heads brightly burn69.

ing.

70.

saw those men who from exalted mind helped

the poor to aid


71.
their

that

angels read holy books above their heads.

saw those men who with much fasting had


bodies wasted: God's angels bowed before them:

is

the highest joy.

saw those men who had put food into their


mothers' mouth their couches were on the rays of heaven
72.

pleasantly placed.
73.

Holy

men,

sin of those

washed the souls from


a long time had themselves

virgins had cleanly

who

for

tormented.
74.

Lofty cars

saw towards heaven going; they


God men guided them who had been
I

were on the way to


murdered wholly without crime.
:

Almighty Father! greatest Son! holy Spirit of


heaven! Thee I pray, who hast us all created; free us
all from miseries.
Biugvor and Listvor sit at Herdir's doors, on
76.
resounding seat iron gore falls from their nostrils, which
75.

among men.

kindles hate
77.

Odin's wife rows

in

pleasures; her sails are reefed

earth's
late,

ship,

eager after

which on the ropes

of desire are hung.


78.

Son

thy father and Solkatla's sons have alone


119

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND


obtained

for

thee that

horn of hart, which from the

grave-mound bore the wise Vigdvalin.


70.
Here are runes which have engraven Niord's
daughters nine, Radvor the eldest, and the youngest
Kreppvor, and their seven sisters.
80.
How much violence have they perpetrated Svaf
and Svaflogi bloodshed they have excited, and wounds
!

have sucked, after an


81.

This

evil

which

lay,

custom.

have taught

thee,

thou shalt

before the living sing, the Sun-Song, which will appear


in

many
82.

parts no fiction.

Here we

part,

but again shall meet on the day of

Oh

Lord! unto the dead grant peace,

men's rejoicing.

and

to the living comfort.

83.

Wondrous

lore has in

but thou hast seen the truth

dream to thee been sung,


no man has been so wise

created that has before heard the Sun-song.

120

THE LAY OF VOLUND

THE LAY OK VOLUND.


There was

Sweden named Nidud: he had


daughter, whose name was Bodvild.

a king in

fwo sons and a


There were three brothers, sons of a king of the Finns,
one was called Slagfid, the second Egil, the third Volund.
They went on snow-shoes and hunted wild-beasts. Theycame to Ulfdal, and there made themselves a house,
where there is a water called Ulfsiar. Early one morning they found on the border of the lake three females

and spinning flax. Near them lay their swanplumages they were Valkyriur. Two of them, Hladgud-Svanhvit and Hervor-Alvit, were daughters of King
Hlodver; the third was Olrun, a daughter of Kiar of
sitting

Valland.
dwelling.

They took them home with them

their

Egil had Olrun, Slagid Svanhvit, and Volund

They

Alvit.

to

away seeking

lived there seven


conflicts,

went on snow-shoes

years,

when they

and did not return.

in search of Olrun,

flew

Egil then

and Slagfid in

search of Svanhvit, but Volund remained in Ulfdal.

was a most skilful man, as we learn from old


King Nidud ordered him to be seized, so as

He

traditions.
it

is

here

related.
1.

Maids flew from the

wood, Alvit the young,

south, through the

fate to

fulfil.

On

the lake's mar-

gin they sat to repose, the southern damsels


they spun.
121

murky

precious flax

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND

One

2.

breast

of them, of maidens fairest, to his comely

Egil

clasped.

Svanhvit was the second, she a

swan's plumage bore; but the third, their

sister, the

white

neck clasped of Volund.

There they stayed seven winters through but all


the eighth were with longing seized; and in the ninth
fate parted them.
The maidens yearned for the murky
wood, the young Alvit, fate to fulfil.
3.

*,

Prom

4.

the chase

came the ardent

hunters, Slagfid

and Egil, found their house deserted, went out and in,
and looked around.
Egil went east after Olrun, and
Slagfid west after Svanhvit;

But Volund alone remained in Ulfdal. He the


red gold set with the hard gem, well fastened all the rings
on linden bast, and so awaited his bright consort, if to
him she would return.
6.
It was told to Nidud, the Niarars' lord, that Volund alone remained in Ulfdal.
In the night went men,
in studded corslets, their shields glistened in the waning
moon.
5.

From

7.

their saddles

they alighted at the house's

On

went

in

through the house.

they saw the rings

all

drawn, seven hundred, which the

gable, thence

the bast

warrior owned.
8.

And

9.

To

they took them

and they put them on, all


save one, which they bore away.
Came then from the
chase the ardent hunter, Volund, gliding 1 on the long
way.

the

fire

off,

he went, bear's

On snow-shoes.

122

flesh to roast.

Soon

THE LAY OF VOLUND


blazed the brushwood, and the arid

fir,

the wind-dried

wood, before Volund.


10.

On

the bearskin sat, his rings counted, the Al-

companion one was missing.


Hlodvers daughter had it, the young
far's

was

He

thought that

Alvit,

and that she

returned.

11.

So long he

he slept; and he awoke of

sat until

on his hands he

joy bereft

round his

feet fetters clasped.

12.

have
13.

"Who
laid

are the

bonds? and

Then

gottest thou,

men

me

felt

heavy constraints, and

that on the rings' possessor


?"

have bound

"Whence

cried Nidud, the Niarars' lord:

Volund! Alfars' chief!

our gold,

in Ulf-

dal?"
14.

"No

gold was here in Grani's path, far

our land from the

more
at

hills

of Rhine.

mind me

treasures possessed, when, a whole family,

thought
that

we

we were

home.

Hladgud and Hervor were of Hlodver born;


known was Olrun, Kiar's daughter, she entered into the
15.

house, stood on the floor, her voice moderated

he not mirthful,

who from

King Nidud gave

Now

is

the forest comes."

to his daughter Bodvild the ring

which had been taken from the bast in Volund's house;


but he himself bore the sword that had belonged to Volund.
The queen said
16.

His teeth he shows, when the sword he

sees,

and

The designation of Alfars' chief, or prince, applied to Volund, who,


learn from the prose introduction, was a son of a king of the Finns,
may perhaps be accounted for by the circumstance that the poem itself
hardly belongs to the Odinic Mythology, and was probably composed when
that system was in ius decline and giving place to the heroic or romantic.
1

as

we

123

;:

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND


Bodvild's ring he recognizes
a glistening serpent's

and

set

him then

in

let

threatening are his eyes as

be severed his sinews' strength

Svarstad.

This was done; he w as hamstrung, and then


small island near

certain

He
No

the shore,

there forged for the king

all

called

on a

set

Svarstad.

kinds of jewellery work.

one was allowed to go to him, except the king.

Vo-

lund said:

"The sword

17.

whetted as

could most

me most

seemed to
ever

taken from

is

shines

in

Nidud's

me: never

which

and tempered, as

skilfully,

cunningly.

belt,

That bright blade


shall I see

it

for-

borne into

Volund's smithy.

Now

18.

for this I

and

his

Bodvild wears

my

have no indemnity."

hammer

plied

consort's red-gold rings

He

sat

and never

slept,

much more speedy vengeance

but

devised on Nidud.

The

19.

young sons of Nidud ran

two<

To

to look, in Svarstad.

in at the

door

the chest they came, for the

keys asked; manifest was their grudge,

when

therein

they looked.

Many

20.

necklaces

were

youths appeared of the red gold to

"Come ye two

alone,

which

there,

be,

to

those

and treasures.

to-morrow come; that gold

shall

be given to you.
Tell

21.
folk,

it

not to the maidens, nor to the household

nor to any one, that ye have been with me."

called

one the other, brother, brother:

Early

"Let us go see

the rings/'
22.

To

the chest they came, for the keys asked; mani-

124

THE LAY OF VOLUND


was

fest

their grudge,

when

those children he the heads cut

mixen
to

off,

they looked.

Of

and under the prison's

laid their bodies.

But

23.

and

therein

their skulls beneath the hair he in silver set,

Nidud gave; and of

their eyes precious stones

he

formed, which to Nidud's wily wife he sent.

But of the teeth of the two breast-ornaments he


made, and to Bodvild sent. Then did Bodvild praise the
ring: to Volund brought it, when she had broken it:
"I
dare to no tell it, save alone to thee."
24.

Volund.
"I will so repair the fractured gold, that to thy

25.

and to thy mother much more


beautiful, and to thyself, in the same degree."
26.
He then brought her beer, that he might succeed
the better, as on her seat she fell asleep.
"Now have I
my wrongs avenged, all save one in the wood perpefather

trated."
27.

shall fairer seem,

it

"I wish," said Volund, "that on

of the use of which Nidud's

my

men have

feet I were,

deprived me."

Laughing Volund rose in air Bodvild weeping from the


isle departed.
She mourned her lover's absence, and for
:

her father's wrath.

Stood without Nidud's wily wife; then she went


through the hall but he on the enclosure sat down to

28.
in

rest.

29.
call to
J

"Art thou awake Niarars' lord

!"

"Ever am I awake, joyless I lie to rest, when I


mind my children's death my head is chilled, cold
:

The translation of this line is founded


The wrong alluded to may

tion of the text.

12;

solely on a conjectural
be the hamstringing.

emenda-

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUKD

me

are to

thy counsels.

Now

with Volund

desire to

speak."
"Tell

30.

boys what

is

me, Volund, Alfars' chief! of

by rim of

ship,

brave

become?"

"Oaths

31.

my

shalt thou first to


shield,

me

swear, by board of

by shoulder of

steed,

by edge of

sword, that thou wilt not slay the wife of Volund, nor

my bride cause the death; although a wife


whom ye know, or offspring within thy court.

of

To

32.

the smithy go, which thou hast made, there

wilt thou the bellows find with blood besprinkled.

heads

have

The

severed of thy boys, and under the prison's mixen

laid their bodies.

33.

But

their skulls beneath the hair I in silver set,

and to Nidud gave; and of their eyes precious stones


formed, which to Nidud's wily wife I sent.
34.

Of

sent.

the only daughter of


35.

made,

Bodvild goes big with

child,

the teeth of the two, breast-ornaments

and to Bodvild

"Word

Now

you both."

didst thou never speak that

more

afflicted

would more severely punish thee.


There is no man so tall that he from thy horse can take
thee, or so skilful that he can shoot thee down, thence
where thou floatest up in the sky."
me, or for which

36.

mained
37.
vild,

Laughing Volund rose

in air, but

Nidud sad

re-

sitting.

"Rise up Thakrad,

my

my

best of thralls! bid

Bod-

fair-browed daughter, in bright attire come, with

her sire to speak.


126

THE LAY OF HELGI HIORVARD'S SON


38.

Is

that thou

it,

Bodvild

and Volund

true what has been told to me,


in the isle

together sat?"

"True it is, Nidud what has been told to thee,


that Volund and I in the isle together sat, in an unlucky
hour would it had never been
I could not against him
strive, I might not against him prevail."
39.

THE LAY OF HELGI HIORVARD'S

SON.

named Hiorvard, who had four


wives, one of whom was named Alfhild, their son was
named Hedin; the second was named Sreid, their son
was Humlung; the third was named Sinriod, their son
was Hymling.
King Hiorvard made a vow that he
would have to wife the most beautiful woman he knew
of, and was told that King Svafnir had a daughter of
incomparable beauty, named Sigrlinn. He had a jarl
named Idmund, whose son Atli was sent to demand the

There was

a king

hand of Sigrlinn for the king.


the winter with

King

Svafnir.

He

stayed throughout

There was a

jarl there

named Franmar, who was the foster-father of Sigrlinn,


and had a daughter named Alof. This jarl advised that
the maiden should be refused, and Atli returned home.

One day when

was standing in a grove,


there was a bird sitting in the boughs above him, which
had heard that his men called the wives which King
the jarl's son Atli

Hiorvard had the most beautiful. The bird


The bird said
Atli listened to what it said.
127

talked,

and

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND


Hast thou seen Sigrlinn, Svafnirs daughter, of
maidens fairest, in her pleasant home? though fair the
wives of Hiorvard seem to men in Glasis-lund.
1.

Atli.

With

2.

Atli,

further speak
I will if

what

I will

Idmund's son, sagacious bird wilt thou


!

the prince will offer to me, and I

from the king's

may choose

court.

Atli.

Choose not Hiorvard nor

3.

his sons, nor the fair

daughters of that prince, nor the wives which the king


Let us together bargain

has.

that

is

the part of friends.

Bird.
4.

fane

I will

chose, offer-steads

many, gold-horned

cows from the chief's land, if Sigrlinn sleep


and unconstrained with that prince shall live.
This took place before
return,

when

Atli's

in his

arms,

journey; but after his

the king asked his tidings, he said

Labour we have had, but errand none performed;


our horses failed us in the vast fell; we had afterwards a
swampy lake to' ford then w as denied us Svafnir's daughter with rings adorned, whom we would obtain.
5.

The king commanded them to go a second time, and


also went himself.
But when they had ascended a fell,
and saw in Svavaland the country on fire, and a great
reek from the horses of cavalry, the king rode down the
fell

and took up his night-quarters by a


Atli kept watch, and crossed the river, and came

into the country,

river.

128

THE LAY OF HELGI HIORVARD'S SON


guard it, but was
In the
Atli shot the bird dead with an arrow.
asleep.
house he found the king's daughter Sigrlinn, and Alof
to a house,

on which

sat a great bird to

daughter of Franmar, and brought them both away with

The

Franmar had taken the form of an eagle,


and protected them from a hostile army by sorcery.
There was a king named Hrodmar, a wooer of Sigrlinn
him.

he had

jarl

slain the

king of Svavaland, and ravaged and

Hiorvard obtained Sigrlinn, and Atli


Alof.
Hiorvard and Sigrlinn had a son tall and comely
he was taciturn and had no fixed name. As he was sitting on a mound he saw nine Valkyriur, one of whom
burnt the country.

was of most noble


6.

rior,

She

aspect.

Late wilt thou, Helgi


or Rodulsvellir,

so

at

said

rings possess, a potent war-

morn

the eagle sang

art ever silent; although thou, prince! a fierce


est

show.

TT

if

thou

mood may-

Helgi.
7.

What

wilt thou let

accompany the name of Helgi,

maid of aspect bright since that thou art pleased to give


me? Think well over what thou art saying. I will not
accept it, unless I have thee also.
!

Valkyria.
8.

Swords

know

lying in Sigarsholm, fewer by four

than five times ten: one of them

is

of

all

the best, of

shields the bale, with gold adorned.


9.

ring

is

on the

point terror for his use


blood-stained serpent
casts

hilt,

courage

who owns

lies,

in the midst, in the

it:

along the edge a

and on the guard the serpent

its tail.

129

THE ELDER HDD A OF S/1EMUND


There was a king named Eylimi Svava was his daughter; she was a Valkyria and rode through air and water.
It was she who gave Helgi that name, and afterwards
;

him

often protected

Helgi said

in battle.

Hiorvard! thou art not a king of wholesome

10.

renowned though thou mayest


be.
Thou hast let fire devour the homes of princes,
though harm to thee they none have done.
11.
But Hrodmar shall of the rings dispose, which
our relations have possessed. That chief recks little of
counsel, leader of people!

his life

he thinks only to obtain the heritage of the dead.

Hiorvard answers, that he will supply Helgi with an


army, if he will avenge his mother's father. Helgi there-

upon seeks the sword that Svava had indicated to him.


Afterwards he and Atli went and slew Hrodmar, and
performed many deeds of valour. He killed the Jotun
Hati, as he sat on a crag.
Helgi and Atli lay with their
ships in Hatafiord.
Atli kept watch in the first part of
the night.
Hrimgerd, Hati's daughter, said

Who

12.

are the chieftains

in

Hatafiord?

With

your ships bedecked boldly ye bear yourselves,


few things ye fear, I ween tell me how your king is

shields are

named.
Atli.

13.

chief

Helgi

is

his

name; but thou nowhere canst

do harm; iron

giantesses

may

forts are

around the prince's

to the
fleet;

not assail us.

Hrimgerd.
14.

How

art thou

named? most powerful champion!


130

THE LAY OF HELGI HIORVARD'S SOX

How

do men

call

in the ship's fair

Thy king

thee?

confides in thee, since

prow he grants thee

place.

Atli.

am named, fierce I shall prove to thee;


The humid prow
giantesses I am most hostile.

Atli I

15.

towards
I

have oft occupied, and the night-riders


16.

How

art

slain.

thou called? corpse-greedy gigantess!

hag! name thy father.


derground, and a forest

Nine rasts shouldst thou be ungrow on thy breast.

Hrimgerd.

Hrimgerd I am called, Hati was my father called,


whom I knew the mightiest Jotun. He many women
had from their dwellings taken, until him Helgi slew.
17.

Atli.

18.

Thou

layest before

wast, hag! before the prince's ships, and

them

in the fiord's

Ran

warriors thou wouldst to

The

mouth.

chieftain's

consign, had a bar not

crossed thee.

Hrimgerd.
19.

Now,

Atli! thou art

wrong, methinks thou

art

dreaming; thy brows thou

lettest

My

prince's ships; I Hlodvard's

mother lay before the


sons drowned in the ocean.

Thou wouldst neigh, Atli!


gelding.
See Hrimgerd cocks her
20.

thinks, Atli

is

in thy

over thy eyelids

if

fall.

thou wert not a

tail.

Thy

heart,

me-

hinder part, although thy voice

is

clear.

Atli.

21.

I
io

think

I shall

the stronger prove,


131

if

thou desirest

ELDER FDD A OF SAFMUND

THi:

to try

and

be soundly cudgeled,
fall,

Thou

can step from the port to land.


heartily begin,

if

and

let

shalt

thy

tail

Hrimgerd!
Hrimgerd.
Just come on shore, Atli

22.
trustest,

and

thou shalt

let

g-et,

if in

thy strength thou

us meet in Varinsvik.

brave boy

if in

rib-roasting

my

claws thou comest.

the

men awake, and

Atli.

23.

I will not

come before

would not surprise me,


beneath our ship some hag arose.

the king hold watch.

It

if

o'er

from

Hrimgerd.
24.

Keep watch,

Atli

fine for Hati's death.

and to Hrimgerd pay the blood-

If

one night she may

sleep with

the prince, she for the slain will be indemnified.


Helgi.
25.

to

Lodin

mankind

is

named he who

is

a fitting

In Tholley dwells that Thurs,

art loathsome.

that dog-wise Jotun, of

man

thou

shall thee possess,

all

rock-dwellers the worst

he

for thee.

Hrimgerd.

would rather have her who* last night


guarded the port and men, the gold-bright maiden. She
methought had strength, she stept from port to land, and
26.

Helgi

so secured your

fleet.

could not the king's

men

She was alone the cause that

slay.

Helgi
27.

Hear now, Hrimgerd

132

If I

may indemnify

thee,

THE LAY OF HELCI IIIORVARD'S SON


say fully to the king:

was

the prince's ships, or went

it

one being only, that saved

many

together?

Hritngerd.

Three troops of maidens; though one maid foremost rode, bright, with helmed head. Their horses shook
themselves, and from their manes there sprang dew into
the deep dales, hail on the lofty trees, whence comes fruit28.

fulness to

To me

man.

all

that I

saw was

hateful.

Atli.

29.

Look eastward now, Hrimgerd! whether Helgi

has not stricken thee with death-bearing words.

and water the king's

By
men

land

and the chief's


also.
30.
It is now day, Hrimgerd! and Atli has thee detained to thy loss of life.
A ludicrous haven-mark 'twill,
indeed, be,

fleet is safe,

where thou a stone-image

standest.

King Helgi was a renowned warrior.


He came to
King Eylimi and demanded his daughter Svava. Helgi
and Svava were united, and loved each other ardently.
Svava remained at home with her father, but Helgi was

Svava was a Valkyria as before.


Hedin was at home with his father, King Hiorvard in
Norway. Returning home alone from the forest on a

engaged

in warfare.

Yule-eve, Hedin met a troll-wife riding on a wolf, with


serpents for reins,
clined her offer

who

offered to attend him, but he de-

whereupon she

for this at the Bragi-cup."

said

"Thou

shalt

pay

In the evening solemn vows

were made, and the son-hog was led forth, on which the
guests laid their hands, and then made solemn vows at
133

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND

Hedin bound himself by a vow to pos-

the Bragi-cup. 1

sess Svava, the beloved of his brother Helgi


it

so bitterly that he left

but repented

home and wandered through

wild

paths to the southern lands, and there found his brother


Helgi.
31.

Helgi said:

Welcome

canst thou give from

from the land

What new

Hedin!

art thou,

Why

Norway?

driven, and alone art

tidings

art thou, prince!

come

to find us?

Hedin.
32.

Of

much

am

greater crime I

guilty.

have

chosen a royal daughter, thy bride, at the Bragi-cup.


Helgi.
33.

Accuse not thyself; true

Me

drinking uttered by us both.


strand

summoned; within

'Tis to

me

a chieftain has to the

three nights

doubtful whether

befall, if it

prove words at

will

return

then

must be

may

there.

well such

so must be.

Hedin.
34.

Thou

saidst,

Helgi

that

Hedin well deserved of

and great gifts: It would beseem thee better thy


sword to redden, than to grant peace to thy foes.

thee,

Helgi so spoke, for he had a foreboding that his death

was

at hand,

and that

his fylgiur (attendant spirit)

had

It was the custom


*At guilds the Bragi-cup (Bragafull) was drunk.
at the funeral feast of kings and jarls, that the heir should sit on a lower
seat, until the Bragafull was brought in, that he should then rise to reHe was
ceive it, make a vow, and drink the contents of the cup (full).
then led to his father's high seat. At an offering guild, the chief signed
with the figure of Thor's hammer both the cup and the meat. First was
drunk Odin's cup, for victory and power to the king then Niord's cup, and
Frey's. for a good year and peace after which it was the custom with many
The peculiarity of this cup was, that it was a cup of
to drink a Bragafull.
vows, that on drinking it a vow was made to perform some great and
arduous deed, that might be made a subject for the song of the skalld.
;

134

THE LAY OF HELGI HIORVARD'S SON


when he saw the woman riding on a
There was a king named Alf, a son of Hrodmar,

accosted Hedin,
wolf.

who had

appointed a place of combat with Helgi in Sigar's

Then

plain within three days.

On

35.

who him

said Helgi

a wolf rode, at evening twilight, a

She well knew,


on Sigar's plain.

offered to attend.

of Sigrlinn would be

slain,

There was a great

conflict,

in

woman

that the son

which Helgi got

his

death-wound.
Helgi

36.

sent

Sigar

daughter: he bade her quickly be in readiness,

would

only

Eylimi's

after

riding,

she

if

find the king alive.

Sigar.
37.

me

Svava thyThee, said the king, he fain would see,

Helgi has

self to speak.

hither sent, with thee,

ere the noble-born breathes forth his

last.

Svava.
38.

What

has befallen Helgi, Hiorvard's son?

am

Has the sea him deluded,


On that man I will harm inflict.

sorely by afflictions stricken.

or the sword wounded

Sigar.
39.

This morning

at Frekastein, the

fell,

beneath the sun was of

all

though

it

victory,

this

time

the best.

king

who

Alf has complete

should not have been

Helgi.
40.

Hail to thee, Svava

Thy

this in this world, methinks, is

love thou must divide

our

last

meeting.

say the chieftain's wounds are bleeding.

came too near

my

heart.

They

The sword

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND


41.
wilt

my

pray thee, Svava

weep

not,

my

Hedin thou
thy arms clasp.

voice obey, that for

and the young prince

in

wife

if

thou

a couch prepare,

Svava.
42.

had

said,

in

our pleasant home, when for

Helgi rings selected, that


king's departure, an

would not

unknown

gladly, after

prince clasp in

my

me

my

arms.

Hedin.
43.

Kiss me, Svava!

I will

behold, nor Rodulsfioll, before


son,

who was

not return,

Rogheim

have avenged Hiorvard's

of kings under the sun the best.

Helgi and Svava were,

it

is

*3 6

to

said,

born again.

THE FIRST LAY OF HELCI HUN DIN GCIDE

THE FIRST LAY OF HELGI HUNDINGCIDE.


It was in times of yore,

1.

when

the eagles screamed,

from the heavenly hills; then to Helgi,


the great of soul, Borghild gave birth in Bralund.
2.
In the mansion it was night the Norns came, who
holy waters

fell

should the prince's

life

They him decreed a

determine.

prince most famed to be, and of leaders accounted best.

With

might they span the fatal threads,


when that [he] burghs should overthrow 1 in Bralund.
They stretched out the golden cord, and beneath the mid3.

all

their

moon's mansion fixed

dle of the

it.

East and west they hid the ends, where the prince

4.

had lands between towards the north Neri's


chain, which she bade last for ever.
;

One

5.

the

sister cast a

thing disquieted the Ylfing's offspring, and

woman who had

the child brought forth.

Sitting

a lofty tree, on prey intent, a raven to a raven said

on
"I

know something.
Stands cased in mail Sigmund's son, one day old

6.

now

our day come.

is

His eyes are piercing as a war-

rior's; the wolf's friend is

He

7.

men

he:

we

shall rejoice

!"

to the folk appeared a noble chief to be

among

'twas said that happy times were come; went the

king himself from the din of war, noble garlic to bring


to the
8.
1

young prince;
Gave him the name of Helgi, and Hringstadir,

That

is,

when they came

to spin that period of his destiny.

137

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND


and Sigarsvellir, Hringstad, Hatun, and
Himinvangar, a sword ornate, to Sinfiotli's brother.
Solioll, Snfioll,

Then grew

9.

up, in his friends' bosom, the high-born

youth, in joyous splendour.

He

paid and gave gold for

deserts; nor spared the chief the blood-stained sword.

10.

When
fierce

short time only the leader

the prince

Hunding

was

to fall,

let

fifteen winters old,

who long had

warfare cease.

he caused the

ruled over lands

and

people.

The

11.

sons of

Hunding afterwards demanded from

Sigmund's son treasure and rings; because they had on


the prince to avenge their great loss of wealth, and their
father's death.

The

12.

prince would neither the blood-fine pay, nor

They might

for the slain indemnity would give.

he

said,

13.

terrific

The

expect,

storm of grey arrows, and Odin's

ire

warriors went to the trysting place of swords,

which they had appointed at Logafioll.


Broken was
Frodi's peace between the foes: Vidrir's hounds went
about the
14.
slain

isle

The

slaughter-greedy.

leader sat under the Arastein, after he

had

Alf and Eyiolf, Hiorvard and Havard, sons of

Hunding he had destroyed all Geirmimir's race.


15.
Then gleamed a ray from Logafioll, and from
:

that ray lightnings issued; then appeared, in the field of


air,

a helmed band of Valkyriur

were with
spears shone beams of

their corslets

blood besprinkled, and from their


light.

16.

Forthwith inquired the chieftain bold, from the

wolf-congress of the southern Disir, whether they would,


138

THE FIRST LAY OF HELGI HUNDINGCIDE


with the warriors, that night go home?

then was a

clash

of arms!
17.

One from

her horse, Hogni's daughter,

crash of shields, and to the leader said:

stilled

"We

the

have,

ween, other objects than with princely warriors to drink


beer.

18.

My

father has his daughter promised to the fierce

son of Granmar

but

have, Helgi

declared Hodbrodd,

the proud prince, like to a cat's son.


19.

him

That chief

call to

a hostile

come

few days, unless thou


meeting or the maiden take from the

will

in a

prince."

Helgi.
20.

Fear thou not Isung's slayer there


;

clash of foes, unless I

am

shall

be

first

dead.

Thence sent messengers the potent prince through


air and over water, succours to demand, and abundance
of ocean's gleam to men to offer, and to their sons.
22.
"Bid them speedily to the ships to go, and those
from Brandey to hold them ready."
There the king
abode, until thither came warriors in hundreds from
21.

Hedinsey.
23.

From

the strands also, and

from Stafnsnes, a

naval force went out, with gold adorned.

Helgi then of

"Hast thou mustered the valiant people ?"


24.
But the young king the other answered
"Slowly" said he "are counted from Tronuey the long-beaked
ships, under the seafarers, which sail without in the

Hiorleif asked

Oresund,
25.

Twelve hundred

faithful

^9

men; though

in

Hatun

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND


there

more than

is

half of the king's host

We are

to

war

inured."
26.

Then

the steersman threw the ship's tents aside,

might awake, and the noble chiefs


the dawn might see; and the warriors hauled the sails up
to the mast in Varinsfiord.
There was a dash of oars, and clash of iron, shield
27.
that the princes' people

against shield

resounded: the vikings rowed; roaring

went, under the chieftains the royal

fleet

far from' the

land.

28.

So might be

pest's sister

heard,

and the long

when
keels,

came the temas when rock and surge


together

on each other break.


29.
Higher still bade Helgi the deep sail be hauled.
No port gave shelter to the crews; when CEgir's terrific
daughter the chieftains' vessels would o'erwhelm.
30.
But from above Sigrun intrepid, saved them and
their fleet also; from the hand of Ran powerfully was
wrested the royal ship at Gnipalund.

At eve they

Unavagar; the splendid ships


might into port have floated, but the crews, from Svarinshaug, in hostile mood, espied the host.
"Who
32.
Then demanded the god-born Gudmund
is the chieftain that commands the fleet, and that formida31.

halted in

ble force brings to

33.

our land?"

Sinfiotli said, slinging

shield with golden rim;

able

was

34.

He

up on the yard a red-hued

at the strait kept watch,

and

to answer, and with nobles words exchange

"Tell

it

at eve,

when you

feed your pigs, and your

iKolgu Systir. Kolga was one of the daughters of


they were the waves.

I40

gir and Ran

THE FIRST LAY OF HELGI HUNDINGCIDE


dogs lead to their food, that the Ylfings from the east are
come, ready to fight at Gnipalund.

Hodbrodd
king hard to make
35.

will
flee,

Helgi find

who

in the fleet's midst, a

has oft the eagles sated, while

thou wast at the mills, kissing the thrall-wenches.

Gudmund.
thou remember of ancient saws,

Little dost

36.

Thou

of the noble thou falsehoods utterest.

when

hast been

and of thy brother wast the


slayer; wounds hast thou often sucked with cold mouth;
eating wolves'

dainties,

every where loathed, thou hast crawled in caverns.


Sinfiotli.

Thou wast

37.

fox, a spreader of

a Valacrone in Varinsey, cunning as a

lies.

Thou

saidst thou

ever marry, no corsleted warrior, save

38.

mischievous crone

w ast
r

no man wouldst

Sinfiotli.

thou,

a giantess, a

Valkyria, insolent, monstrous, in Alfather's

hall.

woman!

Einheriar fought with each other, deceitful

Nine wolves we begat


father of them all.

thy sake.

in

Sagunes

All the

for

alone was

Gudmund.
Father thou wast not of Fenriswolves, older than

39.
all,

as far as I

remember

since

by Gnipalund, the Thurs-

maidens thee emasculated upon Thorsnes.

Thou wast

40.

Siggeir's stepson, at

home under

the

benches layest, accustomed to the wolf's howl out

in the

calamity of every kind came over thee,

when

forests

thou didst lacerate thy brother's breast.


mad'st thyself by thy atrocious works.
141

Notorious thou

THE ELDER EDDA OE SAEMUND


SinHotli.

Thou wast

41.

golden

Grani's

bride

ready for the course.

bit,

at

hadst a

Bravollr,

Many

a time have

ridden thee tired, hungry and saddled, through the

fells,

thou hag!

Gudmund.

42.

graceless lad thou wast thought to be,

when

Another time thou wast


a giantess's daughter, a tattered wretch.
Wilt thou a
Gulnir's goats thou didst milk.

longer chat?
SinHotli.

43.

rather

would

at

Frekastein the ravens cram

with thy carcase, than thy dogs lead to their meat, or thy

hogs

May

feed.

the fiend deal with thee!

Helgi.
44.

"Much more

you both

seemly, Sinfiotli! would

it

be for

engage, and the eagles gladden, than

in battle to

with useless words to contend, however princes 1

may

foster hate.

45.

Not good

right that

shown,

to

princes

me

appear Granmar's sons, yet

should speak the truth

they

'tis

have

Moinsheimar, that they have courage to draw

at

the sword."
46.

Rapidly they their horses made to run, Svipud

and Svegiud, to Solheimar, over dewy dales, dark mountain-sides trembled the sea of mist, where the men went.
The king they met at the burgh's gate, to the
47.
prince announced the hostile advent.
Without stood
;

literally ring-breakers, or -dispensers.

142

THE FIRST LAY OF HELGI HUNDINGCIDE


Hodbrodd with helmet decked
his kinsmen.

"Why

he the speed noticed of

have ye Hniflungs such wrathful

countenances?''

"Hither to the shore are come rapid

48.

keels,

tower-

ing masts, and long yards, shields many, and smooth-

shaven oars, a king's noble host, joyous Ylfings.


Fifteen bands are

49.

come

at sea, before Gnipalund, seven

beasts with gold adorned

multitude.

Now

will

to land

but there are out

thousand blue-black ocean-

there

is

by far their greatest

Helgi not delay the conflict."

Hodbrodd.
"Let a bridled steed to the chief assembly run, but
Sporvitnir to Sparinsheid; Melnir and Mylnir to Myrk50.

vid;

no man stay behind of those who> swords can

let

brandish.

Summon

you Hogni, and the sons of Hring,


Atli and Yngvi, Alf the old they will gladly engage in
conflict.
We will let the Volsungs find resistance."
52.
It was a whirlwind, when together came the fal1
low blades at Frekastein: ever was Helgi Hundingsbani
51.

to

foremost in the host, where

men

together fought

for battle, disdaining flight; the chieftain

ardent

had a valiant

heart.
53.

above

tection.

maid from heaven, helmed, from


for the king's prothe clash of arms increased

Then came
Then

said Sigrun

well

of heroes from Hugin's grove


54.

"Unscathed

skilled to fly to the host


2

shalt thou, prince! possess thy people,

2 Hugin's grove.
*It would appear that their swords were of bronze.
The raven's grove, i. e., the battle-field, strewed with corpses, the raven'a

food.

143

ELDER EDDA OP S A EM UN I)

TH/:

pillar

of Yngvi's race! and

life

the slow of flight, the chief


rior's death.

And

thee,

enjoy; thou hast laid low

who

caused the dread war-

king! well beseem both red-

gold rings and a powerful maid

unscathed shalt thou,

prince! both enjoy, Hogni's daughter, and Hringstadir,


victory and lands: then

is

conflict

ended."

THE SECOND LAY OF HELGI


HUNDINGCIDE.
King Sigmund,

son of Volsung, had to wife Borghild

They named their son Helgi, after Helgi


Hiorvard's son. Helgi was fostered by Hagal. There
was a powerful king named Hunding, after whom the
He was a great warrior, and
land was called Hundland.
had many sons, who were engaged in warfare. There
was enmity, both open and concealed, between King
Hunding and King Sigmund, and they slew each other's
kinsmen.
King Sigmund and his kindred were called

of Bralund.

Volsungs, and Ylfings.

Helgi went forth and secretly

Heming, HundOn departing Helgi met a herds-

explored the court of King Hunding.


ing' s son,

was

at

home.

man, and said


1.

who
when

"Say thou

to

Heming,

the mailed warrior was,

that Helgi bears in

whom

the

the grey wolf ye had within, and

thought

it

was Hamal.
144

men

mind

laid low,

King Hunding

THE SECOND LAY OF

IIELGI

;:

HUNDINGCIDE

Hamal was the son of Hagal. King Hunding sent


men to Hagal in search of Helgi, and Helgi had no other
way to save himself than by taking the clothes of a female
They sought but did not find
slave and going to grind.
Then said Blind the Baleful
him.
Sharp are the eyes of Hagal's thrall-wench; of no

2.

churlish race

stones are

who

she

is

the receiver

split,

flies

fate has befallen the warrior,

grind

much more

The

at the mill stands.

when

fitting to that

Now

asunder.
a prince

hand

is

mill-

a hard

must barley

the falchion's

than a mill-handle.

hilt

Hagal answered and

No wonder

3.

'tis

said

that the receiver rattles,

royal damsel the handle turns.

when

She hovered higher than

the clouds, and, like the vikings, dared to fight, until Helgi

made

She

her captive.

is

a sister of Sigar

and Hogni

therefore has fierce eyes the Ylfing maid.

Helgi escaped and went on board a ship of war.


slew

He

King Hunding, and was afterwards named Helgi

He

Hundingsbani.

lay with his force in Brunavagar,

and carried on "strand-hogg" 1 and ate raw flesh. There


was a king named Hogni, whose daughter was Sigrun
she w as a Valkyria, and rode through the air and over
the sea.
She was Svava regenerated. Sigrun rode to
Helgi, and said
r

4.

What men

cause a ship along the coasts to float?

where do ye warriors a home possess? w hat await ye


Brunavagar? whither desire ye to explore a way?
T

Slaughtering and carrying

off

the cattle on the sea-shore.

145

in

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND


Hclgi.

Hamal causes a ship along the coasts


have home in Hlesey; a fair wind we await
gar; eastward we desire to explore a way.
5.

to float
in

we

Brunava-

Sigrun.

the

Where,

6.

prince! hast thou

of conflict's sisters?

birds

sprinkled with blood

Why

wakened war, or fed

Why

is

thy corslet

beneath the helm eat ye raw

flesh?

Helgi.
It

7.

was the

desirest to

know

Ylfings' son's last achievement,

west

of the ocean, that

if

thou

took bears in

Bragalund, and the eagles' race with our weapons sated.

Now, maiden I have said what


sea we little cooked meat ate.
!

why

the reasons were,

at

Sigrun.

To

8.

a battle thou alludest.

Before Helgi has King

Hunding been doomed to fall. In conflict ye have engaged, when your kindred ye avenged, and stained with
blood the falchion's edge.
Helgi.

Why

9.

was

they,

dost thou suppose, sagacious maiden

who

their kin

avenged?

Many

that

it

a warrior's

bold sons there are, and hostile to our kindred.

Sigrun.
10.

was not

far, leader of

!The Valkyriur.

I46

people! eager, at

many

THE SECOND LAY OF HELGI HUNDINGCIDE


chieftain's end: yet crafty
in val-runes

account Sigmund's son,

when

the slaughter he announces.

saw thee commanding the warships, when thou hadst station on the bloody prow, and
Now, prince thou wilt
the cold sea waves were playing.
from me conceal it, but Hogni's daughter recognizes thee.
11.

while ago

Granmar was

the

of a powerful prince

He had many

at Svarinshaug.

brodd, the second

brodd was

name

Gudmund,

sons

dwelt

one was called Hod-

the third Starkadr.

Hod-

assembly of kings, and there betrothed

at the

himself to Sigrun, the daughter of Hogni.

was informed of

who

it,

But w hen she


r

she rode with the Valkyriur through

the air and over the sea in quest of Helgi.

Helgi was at

that time at Logafioll, warring against the sons of

Hund-

where he slew Alf and Eyiolf, Hiorvard and Hervard.


Being over- fatigued with the conflict, he was sitting
under the Arastein, where Sigrun found him, and running
to him, threw her arms around his neck, and, kissing him,
told him her errand so as it related in the first Voling,

sungakvida.
12.

Sigrun sought the joyous prince, Helgi's hand

she forthwith grasped, kissed and addressed the helm-

decked king.
13.

Then was

the chieftain's

mind

to the lady turned.

She declared that she had loved, with her whole heart,
Sigmund's son, before she had seen him.
14.
"To Hodbrodd I was in th' assembly betrothed,
but I another prince would have yet, chieftain I foresee
:

my

kindred's

w rath

Dark words

of deadly import.

11

have

my

J 47

father's promise broken.

,,

THE ELDER EDDA OE SAEMUND


Hogni's daughter spoke not

15.

heart

with her

at variance

she said that Helgi's affection she must possess.

Helgi.

Care thou not for Hogni's wrath, nor for the evil
mind of thy kin. Thou shalt, young maiden! live with
16.

me

of a good race thou

art, as I perceive.

Helgi then collected a large


kastein,

and

fleet

and proceeded to Fre-

at sea experienced a perilous storm.

Light-

nings came over them, and the flashes entered the ships.

They saw

were riding in the air, and


recognized Sigrun among them.
The storm then abated
and they reached land in safety. The sons of Granmar
were sitting on a hill as the ships were sailing towards the
land.
Gudmund leapt on a horse, and rode to explore on
the hill by the haven.
The Volsungs then lowered their
sails, and Gudmund spoke as is before written in the
Helgakvida
that nine Valkyriur

"Who

the leader that

is

commands

the

fleet,

and an

appalling host leads to our land?"

This said Gudmund, Granmar's son.


17.

Who is the warrior that

commands the ships, and


golden banner wave o'er his prow? No peace

lets his

seems to

me

in that ship's front;

it

casts a warlike

glow

around the vikings.


Sinfiotli,

18.

hard of

Sigmund's son, answered

Here may Hodbrodd Helgi


flight, in

of thy race

the

he the

fleet's

fishes'

midst

learn to

he the possession holds

heritage has to

148

know, the

him

subjected.

THE SECOND LAY OF HELGI HUNDINGCIDE


Gitdmimd.
Therefore ought we

19.

first,

and decide our quarrels!


vengeance to take, if an inferior lot

at Frekastein, to settle

Hodbrodd!

together,

we long have

'tis

time

borne.

Sinotli.

Rather shalt thou, Gudmund! tend goats, and

20.

hand a hazel
please thee than judgments of the

steep mountain-tops shalt climb,


staff,

that will better

have

in thy

sword.

Gudmund

rode

home with

intelligence of the hostile

armament; whereupon the sons of Granmar collected a


host, and many kings came thither.
Among them were
Hogni, the father of Sigrun, with his sons, Bragi and
Dag.
There was a great battle, and all the sons of
Hogni, and all their chiefs were slain, except Dag, who
obtained peace, and swore oaths to the Volsungs.
Sigrun, going

among

of death.

She

Not

23.

sink in thy

the slain, found

Hodbrodd

at the point

said

will

Sigrun of

arms thy
:

life is

King Hodbrodd!

Sefafioll,

departed.

Oft the axe's blade

the head approaches of Granmar's sons.

She then met Helgi, and was overjoyed.

Not

24.

to

thee,

all-wise

maiden!

are

He
all

said

things

somewhat are the Norns to


blame.
This morn have fallen at Frekastein Bragi and
Hogni I was their slayer.
But at Styrkleifar King Starkadr, and at Hlebiorg
25.
the son of Hrollaug.
That prince I saw of all most fierce,
whose trunk yet fought when the head was far.
granted, though,

say, in

149

THE ELDER EDDA OE SAEMUND

On

26.

men,

the earth

lie

the greater

Thou

to corpses turned.

number of thy

hast not fought the battle,

yet 'twas decreed, that thou, potent maiden

the

shouldst cause

strife.

Sigrun then wept.

Sigrun

27.

Helgi said

console thyself

Kings cannot conquer

us.

kins-

living

who

are departed,

a Hild thou hast been to


gladly would

have them

might clasp thee to

my breast.

fate

if I

Helgi obtained Sigrun, and they had sons.

Helgi lived

Dag, the son of Hogni, sacrificed to Odin,


for vengeance for his father.
Odin lent Dag his spear.
Dag met with his relation Helgi in a place called Fioturlund, and pierced him through with his spear.
Helgi fell
there, but Dag rode to the mountains and told Sigrun
what had taken place.

not to be old.

Loath am I, sister! sad news to tell thee; for unwillingly I have my sister caused to weep.
This morning
28.

fell,

in Fioturlund, the prince

who was on

earth the best,

and on the necks of warriors stood.


Sigrun.
29.

Thee

blow.

May

gnaw, which to Helgi


thou didst swear, at the limpid Leiptr's water, and at the
cold dank wave-washed rock.
30.
May the ship not move forward, which under thee
should move, although the wished-for wind behind thee
shall the oaths all

the horse not run, which under thee should

from enemies thou hast to flee


May the sword not bite which thou drawest, unThen would Helgi's
sing round thy own head.

run, although
31.
less

it

150

THE SECOXD LAY OF HELGI HUNDINGC1DE


death be on thee avenged,

a wolf thou wert, out in the

if

good bereft, and every joy, have no


nance, unless on corpses thou shouldst spring.
woods, of

all

suste-

Dag.
and hast

Sister! thou ravest,

32.

down

lost

thy wits,

when
Odin

on thy brother thou

callest

alone

the evil; for between relatives he

cause of

is

all

brought the runes of

Thy

33.

strife.

brother offers thee rings of red gold,

Vandilsve and Vigdalir


compensate,

such miseries.

woman

all

have half the land, thy grief to

ring-adorned! thou and thy sons.


Sigrun.

So happy

34.

morn nor

shall not sit at Sefafioll,

night, as to feel joy in

plays not the prince's

beam

life,

of light;

if

if his

neither at

o'er the people

war-steed runs

not under the chieftain hither, to the gold bit accustomed


the king

if in

cannot rejoice.

So had Helgi struck with

35.

their kindred, as before the

from the

fell,

of terror

fear

all

towering ash

is

among

full.

and

its

himself.
37.

all

the other

horns glisten against the sky.

mound was

Valhall,

bore, as the

thorns, or as the fawn, moistened

with dew, that more proudly stalks than


beasts,

and

wolf the goats run frantic

So himself Helgi among warriors

36.

his foes

raised for Helgi

Odin offered him the

but

when he came

rule over

all

to

jointly with

Helgi said

Thou, Hunding! shalt for every man a foot-bath


i=;i

::

THE EIDER HDDA OF SAEMUND


get,

and

fire

kindle

shalt bind the dogs, to the horses look,

to the swine give wash, ere to sleep thou goest.

female slave passing at evening by Helgi's mound,

saw him riding towards


38.

Is

with

it

many men

a delusion which methinks

it

ers' dissolution, that ye,

dead men,

ride,

with spurs urg'e on, or to warriors

or the pow-

I see,

is

and your horses

home journey

granted ?
Helgi.
39.

'Tis

no delusion which thou thinkst

mankind the

we

horses

to see, nor of

end, although thou seest us, although our

with spurs urge on, nor to warriors

is

a home-

journey granted.

The

slave

went home and

said to Sigrun

Sigrun! go forth from

40.

The mound

chief thou desirest to meet.


is

come, his wounds

thou wouldst

still

still

bleed

the people's

if
is

opened, Helgi

the prince prayed thee that

the trickling blood.

Sigrun entered the

Now am I

41.

Sefafioll,

mound

to Helgi

and

said

as glad, at our meeting, as the voracious

hawks of Odin, when they of slaughter know; of warm


prey, or,
42.

dewy- feathered, see the peep of day.

I will kiss

my

Thy

corslet layest aside.

sweat of death
cold,

clammy

prince

my

lifeless king, ere

prince

hair

is all

is,

thou thy bloody

Helgi! tumid with

bathed in slaughter-dew

are the hands of Hogni's son.

for this

make

thee

amends ?
152

How

shall I,

THE SECOND LAY OF HELGI HUNDINGCIDE


Hclgi.

Thou

43.

that Helgi

art alone the cause, 1

Sigrun of

Thou

with sorrow's dew suffused.

is

gold-adorned

cruel

sun-bright

tears,

Sefafioll!

weepest,

daughter of the

south! ere to sleep thou goest; each one

falls

bloody on

the prince's breast, wet, cold, and piercing, with sorrow


big.

We

44.

we have

shall surely drink delicious draughts,

though

and lands.
No one shall a song of
though on my breast he wounds behold.

lost life

mourning

sing,

Now

women

are

mound

in the

enclosed, daughters of

kings, with us the dead.

Sigrun prepares a bed


35.

Here, Helgi have

I for

my

thee a peaceful couch pre-

On

pared, for the Ylfings' son.


tain! repose, as in

mound.

in the

thy breast

hero's lifetime I

I will, chief-

was wont.

Helgi.
46.

Nothing

or early,

late

Hogni's

now

a corpse's arms thou

since in

daughter

fair

declare unlooked for, at Sefafioll,

in a

mound, and thou

sleepest,

art living,

daughter of kings
47.
let

Time

for

'tis

me

to ride on the reddening

the pale horse tread the aerial path.

ways

towards the

The superstition commemorated in this strophe is, no doubt, the


some very beautiful ballads in the later literature of Scandinavia
and Germany referring to this superstition
x

origin of

"When

thou,

my

dear, art cheerful,

"And easy
"The

coffin

where

mind,
slumber

in thy
I

"Is all with roses lined.


thou 'rt in sorrow,
"And bow'd with grief so sore,
"Is all tbe while my coffin
"Brim full of blood and gore."

"But

oft as

153

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND


west must go over Vindhialm's bridge, ere Salgofnir

awakens

heroes.

Helgi and his attendants rode their way, but Sigrun

and hers proceeded

The following

to their habitation.

evening Sigrun ordered her serving-maid to hold watch


at the

mound

but at nightfall,

when Sigrun came

thither,

she said

Now

would be come, if he to come intended, Sigmund's son, from Odin's halls. I think the hope lessens
of the king's coming, since on the ash's boughs the eagles
sit, and all the folk to the dreams' tryst are hastening.
48.

Serving-maid.
49.

Be not

so rash alone to go, daughter of heroes!

draugs^more powerful

to the house of

season,

all

dead warriors, than

are, in the night-

in the light of day.

was shortened by

and mourning. It
was a belief in ancient times that men were regenerated,
but that is now regarded as an old crone's fancy.
Helgi
and Sigrun are said to have been regenerated. He was
then called Helgi Haddingiaskadi, and she Kara Halfdan's
Sigrun's

life

daughter, as

it is

grief

said in the songs of

Kara and she


;

was a Valkyria.
iProbably house of draffs

place of swine,

154

swill,

leee.

also

SINFIOTLPS END

SINFIOTLFS END.
Sigmund Volsung's

son was a king in Frankland.

was Helgi,
the third Hamund.
Borghild, Sigmund's wife, had a
brother named Gunnar; but Sinfiotli her stepson and
Gunnar both courted one woman, on which account Sinfiotli slew Gunnar.
When he came home, Borghild bade
him go away, but Sigmund offered the blood-fine, which
it was incumbent on her to accept.
At the funeral feast
Sinfiotli

was the

eldest of his sons, the second

Borghild presented the beer: she took a large horn


of poison, and offered
into the horn,

it

to Sinfiotli

full

who, when he looked

and saw that there was poison

in

it,

said

Sigmund: "the drink ferments!" Sigmund took the


horn and drank up the contents. It is said that Sigmund
was so strong that no poison could hurt him, either outto

wardly or inwardly; but that all his sons could endure


Borghild bore another horn to Sinpoison outwardly.
fiotli,

and prayed him

to'

drink,

when

all

took place as be-

Yet a third time she offered him the horn, using


He said as
reproachful words on his refusing to drink.
"Let it
before to Sigmund, but the latter answered:
Sinfiotli drank and inpass through thy lips, my son."
fore.

stantly died.

Sigmund bore

him, a long

and came to a long and narrow


little vessel and one man in it.
convey him over the

firth

firth,

He

way

in his arms,

where there was a

Sigmund to
but when Sigmund had borne
155

offered

THE ELDER EDDA

Oh'

MEMUND

was full-laden. The


man then said that Sigmund should go before through
the firth.
He then pushed off his boat and instantly dethe corpse into the vessel, the boat

parted.

King Sigmund sojourned long


hild's

in

Denmark,

kingdom, after having espoused

her.

in

He

Borgthen

went south to Frankland, to the kingdom he there posThere he married Hiordis, the daughter of
sessed.

King Sigmund fell in


Hiordis was aftera battle with the sons of Hunding.
wards married to Alf, son of King Hialprek, with whom
Sigurd grew up in childhood. Sigmund and his sons
Sigurd was their son.

Eylimi.

exceeded
age,

and

most of

all
all

all

celling all

other

men

in strength,

and

stature,

and cour-

accomplishments, though Sigurd was fore-

and

in old traditions

he

is

mentioned as ex-

men, and as the most renowned of warlike

kings.

156

THE FIRST LAY OF SIGURD FAFNICIDE

THE FIRST LAY OF SIGURD FAFNICIDE,


OR GRIPIR'S PROPHECY.
Gripir was the name of the son of Eylimi, the brother

He

of Hiordis.

ruled over lands, and

wisest and prescient of the future.

and came

He

hall,

whose name was

found a

man

Geitir.

all

men

Sigurd rode alone,

Sigurd was of a

to Gripir's dwelling.

guished figure.

was of

distin-

to address outside the

Sigurd applied to him, and

asked
1.

Who

here inhabits, in these towers

king do people name him

what

nation's

Geitir.

Gripir

is

named

who

the chief of men, he

rules a firm

realm and people.


Sigurd.
2.

Is the

chief with

speech an

wise king of the land at

me come and

unknown man

converse?
I desire

home? Will the


With him needs

speedily Gripir to see.

Geitir.
3.

that

The glad king will of Geitir


demands speech of Gripir.

ask,

who

the

man

is

Sigurd.

Sigurd
is

am

named, born of Sigmund, and Hiordis

the chieftain's mother.

157

THE ELDER EDDA OF S/IEMUND

Then went

4.

man

"Here
come; of aspect he is most

Geitir, Gripir to

without, a stranger,

tinguished.
5.

He

king

desires,

Goes from the

hall

had

it

been earlier

is

dis-

with thee to speak."

the lord of men,

and the

"Welcome, Sigurd!

stranger prince kindly greets:


ter

inform:

but do thou, Geitir

bet-

take charge

of Grani."
6.

They began

sagacious

my

men

and much

to talk,

together met.

mother's brother!

how

to

"Tell me,

if

when

tell,

the

thou knowest,

will Sigurd's life fall

out?"

Gripir.
7.

Thou

wilt foremost be of

men

beneath the sun,

exalted high above every king; liberal of gold, but of

and wise of words.

flight sparing, of aspect comely,

Sigurd.
8.

Say thou, sage king! more than

one, to Sigurd,

happen for
shall

my

if

thou thinks to see

I ask,

it:

thou wise

what

will first

advancement, when from thy dwelling

have departed?
Gripir.

9.

First wilt thou, prince! avenge thy father,

and for

wrongs of Eylimi wilt retaliate; thou wilt the cruel


sons of Hunding boldly lay low thou wilt have victory.
the

Sigurd.
10.

Say, noble king! kinsman mine! with

thought, as

we

hold

all

fore-

friendly converse; seest thou of

Sigurd those bold achievements, that will highest soar

under heaven's regions?"


158

THE FIRST LAY OF SIGURD FAFNICIDE


Gripir.
11.

greedy
be,

Thou
lies

alone wilt slay that glistening serpent, which

on Gnitaheid

Regin and Fafnir.

thou shalt of both the slayer

Gripir

tells truly.

Sigurd.
12.

Riches will abound,

men, as thou for certain


at length say

what

if I

so bring conflict

sayest.

will yet

my

among

Apply thy mind, and

life befall.

Gripir.

13.

Thou

wilt find Fafnir's

lair,

and thence wilt take

splendid riches, with gold wilt load Grani's back.


wilt to Giuki ride, the

war-famed

Thou

prince.

Sigurd.

Yet must thou, prince! in friendly speech, foresighted king! more relate.
I shall be Giuki's guest, and
I shall thence depart
what will next my life befall ?
14.

Gripir.

15.

king's daughter will on a mountain sleep, fair,

in corslet cased, after Helgi's death.

Thou

wilt strike

with a keen sword, wilt the corslet sever with Fafnir's


bane.

Sigurd.

The

maid begins to speak.


When awakened from her sleep, on what will she chiefly
with Sigurd converse hold, which to the prince's benefit
16.

corslet

is

ript open, the

may tend?
Gripir.

17.

She

to thee, powerful one! runes will teach,

159

all

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND


those which

men ought

know

to

and

every man's

in

May good

tongue to speak, and medicines for healing.


await thee, king!
Sigurd.

Now

knowledge is acquired, and


I am ready thence away to ride.
Apply thy mind, and
at length say what more will my life befall.
18.

that

is

past, the

Gripir.

Thou

and the glad


Vanished is, Sigurd!
guest wilt be of that great king.
that which I foresaw; no further mayest thou Gripir
19.

wilt find Heimir's dwellings,

question.

Sigurd.

Now

20.

thou foreseest,

me

words thou speakest for


king! much further; thou knowest of too

bring

grief the

great calamity to Sigurd


utter

therefore thou, Gripir

wilt not

it.

Gripir.

21.

Of

thy

life

est to contemplate.

the early portion lay before

am

of the future prescient

me

clear-

not truly accounted sage, nor

that

which

knew

is

gone.

Sigurd.
22.

No man

know on

the

earth's

it,

unhappy though

it

be,

or

who

Thou mayest

greater prescience has than thou, Gripir!

not conceal

surface,

if

ill

betide

my

life.

Gripir.

23.

Not with

vices will thy life

160

be

sullied; let that,

THE FIRST LAY OF SIGURD FAFNICIDE


noble prince! in thy mind be borne; for while mankind

thy name, director of the spear-storm! will be

exists,

supreme.
Sigurd.

The worst seems

24.

from the king

way

my

all is

to

me, that Sigurd

great

compelled

Show me

to part in such uncertainty.

decreed before

is

chieftain

if

thou

the

wilt,

mother's brother
Gripir.

To Sigurd

25.
tain

me

not.

thereto compels

A certain

now openly

I will

day

is

tell,

since the chief-

thou wilt surely find that

I lie

for thy death decreed.

Sigurd.

would not importune the mighty prince, but


rather Gripir's good counsel have.
Now I fain would
know, though grateful it may not be, what prospect Sigurd
26.

has lying before him.


Gripir.

27.

There

is

with Heimir a maiden fair of form, she

by men Brynhild named, daughter of Budli; but the


dear king Heimir nurtures the hard-souled damsel.
is

Sigurd.
28.

What

is

it

to me, although the maiden be of

aspect fair ? nurtured with Heimir ?

must

fully declare; for

That thou, Gripir


thou foreseest my whole destiny.
Gripir.

29.

She

will thee bereave of almost every joy,

fair-faced foster-child of Heimir.

161

Thou

the

wilt not sleep,

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND

men

nor of affairs discourse, nor

thou wilt

regard; only this maiden

see.

Sigurd.

What remedy

30.

that, Gripir! if

it

for Sigurd will be applied

seem good to

Shall

thee.

tell

me

obtain the

damsel? with dowry purchase the lovely royal daughter?


Gripir.

Ye

31.

will each

swear unnumbered oaths, solemnly

Hast thou been Giuki's guest


have forgotten the fair ward of

binding, but few will keep.

one night, thou wilt


Heimir.

Sigurd.

How

32.

is

that, Gripir

explain

it

to

me

seest

thou

such fickleness in the king's mind, that with that maiden


shall
I

my

engagement break,

whom

my w hole

with

heart

thought to love?
Gripir.

33.

Prince! thou wilt be snared in another's

thou wilt pay the penalty of Grimhild's craft

w iles,
T

the bright-

haired maiden, her daughter, she to thee will offer.

This

snare for the king she lays.

Sigurd.

Gunnar form relationship, and


with Gudrun join in wedlock ? Well wived then the king
would be, if the pangs of perjury caused me no pain.
34.

Shall I then with

Gripir.
35.

Thee

will

Grimhild wholly beguile; she will im-

plore thee Brynhild to

demand
162

for the

hand of Gunnar,

THE FIRST LAY OF SIGURD FAFNICIDE


king of Goths

the journey thou wilt forthwith promise

to the king's mother.

Sigurd.
Evils are at hand,

36.

can that perceive; Sigurd's

wits will have wholly perished,


another's hand, a noble maiden

if

shall

whom

demand

for

well love.

Gripir.

All of you will swear mutual oaths, Gunnar, and

37.

Hogni, and thou the third; and ye will forms exchange,


when on the way ye are, Gunnar and thou Gripir lies not.
:

Sigurd.

To what end

38.

forms and manners,

why shall we exchange


when on the way we are? Another
is

that?

fraud will surely follow

this,

altogether horrible.

But

say on, Gripir


Gripir.

39.
ners,

Thou wilt have Gunnar's semblance, and his manthy own eloquence, and great sagacity there thou
:

wilt betroth the high-minded

ward of Heimir no one can


:

that prevent.

Sigurd.

To me

40.

that seems worst, that

be a false traitor called,

if

among men

such take place.

I shall

would not

deception practise on a royal maid the most excellent

know.
Gripir.

Thou

41.

wilt repose, leader of hosts! pure with the

maiden, as she thy mother were; therefore exalted, lord


of

men
12

while the world endures thy


l6 3

name

will be.

THE ELDER EDDA OF S/fEMUND

The

42.

nuptials will of both be solemnized, of Sigurd

and of Gunnar,

in Giuki's halls

change,

when ye home

each his

own

return

then will ye forms ex-

yet to himself will

have

senses.

Sigurd.
43.

Will then Gunnar, chief

among men,

woman wed ? Tell me that, Gripir


by me the chieftain's bride glad of
like

the noble

although three nights

The

heart has slept?

has no example.

How

44.

Tell

me

for happiness shall hereafter be this affinity?

that,

Gripir!

Will the alliance for Gunnar's

solace henceforth prove, or even for

mine?

Gripir.

Thou

45.

and

keep,

let

remember, and must

wilt the oaths

Gudrun enjoy

a happy union.

nathless will herself think an ill-married


will wiles devise to

avenge

silence

Brynhild

woman.

She

herself.

Sigurd.
46.

frauds

What atonement will that woman take, for


we shall have practised on her? From me

maiden has oaths sworn, but never

kept,

and but

little

the

the
joy.

Gripir.

47.

She to Gunnar

will plainly declare, that

not well the oaths observe,


heir,

with his whole

when

thou didst

the noble king, Giuki's

soul, in thee confided.

Sigurd.
48.

What

will then follow? let

164

me know

that.

Will

THE FIRST LAY OF SIGURD FAFN1CIDE


that tale appear as true, or that the noble

accuses me, and herself also.

me

Tell

woman

falsely

Gripir!

that,

Gripir.

From

49.

spite

towards thee, and from o'erwhelming

grief, the

powerful dame will not most wisely

the noble

woman do

act.

To

thou no further harm, though thou

the royal bride with guiles hast circumvented.

Sigurd.

Will the prudent Gunnar, Guthorm, and Hogni,

50.

at her instigation, then proceed?


their

relative

Will Giuki's sons on

redden their swords?

Tell

me

further,

Gripir!
Gripir.
51.

Then

Gudrun be

will

furious at heart,

brothers shall on thy death resolve.


that wise
52.

woman

take delight.

when her

In nothing then will

Such

is

Grimhild's work.

In this thou shalt find comfort, leader of hosts!

This, fortune

is

nowned man on

allotted to the hero's life: a

more

re-

earth shall never be, under the sun's

abode, than thou wilt be accounted.

Sigurd.
53.

Now

withstood.
thee

of

my

part we,

Now

now

farewell!

Fate

may

hast thou, Gripir! done as

not be

prayed

thou wouldst have fain a happier end foretold


life's

days, hadst thou been able.

165

me

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND

THE SECOND LAY OP SIGURD EAFNICIDE.


Sigurd went to Hialprek's stud and chose himself a
horse, which was afterwards named Grani.
Regin,
Hreidmar's son, was then come to Hialprek; he was the
most skilful of men, and a dwarf in stature he was wise,
cruel, and versed in magic.
Regin undertook the rearing
and instruction of Sigurd, and bore him great affection.
He informed Sigurd of his parentage, and how it befell
that Odin, and Hcenir, and Loki came to Andvarafors
(the waterfall of Andvari).
In the fall there was an
abundance of fish. There was a dwarf named Andvari,
who had long lived in the fall in the likeness of a pike,
and in which he supplied himself with food.
"Our
brother," continued Regin, "was named Otr, who often
went into the fall in the likeness of an otter. He had
caught a salmon, and was sitting on the bank of the river
with his eyes shut eating it, when Loki killed him with a
stone.
The sir thought themselves very lucky, and
That same evening they
stripped off the otter's skin.
sought entertainment with Hreidmar, and showed their
Thereupon we laid hands on them, and imposed
prize.
on them, as the redemption of their lives, that they should
fill the otter's skin with gold, and cover it over with red
gold.
They thereupon sent Loki to procure gold. He
went to Ran, and obtained her net, and thence proceeded
to Andvarafors, and cast the net before a pike, which
;

leapt into the net.

Whereupon Loki
166

said

THE SECOXD LAY OF SIGURD FAFNICIDE

What

1.

fish is this, that in the river

not from harm

and

me

find

itself

2.

many

Redeem thy

protect?

the water's flame.

The
Andvari

am

a cataract have

life

from Hel,

Pike.

named, Oin was


I

swims, and can-

passed.

of old decreed, that in the water

my

father

named

Norn

in times

luckless

should wade.

Loki.
3.

Tell me, Andvari!

halls of

if

thou wilt enjoy

life in

the

men, what retribution get the sons of mortals,

with foul words they

assail

if

each other.

Andvari.
4.

Cruel retribution get the sons of mortals,

Vadgelmir wade

for the false

who

in

words they have against

others uttered, the punishments too long endure.

Loki viewed

all

the gold that Andvari

owned but when


;

he had produced the gold, he retained a single ring, which

Loki also took from him.

The dwarf went

into his stone

and said

That gold which the dwarf possessed, shall to two


brothers be cause of death, and to eight princes, of disFrom my wealth no one shall good derive.
sension.
5.

The sir produced the gold to Hreidmar, and with it


crammed the otter's skin full, and set it up on the feet.
They then had to heap up the gold and cover it but when
;

was done, Hreidmar, stepping forward, observed a


whisker, and required it to be covered; whereupon Odin
that

^ne

of

many

periphrases for gold.

167

THli

drew forth the

ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND


"Andvara-naut," and covered the

ring-

Loki said

hair.

There is gold for thee, and thou hast a great redemption for my life. For thy son no blessing is de6.

creed; of both

it

shall

prove the bane.

Hreidmar.
Gifts thou hast given, friendly gifts thou hast given

7.

Of your

not; with a kind heart thou hast not given.


lives

ye should have been deprived, had

foreknown that

peril.

But that is worse, what I seem to know,


of kinsmen for a woman.
Princes yet unborn
them to be, for whose hate that gold is destined.
8.

9.

The

red gold,

I trust, I shall

living: of thy threats I entertain


selves hence

a strife

think

possess while I

am

no fear; so take your-

home.

Fafnir and Regin demanded of Hreidmar their share


of the blood-fine for their slain brother Otr, which he

and Fafnir stabbed his father with a sword while


sleeping.
Hreidmar called out to his daughters:
refused,

Lyngheid and Lofnheid!

10.

parting.

To many

Know my

things need compels.

life

is

de-

Lyngheid.

Few

sisters will,

although they lose a father, avenge a

brother's crime.

Hreidmar.
11.
a

To

Then bring
wit, to

avenge

my

forth a daughter, wolf-hearted fury!


death on your brothers.
1

68

THE SECOXD LAY OF SIGURD FAFNICIDE


if

Get for the maid a

by a chief thou have not a son.

wrong

spouse, in thy great need; then will her son thy

avenge.

Hreidmar then died, and Fafnir took all the gold.


Regin then requested to have his share of the patrimony,
but met with a refusal from Fafnir.
Regin thereupon
sought counsel of his sister Lyngheid, how he might obtain his patrimony.
She said
12.

Thou

patrimony and a better

It is

spirit.

the sword thou shouldst

13.

not seemly, that with

demand thy property of

The foregoing is what Regin


day, when he came to Regin's
received,

demand thy

of thy brother shalt mildly

One

related to Sigurd.

dwelling, he

was kindly

and Regin said:

Hither

come the son of Sigmund

is

man of energy courage he has greater


man now of a conflict have I hope from the

that

14.

Fafnir.

nurture

will

Yngvi's kinsman

is

bold-hearted

the

to us

come; he

the sun most powerful; over

all

will

to

our

than

hall,

aged

fierce wolf.

now

prince:

be a king under

lands will his destinies

resound.

Sigurd was thence forward constantly with Regin,


related to

him how Fafnir

of a serpent.

He
were

living beings

for Sigurd, that

immersing

it

Sigurd.

on Gnitaheid

had an "CEgis-helm,"

terror-stricken.

in the likeness
2

in the Rhine,

terrific

it

he

let

at

which

all

Regin forged a sword

was named Gram, and was

when

the stream,

lay

who

so sharp that

a piece of wool

down

clove the fleece asunder as water.

helm or headpiece.

169

777/;'

With

ELDER EDDA OF S/tF.MUND

sword Sigurd clove in two Regin's anvil.


After that Regin instigated Sigurd to slay Fafnir.
He
that

said:

Loud

15.

of

life

will laugh

deprived,

Hunding's sons, they

the prince

if

is

more

who

Eylimi

desirous to seek

red rings, than to avenge his father.

King Hialprek

collected a fleet to enable Sigurd to

avenge his father. They encountered a great storm, and


were driven past a certain promontory.
A man was
standing on the

Who

who

cliff

said

on Rvils horses, the towering


billows, the roaring main: the sail-steeds are with sweat
16.

ride yonder,

bedewed, the wave-coursers

will not the

wind withstand.

Regin.

Here am

17.
is

and Sigurd

given us for death

steep

itself:

waves dash, the

wind
higher than our prows the
in sea-trees; a fair

rolling horses plunge.

Who

is

it

that inquires?

Hnikar.

They

18.

called

me

young Volsung! and


call

me

Hnikar, when

battles fought.

Hugin gladdened,

Now

they mayest

the ancient of the rock, Feng, or Fiolnir.

de-

sire a passage.

They turn

to the land, the old

the storm abates.


19.

man

goes on board, and

Sigurd said:

Tell me, Hnikar! since thou knowest the

both of gods and men, which omens are the best


fight

'tis

needful

at the

swing of glaves?
170

omens

if

to

THE SECOND LAV OF SIGURD FAFNICIDE


Hnikar.

Good omens

20.

there are many,

if

men

but

knew

them, at the swing of glaves, a faithful fellowship,


think,

is

the dark raven's, with the sworded warrior.

The second

21.

is,

when thou

if,

art

gone

out,

about to depart, thou seest two renown-seeking

and

men

standing in the fore-court.

The

22.

third

omen

under the ash-boughs,


over helmed warriors,

No man

23.

shining

sister.

if

is,
it

if

will victory to thee

Most

when thou

announce

thou seest them go before thee.

should fight against the moon's late-

They have

at the play of swords, or to

24.

wolves thou hearest howl

perilous

victory,

can see keenly

form the wedge-array.

it is, if

to battle goest.

who

with thy foot thou

strikest,

Wily Disir stand on

either

and wish to see thee wounded.


25.
Combed and washed let every brave man be, and
at morning fed; for 'tis uncertain whither he at eve may
'Tis bad to- succumb to fate.
come.
Sigurd fought a great battle with Lyngvi, Hunding's
son, and his brothers, in which Lyngvi and his three
brothers fell.
After the battle Regin said:
side of thee,

26.

Now

is

the bloody eagle, with the trenchant blade,

graven on the back of Sigmund's


king,

who

more

excellent.

slayer.

No

son of

the earth reddens, and the raven gladdens,

Sigurd returned home to Hialprek, when Regin


gated him to slay Fafnir.

171

is

insti-

THE ELDER EDDA OE SAEMUND

THE LAY OF

FAFNIR.

Sigurd and Regin went up


found Fafnir's

slot,

to Gnitaheid,

and there

or track, along which he crawled to

There on the way Sigurd made a large pit,


and went down into it. When Fafnir crawled from the
gold he blew forth venom, but it flew over Sigurd's head.
When Fafnir crept over the pit, Sigurd with his sword
Fafnir shook himself, and beat
pierced him to the heart.
with his head and tail.
Sigurd leapt from the pit, and
the water.

Fafnir said

each looked at the other.

Young

young

by what fellow art


thou begot? of what people are thou the son? that thou
in Fafnir reddenst thy glittering falchion?
Thy sword
1.

has pierced

fellow!

my

fellow!

heart.

Sigurd concealed his name, because

it

was the

belief in

those times, that the words of dying persons were of


great power,

if

enemy by

they cursed an

his

name.

Sigurd.

Gofugt-dyr

2.

am

called,

motherless child; nor have

men

alone

but

have wandered a

father like the sorts of

wander.
Fafnir.

3.

If

thou hast no father

what wonder

like the sons of

art thou begotten

men, by

Sigurd.
4.

My

race, I tell thee,

is

i/2

to thee

unknown, and my-

THE LAY OF FAFNIR


Sigmund was my father named, my name
Sigurd, who with weapon have assailed thee.

self also.

is

Fafnir.

Who

5.

has incited thee?

my

thyself to be incited to take


ling eyes

Thou

why

hast thou suffered

life?

youth of the spark-

hadst a cruel father

me

aid,

Sigurd.

My

6.

my

heart incited me,

keen sword.

age,

if in

Rarely a

my

man

hands gave
is

bold,

and

when of mature

childhood he was faint-hearted.


Fafnir.

know

7.

if

thou hadst chanced to grow

in the lap

of friends, they would have seen thee fierce in fight.

Now

thou art a captive, taken in war, and,

said,

'tis

slaves ever tremble.

Sigurd.

Why

8.

from
in

my

war

Fafnir! dost thou upbraid

paternal

home?

am

me

that I

am

far

not a captive, although

was taken thou hast found


:

that I

am

free.

Fafnir.
9.

Thou

wilt account only as

thee shall say, but


gold,

angry words

will say the truth.

and the gleed-red treasure, those

The

all

to

jingling

rings, shall be thy

bane.

Sigurd.
10.

Treasure at

command

that one day; for at

to

every one desires, ever

some time each mortal

Hel depart.
173

shall

till

hence

THE ELDER IDDA OF SAEMUND


Fafnir.

The Norns'

11.

decree thou wilt hold in contempt

as from a witless wight


if

in

In water thou shalt be drowned,

All things bring peril to the

wind thou rowest.

fated.

Sigurd.
Tell me, Fafnir! as thou art wise declared,

12.

many

things to

in need,

know: who those Norns

are,

who

and
help

and from babes loose the mothers.


Fafnir.

Very diversely born I take those Norns to be:


Some are of sir-race,
they have no common race.
some of Alfar-race, some are Dvalin's daughters.
13.

Sigurd.
14.

many

Tell me, Fafnir! as thou art wise declared, and

how

things to know,

Surt and the

sir

will

where
sword-liquor together mingle?
that

holm

is

called,

Fafnir.

gods with
lances play Bilrost shall be broken, when they go forth,
and their steeds in the river swim.
An CEgis-helm I bore among the sons of men,
16.
15.

Oskopnir

it

is

called; there shall the

while

I o'er

the treasures lay

myself to be; stronger

stronger than

all I

thought

found not many!

Sigurd.
17.

pelled

An

CEgis-helm

by anger

fight:

comes, that no one

is

is

no protection, where men im-

soon he

finds,

who among many

alone the boldest.


174

THE LAY OF FAFNIR


Fafnir.
18.

Venom

blew forth, when on

my

father's great

heritage I lay.

Sigurd.

Thou, glistening serpent! didst a great belching


make, and wast so hard of heart. Fierceness so much
the greater have the sons of men, when they possess that
19.

helm.
Fafnir.
20.

Sigurd!

now

counsel thee, do thou take

The

counsel; and hence ride home.

my

jingling gold, and

the gleed-red treasure, those rings, shall be thy bane.

Sigurd.
21.

Counsel regarding thee

is

taken, and I to the gold

on the heath that lies. But lie thou, Fafnir!


the pangs of death, until Hel have thee!

will ride,

in

Fafnir.
22.

Regin betrayed me, he

Fafnir must,

both will be the bane.


his life: thine

will thee betray,


I

trow,

he of us
let

forth

was the greater might!

Regin had gone away while Sigurd slew Fafnir, but


came back as Sigurd was wiping the blood from his
sword.
23.

tory

He

said:

Hail to thee now, Sigurd!

won and

Fafnir slain

of

all

Now

the

hast thou vic-

men who

tread the

earth, thou art, I say, the bravest born.

Sigurd.
24.

Uncertain

'tis

to

know, when we
175

all

come

to-

THE ELDER EDDA OF SABMUND

which is the bravest


who sword has never broken

gether, sons of victorious heroes,

Many

born.

one

is

bold,

in another's breast.

Regin.

Glad are thou now, Sigurd

25.
joicing,

while

Gram

in

the

and

grass

in

thou

thy gain re-

My

driest.

brother thou to death hast wounded, yet in some degree

was

the cause.

Sigurd.
2G.

high

Thou
fells

didst

hither.

me

counsel, that I should ride o'er

Treasure and

life

my

that glistening serpent, hadst thou

had

still

possess'd

anger not excited.

Regin then approached Fafnir and cut out his heart


with a sword named Ridill, and afterwards drank blood
from his wound. He said:
27.

Sit

now, Sigurd!

Fafnir's heart hold to the

but
fire.

must go

Of

to sleep

this refection I

and
would

fain partake, after that drink of blood.

Sigurd.

Thou wentst far off, while I in Fafnir my keen


sword reddened. With my strength I strove against the
28.

serpent's might, while in the ling thou layest.

Regin.
29.

Jotun

Long
old,

hadst thou allowed in the ling to

hadst thou the sword not used that

lie

that

forged

for thee, thy keen-edged glave.

Sigurd.
30.

Valour

is

better than

might of sword, when foes

176

THE LAY OF FAFNIR


embittered fight

for a brave

man

have ever seen gain

victory with a dull sword.

For the brave 'tis better than for the timid to join
in the game of war; for the joyous it is better than for
the sad, let come whatever may.
31.

Sigurd took Fafnir's heart and roasted

When
from

he thought
it,

it

on a

stick.

roasted enough, and the blood frothed

it

he touched

it

with his finger, to try whether

it

were quite done. He burnt his finger and put it in his


mouth and when Fafnir's heart's blood touched his
tongue he understood the language of birds. He heard
;

among

the eagles chattering

the branches.

One

eagle

said:
32.

There

heart at the
dispenser,

if

Sigurd sprinkled with blood; Fafnir's

sits

fire

he

roasts.

Wise methinks were

he the glistening life-pulp

Second
33.

There

lies

the ring-

ate.

eagle.

Regin communing with himself he


;

who

beguile the youth,

in

him

trusts

in

will

rage he brings

malicious words together, the framer of evil will avenge


his brother.

Third eagle.
34.

By

the head shorter,

send hence to Hel


the

let

then can he

mass that under Fafnir

him the hoary babbler

all

the gold possess alone,

lay.

Fourth eagle.
35.

He

would, methinks, be prudent,

your friendly counsel,

my

sisters!

177

If

if

he could have

he would bethink

THE ELDER EDDA OE SAEMUND


himself,

where

and Hugin gladden.

There

expect the wolf,

his ears I see.

Fifth eagle.

Not so prudent

36.

that tree of battle, as I that

is

martial leader had supposed,

now he

the other has of

if

he one brother

lets depart,

life bereft.

Sixth eagle.

He

most simple, if he longer spares that peoThere lies Regin, who has betrayed him. He
ple's pest.
cannot guard against it.
37.

is

Seventh

By

38.

the head shorter

eagle.
let

him make

the ice-cold

Jotun, and of his rings deprive him; then of that treasure


thou, 1

which Fafnir owned,

sole lord wilt be!

Sigurd.

Fate shall not so

39.

my

resistless be, that

death-word bear; for the brothers both

go hence

Regin

shall

shall speedily

to Hel.

Sigurd cut off the head of Regin, and then ate Fafnir's
heart, and drank the blood of both Regin and Fafnir.

He

then heard the eagles saying:

Bind thou, Sigurd

40.

kingly

many

fairest,

the red-gold rings.

things to fear.

To

M.

e.,

know by

not

far the

Couldst thou but her obtain

with gold adorned.

Second
41.

a maid

It is

eagle.

Giuki lead all-verdant ways; the fates point

Sigurd

a transition from the 3d person to the 2nd.


i

78

THE LAY OF FAFNIR


out to wayfarers where the good king a born daughter
has; her wilt thou, Sigurd! purchase with bridal gifts.

Third eagle.

There stands a

42.

out

'tis all

with

on the high Hindarflall, withsurrounded; sagacious men have it

fire

hall

constructed of the resplendent radiance of the flood. 1

Fourth

On

43.

the

know

fell I

eagle.

a warrior maid to sleep, over

her waves the linden's bane. 2

Ygg whilom

thorn in the robe of the maid

who would

44.

whom

stuck a sleep-

heroes choose.

Thou, youth mayest see the helmed maiden, her


Vingskornir from battle bore. May not Sigrdrifa's
!

3
slumber break the son of warriors, against the Norns'

decrees.

Sigurd rode along Fafnirs track to his

lair,

which he

The doors and door-posts were of


were all the beams in the house but the

found open.
iron also

was buried

filled

treasure

Sigurd found there a great

in the earth.

quantity of gold, and

iron; of

two

chests with

it.

He

thence the (Egis-helm, a golden corslet, the sword

took

named

and many precious things, all which he laid on


Grani but the horse would not proceed until Sigurd had
mounted on his back.
Hrotti,
;

another periphrasis
13

for gold.

periphrasis for

J 79

fire.

3 Of

Skioldungs.

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND

THE LAY OF SIGRDRIFA.


Sigurd rode up the

Hindarfiall,

southwards towards Frankland.


great light, as

the sky.

On

and over

it

if

fire

and directed his course


In the fell he saw a

were burning, which blazed up

approaching

it,

there stood a "skialdborg,"

Sigurd went into the skialdborg,

a banner.

and saw a warrior lying within


armed.

He

first

to

it

asleep,

completely

took the helmet off the warrior's head,

and saw that it was a woman. Her corslet was as fast


With his sword Gram
as if it had grown to her body.
he ripped the corslet from the upper opening downwards,
and then through both sleeves. He then took the corslet
off from her, when she awoke, sat up and, on seeing
Sigurd, said:

What has my corslet cut? why from sleep have


started ? who has cast from me the fallow bands ?
1.

Sigurd.

Sigmund's son has just now

ript the raven's perch,

with Sigurd's sword.


She.
2.

Long have

I slept,

long been with sleep oppressed,

long are mortals' sufferings!

have been unable

Odin

is

the cause that

to cast off torpor.

So
The original words, hrafns hrlundir, the raven's corpse-trees.
understands the line because that bird hops about upon the armour
as upon a tree.
lf

Grimm

180

THE LAY OF SIGRDRIFA


down and asked

Sigurd sat
a horn

filled

her name.

She then took

with mead, and gave him the minnis-cap.


She.

3.

Hail to

Day

Hail to the sons of

Day

To Night

and her daughter hail


With placid eyes behold us here,
and here sitting give us victory.
Hail to
4.
Hail to the sir
Hail to the Asyniur
!

Words and wisdom give to us


noble twain, and healing hands 1 while we live.
She was named Sigrdrifa, and was a Valkyria. She
said that two kings had made war on each other, one of
whom was named Hialmgunnar he was old and a great
warrior, and Odin had promised him victory.
The other
was Agnar, a brother of Hoda, w hom no divinity would

the bounteous earth!

patronize.
in

Sigrdrifa overcame Hialmgunnar in battle

revenge for which Odin pricked her with a sleep-thorn,

and declared that henceforth she should never have vic"But I


tory in battle, and should be given in marriage.
said to him, that I had bound myself by a vow not to
espouse any man who could be made to fear."
Sigurd
answers, and implores her to teach him wisdom, as she
had intelligence from all regions
Sigrdrifa.
5.

Beer

2
bear to thee, column of battle! with might

mingled, and with bright glory:


salutary saw s,
r

'tis

full

of song, and

of potent incantations, and joyous dis-

courses.
lr
The superstition of the healing hand is not yet extinct in Iceland. Dr.
Maurer relates a story of a man in Reykjavik to whom it would seem to
have been communicated by an elfin, in a dream. 2 Literally apple-tree.

181

THE ELDER EDDA OE SAEMUND


Sig-runes thou must know,

6.

if

victory (sigr) thou

and on thy sword's hilt grave them; some on


the chapes, some on the guard, and twice name the name
wilt have,

of Ty.
01- (beer-) runes thou must know,

7.

that another's wife thy trust betray,

On

if

if

thou wilt not

thou

in

her con-

must they be graven, and on the hand's


back, and Naud on the nail be scored.
A cup must be blessed, and against peril guarded,
8.
and garlick in the liquor cast then I know thou wilt never
fide.

the horn
1

have mead with treachery mingled.


Biarg- (help-) runes thou must know,

9.

if

thou wilt

and loose the child from women. In the palm they


must be graven, and round the joints be clasped, and the
Disir prayed for aid.
Brim- (sea-) runes thou must know, if thou wilt
10.

help,

have secure afloat thy sailing

steeds.

On

the

prow they

must be graven, and on the helm-blade, and with


the oar applied.

No

fire to

surge shall be so towering, nor

waves so dark, but from the ocean thou safe shalt come.
11.
Lim- (branch-) runes thou must know, if thou a
leech wouldst be, and wounds know how to heal.
On the
bark they must be graven, and on the leaves of trees, of
those whose boughs bent eastward.
12.
Mai- (speech-) runes thou must know, if thou
wilt that no one for injury with hate requite thee.
Those
thou must wind, those thou must wrap round, those thou
must altogether place in the assembly, where people have
into full court to go.
x

The name

of a rune.

l82

THE LAY OF SIGRDRIFA


Hug- (thought-) runes thou must know, if thou a
wiser man wilt be than every other.
Those interpreted,
13.

those graved, those devised Hropt, from the

fluid,

which

had leaked from Heiddraupnir's head, and from Hoddropnir's horn.

14.
his

On

a rock he stood, with edged sword, a helm on

head he bore.

Then spake Mim's head

its first

wise

word, and true sayings uttered.


15.

They

16.

On

on the shield graven, which


stands before the shining god, on Arvakr's ear, and on
Alsvid's hoof, on the wheel which rolls under Rognir's
car, on Sleipnir's teeth, and on the sledge's bands.
are,

it

said,

the bear's paw, and on Bragi's tongue, on the

wolf's claws, and the eagle's beak, on bloody wings, and

on the bridge's end, on the releasing hand, and on healing's track.

On

and on gold, on amulets of men, in wine


and in wort, and in the welcome seat, on Gungnir's point,
and on Grani's breast, on the Norn's nail, and the owl's
17.

glass

neb.
18.

All were erased that were inscribed, and mingled

with the sacred mead, and sent on distant ways: they


are with the sir, they are with the Alfar,
the wise Vanir, some
19.
all ol-

human beings

some with

have.

Those are bok-runes, 1 those are biarg-runes, and


(beer-) runes, and precious megin- (power-) runes,

for those

who

can, without confusion or corruption, turn

iLiterally beech- (book-) runes, from being used for book writing or
graving on thin leaves of beech (bok), whence our book. Bok also signifies
acupictile, vel acupictum (velum, aulum).

183

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND

them

until the

powers

Now

20.

it

in

thou hast understood them,

if

perish.

thou shalt choose, since a choice

keen armed warrior!

thee,

over

Use,

to his welfare.

thy mind.

my

All evils

is

offered

speech, or silence: think

have their measure.

Sigurd.
21.

though thou shouldst know

will not flee,

doomed.

am

Thy

not born a craven.

sels all I will receive, as

long as

life is in

me

friendly coun-

me.

Sigrdrifa.
22.

This

thee counsel

first:

that towards thy kin

thou bear thee blameless.

Take not hasty vengeance,

although they raise up strife

that, it is said, benefits the

dead.
23.

swear,

This
if it

accursed
24.

thee counsel secondly: that no oath thou

be not

Cruel bonds follow broken faith

true.

the faith-breaker.

is

This

thee counsel thirdly

that in the assembly

thou contend not with a fool; for an unwise


utters

25.

words worse than he knows


All

is

man

oft

of.

vain, if thou holdest silence; then wilt thou

seem a craven born, or

else truly accused.

Doubtful

is

good one thou gettest. On


go forth, and so men's lies reward.

servant's testimony, unless a

the next day


26.

This

ceress dwells

let his life

counsel thee fourthly

by the way,

lodge, though night


27.

Of

may

to

go on

is

to Sigurd's

a wicked sor-

better than there to

overtake thee.

searching eyes the sons of

*An allusion

if

unhappy end.

184

men have

need,

THE LAY OF SIGRDRIFA


when

they have to fight

fiercely

oft pernicious

women

by the way-side sit, who swords and valour deaden.


This I thee counsel fifthly although thou see
28.

fair

women on

the benches sitting,

let

not their kindred's

To

ver over thy sleep have power.

kiss thee entice

sil-

no

woman.
29.

This

thee counsel sixthly

although

among men

pass offensive tipsy talk, never while drunken quarrel with

men

of war

30.
felt

wine

Brawls and drink to many men have been a heart-

sorrow

to

are the griefs


31.

many.

steals the wits of

This

some their
of men!

some calamity many

death, to

thee counsel seventhly:

putes with a daring man, better

if

for

it is

thou hast dis-

men

to fight than

to be burnt within their dwelling.


32.

This

against

evil,

and eschew

deceit.

wife of man, nor to wantonness


33.

This

guard thee
Entice no maiden, nor

thee counsel eighthly

that thou

incite.

thee counsel ninthly

that thou

corpses

bury, wherever on the earth thou fmdest them, whether

from sickness they have


weapons dead.
34:.

Let a

mound

died, or

from the

sea, or are

from

be raised for those departed;

let

hands and head be washed, combed, and wiped dry,


ere in the coffin they are laid: and pray for their happy

their

sleep.

35.

This

thee counsel tenthly

that thou never trust

a foe's kinsman's promises, whose brother thou hast slain,

or sire laid low

there

is

a wolf in a young son, though

he with gold be gladdened.


i8q

THE ELDER EDO A OF SAEMUND


and

Strifes

36.

enmities think not to be lulled,

fierce

no more than deadly

prince not easily acquires,

This

37.

look,

me

what course

may

Sigurd said

it

take.

[not] enjoy

"A

may

long

have

to

"Thee

choose

arms a

foremost.

life,

it

seems to

fierce disputes will arise.

wiser mortal exists not, and

my

that I will possess thee, for thou art after

answered

in

counsel thee eleventhly: that thou at evil

the prince

Wisdom and fame


who shall of men be

injury.

have before

I will

among

all

men."

And

all

swear

She
though I

heart."

others,

this

they confirmed

with oaths to each other.

FRAGMENTS OF THE LAY OF SIGURD


AND BRYNHILD.
1

[Sigurd then rides away from Hindarfiall, and journeys on till he comes to the habitation of Heimir, who

was married

to

Heimir's son,

who was

Beckhild,

Brynhild's

at play

him

sister.

when Sigurd

Alsvid,

arrived at

and requested him to


stay with him.
Sigurd consented, and remained there a
short time.
Brynhild was at that time with Heimir, and
w as weaving within a gold border the great exploits of

the mansion, received

kindly,

Sigurd.
lr
rhese fragments from the Volsunga-Saga, which are inserted in some
paper manuscripts of the Edda, and containing matter probably derived
from the lost poems relative to Sigurd and Brynhild, are printed in the
Stockholm edition of the Edda. They are also given by Afzelius in his
Swedish version, and partially in Danish by Finn Magnusen in his edition.
A complete translation into Danish of the entire Saga has since been given
by Prof. Rafn at Copenhagen.

186

FRAGMENTS OF THE LAY OF SIGURD AND BRYNH1LD


One day, when Sigurd was come from the forest, his
hawk flew to the window at which Brynhild sat employed
on weaving.

saw the. lady, and appeared struck with her handiwork and beauty.
On the
following day Sigurd went to her apartment, and Alsvid
Sigurd ran after

it,

stood outside the door shafting arrows.

Sigurd said

"How fares it with thee?" She


well, my kindred and friends are

"Hail to thee, lady!" or

"We

answered:
living,

but

it

is

are

w hat any one's


down by her.

uncertain

their last day."

He

sat

may

lot

Sigurd answered

"Now

is

till

Brynhild said

"This seat will be allowed to few, unless


comes."

be

my

father

come to pass
"Here shalt

that

which thou didst promise me." She said


thou be welcome."
She then arose, and her four maidens with her, and, approaching him with a golden cup,
bade him drink. He reached towards her and took hold
of her hand together with the cup, and placed her by
:

him, clasped her round the neck, kissed her, and said:

"A

was never born." She said


"It is
faith in women, for they so often break
He said "Better days will come upon

fairer than thou

not wise to place


their promise."
us,

so that

"It

is

we may

enjoy happiness."

not ordained that

we

Brynhild said:

shall live together, for I

shield-maiden (skjaldmr)."

Sigurd said:

our happiness be best promoted,

if

we

is

keen weapon."

Brynhild said

"Then

will

live together; for

the pain which herein

harder to endure

am

lies

than from a

"I shall be called to the

aid of warriors, but thou wilt espouse Gudrun, Giuki's

daughter."

Sigurd said

"No

king's daughter shall en-

snare me, therefore have not two thoughts on that sub187

THE ELDER EDDA OE SAEMUND


ject

and

swear by the gods that

I will

possess thee and

no other woman."

She answered to the same effect.


Sigurd thanked her for what she had said to him, and
gave her a gold ring. He remained there a short time in
great favour.

Sigurd

now

rode from Heimir's dwelling with

King

much

whose
wife was named Grimhild. They had three sons, GunGudrun was the name of
nar, Hogni, and Guthorm.
King Giuki entreated Sigurd to stay
their daughter.
All appeared low
there, and there he remained a while.
by the side of Sigurd. One evening the sorceress Grimgold, until he

came

to the palace of

Giuki,

and presented a horn to Sigurd, saying


"Joyful for us is thy presence, and w e desire that all good
may befall thee. Take this horn and drink." He took it
hild rose

and drank, and with that drink forgot both

his love

and

vows to Brynhild. After that, Grimhild so fascinated


him that he was induced to espouse Gudrun, and all

his

pledged their faith to Sigurd, and confirmed

Sigurd gave Gudrun to eat of Fafnir's heart,

by oaths.
and she be-

it

came afterwards far more austere than before. Their


son was named Sigmund.
Grimhild now counselled her son Gunnar to woo Brynand consulted with Sigurd, in consequence of this
Brynhild had vowed to wed that man only who
design.
should ride over the blazing fire that was laid around her
hall.
They found the hall and the fire burning around

hild,

it.

Gunnar rode

Goti,

and Hogni Holknir.

turns his horse towards the

gurd said:

"Why

dost

fire,

but

it

shrinks back.

thou shrink back,


188

Gunnar
Si-

Gunnar?"

FRAGMENTS OF THE LAY OF SIGURD AND BRYNHILD


Gunnar answers:
and prays Sigurd

"My

horse will not leap this

fire,"

him Grani. "He is at thy servGunnar now rides again towards the
ice," said Sigurd.
They then changed
fire, but Grani will not go over.
forms.
Sigurd rides, having in his hand the sword Gram,
to lend

his heels.

Grani runs forward to

feels the spur.

There was now a great

and golden spurs on


the fire

when he

noise, as

it is

The

said

began to rage, and the earth to tremble,


high rose the flame to heaven itself there ventured few
chiefs of people through that fire to ride, or to leap over.
1.

fire

2.

Sigurd Grani with his word urged, the

was

fire

quenched before the prince, the flame allayed before the


glory-seeker with the bright saddle that Rok had owned.
Brynhild was sitting

in a chair as

who he is, and he calls himself Gunnar


"And thou art destined to be my wife with

Giuki's son.

asks

consent.

thy father's

have ridden through the flickering flame

She

(vafrlogi) at thy requisition."

how

She

Sigurd entered.

said:

"I

know

not

answer this." Sigurd stood erect on


She rose emthe floor resting on the hilt of his sword.
barrassed from her seat, like a swan on the waves, having a sword in her hand, a helmet on her head, and wearwell

ing a corslet.

shall

"Gunnar," said

she,

unless thou art the foremost of


slay

him who has sought me,

in thyself."
ise,

Sigurd said

that thou wouldst

"speak not so to me,

men and
;

if

then thou must

thou hast so

much

trust

"Remember now thy prom-

go with

through the flickering flame."


189

that

man who

should ride

She acknowledged the

THE ELDER EDDA OE SAEMUND

him a glad welcome.


He tarried there three nights, and they prepared
one bed. He took the sword Gram and laid it between
them.
She inquired why he did so. He said that it
was enjoined him so to act towards his bride on their
marriage, or he would receive his death.
He then took
from her the ring called Andvaranaut, and gave her another that had belonged to Fafnir.
After this he rode
away through the same fire to his companions, when
Gunnar and he again changed forms, and they then rode
home.
truth of his words, stood up, and gave

Brynhild related this in confidence to her foster-father

Heimir, and said:

"A

king named Gunnar has ridden

through the flickering flame, and

me; but

I told

whom

gave

him

is

come

to speak with

might so do, to
Hindarfiall, and that he only

that Sigurd alone

my vow

at

was the man." Heimir said that what had happened


must remain as it was. Brynhild said: "Our daughter
Aslaug thou shalt rear up here with thee." Brynhild
then went to her father, King Budli, and he with his
daughter Brynhild went to King Giuki's palace. A great
feasting was afterwards held, when Sigurd remembered
all his

oaths to Brynhild, and yet kept silence.

Brynhild

and Gunnar sat at the drinking and drank wine.


One day Brynhild and Gudrun went to the river Rhine,
and Brynhild went farther out into the water. Gudrun
"Why
Brynhild answered
asked why she did so ?
shall I go on along with thee in this more than in anything else?"
"I presume that my father was more potent
than thine, and my husband has performed more valorous
:

190

FRAGMENTS OF THE LAY OF SIGURD AND BRYNHILD


deeds, and ridden through the blazing

was King Hialprek's

"Thou

Thy husband

fire.

Gudrun answered angrily

thrall."

shouldst be wiser than to venture to vilify

husband, as

the talk of

it is

in every respect has ever

all

come

no one

that

like to

my
him

into the world; nor does

become thee to vilify him, as he was thy former husband, and slew Fafnir, and rode through the fire, whom
thou thoughtest was King Gunnar and he lay with thee,
and took from thee the ring Andvaranaut, and here mayit

est

thou recognize

it."

Brynhild then looking at the

and turned pale as though she were


Brynhild was very taciturn that evening, and

ring, recognized

dead.

it,

Gudrun asked Sigurd why Brynhild was so taciturn.


dissuaded her much from making this inquiry, and
that at

On

all

events

it

the morrow,

run said

"Be

sitting in their apartment,

cheerful, Brynhild

What

Brynhild answered:

said Gudrun.

that only
befitting

which

is

women

of high degree.

that pre-

"Judge not

"Ask about
know; that is more

Brynhild continued
better for thee to

is it

It is

good, too, for thee

to be content, as all goes according to thy wishes."

run said:

"It

is

premature to glory

Gud-

"Malice drives

thee to this; for thou hast a cruel heart."


so,"

said

would soon be known.

when

vents thy mirth?"

He

Gud-

in that: this fore-

bodes something; but what instigates thee against us?"

"Thou

Brynhild answered:

shalt be requited

for hav-

grudge thee the possession of


him." Gudrun said: "We knew not of your secret."
Brynhild answered
"We have had no secret, though
we have sworn oaths of fidelity; and thou knowest that I
ing espoused Sigurd

for I

191

;::

THE ELDER EDOA OF SAEMUND


have been deceived, and

"Thou

art better

avenge

will

it."

married than thou deservest to

thy violence must be cooled."

I."

Gudrun answered:

renowned a husband

as

and that

it

is

is

and

be,"

more renowned

"Thou

hast

doubtful which

is

it

Brynhild said:

greater king."
nir,

for

said

be,

"Content should

said Brynhild, "didst thou not possess a

husband than

Gudrun

is

as

the

"Sigurd overcame Faf-

worth more than

Gunnar's kingdom,

all

said

"Sigurd the serpent slew, and that henceforth shall be


by none forgotten, while mankind lives: but thy brother
neither dared through the fire to ride, nor over it to leap."

Gudrun said
"Grani would not run through the fire
under King Gunnar: but he [Gunnar] dared to ride."
Brynhild said
"Let us not contend I bear no good will
to Grimhild."
Gudrun said: "Blame her not; for she
:

is

towards thee as to her

"She

own

daughter."

Brynhild said

gnaw s me.

She
presented to Sigurd the pernicious drink, so that he no
more remembered me." Gudrun said: "Many an unjust word thou utterest, and this is a great falsehood."
Brynhild said: "So enjoy Sigurd as thou hast not deceived me, and may it go with thee as I imagine."
Gudrun said
"Better shall I enjoy him than thou wilt wish
and no one has said he has had too much good with me
at any time."
Brynhild said
"Thou sayest ill and wilt
repent of it.
Let us cease from angry words, and not
indulge in useless prattle.
Long have I borne in silence
is

the cause of

all

the evil which

the grief that dwells in

my

breast

192

have also

felt

regard

FRAGMENTS OF THE LAY OF SIGURD AND BRYNHILD


for thy brother.

run said:

But

let

us talk of other things."

"Your imagination

looks far forward."

and King Gunnar came to


and begged her to rise and give vent to her

Brynhild then lay


talk with her,

Gucl-

in bed,

sorrow; but she would not

brought Sigurd to

might not be

visit

They then

to him.

listen

her and learn whether her grief

alleviated.

They

called to

memory

their

and how they had been deceived, and at length


Sigurd offered to marry her and put away Gudrun; but
Sigurd left the apartment, but
she would not hear of it.
was so greatly affected by her sorrow that the rings of
his corslet burst asunder from his sides, as is said in the
oaths,

Sigurdarkvida

"Out went Sigurd from

that interview into the hall of

kings, writhing with anguish

so that began to start the

ardent warrior's iron-woven sark off from his sides."

Brynhild afterwards instigated Gunnar to murder Sigurd, saying that he had deceived them both and broken

Gunnar consulted with Hogni, and revealed to


him this conversation. Hogni earnestly strove to dissuade him from such a deed, on account of their oaths.
Gunnar removed the difficulty, saying
"Let us instigate
our brother Guthorm he is young and of little judgment,
his oath.

and

is,

moreover, free of

all

oaths; and so avenge the

mortal injury of his having seduced Brynhild."

They

then took a serpent and the flesh of a wolf, and had them

cooked, and gave them to him to

eat,

and offered him

gold and a large realm, to do the deed, as

"The

forest-fish they roasted,

193

is

said

and the wolf's carcase

THE ELDER EDDA OE SAEMUND

some

took, while

Geri's

flesh

to

Guthorm

gave him

dealt out gold;

with his drink, and

many other

things steeped

therein."

With

this

food he became so furious, that he would

On

instantly perpetrate the deed.

the Sigurdarkvida,

this

it

is

related as in

when Gunnar and Brynhild conversed

together.]

THE THIRD LAY OF SIGURD FAFNICIDE.


It was of old that Sigurd, the young Volsung,

1.

Giuki sought, after his


friendship from the

conflict,

received the pledge of

two brothers; oaths exchanged the

bold of deed.

A maid they offered him,

2.

and treasures many, Gud-

Drank and conversed,


many days together, Sigurd the young and Giuki's sons.
3.
Until they went to woo Brynhild, and with them
run, Giuki's youthful daughter.

Sigurd, the youthful Volsung, rode in company,

knew
sess

the way.

He would

have possessed her,

if

who

her pos-

he might.

4.

naked sword, a glitterbetween them; nor the damsel did he kiss,

Sigurd the southern

ing falchion,

laid a

nor did the Hunnish king to his arm

blooming maid
5.

She

He

the

sin conscious,

nor

lift

her.

to Giuki's son delivered.

to herself of

body was of no

iThe name of one of Odin's wolves


general.

194

here used poetically for wolf in

THE THIRD LAY OF SIGURD FAFNICIDE


at her death-day, of

any crime, that could be a

thought to be: intervened therein the grisly

Alone she

6.

sat without, at eve of day,

stain, or

fates.

began aloud

"Sigurd must be mine;


or that blooming youth clasp in my arms."

with herself to speak:


die,

must

words I have uttered I now repent; he is


Gudrun's consort, and I am Gunnar's.
The hateful
Norns long suffering have decreed us."
7.

"Of

8.

Oftentimes she wandered,

o'er ice

the

and icebergs, every

eve,

filled

with

when he and Gudrun had

couch withdrawn, and Sigurd her

to their

evil thoughts,

in the cover-

Hunnish king his wife caressed.


"Devoid I go of spouse and pleasure; I will beguile

ings wrapt, the


9.

myself with vengeful thoughts."

By

10.

those

fits

of fury she was impelled to murder.

"Thou, Gunnar! shalt wholly lose my land, and myself


also.
Never shall I be happy, king! with thee.
11.
I will return thither from whence I came, to my
near kindred, my relations there will I remain, and
;

slumber

life

away, unless thou Sigurd cause to be

slain,

and a king become than the other greater.


12.
Let the son go together with the father, the young
wolf may not longer be fostered. For whom will vengeance be the easier to appease,

the son lives?"

Wroth was Gunnar, and with

13.
in his

if

mind

revolved, sat the whole day

grief borne
;

down

he knew not well,

nor could devise, what were most desirable for him to do,
or w ere most fitting to be done, when he should find
T

himself of the Volsung bereft, and in Sigurd a great loss


sustain.
14

195

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND

Much

14.

he thought, and also long, that

women

often happen, that from their royal state

Hogni he then

drew.

he placed the

"Of

15.

dearest
lay

she

down

good

me

'tis

the chief of

women

rather will I

than that fair one's treasures

to

riches rule,

command
and

is

the

my

life

lose.

his wealth

circumvent?

the ore of Rhine, and at ease over

in tranquillity happiness enjoy/'

This alone Hogni for answer gave

17.

whom

in

Brynhild, Budli's daughter,

"Wilt thou the prince for

16.

with-

fullest trust.

all to
is

summoned,

to counsel

did not

it

"It beseems

us not so to do, by the sword to break sworn oaths, oaths

sworn, and plighted

"We know

18.

while

faith.

we

four over the people rule, and the

that warlike chief; nor

we

five

men more

not on earth

on

earth, a race

more

fortunate,

Hun

lives,

excellent, if

sons long shall foster, and the good progeny can

increase.

19.
hild's

know

full

importunity

We

well

is

whence the causes spring: Bryn-

over-great.

Guthorm, our younger brother, and not


over-wise, for the deed prepare he is free from sworn
oaths, sworn oaths, and plighted faith."
21.
Easy it was to instigate the ferocious spirit in the
heart of Sigurd stood his sword.
22.
On vengeance bent, the w arrior in his chamber
20.

will

hurled his brand after the fierce assassin

to

Guthorm

flew

Gram's gleaming steel from the king's hand.


23.
Fell the murderer in two parts, arms and head
flew far away, but his feet's part fell backwards on the

dartlike

place.
r

196

THE THIRD LAY OF SIGURD FAFNICIDE


Sunk

was Gudrun, in her bed, void of


cares, by Sigurd's side: but she awoke of joys bereft,
when in the blood of Frey's friend she swam.
25.
So violently struck she her hands together, that
"Weep not, Gudrun
the stout of heart rose in his bed.
24.

sleep

my

so cruelly,

An

26.

in

blooming bride! thy brothers live.


heir I have, alas! too young; he cannot

flee

from the hostile house; among themselves they recently


have dark and evil counsels devised.
Never henceforth, although seven thou bear, will
27.
Full well I
such a son to the trysting with them ride.

know how
of

all

the

this has befallen

is

evil.

Me

28.

Brynhild the sole cause

more than any man; but

the maiden loved

towards Gunnar

sinned not; affinity

sworn oaths; thence forward

was

held sacred, and

called his consort's

friend.''

29.
life.

The woman gave


So

and the king

forth sighs,

his

hands together, that the

violently she struck her

beakers on the wall responsive rang, and in the court the

geese loudly screamed.


30.

only,

Budli's daughter, once

Laughed then Brynhild,


from her whole soul, when

her bed she listened

in

to the loud lament of Giuki's daughter.


31.

Then

said

Gunnar,

the

hawk-bearing

"Laugh not

thereat, thou barbarous

couch, as

good awaited

if

thee.

Why

beauteous colour ? authoress of crime

thou art doomed.


32.

ell

woman
!

prince:

glad on thy

hast thou lost that

Methinks to death

dost thou deserve, above

197

all

women,

that

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND


before thy eyes, Ave should lay Atli low, that thou shouldst
see thy brother's blood-streaming sore, his

gory wounds

shouldst have to bind."

Then

33.

said Brynhild, Budli's daughter

provokes thee, Gunnar! complete


Little does Atli thy hatred fear

and

is

"No one

thy work of death.

his life will outlast thine,

might be ever greater.


Gunnar! will tell thee, though thou well knowest
34.
it, how early we resolved on crimes.
I was o'er-young
and unrestrained, with wealth endowed, in my brother's
his

house.
35.

Nor

did I desire to marry any man, before ye

Giukungs rode to our dwelling, three on horseback, powerful kings would that journey had never been
:

36.

Then myself

promised to the great king, wdio

with gold sat on Grani's back.


resemble, nor

was

In eyes he did not you

at all in aspect like: yet ye

thought

yourselves mighty kings.


37.

And

to

me

apart Atli said, that he would not have

our heritage divided, nor gold nor lands, unless


self

me any

be married, nor grant

gold,

which he

me a

child in

to

me

a girl

I let

my-

part of the acquired

had given

to possess,

and to

moneys counted.
Then distracted was my mind thereon, whether I
38.
should engage in conflict, and death dispense, valiant in
arms, for my brother's quarrel.
That would then be
world-widely known, and to many a one bring heartfelt
anguish.
39.

Our

reconciliation

we

let

follow

to

me

it

had

been more pleasing the treasures to accept, the red-gold


198

THE THIRD LAY OF SIGURD FAFNICIDE


rings of Sigmund's son

him alone

loved,

nor did

another's gold desire

Menskogul

none other.

had not a

changing mind.
All this will Atli hereafter find,

40.

hear of

my

Then

Up

41.

woman

will

with another's husband pass her

my wrongs

be

all

avenged."

rose Gunnar, prince of warriors, and round

neck laid his hands

his consort's

one singly, through honest

all

drew nigh, yet each

feeling, to dissuade her.

She from her neck those about her


no one stay her from her long journey.
42.

He

43.

that

cast; she let

then called Hogni to consultation.

"I will

our folk to the hall be summoned, thine with


now 'tis most needful to see if we can hinder

all

mine

shall

funeral rites completed; for never shall the

heavy-hearted
life.

when he

my consort's

fatal course,

till

from our speech a hindrance

may come: then let us leave necessity to rule."


44.
To him Hogni answer gave: "Let no one hinder
her from the long journey, whence may she never born
again return.
in the

Unblest she came on her mother's

lap,

born

world for ceaseless misery, for many a man's heart-

sorrow."

felt

Downcast he from the meeting turned to where


the lady treasures distributed.
She was viewing all she
owned hungry female thralls and chamber-women. She
put on her golden corslet no good meditated ere her45.

she pierced, with the sword's point.

self

46.

On

the pillow she turned to the other side, and,

wounded with
1

the glave, on her last counsels thought.

That is, Skogul with the necklace Brynhild applies this name to herwhich is a compound of men, necklace, monile, and Skogul, the name
:

self,

of a Valkyria.

199

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND

"Now

47.

come those who

let

less precious, to receive

gilded

necklace,

desire gold,

To

from me.

and

needle-work

and aught

every one

give a

splendid

coverlets,

weeds."
All were silent, thought on

48.

together answer gave


will yet live,

still

what

"Too many

to do,

and

are there dead

all

we

be hungry hall-servants, to do what

fitting is."

At

49.

young

length after

in years,

words

in

the lady

reflection,

answer uttered

linen-clad,

"I desire that

none, dead to entreaty, should by force, for our sake, lose


their life.

Yet o'er your bones will burn fewer ornaments,


Menia's good meal, 2 when ye go hence me to seek.
Gunnar! sit down, I will tell to thee, that of life
51.
50.

now

hopeless

be always

afloat,

though

thou thinkest

have

I shall

With Gudrun thou

52.

Thy

thy bright consort.

is

that wise

my

vessel will not


life

resigned.

wilt be reconciled, sooner than

woman

has by the king sad

memorials, after her consort's death.

There

53.

is

born a maid, which her mother rears;

brighter far than the clear day, than the sun's beam, will

Svanhild

be.

Gudrun thou

54.

wilt give to an illustrious one, a

warrior, the bane of

many men

be married

come her

Atli will

not to her wish will she

to espouse, Budli's son,

my

brother.
1 Necklaces
usually consisted in gold and silver chains or laces with
ornaments attached to them if these resembled the sun or moon they
were called Sigli, suns (such were those here spoken of) and such was the
necklace worn by Freyia, the bright goddess of the Vanir. 2 Menia's meal,
;

or Hour,

is

gold.

200

THE THIRD LAY OF

Much have

55.

me

ye

while

permit

it

in

life lasted.

Thou

56.

memory how

was treated, when


had deceived robbed I was of happine-

so cruelly

my

SIGL'RD FAFXICIDE

not

love thee, as

Oddrun

wilt desire
in secret

ye will each other meet.

had done,

to possess, but Atli will

if

She

will

us a better fate had been al-

lotted.

57.

Thee

will Atli barbarously treat

in the

narrow

serpent-den wilt thou be cast.


58.

It will

too

come

to pass, not long after, that Atli

will his soul resign, his prosperity,

Gudrun

in

and cease

to live

for

her vengeance him in his bed will slay, through

bitterness of spirit, with the sword's sharp edge.


59.

More seemly would appear our

she in death her

first

sister

Gudrun, had

consort followed, had but good coun-

been to her given, or she a soul possessed resembling

sel

mine
Faintly

60.

not lose her

now

She

life.

King Jonakr's

to

speak

but

will be

paternal

for our sake she will

borne on towering billows

Doubts

soil.

will be in the

resolves of Jonakr's sons.

She

61.
ter,

and

will

Si^iird's.

Jormunrek for
all

Svanhild send from the land, her daugh-

Her

will destrov Bikki's counsel

evil lives.

Then

will

for

have passed away

Sigurd's race, and Gudrun's tears will be the more.


62.

world

One
'twill

prayer
be

my

have to thee yet to make,

last

request

raised a pile so spacious, that for us


for those
6o.

who

shall

Bedeck the

in this

Let in the plain be


all like

room may

be,

have died with Sigurd.


pile

about with shields and hangings,


201

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND


a variegated corpse-cloth, and multitude of slain.

Let

them burn the Hun on the one side of me;


64.
Let them with the Hun burn on the other side,
my household slaves, with collars splendid, two at our
heads, and two hawks then will all be equally distributed.
65.
Let also lie between us both the sword with rings
1

adorned, the keen-edged iron, so again be placed, as

we both one couch


name of consorts.
66.

Then

when

ascended, and were then called by the

will not clang against his heel the hall's

bright gates, with splendid ring,

if

my

train

him hence

Then will our procession appear not mean.


For him will follow five female thralls, eight male

shall follow.

67.

and with

slaves of gentle birth,

fostered with me,

patrimony, which to

daughter Budli gave.

Much

his.

my

and more would say, if the


sword would grant me power of speech. My voice fails,
my wounds swell: truth only I have uttered; so I will
68.

have

said,

cease/'

Sigurd.

202

"

FRAGMENTS OF THE LAY OF BRYNHILD

FRAGMENTS OF THE LAY OF BRYNHILD.


Gunnar.
1.

"Why

art thou, Brynhild! Budli's daughter! ab-

What

sorbed in evil and murderous thoughts?

has Sigurd done thee, that thou the hero wilt of

injurylife

be-

oaths has sworn, oaths sworn,

all

reave ?"
Brynhild.
2.

"Sigurd to

He

falsehoods.

have been of

all

me

at a

time deceived

me when

he should

oaths most observant.

Hogni.

"Thee Brynhild has in anger instigated evil to perpetrate, harm to execute.


She grudges Gudrun her happy
*
*
*
marriage, and thee, possession of herself."
4.
Some a wolf roasted, some a snake cut up, some to
Guthorm served the wolf, before they might, eager for
3.

crime, on the mighty


5.

words

man

lay their hands.

Without stood Gudrun, Giuki's daughter, and these


first

of

all

uttered

"Where

is

now

Sigurd, lord

my

kinsmen foremost ride?"


"Asunder have
Hogni alone to her answer gave
6.
we Sigurd hewed with our swords his grey steed bends

of warriors, seeing that

o'er the
7.

dead chief."

Then

said Brynhild, Budli's daughter

ye

now

all

have ruled, had he a

enjoy arms and lands.


little

203

"Well

shall

Sigurd would alone over


longer

life retained.

THE ELDER F.DDA OF SAEMUND

Unseemly

had been that he should so have ruled


over Giuki's heritage and the Goths' people, when he five
8.

sons,

for the

it

of hosts, eager for warfare, had be-

fall

gotten."
0.

Then

sounded

Brynhild

laughed

once only from her whole

ye enjoy lands and subjects,


caused to

whole

the

now

heart

burgh

"Well

re-

shall

the daring king ye have

fall."

Gudrun, Giuki's daughter:


"Much
thou speakest, things most atrocious may fiends have
Gunnar, Sigurd's murderer
Souls malevolent vengeance

Then

10.

said

awaits."
11.

Sigurd had fallen south of Rhine: loud from a

tree a raven

screamed

"With your blood

will Atli his

sword's edges redden; the oaths ye have sworn your


slaughter shall dissolve."
12.

Evening was advanced, much w as drunken, then


T

did pleasant talk of


to rest they went.

all

kinds pass

all

sank in

sleep,

when

Gunnar alone was wakeful longer than

all:

13.
self to

He

began his foot to move, and much with him-

speak; the warlike chief in his mind pondered,

what during the

conflict the

raven and the eagle were

ever saying, as they rode home.


14.

Brynhild awoke, Budli's daughter, daughter of


ere day:

Skioldungs, a

little

the mischief

perpetrated

to suppress
15.

is

"Urge me or

my sorrow

to

stay

me

pour forth, or

it."

All were silent at these words; few understood

204

FRAGMENTS OF THE LAY OF BRYNHILD


weeping she should begin to
speak of what she laughing had desired.
16.
"In my dream, Gunnar! all seemed so horrid, in
the chamber all was dead my bed was cold and thou,
the

conduct,

lady's

that

king! wast riding of joy bereft, with fetters loaded, to a

So

hostile host.

will ye

race of Niflungs

all,

be of power

deprived, perjurers as ye are!


17.
in

Ill

Gunnar!

your footsteps both

let

flow

that requited, because he

all

remember, when blood ye

didst thou
;

now

hast thou

him

would prove himself

ill

for

fore-

most.

Then was

18.

see

me, to

it

proved,

woo me, how

when

the hero had ridden to

the warlike chief whilom held

sacred his oath towards the youthful prince.

Laid his sword, with gold adorned, the illustrious


king between us both outward its edges were with fire
19.

wrought, but with venom drops tempered within."

From
it

this lay, in

which the death of Sigurd

is

related,

appears that he was slain without doors, while some

was slain sleeping in his bed but the Germans say he was slain out in the forest and it is told in

relate that he

the "Gudrunarkvida hin Forna," that Sigurd and the sons


of Giuki had ridden to the public assembly (thing)

he was

slain.

But

it

is

said

by

that they broke faith with him,

lying

down and

unprepared.

205

all,

when

without exception,

and attacked him while

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND

THE FIRST LAY OF GUDRUN.


Gudrun

sat over

Sigurd dead; she wept not as other

women, although ready to burst with sorrow. Both men


and women, came to console her, but that was not easy.
It is said by some that Gudrun had eaten of Fafnir's heart,
and therefore understood the
sung of Gudrun

Of

1.

old

it

was

that

This

talk of birds.

Gudrun prepared

she sorrowing over Sigurd

No

sat.

is

to die,

also

when

sigh she uttered, nor

with her hands beat, nor wailed, as other women.

came forward of great sagacity, from her


Gudrun could not shed a
sad state of mind to divert her.
tear, such was her affliction; ready she was to burst.
2.

Jarls

3.

Sat there noble wives of

jarls,

adorned with gold,

before Gudrun; each of them told her sorrows, the


terest she

had known.

Then

4.

self to

said Giaflaug, Giuki's sister

be on earth most joyless

have suffered of two daughters,


;

ers eight
5.

6.

Gudrun could not shed a

know my-

of five consorts
sisters three,

tear,

and her

the loss

and broth-

such was her

soul's

afflic-

anguish for the

fall.

Then

said Herborg, Hunaland's queen

cruel grief have to recount


land,

"I

alone live."

tion for her dead consort,

king's

bit-

my

my

"I a

more

seven sons, in the south

spouse the eighth, in conflict

206

fell.

THE FIRST LAY OF GUDRUN


7.

My

father and

the sea the

my

wind deluded

mother,

my

brothers four, on

the waves struck on the ship's

timbers.
8.

to see

mine.

mine
them tombed, their funeral rites to prepare was
All this I underwent in one half-year, and to me

Their

last

honours 'twas mine

no one consolation
9.

of the

Then
same

to*

pay, 'twas

offered.

became a

captive, taken in war, at the close

Then had

half-year.

to adorn,

and

tie

the

shoes, of the hersir's wife, each morn.

From

10.

jealousy she threatened me, and with hard

blows drove me: nowhere master found

a better, but

where a worse."
11.
Gudrun could not shed a tear, such was her affliction for her dead consort, and her soul's anguish for the
mistress no

king's

fall.

12.

Then

canst thou,

said Gullrond,

my

fosterer,

wife fittingly talk."

Giuki's daughter:

wise as thou

The

king's

"Little

with a young

art,

body she forbade

to be

longer hidden.

She snatched the sheet from Sigurd's corse, and


"Behold thy
turned his cheek towards his wife's knees:
loved one, lay thy mouth to his lip, as if thou wouldst
13.

embrace the living prince."


14.
Gudrun upon him cast one look

she saw the

prince's locks dripping with blood, the chief's sparkling

eyes closed in death, his kingly breast cleft by the sword.

Then sank down Gudrun back on her pillow, her


head-gear was loosed, her cheeks grew red, and a flood
15.

of tears

fell

to her knees.

207

The elder edda oe saemund

Then wept Gudrun,

1G.

tears spontaneously flowed,

Giuki's daughter, so that the

and

at the

same time screamed

the geese in the court, the noble birds, which the lady

owned.

Then spake Gullrond,

17.

loves

know were

Giuki's daughter:

among

the most ardent

upon earth thou hadst delight nowhere,


:

"Your

living beings

sister

mine save
!

with Sigurd."

Then

"Such was
my Sigurd among Giuki's sons, as is the garlick out from
the grass which grows, or a bright stone on a thread
drawn, a precious gem on kings.
19.
I also seemed to the prince's warriors higher than
any of Herian's Disir now I am as little as the leaf oft is
18.

Gudrun, Giuki's daughter:

said

in the storm-winds, after the chieftain's death.

20.

Sitting I miss, and in

my

bed,

my

dearest friend.

Giuki's sons have caused, Giuki's sons have caused

and

affliction,

my

their sister's tears of anguish.

So ye desolate the people's


your sworn oaths. Gunnar! thou
21.

ye have kept

land, as

wilt not the gold en-

joy; those rings will be thy bane, for the oaths thou to

Sigurd gavest.

mansion was the greater mirth, when


my Sigurd Grani saddled, and Brynhild they w ent to woo,
!"
that which accursed, in an evil hour
22.

Oft

in the

23.

hag

Then

said Brynhild, Budli's daughter

lack spouse

and

children,

who

thee,

"May

the

Gudrun! has

caused to weep, and this morning given thee runes of


speech
J

!"

Power

of speech.

208

THE FIRST LAV OF GUDRUN


Then

24.

said Gullrond, Giuki's daughter:

thou loathed of

all

from those words.

The

"Cease,

evil destiny

of princes thou hast ever been; thee every billow drives


of an evil nature; thou sore affliction of seven kings, the

among women!"

greatest bane of friendship

Then

25.

said Brynhild, Budli's daughter:

brother, Budli's offspring,

When

26.

king

we

the sole cause of

in the hall of the

beheld the

journey,

is

fire

Hunnish

"Atli
all

have paid the penalty, that sight

Of

the evil

with the

folk,

of the serpent's bed.

my

that

have ever

rued."

She by a column

27.

From

stood, the

wood

violently clasped.
fire

gleamed

beheld the

wounds

the eyes of Brynhild, Budli's daughter,

venom she

forth;

snorted,

when she

of Sigurd.

Gudrun then went away to the forest and deserts, and


travelled to Denmark, where she stayed seven half-years
with Thora, Hakon's daughter. Brynhild would not outShe caused her eight
be killed, and then slew

and

female

live Sigurd.

thralls

slaves to

herself with a sword,

as

it

is

related in the "Sigurdarkvida in

Short L,ay of Sigurd).

periphrasis for gold.

209

five

Skemma"

(the

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND

BRYNHILD'S HEL-RIDE.
After

Brynhild's death, two piles were made, one for

Sigurd, which was the

first

burnt but Brynhild was burnt


;

afterwards, and she was in a chariot, which was

with precious tapestry; so that

drove

in a chariot

on the way

was

it

to Hel,

a place in which a giantess dwelt.


1.

"Thou

shalt not pass

Better had

dwelling place.

it

said that Brynhild

and passed through

The

through

hung

giantess said

my

stone-supported

beseemed thee

to

work

broidery, than to seek after another's husband.

Why

woman

from Valland,
my dwelling visit? Thou hast, golden dame! if thou
desirest to know, gentle one! from thy hands washed
2.

human

dost thou, vagrant

blood."

Brynhild.

"Upbraid me not, woman of the rock! although I


have in warfare been. Of us, I trow, I shall the better
seem, wherever men our conditions know."
3.

Giantess.
4.

"Thou, Brynhild! Budli's daughter! wast

hour born
children,

in the

and

in evil

world thou hast been the bane of Giuki's

their

happy house subverted."


Brynhild.

5.

"From my

chariot I will truly

2IO

tell

thee,

thou wit-

BRYNHILD'S HEL-RIDE
crone!

less

if

how

thou desirest to know,

Giuki's heirs

made me both lovelorn and perjured.


6.
The bold-hearted king 1 caused

the garbs of us

eight sisters under an oak to be borne.

Twelve years old

was

thou desirest to know, when to the youthful

if

I,

king oaths

By

7.

helm, by

gave.

I
all

all

in

Hlymdalir

who knew

Then caused I
Hialmgunnar to Hel
8.

was

called

Hild with the

me.

next, in the Gothic realm, the old


to journey: I gave victory to the

youthful brother of Oda, whereat Odin became hostile


to me.

He

9.

in

with shields encompassed me, red and white,

Skatalund; their surfaces enclosed me; him he ordained

my

sleep to break,

who

in

no place could be made

He made around my

10.

ering burn the destroyer of

only over

it

to ride,

under Fafnir

On
where my
11.

hall,

all

who me

to fear.

towards the south, tow-

wood

then bade that

man

the gold should bring, that

lay.

Grani rode the chief, the gold-disperser, to


foster-father ruled o'er the dwellings.

alone seemed there to

all

superior, the

He

Danish warrior, of

the court.
12.

We

he had

my

same bed, as if
born brother been; neither of us might on

slept

and were content

in the

the other, for eight nights, lay a hand.

Reproached

13.

had

me Gudrun,

slept in Sigurd's

Giuki's daughter, that

arms; then was

made aware of

!By depriving them of the swan-plumage, for they were Valkyriur like
the wives of Volund and his brothers, Agnar reduced them under his subjection.

15

211

THE ELDER KDDA OF SAHMUND

what I
a mate
14.

fain

would

not,

I took.

To

calamities

all

too lasting

We

will be while living born.

and

had deceived me, when

that they

pass our

men and women

two

shall

ever

now, Sigurd

Sink thou of giant-kind

life together.

I"

THE SLAUGHTER OF THE NIFLUNGS.


Gunnar
heritage.

and Hogni then took

Dissension prevailed afterwards between the

Giukungs and

He

Atli.

cause of Brynhild's death.

was agreed
riage, to

the gold, Fafnir's

all

charged them with being the

By way

that they should give

whom

of reconciliation,

him Gudrun

Erp and

mar-

they administered an oblivious potion,

before she would consent to espouse Atli.


sons,

in

it

had two

Atli

but Svanhild was the daughter of

Eitil,

King

Gunnar and
Hogni to his residence, and sent to them Vingi, or Knefrod.
Gudrun was aware of treachery, and sent them
word in runes not to come; and to Hogni, as a token,
Sigurd and Gudrun.

Atli

invited

she sent the ring Andvaranaut, in which she had tied

some

wolf's hair.

drun, Atli's
ried

sister,

Gunnar had sought the hand of Odbut did not obtain

it.

He

then mar-

Glaumvor, and Hogni took Kostbera to wife.

sons were Solar, Snvar, and Giuki.

kungs came to
cede for their

Atli,
lives,

When

Their

the Giu-

Gudrun besought his sons to interThe heart of


but they would not.
212

THE SECOND LAY OF GUDRUN


Hogni was
serpents.

cut out, and

He

Gunnar was

cast into a pen of

struck his harp and lulled

but an adder stung him to the

the serpents,

liver.

THE SECOND LAY OF GUDRUN.


King Theodric was with

and had there lost the


Theodric and Gudrun mugreater number of his men.
tually bewailed their afflictions.
She related to him and
Atli,

said

maid above all maids I was; my mother reared


me bright in her bower; my brothers I much loved, until
1.

me

Giuki, with gold adorned, with gold adorned, to Si-

gurd gave.

Such was Sigurd above Giuki's sons, as the green


leek is, springing from the grass, or the high-limbed hart
2.

above the savage beasts, or gleed-red gold above grey


silver.
3.

Until

consort to

my

all

brothers the possession grudged

superior.

They could not

of a

nor on

Sigurd had caused to

affairs deliberate, before they


4.

sleep,

me

die.

Grani to the assembly ran, his tramp was to be

heard; but Sigurd then himself came not.

All the sad-

were splashed with blood, and with sweating


from the murderers.
Weeping I went to talk to Grani, with humid

dle-beasts
faint,
5.

cheeks, I prayed the steed to

tell

213

then Grani shuddered,

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND

bowed down
master was no more.

in the grass
his

Long

0.

steed

knew

Gunnar hung

my mind distracted,
inquired for my king.

Hogni

his head, but

told

me

of Si-

"Beyond the river slaughtered


Guthorm's murderer, and to the wolves given.
gurd's cruel death.

Yonder behold Sigurd, towards the

8.

that

wandered, long was

ere of the people's guardian


7.

The

his head.

lies

south, there

thou wilt hear the ravens croak, the eagles scream, in


their feast exulting; the wolves

howling round thy con-

sort."

"Why

9.

wilt thou,

May

miseries recount?
scattered over the

Hogni! to a joyless being such


thy heart by ravens be torn and

wide world, rather than thou shouldst

walk with men."

Hogni answered,

10.

mood by

cheerful

intense

trouble:

wouldst have greater cause to weep,


tear

my

11.

if

the ravens should

heart."

Alone

turned from that interview to the wolves'

scattered leavings.

hands

from his
"Gudrun! thou

for once cast down,

beat,

No

sigh I

uttered,

nor wailed, as other women,

nor with

when

my

I heart-

broken sat by Sigurd.

Night seemed to me of blackest darkness, when


Better by far it seemed to
I sorrowing sat by Sigurd.
me had the wolves taken my life, or I had been burnt
12.

as a birchen tree.
13.

From

the

fell

I journeyed five long

nights, until the lofty hall of

Half

214

days and

recognized.

Seven

THE SECOND LAY OF GUDRUN


half-years I with

Thora

stayed,

Denmark.
14.
She for my
and Danish swans.

solace

wrought

We

15.

had

in pictures the

Hakon's daughter,
in

game

gold southern

in

halls,

of warriors, and in

handiworks a prince's nobles; red shields, Hunnish heroes, a sworded host, a helmed host, a prince's following.

Sigmund's ships from the land sailing, with


gilded heads, and carved prows.
We on our canvas
wrought how Sigar and Siggeir both contended south16.

ward

Fyen.

in

When

17.

greatly I

Grimhild, the Gothic

was

afflicted,

woman, heard how

she cast aside her needle-work,

and her sons called oft and earnestly, that she might
know, who for her son would their sister compensate,
or for her consort slain the blood-fine pay?

Gunnar was ready gold to offer, for the injuries


*
*
*
to atone, and Hogni also.
She then inquired
who would go the steeds to saddle, the chariot to drive,
on horseback ride, the hawk let fly, arrows shoot from
18.

the

yew bow ?

Valdar and the Danes with Jarizleif, Eymod the


third with Jarizkar, then entered, to princes like.
Red
mantles had the Langbard's men, corslets ornamented,
19.

towering helms

were

girded they were with falchions,

their locks.

20.

For

me

each one would choose precious

precious gifts, and to

many woes
in

brown

them

my

heart

they might gain

my

trust.

215

gifts,

would speak, if for my


confidence, and I would

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND

and

me brought a potion to drink


my injuries might forget; it was

Grimhild to

21.

bitter, that I

cold

min-

gled with. Urd's power, with cold sea-water, and with

Son's blood.
In that horn were characters of every kind graven

22.

comprehend them the long


of the Haddings' land, an uncut ear of corn:

and red-hued
lyng-fish

nor could

the wild-beasts' entrance.

In that potion were

23.

many

from every wood, and the acorn, the


trails

together, a herb

ills

fire-stead's

of offerings, swine's liver seethed

dew, 2 en-

for that deadens

strife.

And

24.

king's

words

then

I forgot,

when

in the hall spoken.

had taken
There to my
I

it,

all

the

feet three

kings came, before she herself sought to speak with me.

"Gudrun!

25.

I will give thee gold to possess, of all

the riches

much

Hlodver's

halls, all the

of thy dead father; rings of red gold,

hangings

Hunnish maids, those who

26.

in bright gold work, so that

it

by the fallen king.


weave tapestry, and

left

may

Over

delight thee.

Budli's wealth thou alone shalt rule, adorned with gold,

and given to

"I will not have any man, nor Brynhild's brother

27.

marry

Atli."

it

beseems

me

not with Budli's son to increase a

race, or life enjoy."

28.
'tis

"Take care not

we who have

to pay the chiefs with hate; for

been the aggressors

act as if yet lived

so shouldst thou

Sigurd and Sigmund,

if

sons thou

bearest."
!That

is

the long fish of the heath, or ling, a snake or serpent.

2l6

Soot.

THE SECOND LAY OF GUDRUN


"Grimhild!

29.

my

cannot in mirth indulge, nor, for

hero's sake, cherish a hope, since the bloodthirsty

[wolf and] raven have together cruelly drunk


gurd's heart's blood.

"Him 1

30.

blest race,

have

until

my

Si-

,,

have found to be a king of noand in much most excellent: him shalt thou
age lays thee low, or mateless be, if him thou
of

all I

wilt not take."

"Cease to offer that cup of

31.

that race to

and

me

he

will cut out

ills

so pertinaciously,

Gunnar's destruction perpetrate,

will

Hogni's heart.

the exulting strife-exciter's

not cease until

I will

life I shall

have taken."

Weeping Grimhild caught the words, by which


her sons Gudrun foreboded evil, and to her kindred

32.

to

"Lands I will also give thee, people


and followers, Vinbiorg and Valbiorg, if thou wilt accept them; for life possess them, and be happy, daughdire misfortunes.

ter!"

"Him

33.

from

my

he be to

then I will choose

among

the kings, and

relatives reluctantly receive him.

me

welcome

consort, nor

my

Never

will

brothers' bale a

protection to our sons."

Forthwith on horseback was each warrior to be

34.

seen; but the Walish

For seven days

we

seven,

women were

o'er a cold land

beat the

we rode

waves and the


;

in chariots
;

placed.

but the second

third seven,

we

reached

dry land.

There the gate-wards of the

35.

ticed entrance opened, ere the court


x

Atli

Grimhild speaks.

217

lofty

we

burgh the
entered.

lat-

THE ELDER EDDA OE SAEMUND


Atli

36.

waked me, but

thoughts, for

my

"So me

37.

seemed to be

of evil

full

kinsmen's death.
just

now

have the Norns waked,

would have.

grateful interpretation I fain

Methought

Gudrun! Giuki's daughter! with a treacherous

that thou,

sword didst pierce me through."


"Fire

38.

arrogance and pleasure,


I will

me

go burn

when one of iron dreams,


Against evil
a woman's anger.

forebodes,

it

thee, cure

and medicate

thee, although, to

thou art hateful."

39.

"Seemed to me here

in the

garden 3 that young

shoots had fallen, which I wished to

let

grow

torn

up

with their roots, reddened with blood, to table they were

me to eat.
me that hawks

brought, and offered


40.

"Seemed

to

flew from

my

hand,

seemed to me
I ate their hearts with honey swollen with blood, with
sorrowing mind.
41.
"Seemed to me from my hand whelps I let slip;

lacking their quarry, to the house of woes

lacking cause of joy, both of them howled


their bodies

seemed to

became dead carcases: of the carrion

me

was

compelled to eat."
42.

"There

will warriors

round thy couch converse,

and of the white-locked ones take off the head; deathdoomed they are within a few nights, a little ere day:
thy court will eat of them."
43.
in

my
1

Kt\\

"Lie down

That

fate

speaks.

would

I will

Gudrun

not,

nor sleep

after, obstinate

execute!"

answers.

^Atli speaks.

218

s Atli

speaks.

Gudrun

answers.

THE THIRD LAY OF GUDRUX

THE THIRD LAY OF GUDRUN.


Atli had a serving-woman named Herkia, 1 who had
been his concubine.

She informed Atli that she had seen


Thiodrek and Gudrun together; whereat Atli was much

Then Gudrun

afflicted.
1.

What

ails

said:

thee ever, Atli! Budli's son!

sorrow in thy heart?

Why

Hast thou

never laughest thou?

To

would seem more desirable, that thou with


men wouldst talk, and on me wouldst look.
thy jarls

it

Atli.

Gudrun! Giuki's daughter! that in


my palace here, Herkia has said, that thou and Thiodrek
have under one covering slept, and wantonly been in the
2.

It

grieves me,

linen wrapt.

Gudrun.
3.

For

all

this

charge

I will

white sacred stone, that with


has passed, which to

man and

give

my

oaths by the

me and Thiodrek

nothing

wife only belongs;

embraced the prince of armies, the


honoured king, a single time. Other were our cogita4.

tions,

Save that

when sorrowful we two

sat to converse.

1 Herkia,
the Erka or Helche of the German tradition, who here appears
as a slave or servant, is, according to that tradition, the queen of Etzel or
Atli, who did not marry Kreimhilt (Gudrun) until after her death.
The
falsification of the story, the pitiful subordinate part acted by Thiodrek, the
perfect silence of all the other poems on this event, and the ordeal of the
cauldron, sufficiently show that the poem is a later composition.
P. E.
Muller (II., p. 319) ascribes it to Smund himself.

219

THE ELDER EDDA OE SAEMUND

now
Surround me

Hither came Thiodrek, with thirty warriors;

5.

there lives not one of those thirty men.

with thy brothers, and with mailed warriors; surround

me

with

all

thy noblest kinsmen.

Send to Saxi the Southmen's

C.

prince, he can hal-

low the boiling cauldron."


Seven hundred men entered the
7.

hall,

ere in the

cauldron the queen dipt her hand.


8.

not

"Now Gunnar conies not, nor call I Hogni I shall


see again my loved brothers with his sword would
:

Hogni such wrong avenge: now

must myself purify

from crime."
9.
She to the bottom, plunged her snow-white hand,
and up she drew the precious stones. 1 "See now, ye

men
as

it

10.

am

proved

guiltless in

holy wise, boil the vessel

may."

Laughed then

Atli's heart within his breast,

he unscathed beheld the hand

o<f

Gudrun.

when

"Now must

Herkia to the cauldron go, she who Gudrun had hoped


to injure."
No one has misery seen who saw not that,

how

hand there of Herkia was burnt. They then


2
the woman led to a foul slough.
So were Gudrun's
wrongs avenged.
the

lr
rhe iarknastein of the original was a milk-white opal.
ishment was known to the old Germans.

220

This pun-

ODDRUN'S LAMENT

ODDRUN'S LAMENT.
named Heidrek, who had a daughnamed Borgny. Her lover was named Vilmund.

There was
ter

a king

She could not give birth to a child until Oddrun, Atli's


sister, came.
She had been the beloved of Gunnar,

Of

Giuki's son.
1.

came

this story

have heard

it

is

here sung:

in ancient stories

tell,

to the eastern land

no one was

how

able,

a damsel

on the face

of earth, help to afford to Heidrek's daughter.

When

Oddrun, Atli's sister, heard that the damsel had great pains, from the stall she led her well-bridled
steed, and on the swart one the saddle laid.
3.
She the horse made run on the smooth, dusty way,
She the saduntil she came to where a high hall stood.
dle snatched from the hungry steed, and in she went
2.

along the court, and these words

"What

first

of

all

uttered

most noteworthy in this country? or


what most desirable in the Hunnish land?"
4.

is

Borgny.

Here lies Borgny with pains o'erwhelmed, thy


friend, Oddrun!
See if thou canst help her.
5.

Oddrun.
6.

our?

What

Why

chieftain has

on thee brought

so acute are Borgny's pains?

221

this dishon-

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND


Borgny.
7.

Vilmund

is

named

the damsel wrapt in a

the falcon-bearer's friend

warm

coverlet five

he

whole winters,

was hidden.
8.
They, I ween, spoke not more than this: kindly
Vehemently sang
she went to sit at the damsel's knee.
Oddrun, fervently sang Oddrun songs of power over
so that from her father she

Borgny.

and boy might then tread the mould-way,


Then began to
gentle babes, born of Hogni's bane.
speak the death-sick damsel, who before had no word
9.

girl

uttered.

"So may

10.

thee help the benignant genii, Frigg and

Freyia, and other gods besides, as thou hast from


peril

me

removed!"

11.

was not

"I

inclined to give thee help, because

thou never wast of succour worthy

performed what

then said

when

vowed, and have

the princes the heri-

tage divided, that I would ever help afford."

Borgny.

Mad

Oddrun! and hast lost thy wits,


when in hostile spirit most of thy words thou utterest;
for I have been thy companion upon the earth, as if from
brothers we both were born.
12.

art thou,

Oddrun,

what thou one evening saidst,


when I for Gunnar, a compotation made. Such a case,
saidst thou, would not thenceforth happen, to any maiden,
13.

save to

remember

me

yet

alone."

222

ODDRUN'S LAMENT
Then

14.

down

sat

the sorrowing lady

to<

her

tell

woes, from her great grief


"I

15.

of

many

was nurtured

in the kingly hall, I

in the council of

men.

Life

These

last

the joy

my

enjoyed, and

my

father's wealth, five winters only, while


16.

was

father lived.

words the noble-hearted king strove

to utter, ere he departed hence.

He

17.

bade

me

be endowed with ruddy gold, and

He

in the south be given to Grimhild's son.

maiden could more excellent


willed

it

18.

in the

w orld be
7

said

born,

if

no
fate

not otherwise.

Brynhild in her bower was occupied

she had people and lands around her.

in

broidery

Earth slumbered,

and the heavens above, when Fafnir's bane her burgh


first

saw.

Then was

waged with

Walish sword,
and the burgh taken which Brynhild owned. It was not
long which was not surprising ere she discovered all
19.

conflict

the

those frauds.

These she caused cruelly to be avenged, so that


we all have great afflictions. Known it will be through
every land of men, that she caused herself to die with
20.

Sigurd.

But

21.

for Gunnar,

rings'

ceived, such as Brynhild should.

dispenser,

love

con-

But he Brynhild bade

a helmet take, said she a Valkyria should become.


22.

brother,
a

They forthwith

offered 1

and indemnity not

For Brynhild's death.

small.

Gunnar.

223

ruddy

He

rings

to

my

besides offered

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND


for

me

fifteen vills,

and the load of Grani's

sides, if

he

would accept them.


23.
But Atli said he never would a marriage-gift receive from Giuki's son.
Still we could not our loves
withstand, but I my head must lay upon the ring-breaker.
Many things said my relations; declared they had
24.
surprised us both together; but Atli said, that I would
not crime commit, nor scandal perpetrate.
But such
should no one for another ever deny, when love has part.
25.
Atli sent his emissaries about the Murk-wood,
that he might prove me; and they came to' where they
ought not to have come, to where we had one couch
prepared.
26.

To

the

men we

offered red-gold rings, that they

might not to Atli tell; but they forthwith hastened


home, and it quickly to Atli told.
it

But they from Gudrun carefully concealed it, yet


rather by half she should have known it. 1
A sound was heard of gold-shod hoofs, when into
28.
27.

the court rode Giuki's heirs,

Of Hogni

they

the heart cut out, and into a serpent-pen the other cast.
29.

had gone yet once again

pare a banquet.

harp to sound

Geirmund, to pre-

to

The brave king 2 began

for the prince of noble race

the

hoped that

to his aid might come.


30.

it

heard from; Hlesey,

how

of trouble there the

harp-strings sang.
31.

I*

my

thralls

bade

all

be ready

the prince's

Trom here the narrative appears to be very fragmentary.


while in the serpent-pen.
224

life

Gunnar

ODDRUN'S LAMENT
would

save.

The

until I

saw

all Atli's

forth

may

she perish

Oftentimes

how

I after

can

miserable

Atli's

heart; so that the hero


33.

float

let

past the

forest,

courts.

Then came

32.

we

vessel

she

mother

crawling

Gunnar pierced

to

the

could not save.

woman

wonder,

life retain;

gold-adorned!

for I seemed the formidable

sword-dispenser as myself to love:


34.

Thou

many an

sitst

evil fate,

as he best may.

and

while

listenest,

recount to thee

my own and theirs." Each one


Now is ended Oddrun's lament.

a
For "lund" {forest, icood), which
Copenhagen editor favors the correction
Sound) ? -'Borgny.

225

is

to

lives

reading of the MSS., the


sund (a sound or strait, the

the

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND

THE LAY OF ATLL


Gudrun,
is

Giuki's daughter, avenged her brothers, as

She

well known.

first

killed Atli's sons,

and

wards Atli himself, and burnt the palace with


household.

On

was

these events

this lay

after-

the

all

composed.

Atli sent riding a messenger to Gunnar, a crafty

1.

man, Knefrud was his name.


and to Gunnar's hall, to the

To- Giuki's courts he came,


1
seats of state,

and the glad

potation

There drank the courtiers wine

2.

but the guileful ones

they

Then

feared.

silence

kept

in their Valhall

the

Huns' wrath

said Knefrud, with chilling voice:

the southern warrior on a high bench sat


3.

"Atli has sent

me

hither

bit-griping steed, through the

pray you, Gunnar


of state, Atli's
4.

his errand riding

unknown Murkwood,

home

to

gilt saddle-cloths, sarks

"The

to

visit.

" Shields ye there can choose,

and bit-griping

on a

that to his bench ye come, with helms

spears, gold-red helms,

5.

on

and smooth-shaven

and of Huns a multitude,

silver-

gory-red, the dart's obstruction,

steeds.

plain he will also give you, the broad Gnita-

1 The
epithet aringreypr is applied both to benches and helmets (see
Strophes 3 and 16). Its meaning is doubtful: it has been rendered xronbound, brass-bound, hearth-encircling, curved like an eagle's beak, etc.
Benches and helmets of ceremony are evidently intended, probably ornamented with brass-work or figures of eagles. But to whichever substantive
applied, I take its meaning to be the same. 2 The messengers of Atli. 3 The
Giukungs.

22

THE LAY OF AT LI
and gilded prows, vast treasures,
and Danp's towns, with that famed forest, which men
heid, whistling javelins,

the

Murkwood
Gunnar

6.

call."

his

head then turned, and to Hogni said

"What

counselest thou, bold warrior?

hear?

Of no gold

we

knew on

now

suchlike

we

Gnita's heath, to which

possess not other equal.

"Seven halls have we filled with swords, of each


of which the hilt is gold.
My horse I know the best,
and my sword the keenest; my bow adorns my seat, my
7.

corslets are of gold,

my

brought from the hall


than

all

the

Hunnish

"What

8.

helm and shield the brightest,


of Kiar: mine alone are better

ones.

thinkest thou the

woman

means, by send-

ing us a ring in a wolf's clothing wrapt?

Wolf's hair

she caution enjoins.


red-gold ring: wolfish

No

9.

is

the

think that

found twined

way we on our

in the

errand ride."

sons pursuaded Gunnar, nor other kinsman,

interpreters nor counsellors, nor those

Then spake Gunnar,

who

potent were.

as beseemed a king, great in his

mead-hall, from his large soul


10.

"Rise

now

up, Fiornir!

let

along the benches pass

the golden cups of heroes, from the attendants' hands.


11.

"The wolf

bearded

sages!

if

shall rule the Niflungs'

Gunnar

perish;

heritage,

black-coated

bears

earth's fruit tear with their teeth, to the dogs' delight,


if

Gunnar come not back."


12.
Honoured men, weeping

led the land's ruler

from

1 Gudrun
she had sent, hy Atli's messengers, a ring to her brothers, as
a warning, in which a wolf's hair was entwined, together with a note in
runes, which were falsified by Vingi.
:

16

22 7

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND

Then said Hogni's youthful heir:


Huns' court.
"Go now, prudent and prosperous, whither your wishes

the

lead."
13.

The warriors made

mountains

the

their bit-griping steeds over

through the unknown Murkwood.

fly,

The whole Hunnish

forest trembled where'er the

war-

riors rode; over the shrubless, all-green plains they sped.

14.

Atli's land they saw,

and the high watch-towers;

Bikki's people stood on that lofty

fortress;

the south

was round with benches set, with wellbound bucklers, and white shields, the javelin's obstrucThere Atli drank wine in his Valhall his guards
tion.
sat without, Gunnar and his men to- watch, lest they there
should come with yelling dart, to excite their prince to
people's hall

conflict.

15.

Their

sister

forthwith saw,

when

the hall they

had entered, her brothers both beer had she little


drunken "Betrayed art thou now, Gunnar! though
strong, how wilt thou contend with the Huns' deadly

wiles?
16.

Go

quickly from this hall!

"Better hadst thou,

than with helm of

Gunnar!

state, to see

the

corslet

in

home

come,

of Atli; thou

whole sun-bright days,


the Norns weep, the Hunnish

in the saddle wouldst have sat

and

o'er the pallid dead let

shield-maids misery suffer

but Atli himself thou shouldst

into the serpent-pen have cast; but


is

for you
17.

ble,

the serpent-pen

two reserved."

"Sister!

long

now

'tis

'tis

now

too late the Niflungs to assem-

to seek the aid of

over the rugged

fells

of Rhine."

228

men, of valiant heroes,

THE LAY OF ATLI


Gunnar

1
the Burgundians' friends

Then

18.

seized,

and him fast bound.


Hogni hewed down seven, with the keen sword,

in fetters laid,
19.

but the eighth he thrust into the raging

a valiant

man

defend himself from

Hogni had Gunnar's hands

20.

So should

fire.

foes.
2

chief they asked, if the Goths' lord

The bold

protected.

would with gold

his

redeem?
21.
"Hogni's heart in my hand shall lie, cut bloody
from the breast of the valiant chief, the king's son, with

life

from

bare.

23.

Then

They the

on a dish bleeding

Hialli's breast;

Gunnar

a dull-edged knife."

said Gunnar, lord of

men

heart cut out

laid

and

it,

it

"Here have

to

the heart of the timid Hialli, unlike the heart of the bold

Hogni; for much it trembles as in the dish it lies: it


trembled more by half, while in his breast it lay."
Hogni laughed, when to his heart they cut the
24.
All bleeding
living crest-crasher; no lament uttered he.
on a dish they laid it, and it to Gunnar bare.
Calmly said Gunnar, the warrior Niflung
25.
"Here
:

have

of the bold Hogni, unlike the heart of

I the heart

the timid Hialli; for


lies

it

trembled

"So

26.

men
alone

less,

all

little

trembles, as in the dish

while in his breast

it

it

lay.

far shalt thou, Atli! be from, the eyes of

as thou wilt
is

it

from the treasures

be.

the hidden Niflungs' gold,

In

now

my power
that

Hogni

lives not.

27.
Atli's

"Ever was
men.

That

I
is

wavering,
Gunnar

w hile we

himself.

229

both lived;

now

THE ELDER EDDA OE SAEMUND

am

so no longer, as

alone survive.

Rhine

shall pos-

men's baleful metal, the mighty stream, the As-

sess

known

Niflungs'

In

heritage.

the rolling water the

choice rings shall glitter, rather than on the hands of the

Huns' children shine.


28.
"Drive your wheel-chariots, the captive

is

now

in

bonds."
29.

Atli the mighty, their sister's husband, rode with

resounding steeds, with strife-thorns 1 surrounded.

run perceived the heroes'

on entering the
30.

"So be

peril,

Gud-

she from tears refrained,

hall of tumult.
it

with thee, Atli! as towards Gunnar

thou hast held the oft-sworn oaths, formerly taken


the southward verging sun, and by Sigty's

cluded bed of

more did the

rest,

and by Ullr's ring/'

bit-shaker

hill,

by

the se-

Yet thence the

the treasure's guardian,

the

warrior chief, drag to death.


31.

The

living prince then did a host of

men

into a

pen cast down, which was within with serpents over-

But Gunnar there alone a harp in wrathful


mood with his hand struck: the strings resounded. So
crawled.

should a daring chief, a ring-dispenser, gold from,

men

withhold.
32.

Atli turned his brass-shod

steed, his

home

to re-

Din was in the court with


horses thronged, men's weapon-song, from the heath they
were come.
33.
Out then went Gudrun, Atli to meet, with a
golden cup to do her duty to the king. "Thou canst, O

visit,

back from the murder.

1 Spears.

The horse.

The original word

ful signification.

230

is

eyrskan, a word of doubt-

THE LAY OF ATLI


King! joyful

in

thy hall receive from Gudrun the arms

of the departed."

The drinking-cups of Atli groaned with wine


heavy, when in the hall together the Huns were counted.
34.

Long-bearded, bold, the warriors entered.

Hastened the bright-faced dame to bear their


potions to them, the wondrous lady to the chiefs; and
35.

reluctantly to the pallid Atli the festal dainties offered,

and uttered words of hate.


36.
"Thou, swords' dispenser! hast thy two sons'
hearts, slaughter-gory, with honey eaten.
I resolved
that thou, bold chief! shouldst of a

human

dish eat at

thy feasting, and to the place of honour send


forth thou wilt not to thy knees call

ous with beer the two

Hence-

it.

Erp and

Eitil,

joy-

thou wilt not henceforth see them

from thy middle seat, gold-dispersing, javelins shafting,


manes clipping, or horses urging."
38.
Uproar was on the benches, portentous the cry
of men, noise beneath the costly hangings.
of the

Huns

wept,

all

wept save Gudrun,

The

who

children

never wept,

or for her bear-fierce brothers, or her dear sons, young,


simple,

whom

she had borne to Atli.

Gold scattered the swan-fair dame; with ruddy


Fate she let ripen, but the
rings the household gifted.
39.

bright gold flow.

The woman

spared not the treasure-

houses.

had himself drunk weary weapon


he had none, nor was 'gainst Gudrun guarded. Oft had
40.

Atli incautious

their sport been better,

othsr before

the.

when they

nobles.

231

lovingly embraced each

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND

With

41.

the sword's point she gave the bed of blood

and the dogs loosed, out


at the hall-door drove them, and the lady wakened the
household with burning brand. That vengeance she for
to drink with death-bent hand,

her brothers took.

To

42.

fire

she then gave

all

that

were

from her brothers' murder were from the dark den


turned.

The

old

structures

fell,

smoked, the Budlungs' dwelling.

the

and

therein,
1

re-

treasure-houses

Burnt too were the

shield-maids within, their lives cut short; in the raging

they sank.

fire

enough is said. No such woman will


henceforth arms again bear, to avenge her brothers.
That bright woman had to three kings of men the death43.

doom

Of

this

borne, before she died.

Yet more clearly is this told in "Atlamalum inum


Grcenlenzkum" (the Greenland lay of Atli).

The serpent-pen.

232

THE GROENLAND LAY OF AT LI

THE GRCENLAND LAY OF


Of

1.

those misdeeds

riors of old a

men have heard

tell,

when war-

compact made, which by pledges they con-

firmed, a secret consultation held

and to Giuki's sons

after,

ATLI.

was to them
who were betrayed.
they were death-

terrible

likewise,

it

The warriors' fate ripened,


doomed ill advised was Atli, though he
2.

possessed sa-

gacity: he felled a mighty column, strove hardly against

himself; with speed he messengers despatched, that his


wife's brothers should

Wise was

3.

w ords

come

quickly.

the house-dame, prudently she thought

had heard, that in secret they


had said the sage lady was at a loss fain would she help
them; they 1 o'er the sea must sail, but she herself could
r

the

in order she

not go.

Runes she graved, Vingi them falsified, before he


gave them from him; of ill he was the bearer. Then
4.

departed Atli's messengers, through the branched

firth,

where the bold warriors dwelt.


They with beer were cheered, and fires they kin5.
dled, naught thought they of guile, when they were
come; they the gifts accepted, which the prince sent them,
on a column hung them, and of no evil thought.
6.
Then came Kostbera, she was Hogni's wife, a
woman greatly cautious, and them both greeted. Glad
for

The messengers.

233

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND


Glaumvor, Gunnar's consort, the prudent dame
her duty forgot not, she to the guests' need attended.
Hogni they home invited, if he would be pleased
7.

was

also

Treachery was manifest, had they but reflected

to go.

Gunnar then promised, if only Hogni would, but Hogni


refused what the other proposed.
8.
The noble dames bore mead, of many things there
was abundance, many horns passed round, until it seemed
they had full drunken.
9.
The household prepared their couches, as to them
seemed best. Cunning was Kostbera, she could runes

tongue she had to

by the bright fire; her


guard between both her gums so per-

verted were they,

it

interpret; she the letters read

To

10.

was

difficult to

their bed they went,

understand them.

gentle lady dreamed, and concealed

wisely said

it

it

not, to the prince

as soon as she awoke.

"From home thou

11.

The

she and Hogni.

art going,

counsel; few are fully prudent:

Hogni! give ear

go another

to

time.

have the runes interpreted, which thy sister


graved that fair dame has not this time invited thee. At
one thing I wonder most, I cannot even conceive, why
12.

so wise a
set

down

woman
as if

so confusedly should grave; for

it

intimated death to you both,

Either she has

should straightway come.


ter,

or others are the cause."

13.

"They

left

it is

if

out a

so

you
let-

are," said Hogni, "all suspicious; I have

no knowledge of them, nor

will I into

inquire, unless

it

*It would seem that the original runes, as graved by Gudrun, had not
been so completely erased as to leave no traces of them but that they were
still sufficiently legible to enable Kostbera to ascertain the real purport of
the communication,
;

334

THE GROENLAND LAY OF ATLI

we have

to

make

gleed-red gold.

requital.
I

The king

will gift us

with

we may hear

never fear, though

of

terror."

"Tottering ye will go,

14.

No

if

thitherward ye tend.

kind entertainment there will ye at this time

Hogni

hour ye

have dreamed,

will go,

or so at least

"Methought thy

15.

not conceal

I will

it

in

find.

an

evil

I fear.

was with

coverlet

fire

my

that the towering flame rushed through

consumed

dwelling.''

Hogni.

"Here

16.

noticed

lie

linen

cloths,

which thou hadst

little

these will quickly burn where thou the coverlet

sawest."

Kostbera.

"Methought a bear came in, and broke down the


columns; and so his talons shook, that we were terrorstricken by his mouth held many of us, so that we were
helpless there, too, was a din far from little."
17.

Hogni.
18.

"A

tempest there will be furious and sudden

the

white bear thou sawest will be a storm from the east."


Kostbera.
19.

"Methought an eagle flew

house: that will largely concern

with blood

from

herein, all
us.

his threats I thought

He
it

through the
sprinkled

all

to be the 'ham' 1

of Atli."
;

Ham

(hamr,

/ero,

hamingia)

a guardian angel, an attendant

235

spirit,

THE ELDER EDO A OF SAEMUND


'Hogni.

"We

20.

often slaughter largely, and then red

see: often are

oxen meant, when we of eagles dream.

Sound is the heart of


With this they ended

dream thou as thou mayest."


speeches have an end.

Atli,
:

all

The high-born awoke,

21.

Glaumvor had perceived

the

there

like

befell

that her dreams were ill-boding,

adverse to Gunnar's going to and

"Methought a gallows was

22.

we

fro.

for thee erected, 1 thou

wentest to be hanged, that serpents ate thee, that


thee living, that the Powers' dissolution

I inter'

Divine

came

thou what that portends.

"Methought a bloody glave from thy sark was


drawn ill 'tis such a dream to a consort to recount
methought a lance was thrust through thy middle wolves
howled on every side."
23.

Gunnar.

"Where dogs run

24.

bodes the bay of dogs the

they are wont to bark: oft


flight of javelins."

Glaumvor.

"Methought a

25.

house, that

it

river ran herein,

roared violently, rushed o'er the benches,

brake the feet of you brothers twain


spared

through the whole

something

nothing the water

will that portend

"Methought dead women in the night came


hither; not ill-clad were they: they would choose thee,
I ween thy Disir
forthwith invited thee to their seats.
26.

have forsaken thee."


1

Here a gallows in our sense


to which the condemned

scaffold,

and

of the word, but usually a


to a death of torture was

foot.

236

stake on a

bound hand

THE CROENLAND LAY OF AT LI


Giinnar.

"Too

27.

late

is

it

from the journey we


go: very probable

When

28.

to speak,

it

now

so resolved;
is

decreed to

lives will

be short."

shall not shrink, as

seems that our

it

is

it

colours were discernible, those on journey

would stay them. The


five journeyed together, of "hus-carls" there were present
Snvar and Soit was ill devised
twice that number
lar, they were Hogni's sons Orkning he was named, who
bent

rose up: the others fain

all

them accompanied, a gentle shield-bearer was

the

he,

brother of Hogni's wife.

They went

29.

fair-appointed, until the firth

them

parted: ever would their wives have stayed them, they

would not be stayed.


Glaumvor then spake, Gunnar's consort, Vingi
30.
"I know not
she addressed, as to her seemed fitting:
whether ye will requite us as we would with treachery
:

came the guest, if aught of


Then Vingi swore,
31.
"May him the Jotuns have,
gallows hold him,

if

ill

betide."

little
if

he

spared

towards you he

himself:
lies!

the

aught against peace he meditates

!"

"Sail
Bera took up the word, she of gentle soul
ye prosperous, and may success attend you may it be as
I pray, and if nothing hinder!"
Hogni answered he to his kin meant well
33.
"Be of good cheer, ye prudent whatever may befall.
32.

Many

say the same, though with great difference; for

many

little

34.

On

parted

ways

care

how

each

they depart from home."

other

then

then, I ween, their fates

divided.

237

before

they

were severed, and

their

they looked

THE ELDER EDO A OF SAHMUND


Vigorously they rowed, their bark was well nigh

35.

backward bending the waves they beat, ardently


their oar-bands were broken, the rowlocks shat-

riven;
plied

They made not

tered.

ted

it.

36.

the vessel fast before they quit-

little

the mansion

after

stand

will the

that

Budli

Then

said Vingi,

relate

they

saw

Loud

had possessed.

when Hogni knocked.

creaked the latticed gates,


37.

end

what he had

better not,

"Go

from the house, 'tis perilous to enter; I quickly enWith


ticed you to perdition ye shall forthwith be slain.
fair words I prayed your coming, though guile was under them.
But just bide here, while a gallows I prefar

pare."
38.

Hogni answered

little

thought he of yielding,

or of aught fearful that was to be proved:


to frighten us

try that seldom.

thou wilt thy harm prolong.

If

"Think not

one word thou addest,

,,

They rushed on Vingi, and struck him


on their axes, while life within him throbbed.

39.
laid

40.

Atli his

men

dead,

assembled, in their byrnies they

is-

sued forth, went prepared so that a fence was between

Words they bandied, all with


ready had we resolved to take your

them.

rage boiling:
lives

"Al-

away."

Hogni.
41.
e'en

"It looks but

now

ill,

if

ye before have counselled

ye are unprepared, and

we one have

smitten to death: one of your host was he,"


l

8o great was their haste to land.

238

felled,

THE GROEXLAXD LAY OF AT LI


when

Furious they became,

42.

words they
and their bow-

those

heard; their fingers they stretched forth,


strings seized

sharply shot, and with shields themselves

protected.

In then came the tale of what without was pass-

43.

ing; loud before the hall they a thrall heard speak.

was Gudrun, when the sad news


adorned with necklaces, she tore them all

Then

44.

she heard

incensed

asunder; so hurled the

silver,

that the rings in shivers

flew.

Then she went

45.

went forth void of


to the Xiflungs

tended

it

and the comers

fear,

that

was her

more words she

moved

hailed, turned

greeting,

last

the doors

truth at-

said

"I sought by symbols to prevent your leaving

46.

home,

fate

may no one

one consented,

Saw

47.

resist

Wisely she asked

hither."

Xo

out, not gently

all

and

yet

must you come

might they not be appeased?

answered

no.

then the high-born lady that a hard

game

they played; a deadly deed she meditated, and her robe

dashed
lives

naked falchion

aside, a

defended

hand she

skilful

she was in

applied.

Atli's brother she struck

borne

caused two warriors to

Giuki's daughter

48.

and her kinsmen's


warfare, where her

seized,

so

down,

he must

fall;

henceforth be

she the conflict managed, that she his foot

Another too she smote, so that he never


rose, to Hel she sent him her hand trembled not.
49.
A conflict then ensued, which was widely famed,
but that excelled all else which Giuki's sons performed.
struck

off.

239

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND

So

said the Niflungs, while yet they lived, with

'tis

maintained the

corslets

fight,

rent,

swords

helmets hewed, as

their hearts prompted.

At morning most they fought,

50.

passed;

fallen

mid-day had

early morn, and the forenoon, ere the fight

all

was ended, the


had

until

field

two

Bern's

flowed with blood, until eighteen


sons,

and her brother, had them

overcome.

Then

51.

" 'Tis

the fierce Atli spoke, wroth though he

to look

ill

around

this is

thirty warlike thanes, eleven survive: the


great.

We

were

five brothers,

has Hel the half, two


52.

"A

pernicious

lie

chasm

when Budli

too

is

died;

now

slain.

great affinity I obtained, that

woman

We

long of you.

was
were

of which

cannot deny,

have no benefit

peace

we

have seldom had, since thou among us earnest. Of kinsmen ye have bereft me, of riches often wronged. To

Hel

my

sister

ye have sent; that

is

to

me most

bitter."

Gudrun.
53.
first

"This thou

Atli!

my mother thou didst


murder; my gifted niece with

didst act

treasures

to mind,

callest

take,

but thou so

and for her

hunger thou didst

Laughable to me it seems, when thou


sorrows dost recount. The gods are to be thanked, that

cause to perish.

it

goes

ill

with thee."
Atli.

you the sorrow to augment of


that presumptuous woman I would fain see it.
Strive
so to do, that Gudrun may lament.
Might I but see
54.

Jarls! I exhort

that in her lot she joys not!

240

THE GROENLAND LAY OF ATLI


Take ye Hogni, and with a knife hack him cut
Gunnar the fierce of soul
out his heart this ye shall do.
to a gallows fasten; do the work thoroughly, lure up
55.

the serpents.

Hogni.

Do

5G.

prove myself:

shall

proved.

now

as thou listest, glad I will await

are

now

have ere

things

Ye had a hindrance while unscathed we were:


we so wounded that our fate thou mayest com-

Beiti

Hialli, but

he

is

stout I

much harder

mand.
57.

it;

spake,

Hogni

he

let

was

Atli's

us save.

As long

death-worthy.

steward

Take

we

Let us do half the work


as he lives a slug he will

ever be.
58.

was the

Terrified

longer held him

every nook

kettle- watcher,

place

the

no

he could be a whiner, he clomb into

was his bane, as he the penalty


day sad, when he must from the swine

their conflict

must pay and the


die, from all good
;

which he had enjoyed.


59.
Budli's cook they took, and the knife brought
towards him. Howled the wretched thrall, ere the point
he felt; declared that he had time the gardens to manure,
the vilest offices to do, if from death he might escape.
things,

Joyful indeed was Hialli, could he but save his


60.

Hogni

all

this

observed

slave to intercede, that he


for

me

to play this

game

may

fewso

escape

myself.

as for a

act,

"Less,

Why

life.

'tis,

shall

I say,

we

here

desire to listen to that screaming ?"


61.

Hands on

the good prince they laid.

Then was

no option for the bold warriors, the sentence longer


241

to

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND

Then laughed Ilogni heard

delay.

he could hold out

62.

touched

men

the

He

could so strike

who

sobbed,

queen counselled

with
it,

foot-branches

his

that

best could hear

women
it.
He

wept, and
the noble

the rafters burst asunder.

There died the noble, as the dawn of day;

63.
last

torment he well endured

harp Gunnar took,

it.

they caused their deeds to

over them both he

strode, to the sagacious

woman

reproached her.

now morning, Gudrun

"It

is

and

told the evil,

bitterly

thy loved

ones thou hast lost; partly thou art the cause that
so

at the

live.

Atli thought himself great

64.

how

the sons of day

has

it

befallen.'"'

Gudrun.
Joyful art thou, Atli

65.

pentance shall await thee,

That heritage
that

ill

slaughter to announce

when thou

shall be left thee

shall never

from thee

that

hast
I

re-

proved.

all

can

tell

thee

go, unless I also die.

Atli

That

66.

can prevent; another course

by half: the good

With

oft reject.

see, easier

slaves I will con-

with things most precious, with snow-white

sole thee,
silver, as

we

thou thyself mayest desire.

Gudrun.

Of

67.

ment

that there

is

no hope;

have spurned for smaller

ever thought,

now

will

I will all

injuries.

reject; atone-

Hard

that be aggravated.

grudge concealed, while Hogni


68.
We were both nurtured
242

was

every

lived.

in

one house;

many

THE GRORNLAND LAY OF ATLI


play

we

wood grew up

played, and in the

adorned with gold and necklaces

for

my

Grimhild us

brothers' death

never wilt thou indemnify me, nor ever do what shall to

me seem

good.

Mens* too great power women's lot oppresses; on


the knee the hand sinks, if the arms wither; the tree in69.

clines,

if

its

root-fibres are severed.

mayest alone over

all

Now,

Atli

thou

here command.

Most unwise it was, when to this the prince gave


credit: the guile was manifest, had he been on his guard.
Dissembling then was Gudrun, against her heart she could
speak, made herself gay appear, with two shields she
70.

played. 1

71.

banquet she would prepare, her brothers' fu-

same would

neral feast; the

With

72.

the feasting

this they

ended

Atli also* for his


;

own

do.

the banquet was prepared

was too luxurious.

The woman

great of

was stern, she warred on Budli's race; on her spouse


she would cruel vengeance wreak.
73.
The young ones she enticed, and on a block laid
them, the fierce babes were terrified, and wept not, to
their mother's bosom crept, asked what she was going

heart

to do.

"Ask no

74.

have

if

long

thou destroyest us

our blooming years, thou desperate woman!"

out accordingly
1

"Slay as thou wilt thy children, no one hinders

thy rage will have short peace,

it;

kill

desired to cut short your days."

75.

in

questions, both I intend to

she cut the throats of both.

She played a double game.


17

243

It fell

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND


Atli oft inquired whither his boys

76.

were gone to

nowhere saw them?

play, as he

Gudrun.

Over

77.

am

resolved to go, and to Atli

Grimhild's daughter will not conceal


tle

glad, Atli

woe

from

when all thou learnest great


when thou my brother slewest.
;

Very seldom have

terly I threatened thee

it.

Lit-

thee.

wilt thou be,

didst thou raise up,

78.

it

tell

now

slept

since they

have reminded

Bit-

fell.

"It

thee.

now morning," saidst thou I yet it well remember


and it now is eve, when thou the like shalt learn.
Thou thy sons hast lost, as thou least shouldest;
79.
know that their skulls thou hast had for beer-cups; thy
is

drink

80.

prepared,
I their

I their

red blood have shed.

hearts took, and on a spit staked them,

then to thee gave them.

was long of thee alone

I"

said they

thou

were of

calves,

it

didst leave none, voraci-

ously didst devour, well didst ply thy teeth.


81.

awaits.

Thy
I

few a worse
part performed, though in it glory

children's fate thou knowest,

have

my

not.

Atli
82.

Cruel wast thou, Gudrun! who* couldst

with thy children's blood

my

so-

drink to mingle.

hast destroyed thy offspring, as thou least shouldest


to myself thou leavest a short interval from

act,

Thou
;

and

ill.

Gudrun.
83.
it

I could

still

desire thyself to slay; rarely too

fares with such a prince.

244

Thou

ill

hast already perpe-

THE GROENLAND LAY OF ATI!


unexampled among men of frantic cruelty,
in this world: now thou hast added what we have just
witnessed.
A great misdeed hast thou committed, thy

trated crimes

death-feast thou hast prepared.


Atli.

84.

On

the pile thou shalt be burnt, but

first

be stoned

then wilt thou have earned what thou hast ever sought.
Gitdrun.
85.

Tell to thyself such griefs early

to-morrow

by a

fairer death I will pass to another light.

86.

In the same hall

they

sat,

exchanged

thoughts, bandied words of hate: each was


87.

tated;

ill

hostile

at ease.

Hate waxed in a Hniflung, a great deed he medito Gudrun he declared that he was Atli's deadly

foe.

88.

she

Into her mind came Hogni's treatment; happy

him accounted,

if

Atli slain, within a

and Gudrun
89.

The

quickly he
"Tell

Then was
Hogni's son him slew,

he vengeance wreaked.

little

space;

herself.

bold
felt

me most

hardly treated

king spake,

roused up from

the wounds, said he


truly

of

who

life I

sleep;

no binding needed.

has slain Budli's son.

am

have no hope."
Gudrun.

90.

that I

I,

am

Grimhild's daughter, will not from thee hide,


the cause that thy

life

passes

away; but partly

Hogni's son, that thy wounds make thee

faint.

'Atli

91.

To

the slaughter thou hast rushed, although

245

it ill

THE ELDER F.DDA OF SAFMUND


beseemed thee

bad to circumvent

'tis

Besought

confided in thee.

who

friend,

went from home,

well

woo

to

Gudrun
A widow thou was left, fierce thou wast ac92.
counted, which was no falsehood, as we have proved.

thee,

Hither
all

home thou

was splendid on our journey.


93.
Pomp of all kinds was there, of

94.

attended

illustrious

we enjoyed

beeves in abundance: largely


things there

men

earnest, us a host of

men,

Of

them.

all

was plenty partaken of by many.

marriage

my

gift to

bride

gave, treasures

for her acceptance, thralls thrice ten, seven fair female

slaves: in such things

was honour;

was

silver there

yet

more.
lands untouched lay,

thou undermine,
didst

were naught, while the


which Budli had left me. So didst

All seemed to thee as

95.

my

dist allow

mother

tent I found not

let

me

often

one of

sit

my

it

Thou

nothing to receive.

w eeping: with
r

household

heart con-

after.

Gudrun.
Now, Atli thou liest, though of that I little reck.
96.
Gentle I seldom was, yet didst thou greatly aggravate it.
!

Young

brothers ye fought together,

among

yourselves

contended; to Hel went the half from thy house

all

went

to ruin that should be for benefit.


97.

Brothers and sisters

ourselves invincible:

lowed Sigurd.
seeking luck
98.

The

we

We

we were

three,

we

thought

from the land we departed, we

fol-

roved about, each steered a ship;

went,

till

chief king

to the east

we

slew

246

we

came.

there a land obtained,

THE GROEXLAXD LAY OF ATLI


the "hersar" yielded to us; that manifested fear.

whom we

from the forest freed him

We

wished harmless,

him to prosperity who nothing had possessed.


99.
The Hun king 1 died, then suddenly my fortune
changed great was the young wife's grief, the widow's
A torment to me it seemed to come living
lot was hers.
A hero had possessed me sad was
to the house of Atli.
raised

that loss!

Thou

100.

from a contest come, as we

didst never

had heard, where thou didst gain thy cause, or others


overcome; ever wouldst thou give way, and never stand,
pass off quietly, as

lettest all

beseemed

ill

a king.

Atli.

Gudrun! now thou

101.

the lot of either

we have

liest.

suffered.

all

Gudrun! of thy goodness, and


forth

am

Little will be bettered

Now

act thou,

for our honour,

when

borne.

Gudrun.
102.

a ship will buy. and a painted cist

winding-sheet well wax, to enwrap thy corse


of every requisite, as
103.

Atli

if

was now

arose: the illustrious

we had each other


a

corpse,

woman

The wise woman would go


were lengthened

Happy

101.

is

or

coffin.

will think

loved.

lament from his kin


all

she had promised.

to destroy herself: her

even- one hereafter

famed for deeds,

days

who

shall

give

as Giuki begat

-The ancient usage of laying the body in a ship and sending


seems inconsistent with the later custom of depositing it in a cist

Sigurd.

adrift,

will the

she died another time.

birth to such a daughter


it

did

3
;

247

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAMUND


ever will

live, in

every land, their oft-told

tale,

wherever

people shall give ear.

GUDRUN'S INCITEMENT.
Having slain Atli, Gudrun went to the sea-shore.
She w ent out into the sea, and would destroy herself, but
r

She was borne across the

could not sink.


land of

King Jonakr, who married

firth to the

Their sons were

her.

There w as reared up Svanhild, the daughter of Sigurd.


She was given in marriage to Jormunrek the Powerful.
With him lived
Sorli,

Erp, and Hamdir.

Bikki,

who

her.

counselled Randver, the king's son, to take

Bikki told that to the king,

who

caused Randver to

be hanged, and Svanhild trodden under horses'

When Gudrun
1.

heard of this she said to her sons

Then heard

feet.

of quarrels dire, hard sayings

tell

uttered from great affliction,

when her sons the

fierce-

hearted Gudrun, in deadly words, to slaughter instigated.


2.
it

"Why

sit

why

ye here?

sleep life

pain you not joyous words to speak,

your

and

sister

young

in years

black, in the public

away? why does


now Jormunrek

has with horses trodden, white

way, with grey and way-wont

Gothic steeds?
3.

Ye

are not like to

soul so valiant as

Gunnar and the

Hogni was.
248

Her ye

others,

nor of

should seek to

"

GUDRUN'S INCITEMENT
avenge,

if

ye had the courage of

my

brothers, or the fierce

of the Hunnish kings."

spirit

Then

4.

said

Hamdir, the great of heart:

didst thou care Hogni's deed to praise,

froni sleep awaked.

Thy

"Little

when Sigurd he

blue-white bed-clothes were

red with thy husband's gore, with death-blood covered.

"For thy brothers thou didst o'er-hasty vengeance


take, dire and bitter, when thou thy sons didst murder.
We young ones 1 could on Jormunrek, acting all together,
have avenged our sister.
5.

"Bring forth the arms of the Hunnish kings thou


hast us stimulated to a sword-mote.
6.

Laughing Gudrun to the storehouse turned, the


kings' crested helms from the coffers drew, their ample
The young heroes
corslets, and to her sons them bore.
7.

loaded their horses' shoulders.

Then said Hamdir, the great of heart: "So will


no more come his mother to see, the warrior felled in the
8.

Gothic land, so that thou the funeral-beer after us

may

drink, after Svanhild

9.

Weeping Gudrun,

went, to

worn
10.

sit in

and thy sons."


daughter,

Giuki's

sorrowing

the fore-court, and to recount, with tear-

cheeks, sad of soul, her calamities, in

"Three

all

fires I

many ways.

have known, three hearths

have

known, of three consorts I have been borne to the house.


Sigurd alone to me was better than all, of whom my
brothers were the murderers.
11.

"Of my

painful

themselves and the two sons

wounds
of Atli.

249

might not complain;

THE ELDER EDDA OF S/MMUND

more seemed

yet they even


tains to Atli

"My

12.

my

to afflict

me, when those chief-

gave me.
bright boys I called to speak with

injuries I could not get revenge, ere I

me;

for

had severed

the Hniflungs' heads.

"To

13.

the sea-shore I went, against the Norns

was embittered I would cast off their persecution bore,


and submerged me not the towering billows up on land
I rose, because I was to live.
;

"To

14.

me,

ter for

the nuptial couch I went

as I thought bet-

for the third time, with a

mighty king.

brought forth offspring, guardians of the heritage, guardians of the heritage, Jonakr's sons,

"But around Svanhild bond-maidens

15.

my
hall,

children her I loved the best.

was the sun-beam,

as

Svanhild was, in

my

fair to behold.

"I with gold adorned her, and with fine raiment,

16.

before

sat; of all

gave her to the Gothic people.

the hardest of

all

my

That

is

to

me

woes, that Svanhild's beauteous

locks should in the mire be trodden under horses' feet.

"But that was yet more

17.

painful,

when my Sigurd

they ingloriously slew in his bed; though of

all

most

cruel,

when

vitals

crawled; but the most agonizing, which to

Gunnar

of

when

heart flew,

the glistening

serpents to the

my

the brave king's heart they while quick

cut out.
18.

to

"Many

memory.

memory, many

ills

I call

Guide, Sigurd! thy black steed, thy swift

courser, hither

daughter,

griefs I call to

who

let

to

it

run.

Gudrun

Here

sits

no

precious things

250

son's wife,

may

give.

no

THE LAY OF HAMDIR


"

19.

Remember, Sigurd what we together


!

said,

when

on our bed we both were sitting, that thou, brave one,


wouldst come to me from Hel's abode, but I from the
world to thee.
"Raise, ye

20.

Jarls!

an oaken

heaven the highest be.


May
woes! the fire round my heart

May

21.

row

men's

all

lessened,

to

lot

whom

it

its

pile;

tale

it

burn a breast

under
full

of

sorrows melt!"

be bettered,

this

let

all

women's

sor-

of woes shall be re-

counted.

THE LAY OF HAMDIR.


1.

In

that court 1 arose woeful deeds, at the Alfar's

doleful lament; 2 at early morn, men's afflictions, troubles

of various kinds

sorrows were quickened.

was not now, nor yesterday, a long time since


has passed away,
few things are more ancient, it was
by much earlier when Gudrun, Giuki's daughter, her
young sons instigated Svanhild to avenge.
3.
"She was your sister, her name Svanhild, she
whom Jormunrek with horses trod to death, white and
2.

It

black,

on the public way, with grey and way-wont Gothic

steeds.
4.

Ye

"Thenceforth

all

is

sad to you, kings of people!

alone survive,

^ee Str. 10, and Ghv. 9, and, Luning, Glossar. 2 "The Alfar's Lament"
the early dawn, and is in apposition to 'early morn," in the following
line.
The swart Alfar are meant, who were turned to stone if they did
not flee from the light of day. This is the best interpretation I can offer of
this obscure strophe.
is

251

THE ELDER EDDA OF SAEMUND

my

"Branches of

5.

Lonely

race.

am

become, as

the asp-tree in the forest, of kindred bereft, as the

fir

branches; of joy deprived, as

when

is

the tree of foliage,

the branch-spoiler comes in the

Then spake Hamdir,

6.

warm

of

day."

the great of soul, "Little,

Giidrun! didst thou care Hogni's deed

On

Sigurd they from sleep awaked

to'

praise,

when

the bed thou satst,

and the murderers laughed.

"Thy

7.

ning hands,

and white, woven by cun-

bed-clothes, blue

swam

in

When

thy husband's gore.

Sigurd

perished, o'er the dead thou satst, caredst not for mirth

so Gunnar willed

"Atli thou wouldst

8.

Eitil's

worse
for

it.

destruction:

life's
:

therefore should every one

life's

so*

against others use,

destruction, a sharp-biting sword, that

not himself."
9.

by Erp's murder, and by


that proved for thyself the

afflict

Then

said Sorli

he had

a prudent

mind

he harm

"I with

my

mother will not speeches exchange: though words to


What, Gudrun dost
each of you to' me seem wanting.
thou desire, which for tears thou canst not utter?
10.
"For thy brothers weep, and thy dear sons, thy
!

nearest kin,

Gudrun!

drawn

also

to the strife

have to weep,

for us both shalt thou,

who

here

sit

fated

on our

away to die."
From the court they went, for conflict ready.
11.
The young men journeyed over humid fells, on Hunnish

steeds, far

steeds,

12.

murder

Then

to avenge.

said Erp,

joking on his horse's

oncethe noble youth was

timid man
back
all at

'Til

252

'tis

to a

to

THE LAY OF HAMDIR


They

point out the ways."

said the bastard 1

was over

bold.

On

13.

"How

their

will the

He

14.

way

they had found the wily jester.

swarthy dwarf afford us aid?"

of another mother answered

so he said aid

2
he would to his kin afford, as one foot to the other

grown

to the body, one

15.

"What can

hand the other].

a foot to a foot give; or,

grown

to

hand the other?"

the body, one


16.

[or,

From

the sheath they

falchion's edges, for

HeFs

drew

the iron blade, the

They their strength


they their young kinsman

delight.

diminished by a third part,

caused to earth to sink.


17.

grasped
18.

and

Their mantles then they shook, their weapons


;

the high-born were clad in sumptuous raiment.

Forward

lay the ways, a woeful path they found,

their sister's son

wounded on

a gibbet, wind-cold

on the town's west. Ever vibrated the


ravens' whet there to tarry was not good.
19.
Uproar was in the hall, men were with drink
excited, so that the horses' tramp no one heard, until a
mindful man winded his horn.
20.
To announce they went to Jormunrek that were
seen helm-decked warriors.
"Take ye counsel, potent
ones are come; before mighty men ye have on a damsel
outlaw-trees,

trampled."
21.

Then laughed Jormunrek, with

hand stroked

his

x In this
and the four following strophes the person alluded to is their
half-brother Erp, of whose story nothing more is known. He, it appears,
had preceded or outridden the others. -Malmesbury relates a similar story
of King thelstan and his cupbearer. 3 Lit. wolf-trees
a fugitive criminal being called vargr wolf.
;

253

THE ELDER EDDA OF S/tEMUND


his beard, asked not for his corslet; with

shook his dark

gled,

and

"Happy should

my

seem,

if

could see

Hamdir

would them then with bowbind, the good sons of Giuki on the gallows

and Sorli within


strings

on his white shield looked,

locks,

hand swung the golden cup.

in his

22.

wine he strug-

hall.

hang."
23.

Then

said Hrodrglod, on the high steps stand-

happen

ing; "Prince" said she to her son

ened which ought not to

was threattwo men alone

for that

"shall

bind or slay ten hundred Goths in this lofty burgh ?"


24.

Tumult was

in shivers,

men

in the

mansion, the beer-cups flew

lay in blood

from the Goths' breasts flow-

ing.

25.

Then

munrek! thou

said

Hamdir, the great of heart:

didst desire our coming, brothers of one

mother, into thy burgh: 1 no<w seest thou thy


thy hands Jormunrek! cast into the glowing
26.

Then roared

forth a godlike

"On

as a bear roars:
bite not,

"Jor-

the

men

feet, seest

fire."

mail-clad warrior,

hurl stones, since spears

nor edge of sword, nor point, the sons of Jo-

nakr."

Hamdir, the great oi heart: "Harm


didst thou, brother! when thou that mouth didst ope.
Oft from that mouth bad counsel comes."
28.
"Courage hast thou, Hamdir! if only thou hadst
27.

Then

much who wisdom lacks.


"Off would the head now be, had but Erp

sense: that
29.

said

man

lacks

lived,

according to the Skalda it would appear that they cut off his hands
and feet while he was asleep. Erp, had they not murdered him, was to
have cut off his head. 2 Odin, as in the battle of Bravalla.

254

"

THE LAV OF HAMDIR


our brother bold
warrior brave
cred to us,
30.

in fight,

me

whom

on the way we slew, that

the Disir instigated

whom we

that

man

sa-

resolved to slay.

"I ween not that ours should be the wolves' ex-

ample, that with ourselves

we should

contend, like the

Norns' dogs, that voracious are in the desert nurtured."

"Well have we fought, on slaughtered Goths we


stand, on those fallen by the sword, like eagles on a
branch.
Great glory we have gained, though now or to81.

morrow we

shall die.

No

one

lives

till

eve against the

Norns' decree.
32.

There

fell Sorli,

at the

mansion's front but

dir sank at the house's back.

This

is

called the

Old Lay of Hamdir.

255

Ham-

THE YOUNGER EDDA OF SNORRE.


THE DELUDING OF

GYLFI.

gefjon's ploughing. 1
1.

King Gylfi

ruled over the land which

is

now

(Sweden). It is related of him that he


once gave a wayfaring woman, as a recompense for her
having diverted him, as much land in his realm as she
could plough with four oxen in a day and a night. This
called Svithiod

woman

was, however, of the race of the sir, and was

She took four oxen from the north, out


of Jotunheim (but they were the sons she had had with
a giant), and set them before a plough. Now the plough
made such deep furrows that it tore up the land, which
the oxen drew westward out to sea until they came to
a sound. There Gefjon fixed the land, and called it Slund.
And the place where the land had stood became
water, and formed a lake which is now called "The
Water" (Laugur), and the inlets of this lake correspond

called Gefjon.

exactly with the headlands of Sealund.


the

Old

saith

As Skald Bragi

"Gefjon drew from Gylfi,


Rich in stored up treasure,
lr
This chapter is probably the interpolation of an early copyist, for it
has evidently no connection with the following one, and is not found in the
Upsal MS. of the Prose Edda, which is supposed to be the oldest extant.
Gefjon's ploughing is obviously a mythic way of accounting for some convulsions of nature, perhaps the convulsion that produced the Sound, and
thus effected a junction between the Baltic and the Northern Ocean.

256

THE DELUDING OF GYLF1


The

land she joined to Denmark.


Four heads and eight eyes bearing,
While hot sweat trickled down them,
The oxen dragged the reft mass
That formed this winsome island."

GYLFl's
2.

in

King

He

magic.

ever the

Gylfi

sir

JOURNEY TO ASGARD.

was renowned
beheld

wisdom and

for his

skill

with astonishment that what-

willed took place

and was

at a loss

whether

to attribute their success to the superiority of their natural


abilities,

gods

or to a power imparted to them by the mighty

whom

they worshipped.

To

be satisfied in this par-

he resolved to go to Asgard, and, taking upon


himself the likeness of an old man, set out on his journey.
But the sir, being too well skilled in divination not
ticular,

to foresee his design, prepared to receive


illusions.

On

entering the city Gylfi

him with various


saw a very lofty

mansion, the roof of which, as far as his eye could reach,

was covered with golden

shields.

Thiodolf

o>f

Hvina thus

alludes to Valhalla being roofed with shields.

"Warriors all care-worn,


(Stones had poured upon them),
On their backs let glisten
Valhalla's golden shingles."

At the entrance of the mansion Gylfi saw a man who


amused himself by tossing seven small-swords in the air,
and catching them as they fell, one after the other. This
person having asked his name, Gylfi said that he was
called Gangler, and that he came from a long journey,
and begged for a night's lodging. He asked, in his turn,
to whom this mansion belonged. The other told him that
257

THE YOUNCjHR EDDA OF SNORRE


it

belonged to their

and thou

to him,

and added, "But

king-,

hall,

and as

lead thee

name."

So

Gylfi followed the

door

shalt thyself ask

saying he entered the

him

I will

his

banged to behind him. He there saw many stately rooms


crowded with people, some playing, some drinking, and
others righting with various weapons.

Gangler, seeing a

multitude of things, the meaning of which he could not

comprehend, softly pronounced the following verse (from


the Havamal,

i.)

st.

"Scan every gate


Ere thou go on,

With

He

For hard

Where

to say 'tis
foes are sitting

In this fair mansion."

greatest caution;

afterwards beheld three thrones raised one above

man

Upon
on each of them.
his asking w hat the names of these lords might be, his
guide answered "He who sitteth on the lowest throne
another, with a

sitting

is

a king; his

second
sitteth

is

name

Jafnhar

Har
c.

(the

High

equal to the

on the highest throne

Third). "

High)

One)

but he

Thridi

called

the

who
(the

adding that he should be welcome to eat

and drink without

Hava

is

or Lofty

Har, perceiving the stranger, asked him what

his errand was,

in

is

(?'.

Hall.

cost, as

were

all

those

Gangler said he desired

w ho remained
T

first

to ascertain

whether there was any person present renowned for his


wisdom.
"If thou art not the most knowing," replied Har, "I
fear thou wilt hardly return safe.

But go, stand there

below, and propose thy questions, here

be able to answer them."


258

sits

one who

will

MAN CREATED WITH AN IMMORTAL SOUL


of the supreme; deity.
Gangler thus began his discourse:

3.
first,

'"Who

is

the

or eldest of the gods ?"

"In our language," replied Har, "he


(All-Father, or the Father of all)

is

called Alfadir

but in the old Asgard

he had twelve names."

"Where

is

this

God?"

said

Gangler; "what

is

his

power? and what hath he done to display his glory?"


"He liveth," replied Har, "from all ages, he governeth
all realms and swayeth all things great and small."
"He hath formed," added Jafnhar, "heaven and earth,
and the air, and all things thereunto belonging."
"And what is more," continued Thridi, "he hath made
man, and given him a soul which shall live and never
perish though the body shall have mouldered away, or
have been burnt to ashes.

And

all

that are righteous shall

dwell with him in the place called Gimli, or Vingolf;


but the wicked shall go to Hel, and thence to Niflhel,

which

is

below, in the ninth world."

"And where

god remain before he made


heaven and earth?" demanded Gangler.
"He was then," replied Har, "with the Hrimthursar." 1
did

this

OF THE PRIMORDIAL, STATE OF THE UNIVERSE.

"But with what did he begin, or what w as the beginning of things ?" demanded Gangler.
"Hear," replied Har, "what is said in the Voluspa."
T

4.

^ime
18

Giants, or Giants of the Frost.

2 59

THE YOUNGER EDDA OF SNORRE


"

'

Twns
When

time's

Eartli

was not

Nor heaven above.


Nought save a void
And yawning gulf.

first dawn.
nought yet was,
Nor sand nor sea,
Nor cooling wave;

"Many

But verdure none.'"

there,

ages before the earth was made/' added Jafn-

"was Niflheim formed,

har,

middle of which

in the

lies

the spring- called Hvergelmir, from which flow twelve


rivers, Gjoll

being the nearest to the gate of the abode

of death."

"But,

first

of

all,"

continued Thridi, "there was in the

southern region (sphere) the world called Muspell.


is

a world too luminous and glowing to be entered

those

who

are not indigenous there.

He who

borders (or the land's-end) to guard

its

it

is

sitteth

It

by
on

named Sur-

In his hand he beareth a flaming falchion, and at the

tur.

end of the world


vanquish

all

shall issue forth to

the gods, and

ORIGIN OF

combat, and shall

consume the universe with fire."

THE HRIMTHURSAR, OR

FROST-GIANTS.

"Tell me," said Gangler, "what was the state of

5.

mingled,

things ere the races

and nations came into

being."

"When
far

from

the rivers that are called Elivagar had flowed


their sources," replied

Har, "the venom.

w hich
T

they rolled along hardened, as does dross that runs from

a furnace, and became


longer,

and the

ice

stood

venom gathered over

When

ice.

it,

still,

the rivers flowed

no

the vapour arising from the

and froze to rime, and

in this

is light and hot, insomuch so that it is flaming and burnimpervious to those who are outlandish (foreign), and not
indigenous there" (or who have no home or heritage therein).
1 Literally,

ing,

and

it

"It

is

20

ORIGIX OF THE FR0ST-CI.1XTS

manner were formed,

in

Ginnungagap, many layers of

congealed vapour, piled one over the other."

"That part of Ginnungagap," added Jafnhar, "that lies


towards the north was thus filled with heavy masses of
gelid vapour and ice. whilst everywhere within w ere
whirlwinds and fleeting mists. But the southern part of
Ginnungagap was lighted by the sparks and flakes that
flew into it from Muspellheim."
"Thus," continued Thridi, "whilst freezing cold and
gathering gloom proceeded from Niflheim, that part of
Ginnungagap looking towards Muspellheim was filled
with glowing radiancy, the intervening space remaining
calm and light as wind-still air. And when the heated
blast met the gelid vapour it melted it into drops, and,
by the might of him who sent the heat, these drops quickened into life, and took a human semblance. The being
thus formed was named Ymir, but the Frost-giants call
him Orgelmir. From him descend the race of the Frost7

giants

(Hrimthursar), as

it

is

said

in

the Voluspa,

'From Vidolf come all witches from Vilmeith all wizards from Svarthofdi all poison-seethers and all giants
from Ymir/ And the giant Vafthrudnir, when Gangrad
asked, 'Whence came Orgelmir the first of the sons of
giants ?' answered, 'The Elivagar cast out drops of venom
From him spring all our
that quickened into a giant.
race, and hence are we so strong and mighty/
;

"How

did the race of

Ymir

spread

itself?"

asked

Gangler; "or dost thou believe that this giant was a

god?"

"We

are far from believing


261

him

to have been a god,"

THE YOUNGER. F.DDA OF SNORRE


replied Har, "for he

whom we

Frost-giants.

call

Ymir slept, he fell


left arm was born
feet

was wicked

And

into a sweat,

man and

as are all of his race,


it

is

said that,

and from the

the Frost-giants,

pit of his

woman, and one

engendered with the other a son, from

and we therefore

call

when
of his

whom

descend

Ymir

the old

Frost-giant."

AUDHUMU, AND THE

OF THE COW
6.

BIRTH OF ODIN.

"Where dwelt Ymir, and on what

did he live?"

asked Gangler.

"Immediately after the gelid vapours had been resolved

was formed out of them


the cow named Audhumla.
Four streams of milk ran
from her teats, and thus fed she Ymir."
"But on what did the cow feed?" questioned Gangler.
into drops," replied Kar, "there

"The cow," answered Har, "supported


ing the stones that were covered with

The

first clay

salt

herself by lick-

and hoar

frost.

that she licked these stones there sprang

from them, towards evening, the hairs of a man, the second day a head, and on the third an entire man, who was
endowed with beauty, agility and power. He was called
Bur, and was the father of Bor, who took for his wife
Besla, the daughter of the giant Bolthorn.
And they had
three sons, Odin, Vili, and Ve; and it is our belief that
this Odin, with his brothers, ruleth both heaven and
earth, and that Odin is his true name, and that he is the
most mighty of

all

the gods."

262

THE MAKING OF HEAVEN AND EARTH

HOW THE

SONS OF BOR SLEW YMIR AND FROM HIS BODY


MADE HEAVEN AND EARTH.

"Was

7.

there," asked Gangler,

"any kind of equality

or any degree of good understanding between these two


races?"

"Far from it," replied Har "for the sons of Bor slew
the giant Ymir, and when he fell there ran so much blood
from his wounds, that the whole race of Frost-giants
was drowned in it, except a single giant, who saved him;

self

with his household.

gelmir.

He

him went

He

is

called

by the giants Ber-

escaped by going on board his bark, and with

his wife,

and from them are descended the

Frost-giants."
8.

"And what became

of the sons of Bor,

whom

ye

look upon as gods ?" asked Gangler.

"To relate this," replied Har, "is no trivial matter.


They dragged the body of Ymir into the middle of Ginnungagap, and of it formed the earth.
From Ymir's
blood they made the seas and waters; from his flesh the
land; from his bones the mountains; and his teeth and

jaws, together with some bits of broken bones, served

them to make the stones and pebbles."


"With the blood that ran from his wounds," added
Jafnhar, "they made the vast ocean, in the midst of which
they fixed the earth, the ocean encircling it as a ring, and
hardy will he be who attempts to pass those waters."
"From his skull," continued Thridi, "they formed the
heavens, which they placed over the earth, and set a dwarf
at the corner of each of the four quarters.
These dwarfs
are called East, West, North, and South.
They after263

THE YOUNGER HDD A OH SNORRP.


wards took the wandering sparks and red hot (lakes that
had been cast ont of Muspellheim, and placed them in the
heavens, both above and below, to give light unto the
world, and assigned to every other errant coruscation a
prescribed locality and motion.

Hence

ancient lore that from this time were


days, and nights,

it

recorded in

is

marked out the

and seasons."

"Such are the events that took place ere the earth
obtained the form it now beareth."
"Truly great were the deeds ye tell me of!" exclaimed
Gangler; "and wondrous in all its parts is the work
thereby accomplished. But how is the earth fashioned ?"
"It is round without," replied Har, "and encircled by
the deep ocean, the outward shores of which were assigned
But within, round
for a dwelling to the race of giants.
about the earth, they (the sons of Bor) raised a bulwark
employing for

against turbulent giants,

To

the

air,

structure

bulwark they gave the name


They afterwards tossed Ymir's brains into

Ymir's eyebrows.
of Midgard 1

this

this

and they became the clouds, for thus we

find

it

recorded.

"Of Ymir's

flesh

was formed the

earth

of his sweat

(blood), the seas; of his bones, the mountains; of his


hair the trees; of his skull, the heavens; but with his

eyebrows the

blithe

men, whilst from

gods

built

Midgard

for the sons of

his brains the lowering clouds

fashioned."

More properly speaking,

to the earth

264

which

it

encircled.

were

CREATION OF MAX AND


OF THE FORMATION OF THE FIRST

moon

in

MAX AND WOMAN.

and the
the firmament, and mark out the days and sea-

"To make heaven and

9.

WOMAN

earth, to fix the sun

sons, were, indeed, important labours," said Gangler; "but

whence came the men who

world?"
"One day." replied Har, "as the sons of Bor were
walking along the sea-beach they found two stems of
wood, out of which they shaped a man and a woman.
at present dwell in the

(Odin) infused into them life and spirit; the


second (Vili) endowed them with reason and the power
of motion; the third (Ve) gave them speech and features,
hearing and vision. The man they called Ask, and the

The

first

woman, Embla. From these two descend the whole human race whose assigned dwelling was within Midgard.
Then the sons of Bor built in the middle of the universe
where dwell the gods and their
kindred, and from that abode work out so many wondrous
things, both on the earth and in the heavens above it.
There is in that city a place called Hlidskjalf, and when
Odin is seated there on his lofty throne he sees over the
whole world, discerns all the actions of men, and comprehends whatever he contemplates. His wife is Frigga,
the daughter of Fjorgyn, and they and their offspring
the city called Asgard,

form the race that we call JEsir. a race that dwells in


Asgard the old. and the regions around it. and that we
know to be entirely divine. Wherefore Odin may justly
be called All-father, for he

is

verily the father of

all,

of

gods as well as of men, and to his power all things owe


Earth is his daughter and his wife, and
their existence.
265

THE YOUNGER EDDA OF SNORRE


with her he had his first-born son, Asa-Thor,

dowed with

who

is

en-

strength and valour, and therefore quellcth

he everything that hath

life."

OF NIGHT AND DAY.

"A

10.

giant called Njorvi," continued Har,

"who

dwelt in Jotunheim, had a daughter called Night (Nott)

who,

like all

her race, was of a dark and swarthy com-

She was first wedded to a man called Naglfari,


and had by him a son named Aud, and afterwards to
another man called Annar, by whom she had a daughter
called Earth (Jord).
She then espoused Delling, of the
sir race, and their son was Day, (Dagr) a child light
plexion.

Then took All-father,


and beauteous like his father.
Night, and Day, her son, and gave them two horses and
two cars, and set them up in the heavens that they might
drive successively one after the other,
hours' time, round the world.

each in twelve

Night rides

first

on her

horse called Hrimfaxi, that every morn, as he ends his

bedews the earth with the foam that falls from his
bit.
The horse made use of by Day is named Skinfaxi,
from whose mane is shed light over the earth and the

course,

heavens."

,-

OF THE SON AND MOON.


11.

"How

doth All-father regulate the course of the

sun and moon?" asked Gangler.


"There was formerly a man," replied Har, "named
Mundilfari,

who had two

children so lovely and graceful

Mani (moon), and the female.


But
Sol (sun), who espoused the man named Glenur.

that he called the male,

s66

WOLVES THAT PURSUE THE SUN AND MOON


the gods being incensed at Mundilfari's presumption, took

and let Sol


drive the horses that draw the car of the sun, which the
gods had made to give light to the world out of the sparks
that flew from Muspellheim.
These horses are called
Arvak and Alsvid, and under their withers the gods placed
two skins filled with air to cool and refresh them, or,
his children

and placed them

in the heavens,

according to some ancient traditions, a refrigerant substance called isanikul. 1

Mani was

set to

guide the

moon

and regulate his increasing and waning


aspect.
One day he carried off from the earth two
children, named Bil and Hjuki, as they were returning
from the spring called Byrgir, carrying between them the
bucket called Sgr, on the pole Simul.
Vidfinn was the
in

his

course,

father of these children,

moon), as we may

who

always follow Mani (the

easily observe even

from the earth."

OF THE WOLVES THAT PURSUE THE SUN AND MOON.

"But the sun," said Gangler, "speeds at such a


as if she feared that some one was pursuing her for

12.

rate

her destruction."

"And
her

is

well she may," replied Har, "for he that seeks

not far behind, and she has no

way

to escape than

to run before him."

"But who

is

he," asked Gangler, "that causes her this

anxiety?"

"There are two wolves," answered Har; "the one


called Skoll pursues the sun, and it is he that she fears,
for he shall one dav overtake and devour her; the other,
*A ferreous or glacial refrigeration.

267

THE YOUNGER HDD A OF SNORRE


and

called Mali, the son of Hrdvitnir, runs before her,

moon

as eagerly pursues the

that will one day he caught

by him."

"Whence come

"A

these wolves?" asked Gangler.

hag," replied liar, "dwells

ward of Midgard,
which
all

(the

Jarnvid,

Iron

east-

Wood,)

the abode of a race of witches called Jarnvid jur.

is

This old hag


are

called

wood, to the

in a

is

the mother of

many

gigantic sons,

of them shaped like wolves, two> of

whom

who

are the

There is one of that race,


who is said to be the most formidable of all, called
Managarm: he will be filled with the life-blood of men
who draw near their end, and will swallow up the moon,

wolves thou askest about.

and

and the earth with blood. Then


the sun grow dim, and the winds howl tumultuously

stain the heavens

shall

to and fro."

OF THE
13.

"I must

WAY THAT
now

LEADS TO HEAVEN.

ask," said Gangler, "which

is

the

path leading from earth to heaven?"

"That

is

a senseless question,"

replied Har, with a

"Hast thou not been told that the gods


made a bridge from earth to heaven, and called it Bifrost ? Thou must surely have seen it but, perhaps, thou
It is of three hues, and is concallest it the rainbow.
But, strong
structed with more art than any other work.
smile of derision.

though

it

be,

of Muspell,
ride over

it

will

after

be broken to pieces when the sons

having traversed great

rivers,

shall

it."

"Methinks," said Gangler, "the gods could not have


268

THE G0LD1
been

in

AGE

A'

earnest to erect a bridge so liable to be broken

down, since

is

it

power

in their

to

make whatever

they

please."

"The gods,"
that account

replied Har,

Bifrost

of

is

"are not to be blamed on

itself

a very

good bridge, but

nothing in nature that can hope to make resistance

there

is

when

the sons of Muspell sally forth to the great combat."

THE GOLDEN

"What

14.

did

All-father

AGE.

do

Asgard

after

was

made?" demanded Gangler.


"In

Har,

answered

beginning,"

the

"he

appointed

and bade them judge with him the fate of men,


and regulate the government of the celestial city. They
met for this purpose in a place called Idavoll, which is
rulers,

Their

of the divine abode.

in the centre

first

work was

to erect a court or hall wherein are twelve seats for


selves, besides the

This hall

is

throne which

occupied by All-father.

the largest and most magnificent in the uni-

on

verse, being resplendent


out,

is

them-

with the finest gold.

all sides,

Its

name

both within and withis

Gladsheim.

They

also erected another hall for the sanctuary of the goddesses.

Vingolf.

It is

a very fair structure, and called by

men

Lastly they built a smithy, and furnished

it

with hammers, tongs, and anvils, and with these made


all

the

worked

other

requisite

in metal, stone

instruments,

with

which they

and wood, and composed so large

a quantity of the metal called gold that they made


their

Hence that age w as named


This was the age that lasted until

moveables of

Golden Age.

it.

269

all

the
the

/?-

THE YOUNGER EDDA OF SNORRE


arrival of the

women

who

out of Jotunlieim,

corrupted

it."

THE DWARFS.

ORIGIN OF

"Then

15.

the gods, seating themselves upon their

thrones, distributed justice, and bethought

dwarfs had been bred

worms
liesh

mould of

are in a dead body.

that the

move and
by the

in the

live.

It

them how the

the earth, just as

was, in

fact, in

Ymir's

dwarfs were engendered, and began to

At

will of the

human shape and

first

they were only maggots, but

gods they

at length

partook both of

understanding, although they always

dwell in rocks and caverns.

is

"

"Modsognir and Durin are


said in the Voluspa

the principal ones.

'Then went the rulers there,


All gods most holy,

Modsognir, chief

To their seats aloft,


And counsel together

And Durin too


Were then created.
And like to men

Who

took,

should of dwarfs
race then fashion,

The
From the livid bones
And blood of the giant.

Of the dwarfish

Dwarfs

As

it

race,

in the earth
in numbers

Were formed

As Durin ordered.

>

75

OF THE ASH YGGDRASILL, MIMIR'S WELL, AND THE NORNS


OR DESTINIES.

"Where," asked Gangler, "is the chief or holiest


seat of the gods?"
"It is under the ash Yggdrasill," replied Har, "where
16.

the gods assemble every day in council."

"What

is

there remarkable in regard to that place?"

said Gangler.

270

THE ASH YGGDRASILL AND MIMIR'S WELL


"That ash," answered Jafnhar,
best of all trees.

Its

"is

the greatest and

branches spread over the whole

world, and even reach above heaven.

It

has three roots

One of them extends

very wide asunder.

to the sir,

another to the Frost-giants in that very place where was


formerly Ginnungagap, and the third stands over Nifelheim, and under this root, which

by Nidhogg,

is

Hvergelmir.

is

gnawed

constantly

But under the root that

stretches out towards the Frost-giants there

is

Mimir's

which wisdom and wit lie hidden. The owner


of this well is called Mimir. He is full of wisdom, because he drinks the waters of the well from the horn
Gjoll every morning.
One day All-father came and
begged a draught of this water, which he obtained, but
well, in

was obliged

"The
is

to leave one of his eyes as a pledge for

third root of the ash

the holy Urdar-fount.

is

in

it.

heaven, and under

'Tis here that the

gods

it

sit in

Every day they ride up hither on horseback


over Bifrost, which is called the sir Bridge. These
are the names of the horses of the sir. Sleipnir is the
best of them; he has eight legs, and belongs to Odin.
judgment.

The

others are Gladr, Gyllir, Glr, Skeidbrimir, Silfrin-

toppr,

Synir,

Gils,

Falhofnir,

Gulltoppr,

and

Lettfeti.

Baldur's horse was burnt with his master's body.

As

and is obliged every day to


Kormt and CErmt, and two others

for Thor, he goes on foot,

wade
called

the rivers called

Kerlaung.

"Through
fares to the

these shall

Thor wade every

doomstead under Yggdrasill's


271

day,

as

he

ash, else the

$&*,

THE YOUNGER EDDA OF SNORRE

sir Bridge would be

in flames,

and boiling hot would

become the holy waters."


"But tell me," said Gangler, "does
'

fire

burn

over

Bifrost?"

"That," replied

bow,

is

burning' fire

Tar,

"which thou

seest

for the Frost-giants

red

in

the

and the Moun-

would go up to heaven by that bridge if it


were easy for every one to walk over it. There are in
heaven many goodly homesteads, and none without a
celestial ward.
Near the fountain, which is under the
ash, stands a very beauteous dwelling, out of which go
1
three maidens, named Urd, Verdandi, and Skuld. These
maidens fix the lifetime of all men, and are called Norns.
But there are, indeed, many other Norns, for, w hen a
tain-giants

man

is

born, there

known

are

is

Norn

to determine his fate.

to be of heavenly origin, but others

Some
belong

and dwarfs as it is said


" 'Methinks the Norns were born far asunder, for
they are not of the same race.
Some belong to the
sir, some to the Elves, and some are Dvalin's
to the races of the elves

daughters."

"But

if

these

Norns dispense the

destinies of

men,"

said Gangler, "they are, methinks, very unequal in their

some men are fortunate and wealthy,


others acquire neither riches nor honours, some live to
a good old age, while others are cut off in their prime."
"The Norns," replied Har, "who are of a good origin,
But
are good themselves, and dispense good destinies.
distribution; for

i.

e.

i.

e.

Thor drove over Bifrost with his thunder chariot.


Present, Past, and Future.

If

272

THE NORNS THAT TEND YCCDRASILL


those

men

them to the
17.

whom

to

misfortunes happen ought to ascribe

Norns."

evil

"What more wonders

hast thou to

tell

me," said

Gangler, "concerning the ash?"

"What
Har,

have further to say respecting

"is, that

there

who knows many

an eagle perched upon

is

things

The

called Vedurfo'lnir.

between his eyes


squirrel

it,"
its

sits

replied

branches
the

hawk

named Ratatosk runs

up and down the ash, and seeks to cause strife between


Four harts run across the
the eagle and Nidhogg.
branches of the tree, and bite the buds. They are called
Dainn, Dvalinn, Duneyr, and Durathror. But there are
so many snakes with Nidhogg in Hvergelmir that no
tongue can recount them."
"It is also said that the Norns who dwell by the Urdarfount draw every day water from the spring, and with
it and the clay that lies around the fount sprinkle the
ash, in order that its branches

away.

This water

is

may

not rot and wither

so holy that everything placed in

the spring becomes as white as the film within an eggshell.


"

As

it

is

said in the

Voluspa

know I standing,
Yggdrasill,
A stately tree sprinkled
With water the purest;

'An Ash

Thence come the dewdrops


That fall in the dales;
Ever blooming, it stands

Named

"The dew

that

honey-dew, and

it

falls
is

O'er the Urdar-fountain.'"

thence on the earth

the food of the bees.

men

Two

call

fowls

are fed in the Urdar- fount; they are called swans, and

from them are descended

all

the birds of this species."

273

THE YOUNGER EDDA OF SNORRE

OF THE VARIOUS CELESTIAL REGIONS.


18.

"Thou

tellest

me many

wonderful

things

of

heaven," said Gangler, "but what other homesteads are


to be seen there?"

"There are many other fair homesteads there," replied


Har; "one of them is named Elf-home (Alfheim),
wherein dwell the beings called the Elves of Light; but
the Elves of Darkness live under the earth, and differ

from the others


appearance.

still

more

in their actions than in their

The Elves of Light

are fairer than the sun,

but the Elves of Darkness blacker than pitch.


also a

mansion

called Breidablik,

which

is

There

is

not inferior

any other in beauty; and another named Glitnir, the


wall, columns and beams of which are of ruddy gold,
and the roof of silver. There is also the stead called
Himinbjorg, that stands on the borders where Bifrost
touches heaven, and the stately mansion belonging to
Odin, called Valaskjalf, which was built by the gods,
and roofed with pure silver, and in which is the throne
called Hlidskjalf.
When All-father is seated on this
throne, he can see over the whole world.
On the southern edge of heaven is the most beautiful homestead of all,
brighter than the sun itself. It is called Gimli, and shall
stand when both heaven and earth have passed away,
and good and righteous men shall dwell therein for everto

lasting ages."

"But what will preserve this abode when Surtur's


consumes heaven and earth?" asked Gangler.

"We

fire

are told," replied Har, "that towards the south

274

THE WIND AND THE SEASONS


there

another heaven above this called Andlang, and

is

again above this a third heaven called Vidblain.

we

last,

think Gimli must be seated, but

the Elves of Light abide in

it

In this

we deem

that

now."

OF THE WIND AND THE SEASONS.


"whence comes the
wind, which is so strong that it moves the ocean and fans
fire to flame, yet, strong though it be, no mortal eye can
discern it? wonderfully, therefore, must it be shapen."
"I can tell thee all about it," answered Har; "thou
must know that at the northern extremity of the heavens
sits

me," said Gangler,

"Tell

19.

a giant called Hrsvelgur, clad with eagles' plumes.

When

he spreads out

his

wings for

flight,

the winds arise

from under them."


"Tell

20.

me

mer should be

further," said Gangler,

"why

the sum-

and the winter cold."


"A wise man would not ask such a question, which
every one could answer," replied Har; "but, if thou hast
been so dull as not to have heard the reason, I will
hot,

rather forgive thee for once asking a foolish question

than suffer thee to remain any longer in ignorance of

what ought

to have been

Summer

called

delicate

is

Svasuth,

being that what

The

sweet.

known

father of

to thee.

who

is

mild

is

The

father of

such a gentle and


is

from him

called

Winter has two names, Vindloni

and Vindsval. He is the son of Vasad, and, like all his


race, has an icy breath, and is of a grim and gloomy
aspect."

19

275

THE YOUNGER EDDA OF SNORRE

OF ODIN.

now ask thee," said Gangler, "who


men are bound to believe in?'

"I must

21.

the gods that

are

"There are twelve gods," replied Har, "to whom divine honours ought to be rendered."
"Nor are the goddesses," added Jafnhar, "less divine
and mighty."
"The first and eldest of the sir," continued Thridi,
"is

He

Odin.

deities are

governs

things, and, although the other

all

powerful, they

all

serve and obey

him

as chil-

She foresees
the destinies of men, but never reveals what is to come.
For thus it is said that Odin himself told Loki, 'Senseless
Loki, why wilt thou pry into futurity, Frigga alone
Frigga

dren do their father.

knoweth the

destinies

of

all,

is

his wife.

though she

telleth

them

never ?'

"Odin

is

named Alfadir

the father of

all

(All-father), because he

the gods, and also Valfadir (Choosing

Father), because he chooses for his sons

who

is

all

of those

For their abode he has prepared


Valhalla and Vingolf, where they are called Einherjar
(Heroes or Champions). Odin is also called Hangagud,
Haptagud, and Farmagud, and, besides these, was named
in many ways when he he went to King Geirraudr,"
forty-nine names in all.

"A

fall

in

great

"surely that
distinctly,

combat.

many names, indeed!" exclaimed Gangler;


man must be very wise who knows them all

and can

tell

on what occasions they were

given."

2j6

THOR AND HIS HAMMER


no doubt,"

"It requires,

to recollect readily

all

replied

Har, "a good memory

these names, but

will tell thee in

a few words what principally contributed to confer them


upon him. It was the great variety of languages; for

name

the various nations were obliged to translate his

order that they might

into their respective tongues,

in

supplicate and worship him.

Some

how-

of his names,

have been owing to adventures that happened to


him on his journeys, and which are related in old stories.

ever,

Nor

canst thou ever pass for a wise

man

if

thou are not

able to give an account of these wonderful adventures."

OF THOR.
22.

"I

now

ask thee," said Gangler, "what are the

names of the other gods.


what have they brought

"The mightiest

What

are their functions, and

to pass?"

of them." replied Har, "is Thor.

He

Asa-Thor and Auku-Thor, and is the strongest


of gods and men. His realm is named Thrudvang, and
his mansion Bilskirnir, in which are five hundred and
is

called

forty halls.

"Thor has

It is

the largest house ever built."

a car

drawn by two goats

From

gniost and Tanngrisnir.

called

Tann-

his driving about in this

Auku-Thor (Charioteer-Thor). He likewise possesses three very precious things. The first is
a mallet called Mjolnir, which both the Frost and Mountain Giants know to their cost when they see it hurled

car he

is

called

against them in the air; and no wonder, for

many

a skull of their fathers and kindred.

rare thing he possesses

is

it

has

split

The second

called the belt of strength or

277

THE YOUNGER EDDA OF SNORRE


prowess (Megingjardir). When he girds it about him
his divine might is doubly augmented; the third, also
very precious, being his

iron

gauntlets,

which

he

is

obliged to put on whenever he would lay hold of the

There

handle of his mallet.


able to relate

all

is

no one so wise as to be

Trior's marvellous exploits, yet

many myself that hours would be


that I know had been recounted."

tell

thee so

ere

all

could

whiled away

OF baldur.
"I would rather/' said Gangler, "hear something

23.

about the other sir."

"The second son of Odin," replied Har, "is Baldur,


and it may be truly said of him that he is the best, and
that all mankind are loud in his praise.
So fair and dazzling

form and features, that rays of light seem


from him and thou mayst have some idea of

he

is

to issue

in

the beauty of his hair,

of

all

plants

mildest,

is

called

when

I tell

thee that the whitest

Baldur's brow.

Baldur

is

the

and the most eloquent of all the


his nature that the judgment he has

the wisest,

sir, yet such

is

pronounced can never be altered.


heavenly mansion called Breidablik,

He
in

dwells

in

the

which nothing

unclean can enter."

OF NJORD.

"The

24.

who

third

god,"

continued

"is

Njord,

dwells in the heavenly region called Noatun.

fire,

and

is

He

and checks the fury of the sea and


therefore invoked by sea-farers and flsher-

rules over the winds,

of

Har,

278

NJORD AND HIS WIFE SKADI


men.

He

is

so wealthy that he can give possessions

and treasures to those who call on him for them. Yet


Njord is not of the lineage of the sir, for he was
born and bred in Vanaheim. But the Vanir gave him as
hostage to the sir, receiving from them in his stead
Hnir. By this means was peace re-established between

sir and Vanir.

Njord took to wife Skadi, the


daughter of the giant Thjassi. She preferred dwelling
in the abode formerly belonging to her father, which
the

is

situated

among

rocky mountains, in the region called

Thrymheim, but Njord loved

They

to

reside near the

sea.

at last agreed that they should pass together nine

Thrymheim, and then three in Noatun. One


day, when Njord came back from the mountains to

nights in

Noatun, he thus sang


" 'Of mountains I'm weary,
Not long was I there,
Not more than nine nights;

"To which Skadi sang

But the howl of the wolf


Methought sounded ill
To the song of the swan-bird.'

in reply

" 'Ne'er

can I sleep
couch on the strand,
For the screams of the sea-fowl,
The mew as he comes
In

my

Every morn from the main


awake me.'

Is sure to

"Skadi then returned

to

the

rocky mountains, and

Thrymheim. There, fastening on her snowskates and taking her bow, she passes her time in the
chase of savage beasts, and is called the Ondur goddess,

abode

in

or Ondurdis.

As

it

is

said

279

"

THE YOUNGER EDDA OF SNORRE


"

Thrymheim's the land


Where Thjassi abode
That mightiest of giants.
But snow-skating Skadi

Now

dwells there, I trow,


In her father's old mansion.'

OE THE GOD EREY, AND THE GODDESS EREYJA.

"Njord had afterwards, at his residence at Noatun, two children, a son named Frey, and a daughter
Frey
called Freyja, both of them beauteous and mighty.
is one of the most celebrated of the gods.
He presides
over rain and sunshine, and all the fruits of the earth,
and should be invoked in order to obtain good harvests,
and also for peace.
He, moreover, dispenses wealth
among men. Freyja is the most propitious of the god25.

desses;

her abode in heaven

whatever

field

is

called

Folkvang.

To

of battle she rides, she asserts her right

to one half of the slain, the other half belonging to Odin.

As

it is

said

" 'Folkvang

'tis

Where Freyja

To

Every day of the


She chooseth the

called

hath right

dispose of the hall seats

"Her mansion,

And

slain,
half.

half leaves to Odin.'

maga car drawn by two

called Sessrumnir,

nificent; thence she sallies forth in

is

large and

She lends a very favourable ear to those who sue


to her for assistance.
It is from her name that women
of birth and fortune are called in our language Frey j or.
She is very fond of love ditties, and all lovers would do
cats.

well to invoke her."

280

TYR AXD THE OTHER GODS


0E TYR.
"All the gods appear to me," said Gangler, "to

26.

have great power, and

am

are able to perform so

not at

many

all

surprised that ye

great achievements, since

ye are so well acquainted with the attributes and func-

and know what is befitting to ask


from each, in order to succeed. But are there any more
of them besides those you have already mentioned ?"
"Ay," answered Har, "there is Tyr, who is the most
daring and intrepid of all the gods.
'Tis he who dispenses valour in war, hence warriors do well to invoke
him.
It has become proverbial to say of a man who
surpasses all others in valour that he is Tyr-strong, or
tions of each god,

A man

valiant as Tyr.
said to be

Vise as Tyr/

When

noted for his wisdom

Let

me

is

also

give thee a proof of his

sir were trying to persuade


the w olf, Fenrir, to let himself be bound up with the
chain, Gleipnir, he, fearing that they would never afterintrepidity.

the

wards unloose him, only consented on the condition that


while they were chaining him he should keep Tyr's right
hand between his jaws. Tyr did not hesitate to put his
hand in the monster's mouth, but when Fenrir perceived
that the sir had no intention to unchain him, he bit
the hand off at that point, which has ever since been
called the wolf's joint.
From that time Tyr has had
but one hand.
He is not regarded as a peacemaker
among men."
OF THE OTHER GODS.
27.

Bragi,

"There

who

is

is

another god," continued Har, "named

celebrated

for

281

his

wisdom, and more

THE YOUNGER EDDA OF SNORRE


especially for his eloquence

He

and correct forms of speech.

not only eminently skilled in poetry, but the art

is

from

itself is called

his

name Bragr, which

epithet

also

is

His

applied to denote a distinguished poet or poetess.

named Iduna. She keeps in a box the apples


which the gods, when they feel old age approaching,
have only to taste of to become young again. It is in
this manner that they will be kept in renovated youth
wife

is

until

Ragnarok."

"Methinks," interrupted Gangler, "the gods have committed a great treasure to the guardianship and good
faith of Iduna.'

"And hence

it

happened," replied Har, smiling, "that

they once ran the greatest risk imaginable, as


occasion to

tell

thee

when thou

I shall

hast heard the

have

names of

the other deities.


28.

He

God.

and

"One

is

is

of them

is

Heimdall, called also the White

the son of nine virgins,

a very sacred

and powerful

who were

deity.

He

sisters,

also bears

the appellation of the Gold-toothed, on account of his

and also that of Hallinskithi.


Gulltopp, and he dwells in Himin-

teeth being of pure gold,

His horse

is

called

bjorg at the end of Bifrost.


gods, and

is

He

is

the warder of the

therefore placed on the borders of heaven,

to prevent the giants from forcing their


bridge.

He

way over

requires less sleep than a bird, and sees

the

by

by day, a hundred miles around him.


So acute is his ear that no sound escapes him, for he can
even hear the grass growing on the earth, and the wool
on a sheep's back. He has a horn called the Gjallar-horn,
night, as well as

282

HODUR THE
which

BLIND, ASSASSIN OF

BALDUR
His sword

heard throughout the universe.

is

is

Hofud (Head).

called

29.

reckon

"Among the sir," continued Har, "we also


Hodur, who is blind, but extremely strong. Both

gods and men would be very glad if they never had


occasion to pronounce his name, for they will long have
cause to remember the deed perpetrated by his hand. 1

"Another god

30.

is

wears very thick shoes.

is

is

who

almost as strong as Thor


in all

conjunctures.
"Vali, another god,

31.

he

He

and the gods place great reliance on him

himself,
critical

Vidar, surnamed the Silent,

is

the son of

Odin and Rinda,

bold in war, and an excellent archer.

32.

"Another

called Ullur,

is

who

is

the son of Sif,

and stepson of Thor. He is so well skilled in the use of


the bow, and can go so fast on his snow-skates, that in
these arts no one can contend with him. He is also very

handsome

in his person,

warrior, wherefore

it

is

and possesses every quality of a


befitting to invoke

him

in single

combats.
33.

"The name of another god

is

Forseti,

who

son of Baldur and Nanna, the daughter of Nef.


possesses the heavenly mansion called Glitnir, and

putants at law

who

is

the

He

all dis-

bring their cases before him go

away

perfectly reconciled.

"His tribunal

is

the best that

or men.

Namely,

his having killed Baldur.

283

is

to be found

among gods

THE YOUNGER EDDA OF SNORRE


OF LOKI AND HIS PROGENY.

3L

"There is another deity," continued Har, "reckoned in the number of the sr, whom some call the
calumniator of the gods, the contriver of all fraud and
His name
mischief, and the disgrace of gods and men.
is

Loki or Loptur.

His mother

He

is

the son of the giant Farbauti.

Laufey or Nal; his brothers are Byleist


and Helblindi. Loki is handsome and well made, but of
He sura very fickle mood, and most evil disposition.
passes all beings in those arts called Cunning and PerMany a time has he exposed the gods to very
fidy.
great perils,

and often extricated them again by

His wife

his

and their son Nari.


"Loki," continued Har, "has likewise had three

artifices.

35.

is

is

called Siguna,

by Angurbodi, a giantess of Jotunheim. The


first is the wolf Fenrir the second Jormungand, the Midgard serpent; the third Hela (Death). The gods were
children

not long ignorant that these monsters continued to be

bred up in Jotunheim, and, having had recourse to divin-

became aware of all the evils they would have to


suffer from them their being sprung from such a mother
was a bad presage, and from such a sire was still worse.
All-father therefore deemed it advisable to send one of
When they came he
the gods to bring them to him.
threw the serpent into that deep ocean by w hich the earth
is engirdled.
But the monster has grown to such an enormous size that, holding his tail in his month, he encircles
the whole earth. Hela he cast into Nifelheim, and gave
her power over nine worlds (regions), into which she

ation,

284

BINDING THE WOLF FENRIR


distributes those

who

are sent to her, that

to say, all

is

Here she possesses


a habitation protected by exceedingly high walls and
strongly barred gates. Her hall is called Elvidnir; Hunger is her table; Starvation, her knife; Delay, her man;

who

die through sickness or old age.

Slowness, her maid

Precipice, her threshold

Care, her

bed; and Burning Anguish forms the hangings of her

The one half of her body is livid, the other


colour of human flesh. She may therefore easily

apartments.
half the
Ire

recognized

the

more

so, as

she has a dreadfully stern

and grim countenance.


"The wolf Fenrir was bred up among the gods; but
Tyr alone had the daring to go and feed him. Nevertheless, when the gods perceived that he every day increased
prodigiously in size, and that the oracles warned them
that he would one day become fatal to them, they determined to make a very strong iron fetter for him, which
they called Lding. Taking this fetter to the wolf, they
bade him try his strength on it. Fenrir, perceiving that
the enterprise would not be very difficult for him, let them
do what they pleased, and then, by great muscular exerThe gods,
tion, burst the chain and set himself at liberty.
having seen this, made another fetter, half as strong
again as the former, which they called Dromi, and prevailed on the wolf to put it on, assuring him that, by
breaking

this,

he would give an undeniable proof of his

vigour.

"The wolf saw

would not be so
easy to break this fetter, but finding at the same time that
his strength had increased since he broke Lding, and
well enough that

28 s

it

THE YOUNGER EDDA OF SNORRE


thinking that be could

running some

When

voluntarily submitted to be chained.

the gods told

him

that they

had finished

their

Fenrir shook himself violently, stretched his limbs,

task,

rolled

flew

risk,

never become famous without

on the ground, and

in

pieces all

at last burst his chains,

around him.

from Dromi, which gave

He

which

then freed himself

rise to the proverb, 'to get loose

out of Lceding, or to dash out of Dromi,'

when anything

by strong efforts.
''After this, the gods despaired of ever being able to
bind the wolf; wherefore All-father sent Skirnir, the mesis

to be accomplished

senger of Frey,

into

(Svartalfaheim) to engage certain


fetter called Gleipnir.

to wit, the noise


of

women;

Dark Elves
dwarfs to make the

the country of the

It

made by

was fashioned out of

six things

the footfall of a cat

the beards

the roots of stones; the sinews of bears; the

breath of fish; and the spittle of birds.

Though thou

mayest not have heard of these things before, thou mayest easily convince thyself that we have not been telling

Thou must have seen that women have no


beards, that cats make no noise when they run, and that
there are no roots under stones.
Now I know what has
been told thee to be equally true, although there may be
thee

lies.

some things thou art not able to furnish a proof of.''


"I believe what thou hast told me to be true," replied
Gangler, "for what thou hast adduced in corroboration
of thy statement is conceivable. But how was the fetter
smithied ?"

"This can

I tell thee,"

was as smooth and

replied Har, "that the fetter

soft as a silken string,

286

and

yet, as

BIXDIXG THE WOLF FEXRIR

When

thou wilt presently hear, of very great strength.


it was brought to the gods, they were profuse

in their

thanks to the messenger for the trouble he had given


himself; and taking the wolf with them to the island

Lake Amsvartnir, they showed him


the cord, and expressed their wish that he would try to
break it, assuring him at the same time that it was somewhat stronger than its thinness would warrant a person
in supposing it to be.
They took it themselves, one after
called Lyngvi, in the

another, in their hands, and after attempting in vain to

break

said,

it,

'Thou alone, Fenrir,

accom-

art able to

plish such a feat.'

" 'Methinks,' replied the wolf, 'that I shall acquire

fame

in

breaking such a slender cord; but

has been employed in making


it

shall

never come on

my

"The gods assured him

it,

if

anv

slender though

no

artifice

it

seems,

feet.'

that he

would

easily break a

limber silken cord, since he had already burst asunder


iron fetters of the most solid construction.

shouldst not succeed in breaking

show

wilt
fear,

that thou art too

and we

weak

it,'

'But

if

thou

thev added, 'thou

to cause the gods

will not hesitate to set thee at liberty

any

without

delay.'

"

bind

'I

fear

me

my own
Loath

much,' replied he wolf, 'that

efforts,

ye once

I,

ye will be in no haste to unloose me.

therefore, to have this cord

in order that

will consent, provided

mouth

if

so fast that I shall be unable to free myself by

am

me; but

me

ye

may

not doubt

wound round

my

courage,

one of you put his hand into

as a pledge that ye intend

287

me no

deceit.'

my

THE YOUNGER EDDA OF SNORRB

"The gods

wistfully looked at each other, and found

they had only the choice of two

that

evils,

until

Tyr

stepped forward and intrepidly put his right hand be-

Hereupon the gods, having


tied up the wolf, he forcibly stretched himself as he had
formerly done, and used all his might to disengage himself, but the more efforts he made the tighter became
tween the monster's jaws.

the cord, until

all

the gods, except Tyr,

who

lost

his

hand, burst into laughter at the sight.

"When

saw

the gods

bound, they took the chain called


to the fetter,

rock

named

earth

and drew
Gjoll,

it

was effectually
Gelgja, which was fixed

that the wolf

through the middle of a large

which they sank very deep

make

afterwards, to

still

it

more

into the

secure, they fas-

tened the end of the cord to a massive stone called Thviti,

which they sank still deeper. The wolf made in vain the
most violent efforts to break loose, and opening his tremendous jaws endeavoured to bite them. The gods seea sword into his mouth, which pierced

ing

this, thrust

his

under-jaw to the

palate.

He

hilt,

so that the point touched the

then began to howl horribly, and since that

time the foam flows continually from his mouth in such

abundance that
he remain

until

it

forms the river called Von.

most mighty and powerful

have so much to fear from the wolf,


slay him?'

will

Ragnarok."

"Verily," said Gangler, "an evil progeny


Lyoki, yet

There
is

that of

but since the gods

why

did they not

"The gods have so much


their peace-steads,"

replied

respect for the sanctity of

Har, "that they would not

288

THE GODDESSES AXD THEIR ATTRIBUTES


them with

stain

the blood of the wolf, although prophecy

had intimated to them


bane of Odin."

that he

must one day become the

OF THE GODDESSES.

me now/'

"Tell

36.

said

Gangler,

"which are the

goddesses?"

"The

mansion

nificent

who

Har,

first," replied

dwells

at

"is Frigga,

has a mag-

The second

called Fensalir.

Sokkvabekk, a

who

is

Saga,

very large and stately

The third is Eir, the best


The fourth, named Gefjon, is

in the healing

abode.

of

art.

a maid,

all

and

all

those

become her hand-maidens. The fifth is


Fulla, who is also a maid, and goes about with her hair
flowing over her shoulders, and her head adorned with
a gold ribbon.
She is entrusted with the toilette and
slippers of Frigga, and admitted into the most important

who

die maids

of

secrets

that

wedded to
daughter, named Hnossa,
Frigga

ever

is

she

is

beautiful

(huosir).

is

so very

left his

very remote countries.

and her

ranked

next

to

is

handsome
called

that what-

by her name

wife in order to travel into

Since that time Freyja contin-

tears are drops of pure gold.

has a great variety of names,

many

is

a person called Odur. and their

and precious

But Odur

ually weeps,

Freyja

goddess.

for

She

having gone over

countries in search of her husband, each people

gave her a different name. She is thus called Mardoll,


Horn, Gefn, and Syr, and also Vanadis. She possesses
the necklace Brising.

who

The

seventh goddess

is

Sjofna,

delights in turning men's hearts and thoughts

289

to

THE YOUNGER EDDA OF SNORRE


from her name, Sjafni.
The eighth, called Lofna, is so mild and gracious to
those who invoke her, that by a peculiar privilege which
either All-Father himself or Frigga has given her, she
love; hence a

wooer

is

called,

can remove every obstacle that


lovers sincerely attached
is

to-

may

prevent the union of

Hence her name

each other.

applied to denote love, and whatever

men.

Vora, the ninth goddess,

is

listens to the

beloved by
oaths that

men take, and particularly to the troth plighted between


man and woman, and punishes those who keep not their
promises.

She

is

wise and prudent, and so pentrating

that nothing remains hidden

keeps the door in the

hall,

from

her.

and shuts

it

Syn, the tenth,

against those

who

She presides at trials when any thing


is to be denied on oath, whence the proverb, 'Syn (negation) is set against it/ when ought is denied. Hlina,
the eleventh, has the care of those whom Frigga intends
ought not to

enter.

from peril. Snotra, the twelfth, is wise and


courteous, and men and women who possess these qualiGna, the thirteenth,
ties have her name applied to them.
is the messenger that Frigga
sends into the various
worlds on her errands.
She has a horse that can run
through air and water, called Hofvarpnir.
Once, as
she drove out, certain Vanir saw her car in the air, when
one of them exclaimed,

to deliver

"'What

What

flieth

there?

goeth there?

In the air aloft what glideth?'

"She answered,
290

FREY AXD GERDA THE BEAUTIFUL


"

fly

'I

And

not though I go,


glide through the air

On Hofvarpnir,
Whose sire's Hamskerpir,
And dam Gardrofa.'
"Sol and Bil are also reckoned

among

the goddesses,

but their nature has already been explained to thee.


37.

"There are besides these a great many other god-

whose duty it is
the drink and take care
desses,

to serve in Valhalla; to bear in

of the drinking-horns and what-

They are named in Grimnismal, and are called Valkyr jor. Odin sends them to every
field of battle, to make choice of those who are to be slain,
and to sway the victory. Gudur, Rota, and the youngest
ever belongs to the table.

of the Norns, Skuld, also ride forth to choose the slain

and turn the combat. Jord (earth), the mother of Thor,


and Rinda, the mother of Vali, are also reckoned amongst
the goddesses."

O FREY AXD GERDA.

"There was a man," continued Har, "named Gymir, who had for wife Aurboda, of the race of the
38.

Mountain-giants.

most beautiful of

Their daughter
all

women.

is

Gerda,

who

is

the

One day Frey having

placed himself in Hlidskjalf, to take a view of the whole


universe, perceived, as he looked towards the north, a

large and stately mansion which a

woman was

going to

and as she lifted up the latch of the door so great


a radiancy was thrown from her hand that the air and
waters, and all worlds were illuminated by it.
At this
sight, Frey, as a just punishment for his audacity in
enter,

20

291

THE YOUNGllR HDDA OF SNORRE


mounting' on that sacred throne, was struck with sudden
sadness, insomuch so, that on his return

home he could

neither speak, nor sleep, nor drink, nor did any one dare

to inquire the cause of his affliction


sent for Skirnir, the
to

demand of

any one.

but Njord, at

last,

messenger of Frey, and charged him

his master

why

he thus refused to speak to

do this, though with great


reluctance, fearing that all he had to expect was a severe
reprimand. He, however, went to Frey, and asked him
boldly why he was so sad and silent.
Frey answered,
that he had seen a maiden of such surpassing beauty
that

if

Skirnir promised to

he could not possess her he should not

live

much

was what rendered him so melantherefore,' he added, 'and ask her hand for

longer,

and that

choly.

'Go,

this

me, and bring her here whether her father be willing or

and I will amply reward thee/ Skirnir undertook


to perform the task, provided he might be previously put
in possession of Frey's sword, which was of such ex-

not,

would of itself strew a field with


carnage whenever the owner ordered it. Frey, impatient
of delay, immediately made him a present of the sword,
and Skirnir set out on his journey and obtained the maiden's promise, that within nine nights she would come to
a place called Barey, and there wed Frey.
Skirnir having reported the success of his message, Frey exclaimed,
cellent quality that

"

'Long

is

it

one night,

Long are two


But how shall

nights,

I hold out three?


Shorter hath seemed

A month to me oft
Than of this longing-time
>Q2

the half/

THE JOVS OF VALHALLA


"Frey having- thus given away nis sword, found himself without arms when he fought with Beli, and hence

was that he slew him with a stag's antlers."


"But it seems very astonishing," interrupted Gangler,
"that such a brave hero as Frey should give away his
sword without keeping another equally good for himself.
He must have been in a very bad plight when he encountered Beli, and methinks must have mightily repented him of the gift."
"That combat," replied Har, "was a trifling affair.
Frey could have killed Beli with a blow of his fist had
he felt inclined but the time will come when the sons
of Muspell shall issue forth to the fight, and then, indeed,
will Frey truly regret having parted with his falchion."
it

OF THE JOYS OF VALHALLA.


"If

39.

"that

all

be as thou hast told me," said Gangler,

it

men who have

beginning

fallen in fight since the

of the world are gone to Odin, in Valhalla, what has he


to give

them

to eat, for

methinks there must be a great

crowd there?"

"What thou
crowd there

is

sayest

is

Har, "the

quite true," replied

indeed great, but great though

it

be,

it

will

and will be thought too little when the wolf


cometh. But however great the band of men in Valhalla
may be, the flesh of the boar Shrimnir will more than
still

increase,

For although this boar is


sodden every morning: he becomes whole arain every
night. But there are few, methinks, who are wise enough
to give thee, in this respect, a satisf actor}' answer to thy
suffice for their

sustenance.

20 2

THE YOUNGER EDDA OE SNORRE

The cook is called Andhrimnir, and the kettle


'Andhrimnir cooks in EldEldhrimnir. As it is said,

question.

hrimnir, Shrimnir/

know how much

though few

'Tis the best of flesh,

required for the Einherjar."

is

same food

''But has Odin," said Gangler, "the

as the

heroes?"
''Odin/ replied Har, 'gives the meat that

him

two wolves,

to

self stands in

called Geri

no need of food.

is

set before

and Freki, for he him-

Wine

is

for

him both

meat and drink.

"Two

on Odin's shoulders and whisper in


his ear the tidings and events they have heard and witThey are called Hugin and Munin. 1 He sends
nessed.
ravens

sit

them out at dawn of day to fly over the whole world,


Hence it
and they return at eve towards meal time.
is that Odin knows so many things, and is called the

As

Raven's God.
"

it

is

said,

'Hugin and Munin

"What have

me

for Hugin,

Lest he

their flight
Earth's fields over.

40.

fear

come not back,


But much more for Munin/

Each dawn take

"

the heroes to drink," said Gangler,

"in sufficient quantity to correspond to their plentiful

supply of meat

"A

do they only drink water ?"

Har; "dost
thou imagine that All-Father would invite kings and
jarls and other great men and give them nothing to drink
very

but water!

silly

question

is

that,"

In that case, methinks,

replied

many

of those

who

had endured the greatest hardships, and received deadly


wounds in order to obtain access to Valhalla, would find
^ind

or Thought, and Memory.

294

THE JOYS OF VALHALLA


had paid too great a price for their water drink,
and would indeed have reason to complain were they
But thou
there to meet with no better entertainment.
that they

For the shegoat, named Heidrun, stands above Valhalla, and feeds
on the leaves of a very famous tree called Lrath, and
from her teats flows mead in such great abundance that
every day a stoop, large enough to hold more than would
wilt see that the case

is

quite otherwise.

suffice for all the heroes,

filled

is

with

it."

"Verily," said Gangler, "a mighty useful goat

and methinks the

tree

she

feeds

is

this,

on must have very

singular virtues."

more wonderful,"

"Still

of the stag Eikthyrnir.

replied

Har,

"is

what

is

told

This stag also stands over Val-

and feeds upon the leaves of the same tree, and


whilst he is feeding so many drops fall from his antlers
down into Hvergelmir that they furnish sufficient water
for the rivers that issuing thence flow through the celeshalla

tial

abodes."

41.

me

"Wondrous

things are these which thou tellest

"and Valhalla must needs be an


immense building, but methinks there must often be a
of," said Gangler,

great press at the door

among

such a number of people

constantly thronging in and out?"

"Why

dost thou not ask," replied Har,

doors there

are,

and what are

their dimensions;

then

any

diffi-

wouldst thou be able to judge whether there


culty in going in

Know,
or doors. As

and

lack of either seats

out.

mal:
295

"how many
is

then, that there


it

is

is

no

said in Grimnis-

THE YOUNGER EDDA OF SNORRI*


"'Five hundred doors

And

more

forty

Methinks are in Valhalla.


Eight hundred heroes through each door
Shall issue forth

Against the wolf to combat.'

"

"A mighty

band of men must be in Valhalla,"


said Gangler, "and methinks Odin must be a great chiefBut how do
tain to command such a numerous host.
42.

when they

the heroes pass their time

"Every day,"

replied

Har,

"as

are not drinking?"

soon as they have

dressed themselves they ride out into the court (or field),

and there
is

their pastime, but

mount
it

is

their steeds

said

when meal-time approaches they

and return to drink

"

As

in Valhalla.

'The Einherjar all


On Odin's plain
Hew daily each other,
While chosen the slain are.
From the fray they then ride,
And drink ale with the sir.'

hast thus reason to say that

mighty, for there are


in the

re-

"

"Thou

This

fight until they cut each other to pieces.

very words of

many proofs
the sir

of

Odin
this.

is

great and

As

it is

said

Bifrost of bridges,
Bragi of bards,
Habrok of hawks,
And Garm of hounds

'The ash Yggdrasill


Is the first of trees,
As Skidbladnir of ships,

Odin

of sir,
Sleipnir of steeds,

is.'

OF the; HORSE sleipnir.


43.

"Thou mad'st mention,"

horse Sleipnir.

To whom

there to say respecting

said Gangler,

"of the

does he belong, and what

him?"
296

is

THE WONDERFUL HORSE SLEIPNIR


"Thou seemest

know nothing

to

either aoout Sleipnir

or his origin," replied Har, "but thou wilt no doubt find

what thou

when

time

wilt hear

artificer

finished

came and

Midgard and

Once on a

notice.

were constructing

the gods

had already

worthy of thy

their abodes,

Valhalla,

and

a certain

offered to build them, in the space of

three half years, a residence so well fortified that they

should be perfectly safe from the incursion of the Frostgiants,

and the giants of the mountains, even although

But he

they should have penetrated within Midgard.

demanded

for his reward the goddess Freyja, together

with the sun and moon.

After long deliberation the

sir agreed to his terms, provided he would finish the


whole work himself without ony one's assistance, and
all

within the space of one winter, but

if

anything

re-

mained unfinished on the first day of summer, he should


forfeit the recompense agreed on.
On being told these
terms, the artificer stipulated that he should be allowed
the use of his horse, called Svadilfari, and this, by the

advice of Loki,
set to

work on

night

let

enormous

was granted
the

his horse

first

to him.

He

accordingly

day of winter, and during the

draw stone

for the building.

size of the stones struck the yEsir

The

with aston-

ishment, and they saw clearly that the horse did one
half

more of the toilsome work than

his master.

bargain, however, had been concluded

in

Their

the presence

of witnesses, and confirmed by solemn oaths, for without


these precautions a giant would not have thought himself
safe

among

the sir,

especially

297

when Thor

returned

THE YOUNGER EDDA OF SNORRE


from an expedition he had then undertaken towards the
east against evil

"As

demons.

the winter

drew to a

was

close the building

far

advanced, and the bulwarks were sufficiently high and

massive to render

when

In short,

impregnable.

this residence

wanted but three days to summer the only part

it

that remained to be finished

gods on

was the gateway.

Then

their seats of justice

and entered into

consultation, inquiring of one another

who among them

sat the

could have advised to give Freyja


to plunge the heavens in darkness

to carry

away

the sun and moon.

away

to

Jotunheim, or

by permitting the giant

They

all

agreed that

no one but Loki, the son of Laufey, and the author of


so

many

evil deeds,

could have given such bad counsel,

and that he should be put


contrive

to a cruel death if he did not

some way or other

to prevent the artificer

from

completing his task and obtaining the stipulated recom-

They immediately proceeded

to Jay hands

on

Loki, who, in his fright, promised upon oath that

let

pense.

it

cost

him what

that the

man

it

would, he would so manage matters

should lose his reward.

That very night,

when the artificer went with Svadilfari for building stone,


a mare suddenly ran out of a forest and began to neigh.
The horse being thus excited, broke loose and ran after
the mare into the forest, which obliged the man also to
and thus between one and the other
the whole night was lost, so that at dawn the work had
run after
not

made

his horse,

the usual progress.

The man

had no other means of completing


298

his

seing that he
task,

resumed

THE SHIP ADAPTED TO SEA AND LAND


own

his

gigantic stature, and the gods

ceived that

it

was

in reality a

come amongst them.

No

now

clearly per-

Mountain-giant

who had

longer regarding their oaths,

on Thor, who immediately ran


to their assistance, and lifting up his mallet Mjolnir paid
the workman his wages, not w ith the sun and moon,
they,

therefore,

called

and not even by sending him back to Jotunheim, for with


the first blow he shattered the giant's skull to pieces, and
hurled him headlong into Nifelhel.
But Loki had run
such a race with Svadilfari that shortly after he bore
a grey foal with eight legs.

which excels

all

This

is

the horse Sleipnir,

horses ever possessed by gods or men."

OF THE SHIP SKIDBLADNIR.

"What

44.

Skidbladnir, which thou toldst


Is there

demanded Gangler, "of


me was the best of ships?

hast thou to say,"

no other ship

as

good or

as large?"

"Skidbladnir," replied Har, "is without doubt the best

and most

artfully constructed of any, but the ship

Nagf-

They were dwarfs, the sons of


Ivaldi, who built Skidbladnir, and made a present of
her to Frey. She is so* large that all the sir with their
weapons and war stores find room on board her. As soon
far

is

of larger

size.

as the sails are set a favourable breeze arises and carries

her to her place of destination, and she

is

made
when

of so

she is
and with so much skill, that
not wanted for a voyage Frey may fold her together like
a piece of cloth, and put her in his pocket."

many

pieces,

"A good

ship truly,

is

Skidbladnir,"

299

said

Gangler,

THE YOUNGER FDD A OF SNORRE


"and many cunning contrivances and spells must, no
doubt, have been used in her construction."

adventures on his journey to the land oe

tiior's

the

giants.

"But tell me," he (Gangler) continued, "did it


ever happen to Thor in his expeditions to be overcome
either by spells or by downright force?"
"Few can take upon them to affirm this," replied Har,
"an3 yet it has often fared hard enough with him but
had he in reality been worsted in any rencounter there
would be no need to make mention of it, since all are
45.

bound

to believe that nothing can resist his

pow er."
r

"It would, therefore, appear," said Gangler, "that

have asked of you things that none of you are able to

me

tell

of."

"There are, indeed, some such rumours current among


us," answered Jafnhar, "but they are hardly credible;
however, there is one sitting here can impart them to
thee, and thou shouldst the rather believe him, for never
having yet uttered an untruth, he will not now begin to
deceive thee with false stories."

"Here then
what ye have

"and listen to
to say, but if ye cannot answer my question satisfactorily I shall look upon you as vanquished."
will I stand," said Gangler,

Then spake Thridi and

said,

"We

can easily conceive

knowing these tidings, but it


guard a becoming silence respecting

that thou art desirous of

behooves thee to
them.
46.

The story I have to relate is this


"One day the God Thor set out in
300

his car

drawn

ADVENTURES OF

TIIOR IN GIANT-LAND

by two he-goats, and accompanied by Loki, on a journey.


Night coming on, they put up at a peasant's cottage,

where Thor
them in the

down with

killed his goats,

When

kettle.

and after flaying them, put

the flesh

was sodden, he

his fellow-traveller to supper,

sat

and invited the

peasant and his family to partake of his repast.

The

was named Thjalfi, and his daughter Roska.


Thor bade them throw all the bones into the goats' skins
which were spread out near the fire-place, but young

peasant's son

Thjalfi broke one of the shank bones with his knife to

come

to

the marrow.

in the cottage,

Thor having passed

rose at the

was dressed took

dawn

of day, and

the night

when he

and lifting it up,


consecrated the goats' skins, which he had no sooner
done than the two goats re-assumed their wonted form,
only that one of them now limped on one of its hind
legs.
Thor perceiving this, said that the peasant, or one
of his family, had handled the shank bone of this goat
too roughly, for he saw clearly that it was broken.
It
readily
may
be imagined how frightened the peasant was
when he saw Thor knit his brows, and grasp the handle
his mallet Mjolnir,

of his mallet with such force that the joints of his fingers

became white from the exertion. Fearing to be struck


down by the very looks of the god, the peasant and his
family

made

joint suit for pardon, offering

whatever they

possessed as an atonement for the offence committed.

Thor, seeing their

came more

fear, desisted

placable,

and

finally

from

his wrath,

and be-

contented himself by re-

quiring the peasant's children, Thjalfi and Roska,

became

his bond-servants,

who

and have followed him ever

since.

301

THE YOUNGER EDDA OF SNORRE


'Leaving

goats

his

with

peasant,

the

Thor

pro

ceeded eastward on the road to Jotunheim, until he came


to the shores of a vast

and deep

which having passed

sea,

over he penetrated into a strange country along with his

They had not


gone far before they saw before them an immense forest,
through which they wandered all day. Thjalfi was of
companions, Loki, Thjalfi, and Roska.

men

all

but

the swiftest of foot.

the

forest

was a bad

When

He

place

bore Thor's wallet,

for

finding anything

became dark, they searched


on all sides for a place where they might pass the night,
and at last came to a very large hall with an entrance
that took up the whole breadth of one of the ends of the
building.
Here they chose them a place to sleep in;
but towards midnight were alarmed by an earthquake
eatable to stow in

it.

it

which shook the w hole edifice. Thor, rising up, called


on his companions to seek with him a place of safety.
On the right they found an adjoining chamber, into which
7

w ith fear,
retreat, Thor re-

they entered, but while the others, trembling


crept into the furthest corner of this

mained

at the

doorway with

his mallet in his hand, pre-

pared to defend himself, whatever might happen.

dawn
near him a man

terrible

groaning was heard during the night, and

of day,

Thor went out and observed

of enormous bulk,

who

slept

Thor could now account

lying

at

and snored pretty loudly.

for the noise they had heard

over night, and girding on his Belt of Prowess, increased


that divine strength

in

need

of.

The

aw akening, rose up, and it is said that for once


his life Thor was afraid to make use of his mallet,

giant
in

which he now stood

302

ADVENTURES OF THOR

IN CIAXT-LAND

and contented himself by simply asking the giant


name.
"

'My name

Skrymir,

is

not ask thy name, for

his

said the other, 'but I need

know thou

God Thor.
And stretch-

art the

But what hast thou done with my glove?'


ing out his hand Skrymir picked up his glove, which
Thor then perceived was what they had taken over night
for a hall, the chamber where they had sought refuge
being the thumb.
Skrymir then asked whether they
would have his fellowship, and Thor consenting, the
giant opened his wallet and began to eat his breakfast.
Thor and his companions having also taken their morning repast, though in another place, Skrymir proposed
that they

Thor

should

lay

their

also assented to.

The

into one wallet,

provisions

together,

giant then put

which he slung on

his

all

which

the meat

back and went

before them, taking tremendous strides, the whole day,

dusk sought out for them a place where they might


pass the night under a large oak tree. Skrymir then told

and

at

them

that he

would

lie

down

to sleep.

'But take ye the

wallet/ he added, 'and prepare your supper/

"Skrymir soon fell asleep, and began to snore strongly,


but incredible though it may appear, it must nevertheless
be told, that when Thor came to open the wallet he could
not untie a single knot, nor render a single string looser

was before. Seeing that his labour was in vain,


Thor became wroth, and grasping his mallet with both

than

it

hands while he advanced a step forward, launched


the giant's

whether

head.

a leaf

it

at

Skrymir, awakening, merely asked

had not

fallen

303

on

his head,

and whether

THE YOUNGER EDDA OF SNORRE


they had supped and were ready to go to sleep.

Thor

answered that they were just going to sleep, and so saying, went and laid himself down under another oak tree.
But sleep came not that night to Thor, and when he

remarked that Skrymir snored again so loud that the


forest re-echoed with the noise, he arose, and grasping
his mallet, launched it with such force that it sunk into
the giant's skull up to the handle.

Skrymir awakening,

cried out

"'What's the matter? did an acorn

How

fares

it

on

fall

my

head?

with thee, Thor?'

"But Thor went away hastily, saying that he had just


then awoke, and that as it was only midnight there was
still time for sleep.
He however resolved that if he
had an opportunity of striking a third blow, it should
A little before daysettle all matters between them.
break he perceived that Skrymir was again fast asleep,
and again grasping his mallet, dashed it 'with such violence that it forced its way into the giant's cheek up to
the handle.
But Skrymir sat up, and stroking his cheek,
said

"'Are there any birds perched on this tree? Methought when I awoke some moss from the branches fell
on my head. What Art thou awake, Thor ? Methinks it
is time for us to get up and dress ourselves
but you have
not now a long way before you to the city called Utgard.
I have heard you whispering to one another that I am not
a man of small dimensions but if you come into Utgard
you will see there many men much taller than myself.
Wherefore I advise you, when you come there, not to
!

304

ADVENTURES OF
make too much

of

TIIOR IN CLINT-LAND

yourselves,

for

of

followers

the

brook the boasting of such mannikins as ye are.


The best thing you could do would
probably be to turn back again, but if you persist in going
on, take the road that leads eastward, for mine now lies

Utgard-Loki

will not

northward to those rocks which you may see

in the dis-

tance.'

"Hereupon, he threw
turned away from them

his wallet over his shoulders

into the forest,

and

and

could never

hear that Thor wished to meet with him a second time.


47.

"Thor and

his

companions proceeded on their

way, and towards noon descried a


middle of a
to

plain.

It

was so

city standing in the

lofty that they

were obliged

bend their necks quite back on their shoulders ere they

could see to the top of

it.

On

arriving at the walls they

found the gateway closed with a gate of bars strongly


locked and bolted.

Thor, after trying

in

vain to open

it,

crept with his companions through the bars, and thus suc-

ceeded in gaining admission into the

city.

Seeing a large

palace before them, with the door wide open, they went

and found a number of men of prodigious stature sitGoing further, they came
ting on benches in the hall.
in

before the king, Utgard-Loki.


great respect.

whom

they saluted with

Their salutations were however returned

by a contemptuous look from the king, who, after regarding them for some time, said with a scornful smile
"

'It

is

tedious to ask for tidings of a long journey,

do not mistake me, that stripling there must be


Aku-Thor. Perhaps/ he added, addressing himself to
Thor, 'thou mayst be taller than thou appearest to be.
yet

if I

305

THE YOUNGER EDDA OF SNORRE


and thy fellows deem
for no one is permitted to remain

But what are the

feats that thou

yourselves skilled

in,

here

who

does not, in some feat or other, excel

men.'
" 'The feat

than any one

else,

know,' replied Loki,

and

against any one here

in this I

who may

am

'is

other

all

to eat quicker

ready to give a proof

choose to compete with

me.'
" 'That will indeed be a feat/ said Utgard-Loki,

'if

thou performest what thou promisest, and

be

it

shall

tried forthwith.'

"He

then ordered one of his men,

who w as

the further end of the bench, and whose


to

come forward and

w ith

sitting at

name was

try his skill with Loki.

Logi, 1

trough

meat having been set on the hall floor,


Loki placed himself at one end, and Logi at the other,
and each of them began to eat as fast as he could, until

filled

flesh

But it was found


that Loki had only eaten the flesh, whereas his adversary
had devoured both flesh and bone, and the trough to boot.
All the company therefore adjudged that Loki was van-

they met in the middle of the trough.

quished.

"Utgard-Loki then asked what

who accompanied Thor


that he

feat the

could perform.

young man

Thjalfi answered

would run a race with any one who might be

matched against him. The king observed that skill in


running was something to boast of, but that if the youth

would win the match he must display great agility.


then arose and went with all who were present to a
H. e.

Devouring flame.

O
.V

He
plain

ADVENTURES OF THOR IN GIANT-LAND


where there was a good ground for running on, and calling a young man named Hugi, 1 bade him run a match
with

In the

.Thjalfi.

first

Hugi

course

much

so

stripped his competitor that he turned back and

out-

met him

not far from the starting-place.


" 'Thou must ply thy legs better, Thjalfi/ said UtgardLoki,

'if

thou wilt win the match, though

say that there never came a

than thou

man

must needs

here swifter of foot

art.'

"In the second course, Thjalfi was a

full

bow-shot from

when Hugi arrived at it.


" 'Most bravely dost thou run, Thjalfi,' said Utgard-

the goal

Loki, 'though thou wilt not, methinks, win the match.

But the third course must decide/


"They accordingly ran a third time, but Hugi had already reached the goal before Thjalfi had got half way.
All who were present then cried out that there had been
a sufficient trial of

skill in this

kind of exercise.

"Utgard-Loki then asked Thor

50.

in

what

feats

he

would choose to give proofs of that dexterity for which


he was so famous. Thor replied, that he would begin
a drinking match with any one. Utgard-Loki consented,
and entering the palace, bade his cupbearer bring the
large horn which his followers were obliged to drink out
of when they had trespassed in any way against established usage.

The cupbearer having

Utgard-Loki said
((

Whoever

H.

e.

21

is

good drinker

Spirit or thought.

37

presented

will

empty

it

to Thor,

that horn at

THE YOUNGER EDDA OF SNORRE

men make two

a single draught, though some


the most

puny drinker of

"Thor looked

all

can do

it

of

but

it,

at three.'

which seemed of no extraordinary size, though somewhat long; however, as he


was very thirsty, he set it to his lips, and without drawing
at the horn,

breath pulled as long and as deeply as he could, that he

might not be obliged to make a second draught of it but


when he set the horn down and looked in, he could
scarcely perceive that the liquor was diminished.
;

"

'

"Tis well drunken,' exclaimed Utgard-Loki, 'though

much

would not have believed


had it been told me that Asa-Thor could not have taken
a greater draught, but thou no doubt meanest to make
amends at the second pull.'
"Thor, without answering, went to it again with all
his might, but when he took the horn from, his mouth it
seemed to him as if he had drunk rather less than before,
nothing

to boast of

and

although the horn could now be carried without spilling.


" 'How now, Thor,' said Utgard-Loki 'thou must not
;

spare thyself
skill;

but

if

more

in

performing a

feat

that thou wilt not be called so mighty a

among

the sir,

if

full

must needs say

man

here as thou

thou showest no greater prowess

in other feats than, methinks, will be

"Thor,

thy

befits

thou meanest to drain the horn at the third

draught thou must pull deeply; and


art

than

shown

in this/

of wrath, again set the horn to his

lips,

and exerted himself to the utmost to empty it entirely,


but on looking in found that the liquor was only a little
lower, upon which he resolved to make no further attempt, but gave back the horn to the cupbearer.
30S

IN GIANT-LAND

ADVENTURES OF THOR
"

51.

now

'I

see plainly,' said Utgard-Loki, 'that thou

are not quite so stout as

we thought

art not likely

any other feat, though, methinks, thou


to bear any prize away with thee hence.'
try

"

will try another feat/ replied

'I

such draughts as

been reckoned small

'in

Thor, 'and

am

sure

have been drinking would not have

among

which

we

sir but what new

the

hast thou to propose?'


" 'We have a very trifling

gard-Loki,

thou

thee, but wilt

trial

game

answered Ut-

here,'

exercise none but children.

my

It

from the ground, nor


should I have dared to mention such a feat to Asa-Thor
if I had not already observed that thou art by no means

consists in merely lifting

cat

what we took thee for.'


"As he finished speaking, a large grey cat sprung on
Thor advancing put his hand under the
the hall floor.
cat's belly, and did his utmost to raise him from the
floor,
all

but the cat bending his back had, notwithstanding

Thor's

efforts,

only one of his feet lifted up, seeing

which, Thor made no further attempt.


" 'This trial has turned out,' said Utgard-Loki, 'just
as I imagined
in

it

would the
;

cat

is

large, but

comparison to our men.'


" 'Little as ye call me,' answered Thor,

amongst you w ill come hither now


T

Thor

see

who

in wrath,

and

'let

am

is little

me

wrestle with me.'


" 'I see no one here/ said Utgard-Loki, looking at the

men

sitting

on the benches, 'who would not think

neath him to wrestle with thee;


call hither that
H.

e.

old crone,

my

Eld or Old Age.

3V

let

nurse

it

be-

somebody, however,
Elli,

and

let

Thor

THE YOUNGER EDDA OE SNORRE


wrestle with

licr

ground many

Thor

he

if

man

She has thrown to


strong and mighty than

the

will.

not less

this

is.'

"A

53.

and was

woman

toothless old

told

then entered the

The

to take hold of Thor.

by Utgard-Loki

hall,

The more Thor tightened his hold


on the crone the firmer she stood. At length, after a very
violent struggle, Thor began to lose his footing, and was
Utgard-Loki then
finally brought down upon one knee.
told them to desist, adding that Thor had now no occatale is shortly told.

sion to ask

and
and

it

was

any one

else in the hall to wrestle

companions

his

He

also getting late.

therefore

with him,

showed Thor

and they passed the

to their seats,

night there in good cheer.

"The next morning,

54.

at break of day,

Thor and

companions dressed themselves and prepared for


departure.
Utgard-Loki then came and ordered a

his

to be set for them, on which there


victuals or drink.

was no

their
table

lack either of

After the repast Utgard-Loki led them

on parting, asked Thor how


he thought his journey had turned out, and whether he
had met with any men stronger than himself. Thor told
to the gate of the city, and,

him that he could not deny but that he had brought great
'And what grieves me most/ he
shame on himself.
added,
55.

'is

that ye will call

thee the truth

as I

live,

now

man

much

of

'it

little

worth/

behooves

me

to

tell

thou are out of the city which so long

and have

my

And by my troth, had


so

me

" 'Nay/ said Utgard-Loki,

way, thou shalt never

known beforehand

re-enter.

that thou hadst

strength in thee, and wouldst have brought

310

me

ADVENTURES OE THOR
so near to a great mishap,

thee to enter this time.

deceived thee by
I

my

Know

illusions;

would not have suffered


then that I have all along
first, in the forest, where

arrived before thee, and there thou wert not able to

untie the wallet, because


in

IN GIANT-LAND

had bound

it

with iron wire,

how

the

thou gavest

me

such a manner that thou couldst not discover

knot ought to be loosened.

After

three blows with thy mallet; the

this,

first,

though the

least,

would have ended my days had it fallen on me, but I


brought a rocky mountain before me which thou didst
not perceive, and in this mountain thou wilt find three
glens, one of them remarkably deep. These are the dints
made by thy mallet. I have made use of similar illusions
in the contests ye have had with my followers.
In the
first, Loki, like hunger itself, devoured all that was set before him, but Logi was, in reality, nothing else than ar-

and therefore consumed not only the meat but


the trough which held it.
Hugi, with whom. Thjalfi contended in running, was Thought, and it was impossible
dent

fire,

When

for Thjalfi to keep pace with that.

thou, in thy

empty the horn, thou didst perform,


by my troth, a deed so marvellous, that had I not seen it
myself I should never have believed it. For one end of
that horn reached the sea, which thou wast not aware of,
turn, didst try to

when thou comest to the shore thou wilt perceive


how much the sea has sunk by thy draughts, which have
caused what is now called the ebb. Thou didst perform

but

a feat no less wonderful by lifting


tell

was

thee the truth,


off the floor,

when we saw
we were all of
311

up the

cat,

and to

that one of his

paws

us terror-stricken, for

THE YOUNGER EDDA OF SNORRE

what thou tookest

was

for a cat

Midand he

in reality the great

gard serpent that encompassed the whole earth,

was then barely long enough to inclose it between his


head and tail, so high had thy hand raised him up towards
heaven. Thy wrestling with Elli was also a most astonishing feat, for there was never yet a man, nor ever
shall be, whom Old Age, for such in fact was Elli, will
not sooner or later lay low if he abide her coming.
But

now

as

we

are going to part,

better for both of us

for shouldst thou

do

if

let

me

tell

thou never come near

so, I shall

it

will be

me

again,

thee that

again defend myself by

other illusions, so that thou wilt never prevail against me.'

"On

hearing these words, Thor, in a rage, laid hold

of his mallet and would have launched

it

at him,

but

Utgard-Loki had disappeared, and when Thor would

have returned to the city to destroy it, he found, nothing


around him but a verdant plain. Proceeding, therefore,

on his way, he returned without stopping to Thrudvang.


But he had already resolved to make that attack on the
Midgard serpent which afterwards took place. I trust,"
concluded Thridi, "that thou wilt

no one can

tell

heard respecting

this

journey of Thor to Jotunheim."

TO FISH FOR THE) MIDGARD SERPENT.

"I find by your account," said Gangler,

Utgard-Loki possesses great might


has recourse to

spells

and

in himself,

illusions; but his

affront?"

But

tell

"that

though he

power may

be seen by his followers, being in every respect so

and dexterous.

that

thee truer tidings than those thou hast

HOW THOR WENT


56.

now acknowledge

skillful

me, did Thor ever avenge


~

I2

this

ADVENTURES OF THOR
"It

is

IN GIANT-LAND

not unknown," replied Har, "though nobody has

talked of

it,

Thor was determined

that

to

make amends

and he had not been long


at home ere he set out again so hastily that he had neither
He
his car nor his goats, nor any followers with him.
went out of Midgard under the semblance of a young
man, and came at dusk to the dwelling of a giant called
Hymir. Here Thor passed the night, but at break of
for the journey just spoken of,

day,

when he

Hymir was making

perceived that

his boat

ready for fishing, he arose and dressed himself, and

begged the giant would

Hymir answered,

that a

him row out to sea with him.


puny stripling like he was could

let

be of no great use to him.


catch thy death of cold
so long as I
all

that,

am

'Besides,'
if

go so

accustomed to do/

he added, 'thou wilt


far out

Thor

and remain

said, that for

he would row as far from the land as

Hymir

had a mind, and was not sure which of them would be


the first who might wish to row back again.
At the
same time he was so enraged that he felt sorely inclined
to let his mallet ring on the giant's skull without further
delay,

but intending to try his strength elsewhere, he

stifled his

bait

wrath, and asked

Hymir

with.

himself.

Thor

told

instantly

Hymir what he meant

to

him to look out for a bait


went up to a herd of oxen

that belonged to the giant, and seizing the largest bull,


that bore the

name

of Himinbrjot,

wrung

off his head,

and returning with it to the boat, put out to sea with


Hymir. Thor rowed aft with two oars, and with such
force that Hymir, who rowed at the prow, saw with
surprise,

how

swiftly the boat

313

was driven forward.

He

THE YOUNGER EDDA OE SNORRE


then observed that they were come to the place where

he was wont to angle for

flat

fish,

but

Thor assured

him that they had better go on a good way further.


They accordingly continued to ply their oars, until Hymir
cried out that if they did not stop they would be in
danger from the great Midgard serpent. Notwithstanding this, Thor persisted in rowing further, and in spite
of Hymir's remonstrances was a great while before he
would lay down his oars. He then took out a fishingline,

extremely strong, furnished with an equally strong

hook, on which he fixed the bull's head, and cast his line
into the sea.

may

The

bait

soon reached the bottom, and

it

be truly said that Thor then deceived the Midgard

serpent not a whit less than Utgard-Loki had deceived

Thor when he obliged him to lift up the serpent in his


hand for the monster greedily caught at the bait, and
the hook stuck fast in his palate.
Stung with the pain,
the serpent tugged at the hook so violently, that Thor
was obliged to hold fast with both hands by the pegs
But his wrath now waxed
that bear against the oars.
high, and assuming all his divine power, he pulled so
:

hard at the

line that his feet forced their

way through

and went down to the bottom of the sea, whilst


with his hands he drew up the serpent to the side of the
vessel.
It is impossible to express by words the dreadful
scene that now took place. Thor, on one hand, darting
looks of ire on the serpent, whilst the monster, rearing
his head, spouted out floods of venom upon him.
It is
the boat

said that

when

the giant

Hymir

beheld the serpent, he

turned pale and trembled with fright and seeing, more-

314

THE DEATH OF BALDUR


was entering his boat on all sides,
he took out his knife, just as Thor raised his mallet aloft,
and cut the line, on which the serpent sunk again under

over, that the water

Thor, however, launched his mallet at him,

the water.

and there are some who say that it struck off the monster's head at the bottom of the sea, but one may assert
with more certainty that he still lives and lies in the
ocean.
Thor then, struck Hymir such a blow with his
fist, nigh the ear, that the giant fell headlong into the
water, and Thor, wading with rapid strides, soon came
to the land again."

THE DEATH OF BALDUR THE


57.

GOOD.

"Verily," said Gangler, "it was a famous exploit

which Thor performed on that journey, but did any other


such events take place

among

"Ay," replied Har, "

can

the
tell

sir?"
thee of another event

which the sir deemed of much greater importance.


Thou must know, therefore, that Baldur the Good having
been tormented with terrible dreams, indicating that his
life was in great peril, communicated them to the assembled sir, who resolved to conjure all things to avert
from him the threatened danger. Then Frigga exacted
an oath from fire and water, from iron, and all other
metals, as well as from stones, earths, diseases, beasts,
birds, poisons, and creeping things, that none of them
would do any harm to Baldur. When this was done, it
became a favourite pastime of the sir, at their meetings, to get

Baldur to stand up and serve them as a

mark, some hurling darts

at

315

him, some stones, while

THE YOUNGER EDDA OE SNORRE

hewed at him with their swords and battle-axes,


for do they what they would none of them could harm
him, and this was regarded by all as a great honour
shown to Baldur. But when Loki, the son oi Laufey,
beheld the scene, he was sorely vexed that Baldur was
not hurt.
Assuming, therefore, the shape of a woman,
he went to Fensalir, the mansion of Frigga. That goddess, when she saw the pretended woman, inquired of
her if she knew what the sir were doing at their meetings.
She replied, that they were throwing darts and
others

stones at Baldur without being able to hurt him.


" 'Ay/ said Frigga, 'neither metal nor wood can hurt

Baldur, for I have exacted an oath from all of them/


" 'What !' exclaimed the woman, 'have all things sworn
to spare Baldur ?'
" 'All things/ replied Frigga, 'except one

little

shrub

grows on the eastern side of Valhalla, and is called


Mistletoe, and which I thought too young and feeble to
crave an oath from/
'As soon as Loki, heard this he went away, and, resuming his natural shape, cut off the mistletoe, and repaired to the place where the gods were assembled. There
he found Hodur standing apart, without partaking of
the sports, on account of his blindness, and going up to
him, said, 'Why dost thou not also throw something at
that

'

Baldur?"
" 'Because

where Baldur

am
is,

blind/ answered Hodur, 'and see not

and have, moreover, nothing

to

throw

with/
"

'Come then/

said Loki, 'do like the rest,

316

and show

THE DEATH OF BALDUR


honour to Baldur by throwing this twig at him, and I
will direct thy arm toward the place where he stands.'
"Hodur then took the mistletoe, and under the
guidance of Loki, darted it at Baldur, who, pierced
through and through, fell down lifeless.
Surely never

was there witnessed,

among gods

either

more
the sir

or men, a

"When Baldur fell


were struck speechless with horror, and then they looked
at each other, and all were of one mind to lay hands on
him who had done the deed, but they were obliged to
atrocious deed than this

delay their vengeance out of respect for the sacred place

(Peace-stead) where they were assembled.

They

at length

gave vent to their grief by loud lamentations, though


not one of them could find words to express the poig-

nancy of

his feelings.

Odin, especially, was more sensi-

ble than the others of the loss they

had

suffered, for he

foresaw what a detriment Baldur's death would be to

When

the sir.

asked

good

came

the gods

who among them wished


will;

'For

this.'

said she.

to themselves.

to gain
'shall

all

Frigga

her love and

he have

who

will

Hel and try to find Baldur, and offer Hela a


ransom if she will let him return to Asgard whereupon
Hermod, surnamed the Ximble, the son of Odin, offered
Odin's horse Sleipnir was then
to undertake the journey.
ride to

:'

led forth,

on

on which Hermod mounted, and galloped away

his mission.

sir then took

body and bore it


to the seashore, where stood Baldur's ship Hringhorn,
which passed for the largest in the world. But when
thev wanted to launch it in order to make Baldur's funeral
50.

'"The

the dead

THE YOUNGER EDDA OF SNORRE


pile

on

it,

they were unable to

make

it stir.

In this con-

juncture they sent to Jotunheim for a certain giantess

named Hyrrokin, who came mounted on a wolf, having


As soon as she alighted,
twisted serpents for a bridle.
Odin ordered four Berserkir to hold her steed fast, who
were, however, obliged to throw the animal on the ground
ere they could effect their purpose. Hyrrokin then went
to the ship, and with a single push set it afloat, but the
motion was so violent that the fire sparkled from the
Thor, enraged
rollers, and the earth shook all around.
at the sight, grasped his mallet, and but for the interference of the sir would have broken the woman's
Baldur's body was then borne to the funeral pile
skull.
on board the ship, and this ceremony had such an effect
on Nanna, the daughter of Nep, that her heart broke
with grief, and her body was burnt on the same pile with
Thor then stood up and hallowed the pile
her husband's.
with Mjolnir, and during the ceremony kicked a dwarf
named Litur, who was running before his feet, into the
fire.
There was a vast concourse of various kinds of
First came Odin, accompeople at Baldur's obsequies.
panied by Frigga, the Valkyrjor and his ravens; then
Frey in his car drawn by a boar named Gullinbursti or
Heimdall rode his horse called Gulltopp,
and Freyja drove in her chariot drawn by cats. There
were also a great many Frost-giants and giants of the
Slidrugtanni

Odin laid on the pile the gold ring


Draupnir, which afterwards acquired the property

mountains present.
called

of producing every ninth night eight rings of equal


weight.

Baldur's horse was led to the pile fully capari-

3i8

BALDUR IN THE ABODE OF THE DEAD


soned, and

consumed

in the

same flames on the body of

his master.
CO.
sion.

"Meanwhile,

Hermod was

proceeding on his mis-

For the space of nine days, and as many

nights,

he rode through deep glens so dark that he could not

dis-

cern anything until he arrived at the river Gjoll, which

he passed over on a bridge covered with glittering gold.

Modgudur, the maiden who kept the bridge, asked him


his name and lineage, telling him that the day before
five bands of dead persons had ridden over the bridge,
and did not shake it so much as he alone. 'But,' she
added, 'thou hast not death's hue on thee, why then ridest
thou here on the way to Hel ?'
" 'I ride to Hel/ answered Hermod, 'to seek Baldur.
Hast thou perchance seen him pass this way?'
" 'Baldur/ she replied, 'hath ridden over Gjoll's bridge,

but there below, towards the north,

lies

the

way

to the

abodes of death/

"Hermod

then pursued his journey until he came to

the barred gates of Hel.

Here he

alighted, girthed his

saddle tighter, and remounting, clapped both spurs to


his horse,

who

cleared the gate by a tremendous leap

without touching

where he found

it.

Hermod

his brother

then rode on to the palace,

Baldur occupying the most

distinguished seat in the hall, and passed the night in his

The next morning he besought Hela (Death)


Baldur ride home with him, assuring her that

company.
to let

nothing but lamentations were to be heard

among

the

Hela answered that it should now be tried whether


Baldur was so beloved as he was said to be.

gods.

319

THE YOUNGER EDDA OE SNORRE


" 'If therefore/ she added,

both living and

lifeless,

weq>

things in the world,

'all

for him,

then shall he

any one thing speak against


him or refuse tO' weep, he shall be kept in HeL'
"Hermod then rose, and Baldur led him out of the
hall and gave him the ring Draupnir, to present as a
keepsake to Odin. Nanna also sent Frigga a linen cas-

return to the sir, but

sock and other

if

and to Fulla a gold finger-ring.


Hermod then rode back to Asgard, and gave an account

of

all

gifts,

he had heard and witnessed.

"The gods upon

this dispatched

out the world, to beg everything

messengers through-

to<

weep, in order that

Baldur might be delivered from Hel.

All things very

willingly complied with this request, both

men and

every

other living being, as well as earths and stones, and trees

must have seen these things weep


when they are brought from a cold place into a hot one.
As the messengers were returning with the conviction
that their mission had been quite successful, they found
an old hag named Thaukt sitting in a cavern, and begged
her to weep Baldur out of Hel.
"It was strongly suspected that this hag was no other
and metals,

just as thou

than Loki himself

who

never ceased to work

evil

among

the sir."

the; flight
61.

and punishment of

loki.

"Evil are the deeds of Loki truly," said Gangler

having caused Baldur to be slain, and


then preventing him from being delivered out of Hel.
"first

of

all in

his

But was he not punished for these crimes?"


320

LOKPS CAPTURE AND PUNISHMENT


"Ay," replied Har, "and in such a manner that he will
long repent having committed them.
When he perceived

how

exasperated the gods were, he fled and hid

himself in the mountains.

There he

built

him

a dwelling

with four doors, so that he could see everything that


passed around him.

Often

in the

daytime he assumed

the likeness of a salmon, and concealed himself under the

waters of a cascade called Franangursfors, where he employed himself in divining and circumventing whatever
stratagems the sir might have recourse to in order to

One

catch him.

day, as he sat in his dwelling, he took

and yarn, and worked them into meshes in the manner that nets have since been made by fishermen. Odin,
flax

however, had descried his retreat out of Hiidskjalf, and

Loki becoming aware that the gods were approaching,


threw his net into the
in the river.

who was

When

fire,

and ran

to conceal himself

the gods entered the house, Kvasir,

the most distinguished

among them

all

for his

quickness and penetration, traced out in the hot embers


the vestiges of the net which had been burnt, and told

Odin that it must be an invention to catch fish. Whereupon they set to work and wove a net after the model
they saw imprinted in the ashes. This net, when finished,
they threw into the river in which Loki had hidden himThor held one end of the net, and all the other
self.
gods laid hold of the other end, thus jointly drawing
it

along the stream.

Notwithstanding

tions the net passed over Loki,

two

stones,

all

who had

their precau-

crept between

and the gods only perceived that some living

thing had touched the meshes.


321

They

therefore cast their

THE YOUNGER EDDA OF SblORRE


net a second time, hanging so great a weight to

it

that

But Loki, perceiving that he had but a short distance from the sea,
swam onwards and leapt over the net into the waterfall.
The sir instantly followed him, and divided themselves
into two bands.
Thor, wading along in mid-stream,
followed the net, whilst the others dragged it along towards the sea. Loki then perceived that he had only two
it

everywhere raked the bed of the

river.

chances of escape, either to swim out to sea, or to leap

again over the

net.

He

chose the

latter,

but as he took

a tremendous leap Thor caught him in his hand.

Being,

however, extremely slippery, he would have escaped had


not

Thor

why

held

him

fast

by the

salmons have had their

tail,

tails

and

this is the reason

ever since so fine and

thin.

"The gods having thus captured Loki, dragged him


without commiseration into a cavern, wherein they placed
three sharp-pointed rocks, boring a hole through each of

them.

Having

also seized Loki's children, Vali

and Nari,

they changed the former into a wolf, and in this likeness he tore his brother to pieces and devoured him.

gods then made cords of his

intestines,

bound Loki on the points of the


under his

under his

with which they

one cord passing


shoulders, another under his loins, and a third
hams, and afterwards transformed these cords

into thongs of iron.

him

The

rocks,

Skadi then suspended a serpent over

his face,

manner that the venom should fall on


drop by drop. But Siguna, his wife, stands by

him and

receives the drops as they fall in a cup, which

in such a

she empties as often as

it

is

322

filled.

But while she

is

DESTRUCTION OF THE UNIVERSE


upon Loki, which makes him
howl with horror, and twist his body about so violently
that the whole earth shakes, and this produces what men
call earthquakes.
There will Loki lie until Ragnarok."
doing

this,

venom

falls

OF RAGNAROK, OR THE TWILIGHT OF THE GODS, AND THE

CONFLAGRATION OF THE UNIVERSE.


"I

63.

Gangler

have not heard before of Ragnarok," said

"what hast thou to

tell

me

about it?"

"There are many very notable circumstances concerning it," replied Har, "which I can inform thee of. In the

come the winter, called Fimbul-winter,


during which snow will fall from the four corners of the
world; the frosts will be very severe, the wind piercing,
first

place will

the weather tempestuous, and the sun impart no gladness.

Three such winters shall pass away without being tempered by a single summer. Three other similar winters
follow, during which war and discord w ill spread over
the whole globe.
Brethren for the sake of mere gain
shall kill each other, and no one shall spare either his
7

parents or his children.

happen such things as may truly be


The wolf shall devour the
accounted great prodigies.
The
sun, and a severe loss will that be for mankind.

"Then

64.

shall

other wolf will take the moon, and this too will cause
great mischief.

Then

the stars shall be hurled

from the

heavens, and the earth so violently shaken that trees will

be torn up by the roots, the tottering mountains tumble

headlong from their foundations, and


ters be shivered in pieces.
22

all

bonds and

fet-

Fenrir then breaks loose, and


323

THE YOUNGER EDDA OF SNORRE


the sea rushes over the earth, on account of the

Midgard

serpent turning with giant force, and gaining the land.

On

the waters floats

the ship Naglfar, which

structed of the nails of dead men.

is

con-

For which reason

great care should be taken to die with pared nails, for

who

he

dies

with his nails unpared, supplies materials

and men
But in this

for the building of this vessel, which both gods

may

wish

flood shall

be finished as late as possible.

Naglfar

and the giant

float,

Hrym

be

its

steersman.

"The wolf Fenrir advancing, opens his enormous


mouth the lower jaw reaches to the earth, and the upper
one to heaven, and would in fact reach still farther were
;

there space to admit of

and

nostrils.

Fire flashes from his eyes

it.

The Midgard

serpent, placing himself

by

the side of the wolf, vomits forth floods of poison which

and the waters. Amidst this devastation heaven is cleft in twain, and the sons of Muspell
Surtur rides first, and both
ride through the breach.
His sword
before and behind him flames burning fire.

overwhelm the

air

Bifrost, as they ride over

outshines the sun

itself.

breaks to pieces.

Then they

battlefield called Vigrid.

direct their course to the

Thither also repair the wolf

Fenrir and the Midgard serpent, and also Loki, with


the followers of Hel, and

it,

Hrym

with

all

all

the Hrimthursar.

But the sons of Muspell keep their effulgent bands apart


on the field of battle, which is one hundred miles long on
every
65.

side.

"Meanwhile Heimdall stands

up,

and with

all

force sounds the Gjallar-horn to arouse the gods,

324

his

who

DESTRUCTION OF THE UNIVERSE


Odin then rides to Mimir's
well and consults Mimir how he and his warriors ought
assemble without delay.
to enter into action.

nor

is

The ash Yggdrasill begins

there anything in heaven or earth

The sir and

fear at that terrible hour.

of Valhalla
led

arm themselves and speed

to shake,

exempt from
all

the heroes

forth to the

field,

on by Odin, with his golden helm and resplendent

cuirass,

and

his spear called

self against the

Gungnir.

Odin

places him-

wolf Fenrir; Thor stands by his

side,

but can render him

no assistance, having himself to


combat with the Midgard serpent. Frey encounters Surtur,

and

terrible

and he owes

blows are exchanged ere Frey

his defeat to his not

falls;

having that trusty sword

That day the dog Garm, who had


been chained in the Gnipa cave, breaks loose.
He is
the most fearful monster of all, and attacks Tyr, and they
kill each other.
Thor gains great renown for killing the
Midgard serpent, but at the same time, recoiling nine
paces, falls dead upon the spot suffocated by the floods of
venom which the dying serpent vomits forth upon him.
The wolf swallows Odin, but at that instant Vidar advances, and setting his foot on the monster's lower jaw,
seizes the other with his hand, and thus tears and rends
him till he dies. Vidar is able to do this because he wears
those shoes for which stuff has been gathering in all
ages, namely, the shreds of leather which are cut off to
form the toes and heels of shoes, and it is on this account
that those who would render a service to the sir
should take care to throw such shreds away. Loki and
Heimdall fight, and mutually kill each other.

he gave to Skirnir.

325

THE YOUNGER EDDA OF SNORRE


"After

this,

Surtur darts

and the whole universe

is

and flame over the earth,


consumed."
fire

OF THE ABODES OF FUTURE BUSS AND MISERY.

"What

CG.

will remain," said Gangler, "after

and earth and the whole universe

shall

heaven

be consumed, and

and the heroes of Valhalla, and all mankind shall have perished? For ye have already told me
that every one shall continue to exist in some world or
other, throughout eternity."
"There will be many abodes," replied Thridi, "some
after all the gods,

good, others bad.

The

Gimli, in heaven, and

best place of

all

who

all

to be in will be

delight in quaffing

good

drink will find a great store in the hall called Brimir,

which

is

also in heaven in the region Okolni.

also a fair hall of

ruddy gold called Sindri,

on the mountains of Nida, (Nidafjoll).


righteous and well-minded
there

is

men

There is
which stands

In those halls

shall abide.

In Nastrond

a vast and direful structure with doors that face

the north.

It is

formed

entirely of the backs of serpents,

wattled together like wicker work.

But the

heads are turned towards the inside of the

serpents'
hall,

continually vomit forth floods of venom, in which


all

those

who commit

murder, or

who

and

wade

forswear them-

selves."

THE RENOVATION OF THE UNIVERSE.


67.

"Will any of the gods survive, and will there be

any longer a heaven and an earth?" demanded Gangler.


"There will arise out of the sea," replied Har, "another
326

RESTORATION OF THE UNIVERSE


earth most lovely and verdant, with pleasant fields where
the grain

shall

Vidar and Vali

grow unsown.

survive; neither the flood nor Surtur's

them.

They

shall dwell

gard formerly stood.

fire

shall

shall

harm

on the plain of Ida, where As-

Thither shall come the sons of

Thor, Modi and Magni, bringing with them their father's


mallet Mjolnir.

Baldur and Hodur

shall

also

repair

from the abode of death (Hel). There shall they


sit and converse together, and call to mind their former
knowledge and the perils they underwent, and the fight
of the wolf Fenrir and the Midgard serpent. There too
thither

shall they find in the grass those

golden tablets (orbs)

which the sir once possessed.

As

"

is

it

said,

'There dwell Vidar and Vali


In the gods' holy seats,
When slaked Surtur's fire is

But Modi and Magni


Will Mjolnir possess,
strife put an end

And

"Thou must know, moreover,


gration caused by Surtur's
(Life),

to.'

that during the confla-

fire,

woman named

and a man named Lifthrasir,

lie

Lif

concealed in

Hodmimir's forest. They shall feed on morning dew,


and their descendants shall soon spread over the whole
earth.

"But what thou wilt deem more wonderful is, that the
sun shall have brought forth a daughter more lovely
than herself, who shall go in the same track formerly
trodden by her mother.

"And now,"

continued Thridi, "if thou hast any fur-

ther questions to ask, I

know
327

not

who

can answer thee,

THE YOUNGER EDDA OF SNORRE


for I never heard

happen

will

tell

of any one

in the other

fore, the best use

who

could relate what

ages of the world.

Make, there-

thou canst of what has been imparted

to thee."

Upon
him

nor

city,

set

this

Gangler heard a

terrible noise all

around

he looked everywhere, but could see neither palace


nor anything save a vast

out on his return to his

plain.

He

therefore

own kingdom, where he

re-

had seen and heard, and ever since that


time these tidings have been handed down by oral tralated

all

that he

dition.

Gir's journey to asgard.

gir, who was well skilled in magic, once went


to Asgard, where he met with a very good reception.
Supper time being come, the twelve mighty sir, Odin,
68.

Thor, Njord, Frey,' Tyr, Heimdall, Bragi, Vidar, Vali,


Ullur, Hcenir and Forseti, together with the Asynjor,

Frigga, Freyja, Gefjon, Iduna, Gerda, Siguna, Fulla and

Nanna, seated themselves on their lofty doom seats, in


a hall around which were ranged swords of such surpassing brilliancy that no other light was requisite. They
continued long at

table,

drinking mead of a very superior

While they w ere emptying their capacious


drinking horns, gir, who sat next to Bragi, requested
him to relate something concerning the sir. Bragi
instantly complied with his request, by informing him
of what had happened to Iduna.
quality.

328

HOW

AWAY IDUNA

LOKI CARRIED

IDUNA AND HER APPLES.


"when Odin, Loki, and Hcenir
went on a journey, they came to a valley where a herd
of oxen were grazing, and being sadly in want of pro"Once," he

69.

said,

visions did not scruple to

one for their supper.

kill

however, were their efforts to


it,

boil the flesh; they

every time they took off the

when

Vain,

found

of the kettle, as

lid

raw

While they were endeavouring to


account for this singular circumstance a noise was heard
above them, and on looking up they beheld an enormous
eagle perched on the branch of an oak tree.
'If ye are
as

first

willing to
eagle,

'it

let

shall

this proposal,

put

in.

me

have

my

share of the flesh/ said the

soon be boiled;' and on their assenting to


it

two shoulders of

flew
the

down and

ox

snatched up a leg and

a proceeding which so incensed

Loki, that he laid hold of a large stock, and

on the
an eagle that Loki

pretty heavily

eagle's back.

struck,

but

It

the

Thjassi, clad in his eagle plumage.

out to his

cost, for

it

fall

was, however, not

renowned giant

Loki soon found

this

while one end of the stock stuck fast

to the eagle's back, he

the other end, and

made

was unable to

was consequently

let

go

his hold of

by the eagleclad giant over rocks and forests, until he was almost torn
to pieces.
Loki in this predicament began to sue for
peace, but Thjassi told him that he should never be released from his hold until he bound himself by a solemn
oath to bring Iduna and her apples out of Asgard. Loki
very willingly gave his oath to

back

in

trailed

effect this object,

a piteous plight to his companions.


329

and went

THE YOUNGER EDDA OF SNORRE


70.

"On

Asgard, Loki told Iduna

his return to

that,

from the celestial residence,


he had found apples growing which he thought were of
a much better quality than her own, and that at all
events it was worth while making a comparison between
in a forest at a short distance

them.

Iduna, deceived by his words, took her apples,

and went with him into the


entered

it

forest,

but they had no sooner

than Thjassi, clad in his eagle-plumage, flew

rapidly towards them, and catching up Iduna, carried her

treasure off with

him

to Jotunheim.

The gods being

thus

deprived of their renovating apples, soon became wrinkled and grey; old age

when they

was creeping

fast

upon them,

discovered that Loki had been, as usual, the

had befallen them.


They therefore threatened him with condign punishment
if he did not instantly hit upon some expedient for bringing back Iduna and, her apples to Asgard. Loki having
contriver of

all

the mischief that

borrowed from Freyja her falcon-plumage, flew to Jotunheim, and finding that Thjassi was out at sea fishing, lost
no time in changing Iduna into a sparrow and flying
off with her; but when Thjassi returned and became
aware of what had happened, he donned his eagle-plumage, and flew after them.
When the sir saw Loki
approaching, holding Iduna transformed into a sparrow
between his claws, and Thjassi with his outspread eagle
wings ready to overtake him, they placed on the walls
of Asgard bundles of chips, which they set fire to the
instant that Loki had flown over them; and as Thjassi
could not stop his

and he thus

fell

flight,

into the

the

fire

caught his plumage,

power of the sir who slew


7

330

THE ORIGIN OF POETRY


him within the portals of the celestial residence. When
these tidings came to Thjassrs daughter, Skadi, she put
on her armour and went to Asgard, fully determined to
avenge her father's death but the sir having declared
;

their willingness to atone for the deed, an amicable ar-

rangement was entered into.


Skadi was to choose a
husband in Asgard, and the sir were to make her laugh,
a feat which she flattered herself it would be impossible

any one to accomplish. Her choice of a husband was


be determined by a mere inspection of the feet of the

for
to

gods,

it

being stipulated that the feet should be the only

part of their persons visible until she had

her determination.

In inspecting the

made known

row of

feet placed

before her, Skadi took a fancy to a pair which she

flat-

from their fine proportions, must be those


of Baldur. They were however Njord's, and Njord was
accordingly given her for a husband, and as Loki managed to make her laugh, by playing some diverting antics
with a goat, the atonement was fully effected. It is even
said that Odin did more than had been stipulated, by
taking out Thjassi's eyes, and placing them to shine as
tered herself,

stars in the firmament. 1

THE ORIGIN OF POETRY.


71.

gir having

expressed a

wish to know

poetry originated, Bragi informed him that the

and Vanir having met

to put an

how
sir

end to the war which had

^inn Magnusen's explanation of this myth is, that Iduna the everrenovating Spring being in the possession of Thjassi the desolating winter
all nature languishes until she is delivered from her captivity.
On
this being effected, her presence again diffuses joy and gladness, and all
things revive while her pursuer, Winter, with his icy breath, dissolves in
the solar rays indicated by the fires lighted on the walls of Asgard.

331

THE YOUNGER EDDA OF SNORRE


long been carried on between them, a treaty of peace was

by each party spitting into a jar.


As a lasting sign of the amity which was thenceforward
to subsist between the contending parties, the gods
agreed to and

ratified

formed out of

this spittle a

name

of Kvasir, and

being to

whom

whom

they gave the

they endowed with such a

high degree of intelligence that no one could ask him a


question that he

was unable

to answer.

versed the whole world to teach

Kvasir then

men wisdom,

tra-

but was

murdered by the dwarfs, Fjalar


and Galar, who, by mixing up his blood with honey,
composed a liquor of such surpassing excellence that
whoever drinks of it acquires the gift of song. When the
sir inquired what had become of Kvasir, the dwarfs
told them that he had been suffocated with his own wisdom, not being able to find any one who by proposing
to him a sufficient number of learned questions might
Not long after this
relieve him of its superabundance.
event, Fjalar and Galar managed to drown the giant
Gilling and murder his wife, deeds which were avenged
by their son Suttung taking the dwarfs out to sea, and
placing them on a shoal which was flooded at high water.
In this critical position they implored Suttung to spare
their lives, and accept the verse-inspiring beverage which
they possessed as an atonement for their having killed
his parents.
Suttung having agreed to these conditions,
released the dwarfs, and carrying the mead home with
him, committed it to the care of his daughter Gunnlauth.
Hence poetry is indifferently called Kvasir's blood, Suttung' s mead, the dwarfs ransom, etc.
at length treacherously

332

ODIN BEGUILES THE DAUGHTER OF BAUGI


72.

gir

then asked

how

the gods obtained pOF

sion of so valuable a beverage, on which Bragi informed

him

that

Odin being

determined to acquire

fully

it,

set

out for Jotunheim, and after journeying for some time,

came

to a

meadow

in

which nine

thralls

were mowing.

Entering into conversation with them, Odin, offered to

whet their scythes, an offer which they gladly accepted,


and finding that the whetstone he made use of had given
the scythes an extraordinary sharpness, asked him
whether he was willing to dispose of it. Odin, however,
threw the whetstone in the air, and in attempting to
catch it as it fell, each thrall brought his scythe to bear
on the neck of one of his comrades, so that they were
all killed in the scramble.
Odin took up his night's
lodging at the house of Suttung's brother, Baugi,
told

him

that he

was sadly

who

at a loss for labourers, his

nine thralls having slain each other.

Odin,

who went

under the name of Baulverk, said that for a draught of


Suttung's mead he would do the work of nine men for

The terms agreed

Odin worked for Baugi the


w hole summer, but Suttung was deaf to his brother's
entreaties, and would not part with a drop of the precious liquor, which was carefully preserved in a cavern
under his daughter's custody. Into this cavern Odin was
him.

on,

resolved to penetrate.

He

therefore persuaded Baugi to

bore a hole through the rock, which he had no sooner

done than Odin, transforming himself into a worm,


crept through the crevice, and resuming his natural shape,

won

the heart of Gunnlauth.

After passing three nights

with the fair maiden, he had no great difficulty in induc333

THE YOUNGER EDDA OF SNORRE

him take a draught out of each of the


three jars, called Odhrcerir, Bodn, and Son, in which
But wishing to make the most of
the mead was kept.
his advantage, he pulled so deep that not a drop was left
Transforming himself into an eagle, he
in the vessels.
then flew off as fast as his wings could carry him, but
Suttung becoming aware of the stratagem, also took upon
himself an eagle's guise, and flew after him. The sir,
on seeing him approach Asgard, set out in the yard all
the jars they could lay their hands on, w hich Odin filled
by discharging through his beak the wonder-working
He was however, so near being
liquor he had drunken.
caught by Suttung, that some of the liquor escaped him
by an impv/rer vent, and as no care was taken of this it
But the liquor disfell to the share of the poetasters.
charged in the jars was kept for the gods, and for those
ing her to

let

men who have


Hence poetry

is

sufficient

wit to

make a

right use of

it.

also called Odin's booty, Odin's gift, the

beverage of the gods, &c, &c.

334

GLOSSARY.
GIR
SIR,

GIR,

or

horror, terror.

ASYNJA, ASYNJOR; Goddess,


Goddesses.
AI, from a, a river.
ALFADIR, or ALFODUR, All-Father, or the Father of All.
sing.

AS; God, Gods.

ALFR, Elf.
ALSVIDR, All-scorching.
ALTHJOFR, lit. All-thief, an accomplished
ALVISS,

rascal.

All-wise.

AMSVARTNIR,
ANDHRIMNIR,

grief, black, gloomy, swart.


soul, spirit, breath: from hrim,

congealed vapour,

rime.

ANDLANGR,

from aund,

spirit,

breath; and langr, long.


timid.

ANDVARI, prob. from aund, spirit; cautious,


ANGURBODI, Anguish-boding, announcing or

ARVAKR, awakening early;


ASGARD, prop. ASGARDR,

ar,
lit.

presaging calamity.
the dawn, Aurora.
God's-ward, or the abode of the

gods.

ASKR, an

ash-tree.
void, vacuity,
rich, wealthy.

AUDHUMLA,

darkness, tenebrosity.

AUDR,
AURBODA,

prop. AURBODA, snow, rain, storm;


whence; a messenger; hence an ambassador.

AUSTRI,

to

announce

East, Oriental.

BALDUR. prop. BALDR or BALLDR, fire, flame, bold.


BALEYGR, Bale-eyed, e. endowed with a clear, piercing
BAREY, the Frondiferous-isle; an island.
BAULVERKR, Evil-worker; producing evil, calamity.
i.

vision.

BAUMBURR,

prob. cog. with bumbr, belly, cavity.


belja, to bellow.
BERGELMIR, Mountain-old, i. e. the old man of the mountain.
BIFLINDI, the Inconstant: from bif, motion; and lyndi, disposi-

BELI, prob. from

tion,

mind.

BIFROST, BIF-RAUST,

the Tremulous-bridge of the Aerialbridge, signifying also aerial: a certain space, a mile, a rest.

BIL, a moment, an interval, an interstice.


fulminating eyes, a tempest, especially
a fulminating tempest or thunder-storm.
BILSKIRNIR, sometimes stormy, and sometimes serene; which,
as Thor's mansion prob. denotes the atmosphere, would be a
very appropriate term; or storm-stilling, i. e. imparting serenity

BILEYGR, endowed with

to the tempest.

335

GLOSSARY
BIVAURR, BIVORR, or BIFUR, the Tremulous.
BODN, originally signified an offer-table or altar; an
also one of the jars in
was kept.

BOLTHORN,
prop.
to bear;

Calamitous or Evil-thorn.

lit.

BURR

BORR, and BUR,

BOR,

oblation;

which the dwarfs' poetical beverage

whence

prop.
also the Old G. barn,

or

BURI, means

and the Scotch,

born,

bairn, a

child.

BRAG I,
to

the

name

shine, or

of the God of Poetry; from braga,


from bragga, to adorn; ph. cog. with

splendour.

to glisten,
O. pracht,

BREIDABLIK:

lit. Broad-blink
wide-glancing, expanded splendour, to blink.
BRIMIR, prob. from brimi, flame.
BRISINGR, may prob. mean flaming.
BYLEISTR, a dwelling, a town; to destroy, to break to pieces.
BYRGIR, prob. from v. byrgja, to conceal; E. to bury, whence bar-

row, a tumulus.
prob. the Soporiferous; from da, a swoon, or complete

DAINN,

repose.

DELLINGR

a day-ling, with the dawn, daybreak.


DIS, pi. DISIR, it originally sig. a female, but was afterwards
used in the sense of Nymph and Goddess. It enters into the
composition of several female names, as Thordis, Freydis,
Vegdis, &c.

DOLGTHRASIR:

a dolgr, a warrior; contentious, obstinate, per-

from the v. thrasa, to litigate, to quarrel.


DRAUPNIR, from the v.drupa,to droop, or the v. drjupa,
sisting,

to drip.

DROMI,

strongly binding.
DUNEYRR, a hollow sound, from the

v. dynja, to sound, to resound.


be derived either from dur, a
light sleep, or from dyr, a door; and the last, either from the v.
threyja, to expect, to wait for; or from throa, to increase, to

DURATHROR. The

first sylb.

may

enlarge.

DURINN,

prob. from dur, a light sleep, to fall asleep;


prob. the E. to doze, and ph. also dusk.

DVALINN, from dvali, sleep.


BIKINSKJALDI, furnished with an oaken
EIKTHYRNIR. Eik is the ilex or scarlet

whence

shield, scarlet oak.

oak; thyrnir, a thorn;

metaphorically for a stag's antlers.


a hero; select, chosen heroes.

EINHERJAR,

EIR, to befriend, to tranquilize.


ELDHRIMNIR: eldr, elementary fire: hrim, congealed vapour,
rime, also soot; hence (a kettle) sooty from fire.
ELI V AGAR, stormy waves; a storm; the sea; an estuary; water;
wave.

ELLI,

old age.
ph.

ELVIDNIR,

from

el,

a storm; and vidr, wide.

336

GLOSSARY
EMBLA. The

etymologies of the

name

of the first

woman

given

by the E. E. are merely conjectural. Grimm says the word


embla, emla, signifies a busy woman, from amr, ambr, ami,
ambl, assiduous labour; the same relation as Meshia and Meshiane, the ancient Persian names of the first man and woman,
who were also formed from trees.

FALHOFNIR,

FARMAGUD,

the

nail,

a lamina, hoof.

God of Carriers and

Sea-farers.

FENRIR, FENRIS-ULFR, may mean

dweller in an abyss, or the

monster wolf.

FENSALIR, lit. Fen-saloon, from fen, a fen, but which


appear may also be made to sig. the watery deep, or
and

salr,

FIMBUL.

hall,

mansion, saloon.

it

would

the sea;

See Valhalla.
the E. provincialism,

From fimbulfambi comes

fimble-f amble;

and the D. famle,

to

to

stammer, to hesitate in

speaking.

FIMBULTHUL.
FIMBULVETR:

Thulr means an orator or


vetr, winter;

reciter, to speechify.

according to Grimm's explanation

of fimbul, the Great Winter.

FJALARR

and FJOLNIR.

Multiform: in composition

fjol,

many.

FJOLSVIDR

or FJOLSVITHR, to scorch: or ph. from svithr,


wise, powerful, potent, strong.
FJORGYN. Grimm, we think, has satisfactorily shown that
fjorg is the G. berg, a mountain.
FOLKVANGR, lit. the folk's field, or habitation.
FORSETI, lit. the Fore-seated, i. e. the Judge.
FRANANGURS-FORS, prob. from frann, glittering, and ongr,

narrow.

FREKI,

G. frech, froward: the word has also the sig. of voracious.


and FREYJA. The name of the deity who was the symbol of the sun to mean Seminator, the Fructifier, Freyja the

FREYR

symbolical representation of the moon means the Seminated,


the Fructified; the original sig. is that of glad, joyful, imparting gladness, beautous, lovely.
FRIGGA, prop. FRIGG. Grimm has shown that the root of this
word is, if not strictly syn., at least very nearly allied with that
of the word Freyja, and explains it to mean the Free, the
Beauteous, the Winsome.
FROSTI, ihe E. frosty.

FULL A,

abundance; from

fullr, full.

FUNDINN, found; from v. finna, to find.


GANDALFR. Alfr, an elf, prob. sig. a wolf, a serpent.
GANGLER, the tired wanderer; to debilitate, to tire.
GANGRAD, prop. GANGRADR, indicates a person directing
steps.

GARDROFA, Fence-breaker; to break, to break


GARMR, voracious; to gorge; gourmand.
GAUTR, ph. may sig. a keeper, to keep.
337

through.

his

GLOSSARY
GEFJON, the earth; also separation, disruption.
GEFN, from the v. gefa, to give.
GEIROLUL, lit. Spear-alimentrix: from the v. ala,

to aliment, to

nourish.

GEIRRAUDR, lit. spear-red; hence King Spear-rubifier.


GEIRVIMUL, a river rushing or vibrating like a spear or

javelin.

GELGJA, from galgi, a gallows.


GERDA, prop. GERDUR, to gird. Both gerd and gard are common terminations of female names, as Hildigard, Irminigard,
Thorgerda, &c.

GERI. Geri may be derived from gerr, covetous, greedy.


GIMLI, had the same sig. as himill, heaven, the original sig. of
which may have been fire, but afterwards a gem, as in the N.
word gimsteinn; whence also our colloquial words, gim, gimmy
(neat), and gimcrack.
GINNARR, Seducer; from v. ginna, to seduce.

GINNUNGA-GAP may be rendered the gap of gaps; a gaping abyss.


GJALLAR (horn) from the v. gjalla, to resound, to clang; to
;

yell.

GJOLL,

GLADR,

prob. from gjallr, sonorous, fulgid.


glad; from v. gledja, to gladden.

GLADSHEIMR: lit. Glad's-home; the abode


GLR, from glr, clear, pellucid; cog. with

of gladness or bliss.
E. glare.
GLEIPNIR, the Devouring; from the v. gleipa, to devour.
GLITNIR, the Glittering; from the v. glitra; to glitter, and to
glisten.

GLOINN,

the Glowing; from

v. gloa, to

glow.

two words for God, viz. God and Gud;


and it would appear that the n. god was used for an idol, and
the m. gud. for a God. Both words are, however, frequently
applied to denote a celestial deity. The Scandinavian Pontiffchieftains were called Godar (in the sing. Godi).
GOMUL, prob. from gamall, old.

GOD. The Old N.

lang. has

GRABAKR, Gray-back.
GRAFJOLLUDR, Gray-skin; the skin
GRAFVITNIR, from the v. grafa, to
grave: and the

v. vita, to

know;

of

an animal.

dig, to delve; cog.


to wit, wist, wot.

with E.

GRIMAR, and GRIMNIR,

a helmet, or any kind of a covering;


night,
the sun being then veiled or covered.
for
used poetically
GULLINBURSTI, Golden-bristles.
GULLTOPPR, Golden-mane; crest, the top of anything, hence

mane.

GUNNTHRA. The

first sylb. of this

word

combat; to increase, to enlarge; thra


From gunnr
thro, a cavity, a fosse.
fani, a war-banner.

GYLLIR, from

gull, gold.

338

is

from gunnr, war, a


calamity; and

sig. grief,
is

derived the N. gunn-

GLOSSARY
HABROK. The
and brok,

lit.

E. E. render this word by Altipes, from har, high;


breeches, brogues, but which they assume may

also sig. a bird's leg.


to decline; hence it would be an appropriate
term for the post-meridian sun.
HAMSKERPIR, prob. from hams, hide; and the v. skerpa, to
sharpen, also to dry, to indurate.
HAPTAGUD, ph. from haupt, a nexus, a tie, a band.
HAR, prop. HARR, may mean either high or hairy. As a designation of Odin it has undoubtedly the former signification. As
the name of a dwarf, the latter sig. would be more appropriate.

HALLINSKITHI,

HARBARDR,

Hairy-beard.

HEIDRUN, serene, etherial; a heath.


HEIMDALLR: heimr, home, the world.
HELA, prop. HEL., gen. HELJAR, the

Goddess of the Infernal


Regions, used instead of Helheimr for those regions themselves.
HELBLINDI: hel, see the preceding word; blindi, from blundr,
slumber.
HEPTI, prob. means impeding, constraining; to seize, to take by
force, to

adhere

HERFJOTUR,

to.

Host's-fetter, i. e. having the power to impede


or constrain an army at will: her, an army, a host, a multitude.
HERJANN, the leader of an army; from her.
HERMOD, prop. HERMODR: her from her, courage, (see Modlit.

gudur).

HERTEITR, gay amongst

warriors, a jovial soldier; glad, joyful.


(Hilda), war, a combat. Hence we find it in a number
of Teutonic prop, names both m. and f., as Hilderic, Childeric,
Hildegrim (the Helm of War), Brynhildr (Brunhilda), Clothild (Clothilda), &c.
HIMINBJORG, the Heavenly-Mountains, the Comprehending, the
All-embracing.
HIMINBRJOTR, Heaven-breaking: from the v. brjota, to break.
HJALMBERI, Helmet-bearing.
HJUKI, to keep warm, to nourish, to cherish.
HLIDSKJALF, a slope, a declivity; also to waver, to tremble.
HLINA, prop. HLIN, the support on which a person leans, i. e.
a tutelarv deitv.
HLJODALFR, the Genius or Elf of Sound.
HLODYN, the name of Frigga, as the symbol of the earth; protecof the household. The Romans also wortress of the hearth
shipped a goddess of the earth and of fire under the common
name of Fornax, dea fornacalis. Grimm mentions a stone found
deae hludanae sacat Cleves with the remarkable inscription
rvm c. tiberivs VERVS, and remarks that Hludana was neither a
Roman nor a Celtic goddess, and could be no other than Hlodyn,
which shows the identity of the German and Scandinavian

HILDUR

Mythology.
23

339

GLOSSARY
HLOKK, or HLAUKK, to exalt,
HNIKARR, or N1KARR, victor,

to clang, to cry like an eagle.


a conqueror; to move, to agitate;
to thrust forward, to take by violence; to repel, to impede.
G.
m. Nix, fem. Nixe, an aquatic genius. We may remark that the
monks having transformed Odin into the devil, our designation
of his Satanic Majesty, as Old Nick appears to be a mere corruption of these appellations of the Teutonic divinity.
HNOSSA, a ball of yarn, a clew of thread, a knot.
HODUR, prop. HODR. Grimm thinks that the original signification may have been war, combat.
HOFVARPNIR, a horse that plies well its hoofs, a good goer.

HRSVELGUR,
like

an

lit.

Raw-swallower,

i.

e.

swallowing raw

flesh

eagle.

HRAFNAGUD,
HRIMFAXI:

the Ravens' god; hrafn; G. rabe; E. raven.


hrim, rime, or hoar frost; fax, a crest, a mane. The

name

E. prop,

Fairfax,

means

fair-haired.

HRIMTHURSAR, the Rim or Frost Giants: thurs,


HRINGHORN, lit. a ringed or annulated horn.
HRIST, from

v. hrista, to

a giant.

shake, to agitate.

HRYM, HRYMUR, prob. from hrim, rime hoar frost.


HUGI, and HUGINN, from hugr, spirit, breath, thought,

mind,

reason.

HVERGELMIR, the roaring cauldron; a spring of


HYRROKIN, lit. Smoky-fire; utter darkness, also

hot water.

smoke.
a field, a place; to flow together; to ramble, to
take a pleasant walk.
IDUNA, prop. IDUNN or ITHUNN. May mean one who loves
either the confluence of waters, or to work, or to take a pleasant
ramble.
JAFNHAR. The Equally High; lit. even so high.
JARNVIDR, Iron-wood.

IDAVOLLR:

vollr,

JORD, JORTH,

the .earth.

JORMUNGANDR.

Gandr sig. serpent, and more prop, wolf:


a word of uncertain origin, but appears in all the
anc. Teutonic lang. to have expressed the idea of great, maximus, universal. The reader will find much curious information
on this subject in Grimm's admirable work.

jormun

is

JOTUNHEIMR, lit. Giants'-home, the region of the Giants.


KERLAUG: ker, any kind of vessel, cup, bowl, &c; also used

to

denote the bed of a river.

KJALARR,

prob.

from

v. kjala, to

transport, to convey;

a ship,

a keel.

KVASIR.

This word seems to be used in the sense of a drink-

ing bout.

LAUFEY, lit. Frondiferous-isle; an island.


LETTFETI, Lightfoot: light.
LIFTHRASIR, vital energy, longevity, life; enduring
LITUR,

colour, complexion, form, the face.

340

a long time.

GLOSSARY
LODURR, LODR, LOTHR, from the ob. N. loci,
LOFNA, prop. LOFN, appears allegorically to

fire.

denote perennial

and unchangeable love.


LOGI, Flame; a log of wood burnt or
LOKI, to shut; whence the E. to lock,

to be burnt.
to finish.
the air; whence the E. lofty

LOPTUR,

the Aerial, the Sublime;


a (hay) loft.
LYNGVI, from lyng or ling, the sweet broom, heath or ling.
MAGNI, the Potent, the Powerful; force, energy.
MANAGARMR, lit. the moon's wolf; a monster wolf or dog,
voracious.
MANI, the moon.
MARDOLL, Sea-nymph; mere, the sea; whence our word mere,
as Windermere, Buttermere, &c: doll, a nymph; poetically a

and

aloft, also

woman.

MEGINGJARDIR, the Girdle of Might, the Belt of Prowess.


MIDGARD, middleweard, the middleward; see Asgard.
dling,

Mid-

mean.

or MIMER, to keep in memory; to be fanciful; mindful.


MJODVITNIR, lit. knowing in mead; wine; madja, palm-wine,
MJOLNIR, or MJOLLNIR, prob. from v. melja, to pound, or v.

MIMIR,

mala, to grind; E. mill, and prob. with L. malleus, a mallet.


a valiant female warrior, animosa bellona: courage;

MODGUDUR,

mind; E. mood; gracefulness, delectation.

MODSOGNIR, lit. sucking in courage or vigour.


MOINN, dwelling on a moor.
MUNINN, mind; memory, recollection; G. minne, love.
MTJSPELLHEIMR, Muspell's region or home; used in

the sense

of elemental or empyreal fire.


NAGLFAR, a nail from nagl, a human nail; according to the
Prose Edda, "constructed of the nails of dead men"; a sea-

faring man.
G. nadel; A. S. ndl; E. a needle.
NANNA. Grimm derives this word from the

NAL.

NAR, a

v.

nenna, to dare.

corpse.

NASTROND, a corpse; The


NAUDUR, necessity; need.

Strand of the Dead.

NAUT, ph. from the v. njota, to make use of.


NIDAFJOLL, a rock, a mountain.
NIDHOGG, a phrase used to idicate the new and
moon.
NIDI, from

nidr,

the waning

downwards.

NIFLHEIMR, lit. Nebulous-home the shadowy region


NIFLHEL, from nifl and hel. See the latter word.
NIFLUNGAR, the mythic-heroic ghosts of the shadowy
death.

NIPINGR, handsome;

to contract, to curve.

341

of death.

realms of

GLOSSARY
prop. NJORDR, humid; Sk. nar, nir, water; a wave; and
Neriman, an aquatic man.
NOTT; D. nat; M. G. naht; G. nacht; A. 8. niht; E. night.
NYI, these dwarfs were symbolical of the new and the waning
moon.
ODIN. E. to wade through, consequently the Omnipotent Being
that permeates all things.
ODUR, the name of Freyja's husband. Odur may, like Kvasir, be

NJORD,

the personification of poetry.


Mind-exciting; the name of a vessel or kettle.
OPNIR, E. to weave. The word would thus sig. the textile or
creating power of Odin.
OMI, from omr, a sound, a crash; a name given to Odin, when
like, the Brahminic Indra, he rattles aloft during a battle, or
at daybreak.
ONDURDIS, snow skates; E. to wander; dis, a nymph, a goddess.
ORGELMIR, Primordial Giant; also to roar, to howl, to clang, to
resound.
ORI, delirious (with love), one of the Erotic Genii.
OSKI, hence one who listens to the wishes of mankind.
RADGRID, lit. seeking power with avidity; power, empire council.
RADSVITHR, wise, powerful.
RAGNAROKR. The n. ragin signified rath, council, the pi. of
which, regin, is used in the Eddaic Poems for the gods; that is
to say, the consulting, deliberating deities. It answers in fact
fully to the E. word rack, indicating atmospheric nebulosity;
hence Ragnarok is very approp. rendered by "The Twilight of
the Gods."
RAN, to plunder; her spoil being those who were drowned at sea.
RANDGRID: rand, from rond, a shield.
RATATOSKR, from the v. rata; to permeate; the last sylb. may
be derived from G. tasche, a pocket or pouch; hence the Per-

ODHRRIR,

meating Pouch?

REGIN,

is

often used in the sense of vast, immense;

the vast

eea.

REGINLEIF,

dear to the gods, see Regin.

RIGR, Rajah, a

king.

RINDA, prop. RINDUR, sig. symbolically, the


ROSKA, quick, lively, active.
SADR, SATHR, just, true, in sooth, verily.

crust of the earth.

SGR,

a large vessel of any kind. The word was used by the


Skalds metaphorically for the sea.
SAGA. The personified saga or narration, from the v. segja, to
say; G. sage; E. a saying; L. Saga, a sorceress; sagax, sagacious, to foretell.

SANNGETALL,
SESSRUMNIR,

inquiring after; guessing at truth.


Seat-roomy, i. e. having room for plenty of

lit.

seats.

343

GLOSSARY
SID, declining, hanging, tending downward.
SIDHOTTR, lit. Hanging-hat or hood.
SIDSKEGGR, lit. Hanging-beard; E. shag and shaggy.
SIP, signifying peace, friendship, relationship, a goddess, Sibja,
Sippia,

and

Sib.

SIGFADIR, or SIGFODUR, the Father of Victory; L. pater.


SILFRINTOPPR, Silver-mane; E. silver: toppr, see Gulltoppr.
SINDRI, either scintillating or producing dross.
SJOFNA. F. Mag. derives it from the v. sja, to see.
SKADI, the magpie received its name from this goddess.
SKAFIDR, shaving, scraping.

SKEGGOLD,

lit.

Old-beard;

also

denoted a particular kind of

battle-axe.

SKEIDBRIMIR, any space of time that is elapsing.


SKIDBLADNIR, lath, shingle, billet of wood, a sheath;

E. blade,

a blade or leaf of grass.

SKILFINGR, prob. to shake, to shatter.


SKINFAXI, Shining-mane: skin, splendour, light.
SKIRNIR, serene, pure, clear; E. sheer, which had formerly
same meaning.
SKOGUL, prob. from

v.

the

skaga, to jut out; whence skagi, a pro-

montory.

SKOLL, to stick to, to adhere,


SLEIPNIR. E. slippery.

to strike, to smite.

SLIDRUGTANNI, cruel, fierce, savage.


SNOTRA, to blow the nose; a person, even
more

tidy

when

SOKKVABEKKR,

a goddess, being much


the nostrils are thoroughly emunctated.
lit.
Sinking-brook; to sink; an estuary, a

shore, a brook.

SON, sound, song, sonus,

SURTUR,

cantus.

invisible;
and invisible, unintelligible!
Surtur, according to Fin Magnusen, the invisible, unintelligible

obscure,

whom the ancient Scandinavians regarded as "the great


First Cause least understood" of all things.
SVADILFARI, lubricity, also slippery ice.
SVAFNIR, prob. from v. svefa, to cast asleep; sleep, quiet, repose.
SVALINN, the Refrigerating; to cool, to refrigerate.
SVARTALFAHEIMR, lit. Black or Swart Elves' home, region of
the Elves of Darkness in contradistincition to that of the Elves
of Light.
SVARTHOFDI, Black-head; svartr, black, swart.
SVASUTHR, Sweet-south; blithe, jocund, dear.
SVIDR and SVIDRIR, from v. svida, to scorch; or wise, powerful.
SVIPALL, to hasten, to vibrate; to wave, to hover; also with E.
being

v. to

sweep.
a draught or deglutition; to swallow; to swill; to guzzle,

SYLGR,

to feast.

343

GLOSSARY
SYN, signifying equity; syn. defence, excuse, negation, Impediment, which has been personified into a judicial goddess.
SYN1R, having a fine appearance.

TANNGNIOSTR, Gnashing-teeth; to bruise, crack, grind, gnash.


THEKKR, to know; E. to think. The adj. thekkr means also
amiable.

THODNUMA,

men, people, nations.

contraction of Thonar, a word indicating a God who, like


Thor, presided over thunder and atmospherical phenomena.
THORINN, from thor, audacity; whence the v. thora; to dare.
THRAINN, the Pertinacious; from the v. thra, to desire vehemently.
THRIDI, The Third.
THROR, ph. from v. throa, to increase, to amplify.
THRUDUR. Thrudr is an obsolete N. word signifying fortitude,
firmness; but it appears to have originally had, in most of the
Teutonic languages the sig. of maiden, virgin; and was afterwards used in the sense of witch, sorceress.
THRUDVANGR, the Abode or Region or Fortitude.
THRYM. P. Mag. says the word is undoubtedly derived from
thruma, thunder.
THUNDR, can be derived from thund, a breastplate, a coat of
mail.
THYN, to thunder, to make a thundering noise, as a rapid current does.
TYR, signifying God; as well as the L. Jupiter, for which he
assumes a nom. Ju or Jus, Jupiter.
URD, VERDANDI, and SKULD, the Present, Past, and Future.
The names of the Destinies of the Present and Past.
UTGARD, prop. UTGARDR, lit. Outer-ward. See Midgard.
VAFTHRUDNIR, from the v. vefa, to involve, prop, to weave.
VAFUDR, the Weaver, or the Constrainer.

THOR,

VAKR, VAKUR, alert, lively, vigilant.


VALASKJALF, choice, election.
VALFADIR, or VALFODUR, lit. the Choosing Father.
VALHALLA, prop, VALHOLL, lit. the Hall of the Chosen: may
also have originally indicated a temple.
or VALKYRJUR, sing. VALKYRJA, lit. Choosers
of the Slain; denoted the slain in battle; a poetical word for a
field of battle.
VANADIS, prop, a Goddess of the Vanir. See that word, and Dis.
VANIR, beautiful; with the L. venustus and Venus, and ph. with
the E. wench.
VASADR, from vas, moisture, a word cog. with the E. wet and

VALKYRJOR,

wash.

VE. Was used in the m. sing, to express a particular god; that


the pi. it would be vear, gods, idols; a temple.

344

in

GLOSSARY

VEDURFOLNIR

might be rendered Storm-stilling; causing

se-

renity.

VEGSVINN, lit. Road-knowing.


VERATYR, lit. the Man-god.
VESTRI, west, occidental.
VIDAR, a tree; wood; and

prob. also

weed and withy.

VIDBLAINN, expanded azure (lit. Wide-blue).


V1DFINNR, wide, vast.
VIDOLFR, or VIDALFR, lit. Sylvan Elf.
VIDRIR, Moderator of the weather; to still the weather.
VIGRID, from vig, a battle; battle craft, the art of war.
VILI, Will. To will; to choose; to elect.
VILMEITHR, an old word for tree.
VIN, and VINA, a friend, to love, to favour; winsome.

VINDALFR, Wind Elf.


VINDSVALR; vindr, wind: and
VINGOLF,

VOLUNDR.
it is still

Wayland

svalr, cold, glacial.

the Abode of Friends; golf means lit. a floor.


The word denotes a skilful artificer, in which sense
used by the Icelanders; he is a famous workman
in iron; and they very appropriately term a laby-

lit.

rinth a Wayland-house.

VOLUSPA, a sybil or prophetess.


YGGDRASILL, from Ygg, one of

Odin's

names

(see the following

word) and drasill, bearing; hence, according to F. Mag., it


would sig. bearing (producing) rain, or bearing Odin.
YGGR., to meditate, and also to fear; hence the word might be
rendered by either the Meditating or the Terrible.
YLG, the Howling; to howl.
YMIR, a confused noise, like the rustling of trees when shaken
by the wind; also the clang of metals.

345

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