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* :il>ly a real pcrtonage of the trouW""? time^ wiili which hi-. 
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arncu-rs as for trai{u: events, Gunthcr repicjcm- the he-i 
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lion; who scrupled at iiii-ileeiis. yet yielde<l 

■;! coiiniry, Mud who shrank frotu crueltie- 

t who (el! a victim to woman'.-; fascinations. 

Tir-ii>e; him ni"re for a lover than for -i 


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^ ^ "Ca^ ^^^iCii I € t fi ^.r 


The Elder Edda 


Trcmslated from the Original Old Norse Text into English 





Translated from the Original Old Norse Text into English 





J. W. BUEL, Ph.D., 
KAirAonra xditor. 





p^ , .->• 

;j v/ 

% c •>: 



(Eldkr and Younokr Eddas.) 

Frontispiece — ^Gunnar ( Gunther) . 

Siegfried Awakens Brynhild 169 

Death of Atli 247 

A Feast in Valhalla 331 





Preface by the Translator , ix 

Introduction to the Voluspa xv 

The Vala's Prophecy 1 

The Lay of Vafthrudnir 9 

The Lay of Vegtam, or Baldur's Dream 26 

^he High One's Lay 29 

Odin's Rune Song 44 

The Lay of Hymir 48 

# The Lay of Thrym, or the Hammer Recovered 63 

The Lay of the Dwarf Alvis 67 

The Lay of Harbard 63 

The Journey, or Lay of Skirnir 71 

The Lay of Rig 78 

^Egir's Compotation, or Loki's Altercation 84 

The Lay of Fiolsvith 95 

The Lay of Hyndla 102 

The Incantation of Groa 109 

The Song of the Sun Ill 

0t^t Lay of Volund 121 

The Lay of Helgi Hiorvard's Son 127 

The First Lay of Helgi Hundingcide 137 

The Second Lay of Helgi Hundingcide 144 

Sinfiotli's End 155 

The Lay of Sigurd, or Gripir's Prophecy 157 

The Lay of Fafnir 172 

The Lay of Sigrdrifa 180 

Fragments of the Lay of Sigurd and Brynhild 186 

The Third Lay of Sigurd Fafnicide 194 

Fragments of the Lay of Brynhild 203 

4PThe First Lay of Gudrun 206 

Brynhild's Hel-ride , 210 

The Slaughter of the Niflungs 212 

The Second Lay of Gudrun 213 

The Third Lay of Gudrun 219 

Oddrun's Lament 221 

The Lay of Atli 226 

The Greenland Lay of Atli 233 




Gudrun's Incitement 248 

The Lay of Hamdir 251 


The Deluding of Gylfi 256 

Of the Primordial State of the Universe 259 

. Origin of the Frost-Giants 260 

Of the Cow Audhumla, and Birth of Odin 262 

The Making of Heaven and Earth 263^ 

Creation of Man and Woman 265 

Night and Day, Sun and Moon 266 

Wolves that Pursue the Sun and Moon 267^ 

The Way that Leads to Heaven 268 

The Golden Age 269 

Origin of the Dwarfs, and Norns of Destiny 270 

The Ash Yggdrasill and Mimer's Well 271 

The Norns that Tend Yggdrasill 273^ 

The Wind and the Seasons 275 

Thor and His Hammer 277 

Balder and Njord 278 

Njord and His Wife Skadi 279 

The God Frey and Goddess Freyja 280^ 

Tyr and Other Gods 281 

Hodur the Blind, Assassin of Baldur 283 

Loki and His Progeny 284 

Binding the Wolf Fenrir 285 

The Goddesses and their Attributes 289 

Frey, and Gerda the Beautiful 291 

The Joys of Valhalla 293 

The Wonderful Horse Slcipnir 297 

The Ship Adapted to Sail on Sea or Land 299 

Thor's Adventures in the Land of Giants 300 

The Death of Baldur • 315 ^ 

Baldur in the Abode of the Dead 319 

Loki's Capture and Punishment 321 

Destruction of the Universe 323 

Restoration of the Universe 327 

How Loki Carried Away Iduna 329 

The Origin of Poetry 331 

Odin Beguiles the Daughter of Baugi 333 

Glossary 335 



Saemund, son of Sigfus, the rq)Uted collector of the 
poems bearing his name, which is sometimes also called the 
Elder, and the Poetic, Edda, was of a highly distinguished 
family, being descended in a direct line from King Harald 
Hildetonn. He was bom 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 Chris- 
tian religion in that island ; hence it is easy to imagine that 
many heathens, or baptized favourers of the cdd mythic 
songs of heathenism, may have lived in his days and im- 
parted to him the lays of the times of old, which his un- 
fettered mind induced him to hand down to posterity. 

The youth of Saemund 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. Saemund afterwards became 
a priest at Oddi, where he instructed many young men in 
useful learning; but the effects of which were not improb- 
ably such as to the common people might appear as witch- 
craft or magic : and, indeed, Saemund's predilection for the 
sagas and songs of the old heathen times (even for the ma- 
gical 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 de- 


fensive sorcery, a repute which still clings to his memory 
among the common people of Iceland, and will long adhere 
to it through the numerous and popular stories regarding 
him (some of them highly entertaining) that are orally 
transmitted from generation to generation.* 

Saemund died at the age of 77, leaving behind him a 
work on the history of Norway and Iceland, which is now 
almost entirely lost. 

The first who ascribed to Saemund the collection of poems 
known as the Poetic Edda,* was Brynjolf Svensson, 
bishop of Skalholt. This prelate, who was a zealous col- 
lector of ancient manuscripts, found in the year 1643, the 

^The followlQg, the first among many, may serve as a specimen. 

Sicmund was 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 
learned, even to his own name ; so that when the holy man John Ogmund- 
son came to his abode, he told him that his name was Koll ; but on John 
Insisting that he was no other than Saemund 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 
place with his kinsman. For the purpose of deceiving the master, John 
continued some time In the place, and often came to visit him and Sasmund ; 
till at last, one dark night, they betook themselves to flight. No sooner had 
the Master missed them than he sent in pursuit of them ; but in vain, 
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 
all the following day. But the next night was clear, and the Master at once 
read In the stars where they were, and set out after them at full speed. 
Then Sssmund, casting his eyes up at the heavens, sal*, "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, flll 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 hla 
great amazement, he sees the star of Seemund directly above his head, and 
again sets off after the fugitives. Observing this. Ssemund says: "The 
Astrologer is again after us. and sgaln we must look to ourselves ; take my 
shoe off again, and with your knife stab me in the thigh; flll 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 SsBmund'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." 

^Bishop P. E. Muller supposes the greater number of the Eddalc poems 
to be of the 8th century. Sagablbllothek II, p. 131. 



old vellum codex, which is the most complete of all the 
known manuscripts of the Edda; of this he caused a tran- 
script to be made, which he entitled Edda Saemundi MuU 
tiscii. The transcript came into the possession of the royal 
historiographer Torfaeus; the original, together with other 
MSS., was presented to the King of Denmark, Frederick 
III., and placed in the royal library at Copenhagen, where 
it now is.* As many of the Eddaic poems appear to have 
been orally transmitted in an imperfect state, the collector 
has supplied the deficiencies by prose insertions, whereby 
the int^rity of the subject is to a certain degree restored. 

The collection called Saemund's Edda consists of two 
parts, viz., the Mythological and the Heroic. It is the for- 
mer of those which is now offered to the public in an 
English version. In the year 1797, a translation of this first 
part, by A. S. Cottle, was published at Bristol. This work 
I have never met with ; nor have I seen any English version 
of any part of the Edda, with the exception of Gray's spir- 
ited but free translation of the Vegtamskvida. 

The Lay of Volund (Volundarkvida) celebrates the story 
of Volund's doings and sufferings during his sojourn in 
the territory of the Swedish king Nidud. Volund (Ger. 
Wieland, Fr. Veland and Galans) is the Scandinavian and 
Germanic Vulcan (Hephaistos) and Daedalus. In England 
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 may be sent to Hygelac, being, 
as he says, the work of Weland; and king Mliredy in his 
translation of Boethius de Consolatione, renders the words 
fidelis ossa Fabricii, etc, by Hwaet ,(hwaer) Welondes? 

^Codez Regius, No. 2365. 4to. The handwrltins of this MS. le tn^ 
posed to be of the beginning of the 14th century. 


(Where are now the bones of the famous and wise gold- 
smith Weland?), evidently taking the proper name of 
Fabricius for an appellative equivalent to faber. In the 
Exeter Book, too, there is a poem in substance closely re- 
sembling the Eddaic lay. In his novel of Kenilworth, 
Walter Scott has been guilty of a woeful perversion of the 
old tradition, travestied from the Berkshire legend of Way- 
land Smith. As a land-boundary we find Weland's smithy 
in a Charter of king Eadred A. D. 955. 

On the 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 
series of stories relating to the Volsung race, and tlie Giu- 
kungs, or Niflungs. 

The connection of the several personages celebrated in 
these poems will appear plain from the following tables : 

Slg\, king of Hunaland^ said to be a son of Odin 


Yolsnng = & daughter of the giant Hrimnir 

Slgmund = Sign! = Borghild = Hiordis 

III I • 

Hamund. SlnflotlK Helgi = Sigmn Slgai^^ = Gudnin 


Slgmnndf Svanhild. 

m Jormnnrek. 

Ginkl = Grimhlld. 


Gnnnar^OlaomYor. Hognl^Kostbera. Gntlionii.Gndmiit=l Signrd. 

I 2 Atli. 

Solar. Giuki. Snaevar. SJonakr. 



Atll = GudruD : Brynhild = Gunnar. Oddmn. Beckhlld = Heimir. 

I • I 

Erp. Eltil AlBvid. 

Jonakr = Gudrun 

I I 

f ' * . 

Erp Hamdir. Sorli. 

The Eddaic series of the Volsung and Niflung lays ter- 
minates with the Lay of Hamdir ; the one entitled Gunnar's 
Melody is no doubt a comparatively late composition; yet 
being written in the true ancient spirit of the North is well 
deserving of a place among the Eddaic poems. Nor, indeed, 
is the claim of the Lay of Grotti to rank among the poems 
collected by Ssemund, by any means clear, we know it only 
from its existence in the Skalda; yet on account of its 
antiquity, its intrinsic worth, and its reception in other 
editions of the Edda, both in original and translation, the 
present work would seem, and justly so, incomplete with- 
out it. 

The Prose, or Younger Edda, is generally ascribed to the 
celebrated Snorre Sturleson, who was bom of a distinguished 
Icelandic family, in the year 1178, and after leading a turbu- 
lent and ambitious life, and being twice the supreme magis- 
trate of the Republic, was killed a. d. 1241,i by three of his 
sons-in-law and a step-son. When Snorre was three years 

^Snorre, at the death of John Lopteon (a. d. 1197), does not appear to 
have posaessed any property whatever, though he afterwards hecame the 
weathlest man In Iceland. His rise In the world was chiefly owing to his 
marriage with Herdisa, the daughter of a priest called Bersi the Rich,~a 
very enviable surname, which no doubt enabled the Rev. gentleman to 
brave the decrees of Popes and 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. 



old, John Loptson of Oddi, the grandson of Saemund 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 Ssemund and Ari, which were pre- 
served at Oddi, it is impossible to say, neither do we know 
the precise contents of these manuscripts; but it is highly 
probable that the most important parts of the work, now 
known under the title of "The Prose Edda," formed a part 
of them, and that Snorre — who may be regarded as the 
Scandinavian Euhemerus — ^merely added a few chapters, in 
order to render the mythology more conformable to the erro- 
neous notions he appears to have enterta* *ed respecting its 
signification. Be this as it may, the Pro*^ Edda, in its pres- 
ent form, dates from the thirteenth century, and consists of — 
1. Fortnali (Fore discourse) ; or the prologue. 2. Gylfor 
ginning (The deluding of Gylfi). 3. Braga-roedur (Con- 
versations of Bragi). 4. Eptirmali (After discourse); or 
Epilogue. The Prologue and Epilogue were probably writ- 
ten by Snorre himself, and are nothing more than an absurd 
sjmcretism of Hebrew, Greek, Roman, and Scandinavian 
myths and legends, in which Noah, Priam, Odin, Hector, 
Thor, iEneas, &c., are jumbled together much in the same 
manner as in the romances of the Middle Ages. These dis- 
sertations, utterly worthless in themselves, have obviously 
nothing in common with the so-called "Prose Edda," the 
first part of which, containing fifty-three chapters, forms a 
complete synopsis of Scandinavian mythology, derived prin- 
cipally from the Poetical Edda. 





As introductory to the Voluspa, the following description 
of a wandering Vala or prophetess may be thought both de- 
sirable and interesting: *^e find them present at the birth 
of children, when they seem to represent the Noms. 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 appro- 
priate to the purppse, without which the sorcery could not 
perfectly succeed. *,yhese seid-women were common over all 
the North. WheUr invited by the master of a family, they 
appeared in a peculiar costume, sometimes with a consid- 
erable number of followers, e. g. with fifteen young men and 
fifteen girls. For their soothsaying they received money, 
gold rings, 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 for- 
tunes, 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 who desired 
to know their fate, or the quality of the coming year. 
Everything was prepared in the most sumptuous manner 
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 
fastened with thongs and set with stones down to the lap; 



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 con- 
taining 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 wel- 
come with a reverent salutation; the master himself con- 
ducted 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 ele- 
vated 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. 




1. For silence I pray all sacred children, great and 
small, sons of Heimdall,* they will that I Valfather's 
deeds recount, men's ancient saws, those that I best re- 

2. The Jotuns I remember early bom, those who me 
of old have reared. I nine worlds remember, nine trees, 
the great central tree, beneath the earth. 

3. There was in times of old, where Ymir dwelt, nor 
sand nor sea, nor gelid waves; earth existed not, nor 
heaven above, 'twas a chaotic chasm, and grass nowhere. 

4. Before Bur's sons raised up heaven's vault, they 
who the noble mid-earth shaped. The sun shone from 
the south aver the structure's rocks : then was the earth 
begrown with herbage green. 

6. The sun from the south, the moon's companion, her 
right hand cast about the heavenly horses. The sun knew 
not where she* a dwelling had, the moon knew not what 
power he possessed, the stars knew not where they had a 

Hh, the Rignnal we are informed how Helmdall, under the name of 
Rig, became the progenitor of the three orders of mankind. In the Ger- 
manic tonguee, as in the Semitic, the sun is fem., the moon masc. 


6. Then went the powers all to their judgment-seats, 
the all-holy gods, and thereon held council : to night and 
to the waning moon gave names ; morn they named, and 
mid-day, afternoon and eve, whereby to reckon years. 

7. The iEsir met on Ida's plain ; they altar-steads and 
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. 

9. Then went 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 Motsognir created greatest of all the 
dwarfs, and Durin second; there in man's likeness they 
created many dwarfs from earth, as Durin said. 

11. Nyi and Nidi, Nordri and Sudri, Austri and Ves- 
tri, Althiof, Dvalin Nar and Nain, Niping, Dain, Bivor, 
Bavor, Bombur, Nori, An and Anar, Ai, Miodvitnir, 

12. Veig and Gandalf, Vindalf, Thrain, Thekk and 
Thorin, Thror, Vitr, and Litr, Nur and Nyrad, Regin 
and Radsvid. Now of the dwarfs I have rightly told. 

13. Fili, Kili, Fundin, Nali, Hepti, Vili, Hanar, 
Svior, Billing, Bruni, Bild, Buri, Frar, Hombori, Fraeg 
and Loni, Aurvang, lari, Eikinskialdi. 

14. Time 'tis of the dwarfs in Dvalin's band, to the 
sons of men, to Lofar up to reckon, those who came forth 
from the world's rock, earth's foundation, to lora's 


15. There were Draupnir, and Dolgthrasir, Har, 
Haugspori, Htevang, Gloi, Skirvir, Virvir, Skafid, Ai, 
Alf and Yngvi, Eikinskialdi, 

16. Fialar and Frosti, Finn and Ginnar, Heri, Hogg- 
stari, HIiodolf, Moin : that above shall, while mortals live, 
the progeny of Lofar, accounted be. 

17. Until there came three mighty and benevolent 
2Esir to the world from their assembly. They found on 
earth, nearly powerless, Ask and Embla, void of destiny. 

18. Spirit they possessed not, sense they had not, 
blood nor motive powers, nor goodly colour. Spirit gave 
Odin, sense gave Hoenir, blood gave Lodur, and goodly 

19. I know an ash standing Yggdrasil hight, a lofty 
tree, laved with limpid water : thence come the dews into 
the dales that fall ; ever stands it green over Urd's foun- 

20. Thence come maidens, much knowing, three from 
the hall, which under that tree stands; Urd hight the 
one, the second Verdandi, — on a tablet they graved — 
Skuld the third. Laws they established, life allotted to 
the sons of men; destinies pronounced. 

21. Alone she^ sat without, when came that ancient 
dread uEsir's prince; and in his eye she gazed. 

22. "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 
mom from Valfather's pledge.* Understand ye yet, or 

^The Vala here speaks of herself In the third person. *Hls eye, here 
understood to signify the sun. 


23. The chief of hosts gave her rings and necklace, 
useful discourse, and a divining spirit: wide and far she 
saw o'er every world. 

24. She the Valkyriur saw from afar coming, ready to 
ride to the god's people: Skuld held a shield, Skogul 
was second, then Gunn, Hild Gondul, and Geirskogul. 
Now are enumerated Herian's maidens, the Valkyriur, 
ready over the earth to ride. 

25. She that war remembers, the first on earth, when 
Gullveig* they with lances pierced, and in the high one's* 
hall her burnt, thrice burnt, thrice brought her forth, oft 
not seldom ; yet she still lives. 

26. Heidi they called her, whithersoe'r she came, the 
well-foreseeing Vala: wolves she tamed, magic arts she 
knew, magic arts practised ; ever was she the joy of evil 

27. Then went 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 

28. 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. 

29. Then went the powers all to their judgment- 
seats, the all-holy gods, and thereon held council: who 
had all the air with evil mingled? or to the Jotun race 
Od's maid had given? 

^A personlflcatlon of gold. With the Introduction of gold was the 
end of the golden age. H, e., OdIn'B : his hall Is the world. "Of Introduc- 
ing the UM of gold. 


30. 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 com- 
pacts reciprocally made. 

31. She knows that HeimdalVs horn is hidden under 
the heaven-bright holy tree. A river she sees flow, with 

I foamy fall, from Valfather's pledge. Understand ye yet, 
or what? 

32. East sat the crone, in lamvidir, and there reared 
up Fenrir's progeny: of all shall be one especially the 
moon's devourer, in a troll's semblance. 

33. He is sated with the last breath of dying men; 
the god's seat he with red gore defiles : swart is the sun- 
shine then for summers after ; all weather turns to storm. 
Understand ye yet, or what ? 

34. There on a height sat, striking a harp, the giant- 
ess's 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. 

36. I saw of Baldr, the blood-stained god, Odin's son, 
the hidden fate. There stood grown up, high on the 
plain, slender and passing fair, the mistletoe. 

37. From that shrub was made, as to me it seemed, 
a deadly, noxious dart. Hodr shot it forth; but Frigg 
bewailed, in Fensalir, Valhall's calamity. Understand ye 
yet, or what? 

38. Bound she saw lying, under Hveralund, a mon- 


strous forni, to Loki like. There sits Sigyn, for her con- 
sort's sake, not right glad. Understand ye yet, or what? 

39. Then the Vala knew the fatal bonds were twist- 
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. 

41. On the north there stood, on Nida-fells, a hall of 
gold, for Sindri's race ; and another stood in Okolnir, the 
Jotuns beer-hall which Brimir hight. 

42. She saw a hall standing, far from the sun, in 
Nastrond; its doors are northward turned, venom-drops 
fall in through its apertures: entwined is that hall with 
serpents' backs. 

43. She there saw wading the sluggish streams 
bloodthirsty men and perjurers, and him who the ear 
beguiles of another's wife. There Nidhogg 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 Rag- 
narok and the gods' conflict. 

45. Brothers shall fight, and slay each other; cousins 
shall kinship violate. The earth resounds, the giantesses 
flee; no man will another spare. 

46. Hard is it in the world, great whoredom, an axe 
age, a sword age, shields shall be cloven, a wind age, a 
wolf age, ere the world sinks. 

47. Mim's sons dance, but the central tree takes fire 
at the resounding Giallar-horn. Loud blows Heimdall, 
his horn is raised; Odin speaks with Mim's head. 

48. Trembles Yggdrasil's ash yet standing; groans 



that aged tree, and the jotun is loosed. Loud bays Garm 
before the Gnupa-cave, his bonds he rends asunder; and 
the wolf runs. 

49. Hrym steers from the east, the waters rise, the 
mundane snake is coiled in jotun-rage. The worm beats 
the water, and the eagle screams : the pale of beak tears 
carcases; Naglfar is loosed. 

60. That ship fares from the east: come will Mus- 
pell's people o'er the sea, and Loki steers. The monster's 
kin goes all with the wolf; with them the brother is of 
Byleist on their course. 

51. Surt from the south comes with flickering flame; 
shines from his sword the Val-gods' sun. The stony hills 
are dashed together, the giantesses totter ; men tread the 
path of Hel, and heaven is cloven. 

52. How is it with the ^Esir? How with the Alfar? 
All Jotunheim resounds; the -/Esir are in council. The 
dwarfs groan before their stony doors, the sages of the 
rocky walls. Understand ye yet, or what ? 

53. Then arises Hlin's second grief, when Odin goes 
with the wolf to fight, and the bright slayer of Beli with 
Surt. Then will Frigg's beloved fall. 

54. Then comes the great victor-sire's son, Vidar, to 
fight with the deadly beast. He with his hands will make 
his sword pierce to the heart of the giant's son: then 
avenges he his father. 

55. Then comes the mighty son of Hlodyn: (Odin's 
son goes with the monster to fight) ; Midgard's Veor in 
his rage will slay the worm. Nine feet will go Fiorgyn's 
son, bowed by the serpent, who feared no foe. All men 
will their homes forsake. ^ 


56. The sun darkens, earth inrocean sinks, fall fronl 
heaven the bright stars, fire's breath assails the all-nour- 
ishing tree, towering fire plays against heaven itself. 

57. She sees arise, a second time, earth from ocean, 
beauteously green, waterfalls descending; the eagle fly- 
ing over, which in the fell captures fish. 

58. The iEsir meet on Ida's plain, and of the mighty 
earth-encircler speak, and there to memory call their 
mighty deeds, and the supreme god's ancient lore. 

59. There shall again the wondrous golden tables in 
the grass be found, which in days of old had possessed 
the ruler of the gods, and Fiolnir's race. 

60. Unsown shall the fields bring forth, all evil be 
amended ; Baldr shall come ; Hodr and Baldr, the heav- 
enly gods, Hropt's glorious dwellings shall inhabit. Un- 
derstand ye yet, or what? 

61. Then can Hoenir choose his lot, and the two 
brothers' sons inhabit the spacious Vindheim. Under- 
stand ye yet, or what? 

62. She a hall standing than the sun brighter, with 
gold bedecked, in Gimill: there shall be righteous peo- 
ple dwell, and for evermore happiness enjoy. 

64. Then comes the mighty one to the great judg- 
ment, the powerful from above, who rules o'er all. He 
shall dooms pronounce, and strifes allay, holy peace es- 
tablish, which shall ever be. 

65. There comes the dark dragon flying from, be- 
neath the glistening serpent, from Nida-fels. On his 
wings bears Nidhogg, flying o'er the plain, a corpse. 
Now she will descend, 




Odin visits the Giant (Jotun) Vafthrudnir, for the 
purpose of proving his knowledge. They propose ques- 
tions relative to the Cosmogony of the Northern creed, on 
the conditions that the baffled party forfeit his head. The 
Jotun incurs the penalty. 


1. Counsel thou me now, Frigg! as I long to go Vaf- 
thriidnir to visit; great desire, I say, I have, in ancient 
lore with that all-wise Jotun to contend. 


2. At home to bide Haerfather I would counsel, in 
the gods' dwellings; because no Jotun is, I believe, so 
mighty as is Vafthrudnir. 


3. Much have I journeyed, much experienced, mighty 
ones many proved ; but this I fain would know, how in 
Vafthrudnir's halls it is. 


4. In safety mayest thou go, in safety return; in 
safety on thy journeyings be; may thy wit avail thee, 
when thou, father of men! shalt hold converse with the 

5. Then went Odin the lore to prove of that all-wise 



Jotun. To the hall he came which Im's father owned. 
Ygg went forthwith in. 


6. Hail to thee, Vafthrudnir! to thy hall I am now 
come, thyself to see; for I fain would know, whether 
thou art a cunning and all-wise Jotun. 


7. What man is this, that in my habitation by word 
addresses me? Out thou goest not from our halls, if 
thou art not the wiser. 


8. Gagnrad is my name, from my journey I am come 
thirsty to thy halls, needing hospitality, — for I long have 
journeyed — ^and kind reception from thee, Jotun! 


9. Why then, Gagnrad! speakest thou from the 
floor? Take in the hall a seat; then shall be proved 
which knows most, the guest or the ancient talker. 


10. A poor man should, who to a rich man comes, 
speak usefully or hold his tongue : over-much talk brings 
him, I ween, no good, who visits an austere man. 


11. Tell me, Gagnrad! since on the floor thou wilt 
prove thy proficiency, how the horse is called that draws 

each day forth oyer human kind ? 




12. Skinfaxi he is named, that the bright day draws 
forth over human kind. Of coursers he is best accounted 
among the Reid-goths. Ever sheds light that horse's 


13. Tell me now, Gagnrad! since on the floor thou 
wilt prove thy proficiency, how that steed is called, which 
from the east draws night o'er the beneficent powers ? 


14. Hrimfaxi he is called, that each night draws 
forth over the beneficent powers. He from his bit lets 
fall drops every mom, whence in the dales comes dew. 


16. Tell me, Gagnrad! since on the floor thou wilt 
prove thy proficiency, how the stream is called, which 
earth divides between the Jotuns and the Gods ? 


16. Ifing the stream is called which earth divides be- 
tween the Jotuns and the Gods : open shall it run through- 
out all time. On that stream no ice shall be. 


17. Tell me, Gagnrad! since on the floor thou wilt 
prove thy proficiency, how that plain is called, where in 
fight shall meet Surt and the gentle Gods ? 


18. Vigrid the plain is called where in fight shall 



meet Surt and the gentle Gods ; a hundred rasts it is on 
every side. That plain is to them decreed. 


19. Wise art thou, O guest! Approach the Jotuns 
bench, and sitting let us together talk ; we will our heads 
in the hall pledge, guest ! for wise utterance. 


20. Tell me first, if thy wit suffices, and thou, Vaf- 
thrudnir ! knowest, whence first came the earth, and the 
high heaven, thou, sagacious Jotun? 


21. From Ymir's flesh the earth was formed, and 
from his bones the hills, the heaven from the skull of that 
ice-cold giant, and from his blood the sea. 


22. Tell me secondly, if thy wit suffices, and thou, 
Vafthrudnir! knowest, whence came the moon, which 
over mankind passes, and the sun likewise? 


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, 


24. Tell me thirdly, since thou art called wise, and 
if thou, Vafthrudnir! knowest, whence came the day, 
which over people passes, and night with waning moons ? 




25. Delling hight he who the day's father is, but 
night was of Norvi born ; the new and waning moons the 
beneficent powers created, to count years for men. 


26. Tell me fourthly, since they pronounce thee sage, 
and if thou, Vafthrudnir! knowest, whence winter came, 
and warm summer first among the wise gods? 


27. Vindsval hight he, who winter's father is, and 
Svasud summer's; yearly they both shall ever journey, 
imtil the powers perish. 


28. Tell me fifthly, since they pronounce thee sage, 
and if thou, Vafthrudnir! knowest, which of the ^Esir 
earliest, or of Ymir's sons, in days of old existed ? 


29. Countless winters, ere earth was formed, was 
Bergelmir bom ; Thriidgelmir was his sire, his grandsire 


30. Tell me sixthly, since thou art called wise, and if 
thou, Vafthrudnir! knowest, whence first came Aurgel- 
mir, among the Jotun's sons, thou sagacious Jotun ? 


31. From EUvagar sprang venom drops, which grew 



till they became a Jotun ; but sparks flew from the south- 
world : to the ice the fire gave life. 


32. Tell me seventhly, since thou are called wise, and 
^ if thou knowest, Vafthrudnir! how he children begat, 

the bold Jotun, as he had no giantess's company? 


33. Under the armpit grew, 'tis said, of the Hrim- 
thurs, a girl and boy together; foot with foot begat, of 
that wise Jotun, a six-headed son. 


34. Tell me eighthly, since thou art called wise, and 
if thou knowest, Vafthrudnir! what thou doest first re- 
member, or earliest knowest? Thou art an all-wise 
Jotun. % 


35. Countless winters, ere earth was formed, Bergel- 
mir was born. That I first remember, when that wise 
Jotun in an ark was laid. 


36. Tell me ninthly, since thou art called wise, and 
if thou knowest, Vafthrudnir! whence the wind comes, 
that over ocean passes, itself invisible to man? 


37. Hraesvelg he is called, who at the end of heaven 
sits, a Jotun in an eagle's plumage : from his wings comes, 
it is said, the wind, that over all men passes. 



38. Tdl me tenthly, since thou all the origin of the 
gods knowest, Vaf thrudnir ! whence Niord came among 
the -/Esir's sons? O'er fanes and offer-steads he rules 
by hundreds, yet was not among the -^sir bom. 


39. In Vanaheim wise powers him created, and to 
the gods a hostage gave. At the world's dissolution, he 
will return to the wise Vanir. 


40. Tell me eleventhly, since all the condition of the 
gods thou knowest, Vafthrudnir! what the Einheriar do 
in Haerfather's halls, until the powers perish? 


41. AH the Einheriar in Odin's halls each day to- 
gether fight ; the fallen they choose, and from the conflict 
ride; beer with the -^sir drink, of Saehrimnir eat their 
fill, then sit in harmony together. 


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 ! 


43. Of the secrets of the Jotuns and of all the gods, 
I can truly tell ; for I have over each world travelled ; to 



nine worlds I came, to Niflhel beneath: here die men 
from Hel. 


44. Much have I journeyed, much experienced, 
mighty ones many proved. What mortals will live, 
when the great "Fimbur'-winter shall from men have 
passed ? 


45. Lif and Lifthrasir ; but they will be concealed in 
Hoddmimir's holt. The morning dews they will have 
for food. From them shall men be bom. 


46. Much have I journeyed, much experienced, 
mighty ones many proved. Whence will come the sun 
in that fair heaven, when Fenrir has this devoured? 


47. A daughter shall Alfrodull bear, ere Fenrir shall 
have swallowed her. The maid shall ride, when the 
powers die, on her mother's course. 


48. Much have I journeyed, etc. Who are the maid- 
ens that o'er the ocean travel, wise of spirit, journey ? 


49. O'er people's dwellings three descend of Mog- 
thrasir's maidens, the sole Hamingiur who are in the 
world, although with Jotuns nurtured. 




50. Much have I journeyed, etc. Which of the i^sir 
will rule o'er the gods' possession, when Surt's fire shall 
be quenched ? 


51. Vidar and Vali will the gods' holy fanes inhabit, 
when Surt's fire shall be quenched. Modi and Magni 
will MioUnir possess, and warfare strive to end. 


52. Much have I journeyed, etc. What of Odin will 
the life's end be, when the powers perish ? 


53. The wolf will the father of men devour; him 
Vidar will avenge: he his cold jaws will cleave, in con- 
flict with the wolf. 


54. Much have I journeyed, etc. What said Odin 
in his son's ear, ere he on the pile was laid ? 


55. That no one knoweth, what thou in days of old 
saidst in thy son's ear. With dying mouth my ancient 
saws I have said, and the gods' destruction. With Odin 
I have contended in wise utterances: of men thou ever 
art the wisest! 




The subject is wholly mythological. 

King Hraudung had two sons, one named Agnar, the 
other Geirrod. Agnar was ten, and Geirrod eight win- 
ters old. They both rowed out in a boat, with their 
hooks and lines, to catch small fish; but the 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 whcwn they stayed 
through the winter. The cottager's wife brought up 
Agnar, and the cottager, Geirrod, and gave him good 
advice. In the spring the man got them a ship; but 
when he and his wife accompanied them to the strand, 
the man talked apart with Geirrod. They had a fair 
wind, and reached their father's place. Geirrod was at 
the ship's prow : he sprang on shore, but pushed the ship 
out, sayin^l *^Go where an evil spirit may get thee." The 
vessel was driven out to sea, but Geirrod went up to the 
town, where he was well received; but his father was 
dead. Geirrod was then taken for king, and became a 
famous man. 

Odin and Frigg were sitting in Hlidskialf, looking 
over all the world. Odin said, "Seest thou Agnar, thy 
foster-son, where he is getting children with a giantess 
in a cave? while Geirrod, my foster-son, is a king resid- 
ing in his country." Frigg answered, "He is so inhos- 



pitable that he tortures his guests, if he thinks that too 
many come." Odin replied that that was the greatest 
falsehood ; and they wagered thereupon, Frigg sent her 
waiting-maid Fulla to bid Geirrod be on his guard, lest 
the troUmann who was coming should do him harm, and 
also say that a token whereby he might be known was, 
that no dog, however fierce, would attack him. But that 
King Geirrod was not hospitable was mere idle talk. 
He, nevertheless, caused the man to be secured whom no 
dog would assail. He was dad in a blue cloak, and was 
named Grimnir, and would say no more concerning him- 
self, 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 Geir- 
rod had a son ten years old, whom he named Agnar, after 
his brother. Agnar went to Grimnir and gave him a full 
horn to drink from, saying that the king did wrong in 
causing him to be tortured, though innocent. Grimnir 
drank from it. The fire had then so approached him that 
his cloak was burnt ; whereupon he said : — 

1. Fire ! thou art hot, and much too great ; flame ! let 
us separate. My garment is singed, although I lift it up, 
my cloak is scorched before it. 

2. Eight nights have I sat between fires here, and to 
me no one food has offered, save only Agnar, the son of 
Geirrod, who alone shall rule over the land of Goths. 

3. Be thou blessed, Agnar! as blessed as the god of 
men bids thee to be. For one draught thou never shalt 
get better recompense. 

3 19 



4. Holy is the land, which I see lying to 2Es\r and 
Alfar near ; but in Thrudheim Thor shall dwell until the 
powers perish. 

5. Ydalir it is called, where UUr has himself a dwell- 
ing made. Alfheim the gods to Frey gave in days of 

yore for a tooth-gift. \ 

6. The third dwelling is, where the kind powers have 
with silver decked the hall; Valaskialf 'tis called, which 
for himself acquired the As in days of old. 

7. Sokkvabekk the fourth is named o'er which the 
gelid waves resound; Odin and Saga there, joyful each 
day, from golden beakers quaflf. 

8. Gladsheimi the fifth is named, there the golden- 
bright Valhall stands spacious, there Hropt selects each 
day those men who die by weapons. 

9. Easily to be known is, by those who to Odin come, 
the mansion by its aspect. Its roof with spears is laid, 
its hall with shields is decked, with corslets are its 
benches strewed. 

10. Easily to be known is, by those who to Odin 
come, the mansion by its aspect. A wolf hangs before 
the western door, over it an eagle hovers. 

11. Thrymheim 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 I know exists 
the fewest crimes. 

13. Himinbiorg is the eighth, where Heimdall, it is 




said, rules o'er the holy fanes : there the gods' watchman, 
in his tranquil home, drinks joyful the good mead. 

14. Folkvang is the ninth, there Freyia directs the 
sittings in the hall. She half the fallen chooses each day, 
but Odin th' other half. 

15. Glitnir is the tenth ; it is on gold sustained, and 
eke with silver decked. There Forseti dwells through- 
out all time, and every strife allays. 

16. Noatun is the eleventh, there Niord has himself a 
dwelling made, prince of men ; guiltless of sin, he rules 
o'er the high-built fane. 

17. O'ergrown with branches and high grass is 
Vidar's spacious Landvidi : There will the son descend, 
from the steed's back, bold to avenge his father. 

18. Andhrimnir makes, in Eldhrimnir, Saehrimnir to 
boil, of meats the best; but few know how many Ein- 
heriar it feeds. 

19. Geri and Freki the war-wont sates, the triumph- 
ant sire of hosts; but on wine only the famed in arms, 
Odin, ever lives. 

20. Hugin and Munin fly each day over the spacious 
earth. I fear for Hugin, that he come not back, yet 
more anxious am I for Munin. 

21. Thund roars; joyful in Thiodvitnir's water lives 
the fish ; the rapid river seems too great for the battle- 
steed to ford. 

22. Valgrind is the lattice called, in the plain that 
standsi holy before the holy gates : ancient is that lattice, 
but few only know how it is closed with lock. 

23. Five hundred doors, and forty eke, I think, are 



in Valhall. Eight hundred Einheriar will at once from 
each door go when they issue with the wolf to fight 

24. Five hundred floors, and forty eke, I think, has 
Bilskimir with its windings. Of all the roofed houses 
that I know, is my son's the greatest. 

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

26. Eikthymir the hart is called, that stands o'er 
Odin's hall, and bites irom Laerad's branches; from his 
horns fall drops into Hvergelmir, whence all waters 
rise: — 

27. Sid and Vid, Soekin and Eikin, Svol and Gunn- 
thro, Piorm and Pimbulthul, Rin and Rennandi, Gipul 
and Gopul, Gomul and Geirvimul : they round the gods' 
dwelling wind. Thyn and Vin, Tholl and H611, Grad 
and Gunnthorin. 

28. Vina one is called, a second Vegsvin, a third 
Thiodnuma; Nyt and Non and Hron, Slid and Hrid, 
Sylg and Ylg, Vid and Van, Vond and Strond, Gioll and 
Leipt; these (two) fall near to men, but fall hence to 

29. Kormt and Ormt, and the Kerlaugs twain : these 
Thor must wade each day, when he to council goes at 
Yggdrasil's ash ; for the As-bridge is all on fire, the holy 
waters boil. 

30. Glad and Gyllir, Gler and Skeidbrimir, Sillfrin- 
topp and Sinir, Gisl and Falhofnir, Gulltopp and Lett- 
feti ; on these steeds the iEsir each day ride, when they 
to council go, at Yggdrasil's ash. 




31. Three roots stand on three ways under Yggdra- 
si!'s ash: Hel under one abides, under the second the 
Hrimthursar, under the third mankind. 

32. Ratatosk is the squirrel named, which has to run 
in Yggdrasil's ash ; he from above the eagle's words must 
carry, and beneath to Nidhogg repeat. 

33. Harts there are also four, which from its sunv 
mits, arch-necked, gnaw. Dain and Dvalin, Duneyr and 

34. More serpents lie under Yggdrasil's ash, than 
any one would think of witless mortals : Goin and Moin, 
— ^they are Grafvitnir's sons — Grabak and GrafvoUud, 
Ofnir and Svafnir, will, I ween, the branches of that tree 
ever lacerate. 

35. Yggdrasil's ash hardship suffers greater than 
men know of ; a hart bites it above, and in its side it rots, 
Nidhogg beneath tears it. 

36. Hrist and Mist the horn shall bear me Skeggold 
and Skogul, Hlokk and Herfiotur, Hildi and Thrudi, 
G61I and Geirolul, Randgrid and Radgrid, and Regin- 
leif, these bear beer to the Einheriar. 

37. Arvakr and Alsvid, theirs 'tis up hence fasting 
the sun to draw : under their shoulder the gentle powers, 
the iEsir, have concealed an iron-coolness. 

38. Svalin the shield is called, which stands before 
the sun, the refulgent deity; rocks and ocean must, I 
ween, be burnt, fell it from its place. 

39. Skoll the wolf is named, that the fair-faced god- 
dess to the ocean chases ; another Hati hight, he is Hrod- 
vilnir's son ; he the bright maid of heaven shall precede. 



40. Of Ymir's flesh was earth created, of his blood 
the sea, of his bones the hills, of his hair trees and plants, 
of his skull the heaven ; 

41. And of his brows the gentle powers formed Mid- 
gard for the sons of men; but of his brain the heavy 
clouds are all created. 

42. Ullr's and all the gods' favour shall have, who- 
ever first shall look to the fire ; for open will the dwelling 
be, to the iEsir's sons, when the kettles are lifted oflf.^ 

43. Ivaldi's sons went in days of old Skidbladnir to 
form, of ships the best, for the bright Frey, Niord's be- 
nign son. 

44. Yggdrasil's ash is of all trees most excellent, and 
of all ships, Skidbladnir, of the iEsir, Odin, and of 
horses, Sleipnir, Bifrost of bridges, and of skallds, Bragi, 
Habrok of hawks, and of dogs, Garm, [Brimir of 

45. Now I my face have raised to the gods' triumph- 
ant sons, at that will welcome help awake; from all the 
^sir, that shall penetrate, to OEgir's bench, to CEgir's 

46. I am called Grim, I am called Gangleri, Herian 
and Hialmberi, Thekk and Thridi, Thund and Ud, Hel- 
blindi and Har, 

47. Sad and Svipall, and Sanngetall, Herteit and 

^What in thli strophe 1b said of UUr has apparenUy retorenee to a loet < 

znTth. It would Boem that, through the InterTention of the kettles, the 
MniT were unahle to see Odin's unpleasant position between the two fires. K 

1(7 Tersion of this strophe is not in accordance with those of other inter- 
preters. Odin raises his countennnce to heaven, in full confidence that when 
seen help will forthwith be afforded him. Under the name of CBgir, Gier- 
rod is generally understood : I rather think the meaning to be, that all the 
^sir who [sit at] (Egir's compotaUon will forthwith come to his aid. 



Hnikar Bileyg, Baleyg, Bolvcrk, Fiolnir, Grim and 
Grimnir, Glapsvid and Fiolsvid, 

48. Sidhott, Sidskegg Sigfodr, Hnikud, Alfodr, 
Valfodr, Atrid and Farmatyr ; by one name I never have 
been called, since among men I have gone. 

49. Grimnir I am called at Geirrod's, and at As- 
mund's Jalk and Kialar, when a sledge I drew ; Thror at 
the public meetings, Vidur in battles, Oski and Omi, 
Jafnhar and Biflindi, Gondlir and Harbard with the 

50. Svidur and Svidrir I was at Sokkmimir's called, 
and beguiled that ancient Jotun, when of Midvitnir's re- 
nowned son I was the sole destroyer. 

51. Drunken art thou, Geirrod, 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. My friend's sword 
lying I see, with blood all dripping. 

63. 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. 

64. Odin I now am named, Ygg I was called before, 
before that, Thund, Vakr and Skilfiog, Vafudr and 
Hroptatyr, with the gods, Gaut and Jalk, Ofnir and 
Svafnir, all which I believe to be names of me alone. 

King Geirrod was sitting with his sword lying across 
his knees, half drawn from the scabbard, but on finding 



that it was Odin, he rose for the purpose of 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 
vanished, and Agnar was king for a long time after. 



1. Together were the 2Es\r all in council, and the 
Asyniur all in conference, and they consulted, the mighty 
gods, why Baldr had oppressive dreams. 

2. [To that god his slumber was most afflicting; his 
auspicious dreams seemed departed. They the Jotuns 
questioned, wise seers of the future, whether this might 
not forebode calamity ? 

3. The responses said that to death destined was 
UUr's kinsman, of all the dearest: that caused grief to 
Frigg and Svafnir, and to the other powers — On a course 
they resolved : 

4. That they would send to every being, assurance 
to solicit, Baldr not to harm. All species swore oaths to 
spare him ; Frigg received all their vows and compacts. 

5. Valfather fears something defective ; he thinks the 
Hamingiur may have departed; the iEsir he convenes, 
their counsel craves : at the deliberation much is devised.] 

6. Uprose Odin lord of men and on Sleipnir he the 



saddle laid ; rode thence down to Niflhel. A dog he met, 
from Hel coming. 

7. It was blood-stained on its breast, on its slaughter- 
craving throat, and nether jaw. It bayed and widely 
gaped at the sire of magic song : — ^long it howled. 

8. Forth rode Odin — ^the ground mttled — ^till to 
. Hel's lofty house he came. Then rode Ygg to the east- 
em gate, where he knew there was a Vala's grave. 

9. To the prophetess, he began a magic song to chant, 
towards the north looked, potent runes applied, a spdl 
pronounced, an answer demanded, until compelled she 
rose, and with deathlike voice she said : 


10. "What man is this, to me unknown, who has for 
me increased an irksome course ? I have with snow been 
decked, by rain beaten, and with dew moistened: long 
have I been dead." 


11. "V^[tam is my name, I am Valtam's son. Tell 
thou me of Hel : from earth I call on thee. For whom 
are those benches strewed o'er with rings, those costly 
couches overlaid with gold ?" 


12. "Here stands mead, for Baldr brewed, over the 
bright potion a shield is laid; but the iEsir race are in 
despair. By compulsion I have spoken. I will now be 




13. "Be not silent, Vala! I will question thee, until 
I know all. I will yet know who will Baldr's slayer be, 
and Odin's son of life bereave." 


14. "Hodr will hither his glorious brother send, he 
of Baldr will the slayer be, and Odin's son of life bereave. 
By compulsion I have spoken ; I will now be silent." 


15. "Be not silent, Vala ! I will question thee, until 
I know all. I will yet know who on Hodr vengeance 
will inflict, or Baldr's slayer raise on the pile." 


16. "Rind a son shall bear, in the western halls: he 
shall slay Odin's son, when one night old. He a hand 
will not wash, nor his head comb, ere he to the pile has 
borne Baldr's adversary. By compulsion I have spoken ; 
I will now be silent." 


17. "Be not silent, Vala! I will question thee, until 
I know all. I will yet know who the maidens are, that 
weep at will, and heavenward cast their neck-veils ? Tell 
me but that : till then thou sleepest not." 


18. "Not Vegtam art thou, as I before believed; 
rather art thou Odin, lord of men !" 




19. "Thou art no Vala, nor wise woman, rather art 
thou the mother of three Thursar/' 


20. "Home ride thou, Odin! and exult. Thus shall 
never more man again visit me, until Loki free from his 
bonds escapes, and Ragnarok all-destroying comes." 


1. All door-ways, before going forward, should be 
looked to; for difficult it is to know where foes may sit 
within a dwelling. 

2. Givers, hail ! A guest is come in : where shall he 
sit? In much haste is he, who on the ways has to try 
his luck. 

V 3. Fire is needful to him who is come in, and whose 
/knees are frozen; food and raiment a man requires, 
wheo'er the fell has travelled. 

4. Water to him is needful who for refection comes, 
a towel and hospitable invitation, a good reception ; if he 
can get it, discourse and answer. 

6. Wit is needful to him who travels far : at home all 
IS easy. A laughing-stock is he who nothing knows, and 
with the instructed sits. 

K)dln to 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. 



6. Of his understanding no one should be proud, but 
rather in conduct cautious. When the prudent and taci- 
turn come to a dwelling, harm seldom befalls the cau- 
tious; for a firmer friend no man ever gets than great 

7. A wary guest,* who to refection comes, keeps a 
cautious- silence, with his ears listens, and with his eyes 
observes : so explores every prudent man. 

8. He is happy, who for himself obtains fame and 
kind words : less sure is that which a man must have in 
another's breast. 

9. He is happy, who in himself possesses fame and 
wit while living ; for bad counsels have oft been received 
from another's breast. 

10. A better burthen no man bears on the way than 
much good sense; that is thought better than riches in a 
strange place ; such is the recourse of the indigent. 

11. A 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. 

12. A worse provision no man can take from table 
than too much beer-bibbing: for the more he drinks the 
less control he has of his own mind. 

13. Oblivion's heron 'tis called that over potations 
hovers; he steals the minds of men. With this bird's 
pinions I was fettered in Gunnlods dwelling. 

^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 Afseliua and 
Rask, and in the Swedish translation by Afselius. 



14. Drunk I was, I was over-drunk, at that cunning 
Fialar's. It's the best drunkenness, when every cme after 
it regains his reason. 

16. Taciturn and prudent, and in war daring, should 
a king's children be ; joyous and liberal every one should 
be until his hour of death. 

16. A cowardly man thinks he will ever live, if war- 
fare he avoids ; but old age will give him no peace, though 
spears may spare him. 

17. A fool gapes when to a house he comes, to him- 
self mutters or is silent ; but all at (xice, if he gets drink, 
then is the man's mind displayed. 

18. He 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 will admonish thee, if thou goest betimes to sleep. 

20. A greedy man, if he be not moderate, eats to his 
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 
grazing cease; but a foolish man never knows his stom- 
ach's measure. 

22. A miserable man, and ill-conditioned, sneers at 
every thing : one thing he knows not, which he ought to 
know, that he is not free from faults. 

23. A foolish man is all night awake, pondering over 
ever)rthing; he then grows tired; and when morning 
comes, all is lament as before. 



24. A foolish man thinks all who on him smile to be 
his friends ; he feels it not, although they speak ill of him, 
when he sits among the clever. 

25. A foolish man thinks all who speak him fair to be 
his friends ; but he will find, if into court he comes, that 
he has few advocates. 

26. A foolish man thinks he knows ever3rthing if 
placed in unexpected difficulty ; but he knows not what to 
answer, if to the test he is put. 

27. A foolish man, who among people ccMnes, 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. 

28. He thinks himself wise, who can ask questions 
and converse also ; conceal his ignorance no one can, be- 
cause it circulates among men. 

29. He utters too many futile words who is never 
silent; a garrulous tongue, if it be not checked, sings 
often to its own harm. 

30. For a gazing-stock no man shall have another, 
although he come a stranger to his house. Many a one 
thinks himself wise, if he is not questioned, and can sit 
in a dry habit. 

31. Clever thinks himself the guest who jeers a guest, 
i\ he takes to flight. Knows it not certainly he who 
prates at meat, whether he babbles among foes. 

82. Many men are mutually well-disposed, yet at 
table will torment each other. That strife will ever be ; 
guest will guest irritate. 

33. Early meals a man should often take, unless to a 



friend's house he goes; else he will sit and mope, will 
seem half-famished, and can of few things inquire. 

34. Long is and indirect the way to a bad friend's, 
though by the road he dwell ; but to a good friend's the 
paths lie direct, though he be far away. 

35. A guest should depart, not always stay in one 
place. The welcome becomes unwelcome, if he too long 
continues in another's house. 

36. One's own house is best, small though it be; at 
home is every one his own master. Though he but two 
goats possess, and a straw-thatched cot, even that is bet- 
ter than begging. 

37. One's own house is best, small though it be, at 
home is every one his own master. Bleeding at heart is 
he, who has to ask for food at every meal-tide. 

38. Leaving in the field his arms, let no man go a 
foot's length forward; for it is hard to know when on 
the way a man may need his weapon. 

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

40. Of the property which he has gained ho man 
should suffer need; for the hated oft is spared what for 
the dear was destined. Much goes worse than is ex- 

41. With arms and vestments friends should each 
other gladden, those which are in themselves most 
sightly. Givers and requiters are longest friends, if all 
[else] goes well.^ 

^Tbe sense of UiIb line 
Finn Magnunen. 

doubtful; I have adopted the version of 



42. To his friend a man should be a friend, and gifts 
with gifts requite. Laughter with laughter men should 
receive, but leasing with lying. 

43. To his friend a man should be a friend; to him 
and to his friend; but of his foe no man shall the friend's 
friend be. 

44. Know, if thou hast a friend whom thou fully 
trustest, and from whom thou woulds't good derive, thou 
shouldst blend thy mind with his, and gifts exchange, 
and often go to see him, 

45. If thou hast another, whom thou little trustest, 
yet wouldst good from him derive, thou shouldst speak 
him fair, but think craftily, and leasing pay with lying. 

46. But of him yet further, whom thou little trustest, 
and thou suspectest his aflFection; before him thou 
shouldst laugh, and contrary to thy thoughts speak: 
requital should the gift resemble. 

47. I was once young, I 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 
cherish sorrow; but a base-minded man dreads every- 
thing; the niggardly is uneasy even at gifts. 

49. My garments in a field I gave away to two 
wooden men: heroes they seemed to be, when they got 
cloaks : exposed to insult is a naked man. 

50. A tree withers that on a hill-top stands ; protects 
it neither bark nor leaves : such is the man whom no one 
favours : why should he live long ? 

61. Hotter than fire love for five days burns between 



false friends ; but is quenched when the sixth day conies, 
and friendship is all impaired. 

62. Something great is not [always] to be given, 
praise is often for a trifle bought. With half a loaf and 
a tilted vessel I got myself a comrade. 

53. Little are the sand-grains, little the wits, little 
the minds of [some] men ; for all men are not wise alike: 
men are everywhere by halves. 

54. Moderately wise should each one be, but never 
over-wise : of those men the lives are fairest, who know 
much well. 

55. Moderately wise should each one be, but never 
over-wise ; for a wise man's heart is seldom glad, if he is 
all-wise who owns it. 

66. Moderately wise should each one be, but never 
over-wise. His destiny let know no man beforehand; 
his mind will be freest from care. 

67. Brand burns from brand until it is burnt out ; fire 
is from fire quickened. Man to man becomes known by 
speech, but a fool by his bashful silence. 

58. He should early rise, who another's property or 
life desires to have. Seldom a sluggish wolf gets prey, 
or a sleeping man victory. 

69. Early should rise he who has few workers, and 
go his 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 
measure ; of the fire-wood that may suffice, both measure 
and time. 

61. Washed and refected let a man ride to the 

4 . 35 ' 


Thing,* although his garments be not too good; of his 
shoes and breeches let no one be ashamed, nor of his 
horse, although he have not a good one. 

62. Inquire and impart should every man of sense, 
who will be accounted sage. Let one only know, a sec- 
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, when among the bold he 
comes, that no one alone is doughtiest. 

66. Circumspect and reserved every man should be, 
and wary in trusting friends. Of the words that a man 
says to another he often pays the penalty. 

66. Much too early I came to many places, but too 
late to others : the beer was drunk, or not ready : the dis- 
liked seldom hits the moment. 

67. Here and there I should have been invited, if I a 
meal had needed; or two hams had hung, at that true 
friend's, where of one I had eaten. 

68. Fire is best among the sons of men, and the sight 
of the sun, if his health a man can have, with a life free 
from vice. 

69. No man lacks everything, although his health be 
^ bad: one in his sons is happy, one in his kin, one in 

abundant wealth, one in his good works. 

70. It is better to live, even to live miserably ; a living 
man can always get a cow. I saw fire consume the rich 
man's property, and death stood without his door. 

*The public meeting. ^g 


71. The halt can ride on horseback, the one-handed 
drive cattle; the deaf fight and be useful: to be blind is 
better than to be burnt '} no one gets good from a corpse. 

72. A son is better, even if born late, after his father's 
departure. Gravestones seldom stand by the way-side 
unless raised by a kinsman to a kinsman. 

73. Two are adversaries: the tongue is the bane of 
the head : under every cloak I expect a hand. * * * 

74. At night is joyful he who is sure of travelling 
entertainment. [A ship's yards are short.]* Variable 
is an autumn night. Many are the weather's changes in 
five days, but more in a month. 

75. He [only] knows not who knows nothing, that 
many a one apes another. One man is rich, another 
poor : let him not be thought blameworthy. 

X76. Cattle die, kindred die, we ourselves also die; but 
the fair fame never dies of him who has earned it. 

y77. Cattle die, kindred die, we ourselves also die ; but 
I know one thing that never dies, — ^judgment on each one 

78. Full storehouses I saw at Dives' sons' : now bear 
they the beggar's staff. Such are riches ; as is the twink- 
ling of an eye : of friends they are most fickle. 

79. A foolish man, if he acquires wealth or woman's 
love, pride grows within him, but wisdom- never : he goes 
on more and more arrogant. 

80. Then 'tis made manifest, if of runes thou ques- 
tionest him, those to the high ones known, which the 


^That l8 dead on the funeral pyre. This line la evidently an Interpo- 



{jreat powers invented, and the great talker* painted, that 
he had best hold silence. 

81. At eve the day is to be praised, a woman after 
V she is burnt, a sword after it is proved, a maid after she 

is married, ice after it has passed away, beer after it is 

82. In the wind one should hew wood, in a breeze 
row out to sea, in the dark talk with a lass : many are the 
eyes of day. In a ship voyages are to be made, but a 
shield is for protection, a sword for striking, but a dam- 
sel for a kiss. 

83. By the fire one should drink beer, on the ice 
slide ; buy a horse that is lean, a sword that is rusty ; feed 
a horse at home, but a dog at the farm. 

X 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 

85. In a creaking bow, a burning flame, a yawning 
wolf, a chattering crow, a grunting swine, a rootless tree, 
a waxing wave, a boiling kettle, 

86. A flying dart, a falling billow, a one night's ice, a 
coiled serpent, a woman's bed-talk, or a broken sword, a 
bear's play, or a royal child, 

87. A sick calf, a self-willed thrall, a flattering proph- 
etess, a corpse newly slain, [a serene sky, a laughing lord, 
a barking dog, and a harlot's grief] ; 

X 88. An early sown field let no one trust, nor prema- 
turely in a son : weather rules the field, and wit the son, 
each of which is doubtful ; 

^Odln. g 


89. A brother's murderer, though on the high road 
met, a half-burnt house, an over-swift horse, (a horse is 
useless, if a leg be broken), no man is so confiding as to 
trust any of these. 

90. Such is the love of women, who falsehood medi- 
tate, as if one drove not rough-shod, on slij^ery ice, a 
spirited two-years old and unbroken horse; or as in a 
raging storm a helmless ship is beaten; or as if the halt 
were set to catch a reindeer in the thawing fell.^ 

91. Openly I now speak, because I both sexes know : 
unstable are men's minds towards women; 'tis then we 
speak most fair when we most falsely think: that de- 
ceives even the cautious. 

92. Fair shall speak, and money offer, who would 
obtain a woman's love. Praise the form of a fair dan> 
sel ; he gets who courts her. 

93. At love should no one ever wonder in another: a 
beauteous countenance oft captivates the wise, which cap- 
tivates not the foolish. 

94 Let no one wonder at another's folly, it is the lot 
of many. All-powerful desire makes of the sons ormen 
fools even of the wise. 

95. The mind only knows what lies near the heart, 
that alone is conscious of our affections. No disease is 
worse to a sensible man than not to be content with him- 

96. That I experienced, when in the reeds I sat, 
awaiting my delight. Body and soul to me was that dis- 
creet maiden: nevertheless I possess her not. 

Vrom this line It appears that the poem la of Norwegian or Swedish 
origin, as the reindeer was unknown in Iceland before the middle of the 
18th century, when It was Introduced by royal command. 



97. Billing s lass* on her couch I found, sun-bright, 
sleeping. A prince's joy to me seemed naught, if not 
with that form to live. 

98. "Yet nearer eve must thou, Odin, come, if thou 
wilt talk the maiden over; all will be disastrous, imless 
we alone are privy to such misdeed." 

99. I returned, thinking to love, at her wise desire. 
I thought I should obtain her whole heart and love. 

100. When next I came the bold warriors were all 
awake, with lights burning, and bearing torches: thus 
was the way to pleasure closed. 

101. But at the approach of mom, when again I 
came, the household all was sleeping; the good damsel's 
dog alone I found tied to the bed 

102. Many a fair maiden, when rightly known, to- 
wards men is fickle: that I experienced, when that dis- 
creet maiden I strove to seduce : contumely of every kind 
that wily girl heaped upon me ; nor of that damsel gained 
I aught. 

^ 103. At home let a man be cheerful, and towards a 
guest liberal ; of wise conduct he should be, of good mem- 
ory and ready speech; if much knowledge he desires, he 
must often talk on good. 

104. Fimbulfambi he is called who little has to say : 
such is the nature of the simple. 

105. The old Jotun I sought; now I am come back: 
little got I there by silence; in many words I spoke to my 
advantage in Suttung's halls. 

106. Gunnlod gave me, on her golden seat, a draught 

>The story of Odin and Billing's daughter Is no longer extant; but 
compare the story of Odin and Rlada In Sazo, p. 126. edit. Muller & Vel- 



of the precious mead; a l)ad recompense I afterwards 
made her, for her whole soul, her fervent love. 

107. Rati's mouth I caused to make a space, and to 
gnaw the rock ; over and under me were the Jotun's 
ways: thus I my head did peril. 

108. Of a well-assumed form T made good use : few 
things fail the wise; for Odhraerir is now come up to 
men's earthly dwellings. 

109. 'Tis to me doubtful that I could have come from 
the Jotun's courts, had not Gunnlod aided me, that good 
damsel, over whom I laid my arm. 

110. On the day following came the Hrim-thursar, 
to learn something of the High One, in the High One's 
hall: after Bolverk they inquired, whether he with the 
gods were come, or Suttung had destroyed him? 

111. Odin, I believe, a ring-oath^ gave. Who in his 
faith will trust? Suttung defrauded, of his drink be- 
reft, 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 
listened to men's words. 

113. Of runes I heard discourse, and of things di- 
vine, nor of graving them were they silent, nor of sage 
counsels, at the High One's hall. In the High One's 
hall. I thus heard say: 

.114. I counsel thee, Loddfafnir, to take advice: thou 
wilt profit if thou takest it. Rise not at night, unless to 
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 Ciospels. a sacred ring being kept In the temple for the 



116. I counsel thee, Loddfafnir, to take advice, thou 
wilt profit if thou takest it. In an enchantress's embrace 
thou mayest not sleep, so that in her arms she clasp thee. 

116. She will be the cause that thou carest not for 
Thing or prince's words ; food thou wilt shun and human 
joys; sorrowful wilt thou go to sleep. 

117. I counsel thee, etc. Another's wife entice thou 
never to secret converse. 

118. I counsel thee, etc. By fell or firth if thou have 
to travel, provide thee well with food. 

119. I counsel thee, etc. A bad man let thou never 
know thy misfortunes; for from a bad man thou never 
wilt obtain a return for thy good will. 

120. I saw mortally wound a man a wicked woman's 
words; a false tongue caused his death, and most un- 

121. I counsel thee, etc. If thou knowest thou hast a 
friend, whom thou well canst trust, go oft to visit him ; 
for with brushwood over-grown, and with high grass, is 
the way that no one treads. 

122. I counsel thee, etc. A good man attract to thee 
in pleasant converse; and salutary speech learn while 
thou livest. 

123. I counsel thee, etc. With thy friend be thou 
never first to quarrel. Care gnaws the heart, if thou to 
no one canst thy whole mind disclose. 

124. I counsel thee, etc. Words thou never shouldst 
exchange with a witless fool ; 

125. For from an ill-conditioned man thou wilt never 
get a return for good; but a good man will bring thee 
favour by his praise. 


126. There is a mingling of aflfection, where one can 
tell another all his mind. Everything is better than 
being with the deceitful. He is not another's friend who 
ever says as he says. 

127. I counsel thee, etc. Even in three words quar- 
rel not with a worse man : often the better yields, when 
the worse strikes. 

128. I counsel thee, etc. Be not a shoemaker, nor a 
shaf tmaker, unless for thyself it be ; for a shoe if ill made, 
or a shaft if crooked, will call down evi! on thee. 

129. I counsel thee, etc., Wherever of injury thou 
knowest, regard that injury as thy own ; and give to thy 
foes no peace. 

130. I counsel thee, etc. Rejoiced at evil be thou 
never ; but let good give thee pleasure. 

131. I counsel thee, etc. In a battle look not up, 
(like swine the sons of men then become) that men may 
not fascinate thee. 

132. If thou wilt induce a 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 ; ac 
drinking be thou most wary, and with another's wife; 
and thirdly, that thieves delude thee not. 

134. With insult or derision treat thou never a guest 
or wayfarer. They often little 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. 



136. At a hoary speaker laugh thou never; often is 
good that which the aged utter, oft from a shriveled hide 
discreet words issue; from those whose skin is pendent 
and decked with scars, and who go tottering among the 

/ 137. I counsel thee, etc. Rail not at a guest, nor 
from thy gate thrust him; treat well the indigent; they 
will speak well of thee. 

138. Strong is the bar that must be raised to admit 
all. Do thou give a penny, or they will call down on 
thee every ill in thy limbs. 

139. I counsel thee, etc. Wherever thou beer drink- 
est, invoke to thee the power of earth ; for earth is good 
against drink, fire for distempers, the oak for constipa- 
tion, a corn-ear for sorcery, a hall for domestic strife. 
In bitter hates invoke the moon; the biter for bite-in- 
juries is good ; but runes against calamity ; fluid let earth 

Odin's Rune-song.* 

140. I know that I hung, on a wind-rocked tree, nine 
whole nights, with a spear wounded, and to Odin oflFered, 
myself to myself; on that tree, of which no one knows 
from what root it springs. 

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

^Ttae first eight strophes of this composition require an explanation 
which I am Incompetent to afford. They haye 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 ylctims offered to that deity were suspended from the trees. 
In 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. 



downward I peered, to runes applied myself, wailing 
learnt them, then fell, down thence. 

142. Potent songs nine from the famed son I learned 
of Bolthorn, Bestla's sire, and a draught obtained of the 
precious mead, drawn from Odhraerir. 

143. Then I began to bear fruit, and to know many 
things, to grow and well thrive : word by word I sought 
out words, fact by fact I sought out facts. 

144. Runes thou wilt find, and explained characters, 
very large characters, very potent characters, which the 
great speaker depicted, and the high powers formed, and 
the powers* prince graved : 

145. Odin among the JEsir, but among the Alfar, 
Dain, and Dvalin for the dwarfs, Asvid for the Jotuns : 
some I myself graved. 

146. Knowest thou how to grave them? knowest 
thou how to expound them ? knowest thou how to depict 
them? knowest thou how to prove them? knowest thou 
how to pray? knowest thou how to offer? knowest thou 
how to send?* knowest thou how to consume? 

147. 'Tis better not. to pray than too much offer; a 
gift ever looks to a return. Tis better not to send than 
too much consume. So Thund graved before the origin 
of men, where he ascended, to whence he afterwards 

148. Those songs I know which the king's wife 
knows not nor son of man. Help the first is called, for 
that will help thee against strifes and cares. 

iProbablj, send them (the runes) forth on their seyeral missions. 



149. For the second I know, what the sons of men 
require, who will as leeches live. * * * * 

150. For the third I know,^ if I have great need to 
restrain my foes, the weapons' edge I deaden: of my 
adversaries nor arms nor wiles harm aught. 

151.. For the fourth I know, if men place bonds on 
my limbs, I so sing that I can walk ; the fetter starts from 
my feet, and the manacle from my hands. 

152. For the fifth I know, if I see a shot from a hos- 
tile hand, a shaft flying amid the host, so swift it cannot 
fly that I cannot arrest it, if only I get sight of it. 

153. For the sixth I know, if one wounds me with a 
green tree's roots;* also if a man declares hatred to me, 
harm shall consume them sooner than me. 

154. For the seventh I know, if a lofty house I see 
blaze o'er its inmates, so furiously it shall not bum that I 
cannot save it. That song I can sing. 

155. For the eighth I know, what to all is useful to 
learn : where hatred grows among the sons of men — ^that 
I can quickly assuage. 

156. For the ninth I know, if I stand in need my 
bark on the water to save, I can the wind on the waves 
allay, and the sea lull. 

157. For the tenth I know, if I see troll-wives sport- 
ing in air, I can so operate that they will forsake their 
own forms, and their own minds. 

158. For the eleventh I know, if I have to lead my 

^The miraculous powers here ascribed by Odin to himself bear, in 
many instances, a remarkable similarity to those attributed to him by 
Snorri. 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 pre- 
vails of the hurtfulnesB of the roots of trees. 



ancient friends to battle, under their shields I sing, and 
with power they go safe to the fight, safe from the fight ; 
safe on every side they go. 

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

160. For the thirteenth I know, if on a young man I 
sprinkle water, he shall not fall, though he into battle 
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, iEsir and Alfar, I 
know the distinctions of all. This few unskilled can do. 

162. For the fifteenth I know what the dwarf Thio- 
dreyrir sang before Delling's doors. Strength he sang 
to the iEsir, and to the Alfar prosperity, wisdom to 

163. 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, Lodd- 
fafnir ! thou wilt long have lacked ; yet it may be good if 
thou understandest them, profitable if thou leamest them. 

165. For the eighteenth I know that which I never 
teach to maid or wife of man, (all is better what one only 
knows. This is the closing of the songs) save her alone 
who clasps me in her arms, or is my sister. 

166. Now are sung the High-one's songs, in the 
High-one's hall, to the scmis of men all-useful, but useless 



to the Jotuns' sons. Hail to him who has sung them! 
Hail to him who knows them! May he profit who has 
learnt them! Hail to those who have listened to them! 


1. Once the celestial gods had been taking fish, and 
were in compotation, ere they the truth discovered.* 
Rods" they shook, and blood inspected, when they foimd 
at CEgir's a lack of kettles. 

2. Sat the rock-dweller glad as a child, much like the 
son of Miskorblindi. In his eyes looked Ygg's son 
steadfastly. "Thou to the iEsir shalt oft a ccMnpotation 

3. Caused trouble to the Jotun th' unwelcome-worded 
As: he forthwith meditated vengeance on the gods. 
Sif's husband he besought a kettle him to bring, "in 
which I beer for all of you may brew.*' 

4. The illustrious gods found that impossible, nor 
could the exalted powers it accomplish, till from true- 
heartedness, Ty to Hlorridi much friendly counsel gave. 

5. "There dwells eastward of Elivagar the all-wise 
Hymir, at heaven's end. My sire, fierce of mood, a ket- 
tle owns, a capacious cauldron, a rast in depth." 


6. "Knowest thou whether we can get the liquor- 

^To wit, that they were ahort of kettles for brewing. That is dlTlnins 




"Yes, friend ! if we stratagem employ." Rapidly they 
drove forward that day fr<Mn Asgard, till to the giant's 
home they came. 

7. Thor stalled his goats, splendid of horn, then 
turned him to the hall that Hymir owned. The son his 
granddam fovmd to him most loathful; heads she had 
nine hundred. 

8. But another came all-golden forth, fair-browed, 
bearing the beer-cup to her son : 

9. "Ye Jotuns' kindred! I will you both, ye daring 
pair, under the kettles place. My husband is oftentimes 
niggard towards guests, to ill-humour prone." 

10. But the monster, the fierce-souled Hymir, late re- 
turned home from the chase. He the hall entered, the 
icebergs resounded, as the churl approached ; the thicket 
on his cheeks was frozen. 

11. "Hail to thee, Hymir! be of good cheer: now thy 
son is come to thy hall, whom we expected from his long 
journey; him accompanies our famed adversary, the 
friend of man, who Veor hight. 

12. See where they sit under the hall's gable, as if to 
shun thee: the pillar stands before themi" In shivers 
flew the pillar at the Jotun's glance; the beam was first 
broken 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 ad- 

14. Augured to him his mind no good, when he saw 



the giantess's sorrow on the floor coming. Then were 
three oxen taken, and the Jotun bade them forthwith be 

15. Each one they made by the head shorter, and to 
the fire afterwards bore them. Sif's consort ate, ere to 
sleep he went, completely, he alone, two of Hymir's 

16. Seemed to the hoary friend of Hrungnir Hlor- 
ridi's refection full well large: "We three to-morrow 
night shall be compelled on what we catch to live." 

17. Veor said he would on the sea row, if the bold 
Jotun him would with baits su|q)ly: "To the herd be- 
take thee, (if thou in thy courage trustest, crusher of the 
rock-dwdlers ! ) for baits to seek. 

18. I expect that thou wilt bait frc»n an ox easily ob- 
tain." The guest in haste to the forest went, where 
stood an all-black ox before him*. 

19. The Thursar's bane wrung from an ox the high 
fastness of his two horns. "To me thy work seems 
worse by far, ruler of keels ! than if thou hadst sat quiet." 

20. The lord of goats the apes' kinsman besought the 
horse of plank farther out to move; but the Jotun de- 
clared his slight desire farther to row. 

21. The mighty Hymir drew, he alone, two whales 
up with his hook; but at the stem abaft Veor cunningly 
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.^ 

iThe great lerpent that encircles the earth. 



23. Drew up boldly the mighty Thor the worm with 
venom glistening, up to the side ; with his hammer struck, 
on his foul head's summit, like a rock towering, the 
wolf's own brother. 

24. The icebergs resounded, the caverns howled, the 
old earth shrank together: at length the fish back into 
ocean sank.^ 

25. 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 ?" 

27. Hlorridi went, grasped the prow, quickly, with 
its hold-water, lifted the water-steed, together with its 
oars and scoop; bore to the dwelling the Jotun 's ocean- 
swine, the curved vessel, through the wooded hills. 

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

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

30. Until the beauteous woman gave important, 
friendly counsel, which she only knew: "Strike at the 
head of Hymir, the Jotun with food oppressed, that is 
harder than any cup." 

31. Rose then on his knee the stem lord of goats, 

^According to the Prose Edda, the giant, overcome with frii^t, took out 
hie knife and seyered Thor'sline. 



dad in all his godlike power. Unhurt remained the old 
man's helm-block, but the round wine-bearer was in shiv- 
ers broken. 

32. "Much good, I know, has departed from me, 
now that my cup I see hurled from my knees." Thus 
the old man spake: "I can never say again, beer thou 
art too hot. 

33. "Now 'tis to be tried if ye can carry the beer- 
vessel out of our dwelling." Ty twice assayed to move 
the vessel, yet at each time stood the kettle fast. 

34. Then Modi's father by the brim grasped it, and 
trod through the dwelling's floor. Sif s consort lifted 
the kettle on his head, while about his heels its rings 

35. They had far journeyed before Odin's son cast 
one look backward: he from the caverns saw, with Hy- 
mir from the east, a troop of many-headed monsters 

36. Prom 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- 

37. Long they had not journeyed when of Hlorridi's 
goats one lay down half-dead before the car. It from 
the pole had sprung across the trace ; but the false Loki 
was of this the cause. 

38. Now ye have heard, — for what fabulist can more 
fully tell — what indemnity he from the giant got: he 
paid for it with his children both.* 

^TbiB strophe belongs apparently to another poem. 



89. 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 CEgir drink at 
every harvest-tide. 



1. Wroth was Vingthor, when he awoke, and his 
hammer missed ; his beard he shook, his forehead struck, 
the son of earth felt all around him ; 

2. And first of all these words he uttered: "Hear 
now, Loki! what I now say, which no one knows any- 
where on earth, nor in heaven above; the As's hammer 
is stolen !" 

3. They went to the fair Freyia's dwelling, and he 
these words first of all said: "Wilt thou me, Freyia, 
thy feather-garment lend, that perchance my hammer I 
may find?" 


4. "That I 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 -^Esir's dwellings, and came within the 
Jotim's land. 

6. On a mound sat Thrym, the Thursar's lord, for 
his greyhounds plaiting gold bands and his horses' manes 



7. "How gnoes It with the -^sir? How goes it with 
the Alf ar ? Why art thou come alone to Jotunheim ?" 


8. "Ill it goes with the ^Esir, 111 it goes with the 
Alfar. Hast thou Hlorridi's hammer hidden?" 


9. "I have Hlorridi's hammer hidden eight rasts be- 
neath the earth; it shall no man get again, unless he 
bring me Freyia to wife." 

10. Flew then Loki — ^the plumage rattled — ^until he 
came beyond the Jotun's dwellings, and came within the 
-<Esir'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 
are the tales defective, and he who lies down utters false- 


12. "I have had labour and success: Thrym has 
thy hammer, the Thursar's lord. It shall no man get 
again, unless he bring him Freyia to wife." 

13. They went the fair Freyia to find; and he those 
words first of all said: "Bind thee, Freyia, in bridal 
raiment, we two must drive to Jotunheim." 

14. Wroth then was Freyia, and with anger chafed, 
all the iEsir's hall beneath her trembled : in shivers flew 
the famed Brisinga necklace. "Know me to be of women 
lewdest, if with thee I drive to Jotunheim." 



15. Straightway went the Msir all to council, and 
the Asyniur all to hold converse; and deliberated the 
mighty gods, how they Hlorridi's hammer might get 

16. Then said Heimdall, of JEsir brightest — he well 
foresaw, like other Vanir — "Let us clothe Thor with 
bridal raiment, let him have the famed Brisinga neck- 

17. "Let by his side keys jingle, and woman's weeds 
fall round his knees, but on his breast place precious 
stones, and a neat coif set on his head." 

18. Then said Thor, the mighty As : "Me the Msir 
will call womanish, if I let myself be clad in bridal rai- 

19. Then spake Loki, Laufey's son: "Do thou, 
Thor ! refrain from suchlike words : forthwith the Jotuns 
will Asgard inhabit, unless thy hammer thou gettest 

20. Then they clad Thor in bridal raiment, and with 
the noble Brisinga necklace, let by his side keys jingle, 
and woman's weeds fall round his knees; and on his 
breast placed precious stones, and a neat coif set on his 

21. Then said Loki, Laufey's son : "I will with thee 
as a servant go: we two will drive to Jotunheim." 

22. Straightway were the goats homeward driven, 
hurried to the traces; they had fast to run. The rocks 
were shivered, the earth was in a blaze; Odin's son drove 
to Jotunheim. 

23. Then said Thrym, the Thursar's lord: "Rise 



up, Jotuns! and the benches deck, now ihey bring nie 
Freyia to wife, Niord's daughter, from Noatun. 

24. "Hither to our court let bring gold-homed cows, 
all-black oxen, for the Jotuns' joy. Treasures I have 
many, necklaces many, Freyia alone seemed to me want- 

25. In the evening they early came, and for the 
Jotuns beer was brought forth. Thor alone an ox de- 
voured, salmons eight, and all the sweetmeats women 
should have. Sif's consort drank three salds of mead. 

26. Then said 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." 

27. Sat the all-crafty serving-maid close by, who 
words fitting found against the Jotun's speech : "Freyia 
has nothing eaten for eight nights, so eager was she for 

28. Under her veil he stooped desirous to salute her, 
but sprang back along the hall. "Why are so piercing 
Freyia's looks ? Methinks that fire bums from her eyes." 

29. Sat the all-crafty serving-maid close by, who 
words fitting found against the Jotun's speech : "Freyia 
for eight nights has not slept, so eager was she for Jotun- 

30. In came the Jotun's luckless sister, for a bride- 
gift she dared to ask: "Give me from thy hands the 
ruddy rings, if thou wouldst gain my love, my love and 
favour all." 

31. Then said Thrym, the Thursar's lord: "Bring 
the hammer in, the bride to consecrate; lay MioUnir on 



the maiden's knee ; unite us each with other by the hand 
of Vor." 

32. Laughed Hlorridi's soul in his breast, when the 
fierce-hearted his hammer recognized. He first slew 
Thrym, the Thursar's lord, and the Jotun's race all 
crushed ; 

33. He slew the Jotun's aged sister, her who a bride- 
gift had demanded ; she a blow got instead of skillings, 
a hammer's stroke for many rings. So got Odin's son 
his hammer back. 



1. The benches they are decking, now shall the bride^ 
with me bend her way home. That beyond my strength 
I have hurried will to every one appear : at home naught 
shall disturb my quiet. 


2. What man is this ? Why about the nose art thou 
so pale? Hast thou last night with corpses lain? To 
me thou seemst to bear resemblance to the Thursar. 
Thou art not bom to carry ofT a bride. 


3. Alvis I am named, beneath the earth I dwell, 
under the rock I own a place. The lord of chariots I am 

^Thrud, Tbor's daughter by hii wife Sll Skdidakap, 



come to visit A promise once confirmed let no one 


4. I will break it ; for o'er the maid I have, as father, 
greatest power. I was from home when the promise 
was given thee. Among the gods I the sole giver am. 


5. What man is this, who lays claim to power over 
that fair, bright maiden? For far-reaching shafts few 
will know thee. Who has decked thee with bracelets ? 


6. Vingthor I am named, wide I have wandered; I 
am Sidgrani's son : with my dissent thou shalt not that 
young maiden have, nor that union obtain. 


7. Thy consent I fain would have, and that union 
obtain. Rather would I possess than be without that 
snow-white maiden. 


8. The maiden's love shall not, wise guest! be unto 
thee denied, if thou of every world canst tell all I desire 
to know. 


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. 

^This appears to allude to a promise made to the dwarf ; but of which 
the story is lost. 




10. Tell me, Alvis! — for all men's concerns I pre- 
sume thee, dwarf, to know — ^how the earth is called, 
which lies before the sons of men, in every world. 


11. Jord among men 'tis called, but with the i^ir 
fold ; the Vanir call it vega, the Jotuns igrcen, the Alfar 
groandi, the powers supreme aur. 


12. Tell roe, Alvis, etc. how the heaven is called, 
which is perceptible in every world. 


13. Himinn 'tis called by men; but hlymir with the 
gods ; vindofni the Vanir call it, uppheimr the Jotuns, the 
Alfar fagraraefr, the dwarfs driupansal. 


14. Tell me, Alvis! etc., how the moon is called, 
which men see in every world. 


15. Mani 'tis called by men, but mylinn with the 
gods, hverfanda hvel in Hel* they call it, skyndi the 
Jotuns, but the dwarfs skin; the Alfar name it artali. 


16. Tell me, Alvis! etc., how the sun is called, which 
men's sons see in every world. 

^Wben tbls composition was written. It appears that Hel was no longer 
regarded as a person, but as a place. 




17. Sol among men 'tis called, but with the gods 
sunna, the dwarfs call it Dvalinn's leika, the Jotuns 
eyglo, the Alfar fagrahvel, the ^Esir's sons alskir. 


18. Tell me, Alvis, etc., how the clouds are called, 
which with showers are mingled in every world. 


19. Sky they are called by men, but skurvan by the 
gods ; the Vanir call them vindflot, the Jotuns urvan, the 
Alfar vedrmegin ; in Hel they are called hialm hulids. 


20. Tell me, Alvis ! etc., how the wind is called, which 
widely passes over every world. 


21. Windr 'tis called by men, but vavudr by the gods, 
the wide-ruling powers call it gneggiud, the Jotuns oepir, 
the Alfar dynfari, in Hel they call it hvidudr. 


22. Tell me, Alvis ! etc., how the calm is called, which 
has to rest in every world. 


23. Logn 'tis called by men, but laegi by the gods, the 
Vanir call it vindslot, the Jotuns ofhly, the Alfar dagsevi, 
the Dwarfs call it dags vera. 




24. Tell me, Alvis ! etc., what the sea is called, which 
men row over in every world. 


25. Saer 'tis called by men, but silaegia with the gods ; 
the vanir call it vagr, the Jotuns alheimr, the Alfar 
lagastafr, the Dwarfs call it diupan mar. 


26. Tell me, Alvis! etc., how the fire is called, which 
bums before men's sons in every world. 


27. Eldr 'tis called by men, but by the JEsir funi; 
the Vanir call it vagr, the Jotuns frekr, but the Dwarfs 
forbrennir; in Hel they call it hrodudr. 


28. Tell me, Alvis! etc., how the forest is called, 
which grows for the sons of men in every world. 


29. Vidr 'tis called by men, but vallarfax by the gods, 
Hel's inmates call it hlidthangr, the Jotuns eldi, the 
Alfar fagrlimi ; the Vanir call it vondr. 


30. Tell me, Alvis ! etc., how the night is called, that 
Norvi's daughter hight, in every world. 


31. Nott it is called by men, but by the gods niol ; the 



wide-ruling powers call it grima, the Jotuns olios, the 
Alfar svef ngaman ; the Dwarfs call it draumniorunn. 


32. Tell me, Alvis ! etc., how the seed is called, which 
the sons of men sow in every world. 


33. Bygg it is called by men, but by the gods barr, 
the Vanir call it vaxtr, the Jotuns aeti, the Alfar lagas- 
taf r ; in Hel 'tis hnipinn called. 


34. Tell me, Alvis! etc., how the beer is called, which 
the sons of men drink in every world. 


35. Ol it is called by men, but by the 2Es\v biorr, the 
Vanir call it veig, hreina logr the Jotuns, but in Hel 'tis 
called miodr : Suttung's sons call it sumbl. 


36. In one breast I have never found more ancient 
lore. By great wiles thou hast, I tell thee, been deluded. 
Thou art above ground, dwarf ! at dawn ; already in the 
hall the sun is shining! 




Thqr journeying from the eastern parts came to a 
strait or sound, on the other side of which was a ferry- 
man with his boat. Thor cried out : — 

1. Who is the knave of knaves, that by the sound 
stands yonder? 


2. Who is the churl of churls, that cries across the 
water ? 


8. Perry me across the sound, to-morrow I'll regale 
thee. I have a basket on my back: there is no better 
food: at my ease I ate, before T quitted home, herrings 
and oats, with which I yet feel sated. 


4. Thou art in haste to praise thy meal : thou surely 
hast no foreknowledge; for sad will be thy home: thy 
mother, I believe, is dead. 


5. Thou say est now what seems to every one most 
unwelccMne to know — ^that my mother is dead. 


6. Thou dost not look like one who owns three coun- 



try dwellings, bare-legged thou standest, and like a beg- 
gar clothed; thou hast not even breeches. 


7. Steer hitherward thy boat ; I will direct thee where 
to land. But who owns this skiff, which by the strand 
thou boldest? 


8. Hildolf he is named who bade me hold it, a man 
in council wise, who dwells in Radso sound. Robbers 
he bade me not to ferry, or horse-stealers, but good men 
only, and those whom I well knew. Tell me then thy 
name, if thou wilt cross the sound. 


9. I my name will tell, (although I am an outlaw) 
and all my kin: I am 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. 


10. I am Harbard called ; seldom I my name conceal. 


11. Why shouldst thou thy name conceal, unless thou 
crime hast perpetrated? 


12. Yet, though I may crime have perpetrated, I will 
nathless guard my life against such as thou art ; unless I 
death-doomed am. 




13. It seems to me a foul annoyance to wade across 
the strait to thee, and wet my garments : but I will pay 
thee, mannikin ! for thy sharp speeches, if o'er the sound 
I come. 


14. Here will I stand, and here await thee. Thou 
wilt have found no stouter one since Hrungnir's death. 


16. Thou now remindest me how I with Hrungnir 
fought, that stout-hearted Jotun, whose head was all of 
stone; yet I made him fall, r.nd sink before me. What 
meanwhile didst thou, Harbard? 


16. I was with Fiolvari five winters through, in the 
isle which Algron hight. There we could fight, and 
slaughter make, many perils prove, indulge in love. 


17. How did your women prove towards you? 


18. Sprightly women we had, had they but been 
meek ; shrewd ones we had, had they but 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. I 
rested with the sisters seven, and their love and pleasures 
shared. What meanwhile didst thou, Thor? 




19. I slew Thiassiy that stout-hearted Jotun : up I cast 
the eyes of Allvaldi's son into the heaven serene : they are 
signs the greatest of my deeds. What meanwhile didst 
thou, Harbard? 


20. Great seductive arts I used against the riders of 
the night,* when from their husbands I enticed.them. A 
mighty Jotun I believed Hlebard to be : a magic wand he 
gave me, but from his wits I charmed him. 


21. With evil mind then thou didst good gifts re- 


22. One tree gets that which is f rcmi another scraped : 
each one in such case is for self. What meanwhile didst 
thou, Thor? 


23. In the east I was, and slew the Jotun brides, 
crafty in evil, as they to the mountain went. Great 
would have been the Jotun race, had they all lived ; and 
not a man left in Midgard. What meanwhile didst thou, 


24. I was in Valland, and followed warfare; princes 
I excited, but never reconciled. Odin has all the jarls 
that in conflict fall; but Thor the race of thralls. 

^OianteMes, wltchefl, etc 




25. Unequally thou wouldst divide the folk among 
the iEsir, if thou but hadst the power. 


26. Thor has strength overmuch, but courage none; 
from cowardice and fear, thou wast crammed into a 
glove, and hardly thoughtest thou wast Thor. Thou 
durst not then, through thy terror, either sneeze or cough, 
lest Fialar it might hear. 


27. Harbard, thou wretch ! I would strike thee dead, 
could I but stretch my arm across the sound. 


28. Why wouldst thou stretch thy arm across the 
sound, when there is altogether no offence? But what 
didst thou, Thor? 


29. In the east I was, and a river I defended, when 
the sons of Svarang me assailed, and with stones pelted 
me, though in their success they little joyed: they were 
the first to sue for peace. What meanwhile didst thou, 
Harbard ? 


80. I was in the east, 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. 


81. Then you had kind damsels there? 

6 ^7 


32. Of thy aid I had need, Thor! in retaining that 
maiden lily-fair. 

83. I would have given it thee, if I had had the op- 


34. I would have trusted thee, my confidence if thou 
hadst not betrayed it. 


35. I am not such a heel-chafer as an old leather shoe 
in spring. 


36. What meanwhile didst thou, Thor? 


37. The Berserkers' brides I on Laesso cudgeled; 
they the worst had perpetrated, the whole people had 


38. Dastardly didst thou act, Thor I when thou didst 
cudgel women. 

89. She-wolves they were, and scarcely women. 
They crushed my ship, which with props I had secured, 
with iron clubs threatened me, and drove away Thialfi. 
What meanwhile didst thou, Harbard ? 

40. I in the army was, which was hither sent, war- 
banners to raise, lances to redden. 




41. Of that thou now wilt speak, as thou wentest 
forth us hard terms to offer. 


42. That shall be indemnified by a hand-ring, such 
as arbitrators give, who wish to reconcile us. 


43. Where didst thou learn words than which I never 
heard more irritating ? 


44. From men I learned them, from ancient men, 
whose home is in the woods. 


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


46. So speak I of such a subject. 


47. Thy shrewd words will bring thee evil, if I re- 
solve the sound to ford. Louder than a wolf thou wilt 

> howl, I trow, if of my hammer thou gettest a touch. 


48. Sif has a gallant at home; thou wilt anxious be 
to find him : thou shalt that arduous work perform ; it will 
beseem thee better. 




49. Thou utterest what ccmies upmost, so that to me 
it be most anno)ring, thou dastardly varlet! I believe 
thou art lying. 


50. I believe I am telling truth. Thou art travelling 
slowly ; thou wouldst have long since arrived, hadst thou 
assumed another form. 


61. HarbardI thou wretch! rather is it thou who hast 
detained me. 


62. I never thought that a ferryman could the course 
of Asa-Thor retard. 


53. One advice I now will give thee : row hither with 
thy boat; let us cease from threats; approach the sire of 


54. Go farther from the sound, the passage is refused 


55. Show me then the way, if thou wilt not ferry me 
across the water. 


56. That's too little to refuse. 'Tis far to go; 'tis 
to the stock an hour, and to the stone another ; then keep 
the left hand way, until thou reachest Verland ; there will 



Fiorgyn find her son Thor, and point out to him his kins- 
men's ways to Odin's land. 


67. Can I get there to-day? 


68. With pain and toil thou mayest get there, while 
the sun is up, which, I believe, is now nigh. 


59. Our talk shall now be short, as thou answerest 
with scoflSng only. For refusing to ferry me I will re- 
ward thee, if another time we meet 


60. Just go to where all the powers of evil may have 


Fr^y, son of Niord, had one day seated himself in 
Hlidskialf, and was looking over all regions, when turn- 
ing his eyes to Jotunheim, he there saw a beautiful girl, 
as she was passing from her father's dwelling to her 
bower. Thereupon he became greatly troubled in mind. 
Frey's attendant was named Skimir; him Niord desired 
to speak with Frey ; when Skadi said : — 

1. Rise up now, Skimir! go and request our son to 
speak; and inquire with whom he so sage may be of- 




2. Harsh words I have from your son to fear, if I go 
to speak with him, and to inquire with whom he so sage 
may be offended. 


8. Tell me now, Frey, prince of gods ! for I desire to 
know, why alone thou sittest in the spacious hall the live- 
long day ? 


4. Why shall I tell thee, thou young man, my mind's 
great trouble? for the Alfs' illuminator shines every day, 
yet not for my pleasure. 


6. Thy care cannot, I think, be so great, that to me 
thou canst not tell it; for in early days we were young 
together : well might we trust each other. 


6. In Gymir's courts I saw walking a maid for whom 
I long. Her arms gave forth light wherewith shone all 
air and water. 

7. Is more desirable to me that maid than to any 
youth in early days ; yet will no one, iEsir or Alfar, that 
we together live. 


8. Give me but thy steed, which can bear me through 
the dusk, flickering flame, and that sword, which bran- 
dishes itself against the Jotuns' race. 




9. I will give thee my steed, which can bear thee 
through the dusk, flickering flame, and that sword, which 
will itself brandish, if he is bold who raises it. 

Skimir Speaks to the Horse. 

10. Dark it is without, 'tis time, I say, for us to go 
across the misty fells, over the Thursar's land : we 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 at the gate of the enclosure that 
was round Gymir's hall. He rides on to where a cow- 
herd was sitting on a mound, and says to him : 

11. Tell me, cowherd! as on the mound thou sittest, 
and watchest all the ways, how I to the speech may come, 
of the young maiden, for Gymir's dogs? 


12. Either thou art death-doomed, or thou art a de- 
parted one. Speech wilt thou ever lack with the good 
maid of Gymir. 


13. Better choices than to whine there are for him 
who is prepared to die : for one day was my age decreed, 
and my whole life determined. 


14. What is that sound of sounds, which I now 
sounding hear within our dwelling? The earth is 
shaken, and with it all the house of Gymir trembles. 



^A serving-maid. 

15. A man is here without, dismounted from his 
horse's back : he lets his steed browse on the grass. 


16. Bid him enter into our hall, and drink of the 
bright mead; although I fear it is my brother's slayer 
who waits without. 

17. Who is this of the Alfar's, or of the iEsir's sons, 
or of the wise Vanir's? Why art thou come alone, 
through the hostile fire, our halls to visit ? 


18. I am not of the Alfar's, nor of the iEsir's sons, 
nor of the wise Vanir's; yet I am come alone, through 
the hostile fire, your halls to visit. 

19. Apples all-golden I have here eleven : these I will 
give thee, Gerd, thy love to gain, that thou mayest say 
that Frev to thee lives dearest. 


20. The apples eleven I never will accept for any 
mortal's pleasure; nor will I and Frey, while our lives 
last, live both together. 


21. The ring too I will give thee, which was burnt 
with the young son of Odin. Eight of equal weight will 
from it drop, every ninth night. 

92. The ring I will not accept, burnt though it may 



have been with the young son of Odin. I have no lack 
of gold in Gymir's courts ; for my father's wealth I share. 


23. Secst thou this sword, young maiden ! thin, glit- 
tering-bright, which I have here in hand? I thy head 
will sever from thy neck, if thou speakst not favourably 
to me. 


24. Suffer compulsion will I never, to please any 
man ; yet this I foresee, if thou and Gymir meet, ye will 
eagerly engage in fight. 


25. Seest thou this sword, young maiden! thin, glit- 
tering-bright, which I have here in hand? Beneath its 
edge shall the old Jotun fall : thy sire is death-bloomed. 

26. With a taming-wand I smite thee, and I 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 motmt thou shalt early sit, looking 
and turned towards Hel. Pood shall to thee more loath- 
some be than is to any one the glistening serpent among 

28. As a prodigy thou shalt be, when thou goest 
forth ; Hrimnir shall at thee gaze, all beings at thee stare ; 
more wide-known thou shalt become than the watch 
among the gods,^ if thou from thy gratings gape. 

29. Solitude and disgust, bonds and impatience, shall 
thy tears with grief augment. Set thee down, and I will 
tell thee of a whelming flood of care, and a double grief. 





30. Terrors shall bow thee down the livelong day, in 
the Jotuns' courts. To the Hrimthursar's halls, thou 
shalt each day crawl exhausted, joyless crawl; wail for 
pastime shalt thou have, and tears and misery. 

31. With a three^headed Thurs thou shalt be ever 
bound, or be without a mate. Thy mind shall tear thee 
from mom to mom : as the thistle thou shalt be which 
has thrust itself on the house-top. 

32. To the wold I have been, and to the humid grove, 
a magic wand to get. A magic wand I got. 

33. Wroth with thee is Odin, wroth with thee is the 
JEsir's prince; Frey shall loathe thee, even ere thou, 
wicked maid ! shalt have felt the gods' dire vengeance. 

34. Hear ye, Jotuns! hear ye, Hrimthursarl sons of 
Suttung! also ye, -^sir's friends! how I forbid, how I 
prohibit man's joy unto the damsel, man's converse to 
the damsel. 

35. Hrimgrimnir the Thurs is named, that shall pos- 
sess thee, in the grating of the dead beneath ; there shall 
wretched thralls, from the tree's roots, goats' water give 
thee. Other drink shalt thou, maiden ! never get, either 
for thy pleasure, or for my pleasure. 

36. Thurs* I cut for thee, and three letters mere: 
ergi,'and cedi, and otHola. So will I cut them- out, as I 
have cut them in, if there need shall be. 


87. Hail rather to thee, youth ! and accept an icy cup, 
filled with old mead ; although I thought not that I ever 
should love one of Vanir race. 


^Thura, etc., the nftines of mftglcal nines. 




38. All my errand will I know, ere I hence ride home. 
When wilt thou converse hold with the powerful son of 


39. Barri the grove is named, which we both know, 
the grove of tranquil paths. Nine nights hence, there to 
Niord's son Gerd will grant delight. 

Skimir then rode home. Frey was standing without, 
and spoke to him, asking tidings : 

40. Tell me, Skimir! ere thou thy steed unsaddlest, 
and a foot hence thou goest, what thou hast accomplished 
in Jotunheim, for my pleasure or thine? 


41. Barri the grove is named, which we both know, 
the grove of tranquil paths. Nine nights hence, there to 
Niord's son Gerd will grant delight. 


42. Long is one night, yet longer two will be; how 
shall I three endure. Often a month to me less has 
seemed than half a night of longing. 




In ancient Sagas it is rdated that one of the 2£jAt 
named Heimdall, being on a journey to a certain sea- 
shore, 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 dwell- 
ing 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 Bdda, in old guise clad. 

3. Rig would counsel give to them both, and himself 
seated in the middle seat, having on either side the do- 
mestic pair. 

4. Then Edda from the ashes took a loaf, heavy and 
thick, 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. 

5. Then rose he up, prepared to sleep: Rig would 
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 de- 
parted on the mid-way. Nine months then passed way. 

7. Edda a child brought forth: they with water 
sprinkled it§ swarthy skin, and named it Thrjel 



8. It grew up, and well it throve; of its hands the 
skin was shriveled, the knuckles knotty, ♦ * * and 
the fingers thick ; a hideous countenance it had, a curved 
back, and protruding heels. 

9. He then began his strength to prove, bast to bind, 
make of it loads ; then faggots carried home, the livelong 

10. Then to the dwelling came a woman walking, 
scarred were her foot-soles, her arms sunburnt, her nose 
compressed, her name was Thy. 

11. In the middle seat herself she placed ; by her sat 
the house's son. They spoke and whispered, prepared a 
bed, Thrael and Thy, and days of care. 

12. Children they begat, and lived content: Their 
names, I think, were Hreimr and Fiosnir, Klur and 
Kleggi, Kefsir, Fulnir, Drumb, Digraldi, Drott and Hos- 
vir, Lut and Leggialdi. Fences they erected, fields ma- 
nured, tended swine, kept goats, dug turf. 

13. 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 on, in a direct course, and came to 
a house; the door stood ajar : he went in ; fire was on the 
floor, man and wife sat there engaged at work. 

15. The man was planing wood for a weaver's beam ; 
his beard was trimmed, a lock was on his forehead, his 
shirt close; his chest stood on the floor. 

16. His wife sat by, plied her rock, with outstretched 
arms, prepared for clothing. A hood was on her head, 



a loose sark over her breast, a kerchief round her neck, 
studs on her shoulders. Afi and Amma owned the house. 

17. 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. 

18. There he continued three nights together. Nine 
months then passed away. Amma a child brought forth, 
they with water sprinkled it, and called it Karl. The 
mother in linen swathed the ruddy redhead: its eyes 

19. It grew up, and well throve; learned to tame 
oxen, make a plough, houses build, and bams construct, 
make carts, and the plough drive. 

20. Then they home conveyed a lass with pendent 
keys, and goatskin kirtle; married her to Karl. Snor 
was her name, under a veil she sat. The couple dwelt 
together, rings exchanged, spread couches, and a house- 
hold formed. 

21. Children they begat, and lived content. Hal and 
Dreng, these were named, Held, Thegn, Smith, Breidr- 
bondi, Bundinskegg, Bui and Boddi, Brattsk^g and 

22. But [the daughters] were thus called, by other 
names: Snot, Brud, Svanni, Svarri, Sprakki, Fliod, 
Sprund, and Vif, Feima, Ristil; whence are sprung the 
races of churls. 

23. Rig then went thence, in a direct course, and 
came to a hall : the entrance looked southward, the door 
was half closed, a ring was on the door-post. 



24. He went in ; the floor was strewed, a couple sat 
facing each other, Fadir and Modir, with fingers playing. 

25. The husband sat, and twisted string, bent his 
bow, and arrow-shafts prepared; but the housewife 
looked on her arms, smoothed her veil, and her sleeves 
fastened ; 

26. Her head-gear adjusted. A clasp was on her 
breast ; ample her robe, her sark was blue ; brighter was 
her brow, her breast fairer, her neck whiter than driven 

27. Rig would counsel give to them both, and him- 
self seated on the middle seat, having cm 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 snow- 
white wheat, and on the table laid. 

29. She set forth salvers full, adorned with silver, on 
the table game and pork, and roasted birds. In a can 
was wine; the cups were ornamented. They drank and 
talked; the day was fast departing. Rig would counsel 
give to them both. 

30. Rig then rose, the bed prepared; there he then 
remained three nights together, then departed on the mid- 
way. Nine months after that passed away. 

31. Modir then brought forth a boy: in silk they 
wrapped him, with water sprinkled him, and named him 
Jarl. Light was his hair, bright his cheeks, his eyes 
piercing as a young serpent's. 

32. There at home Jarl grew up, learned the shield 
to shake, to fix the string, the bow to bend, arrows to 



shaft, javdins to hurl, spears to brandish, horses to ride, 
dogs to let slip, swords to draw, swimming to practise. 

33. Thither from the forest came Rig walking. Rig 
walking: runes he taught him, his own name gave him, 
and his own son declared him, whom he bade possess his 
alodial fields, his alodial fields, his ancient dwellings. 

34. Jarl then rode thence, through a murky way, 
over humid fells, till to a hall he came. His spear he 
brandished, his shield he shodc, made his horse curvet, 
and his falchion drew, strife b^;an to raise, the field to 
redden, carnage to make ; and conquer lands. 

35. Then he ruled alone over eight vills, riches dis- 
tributed, gave to all treasures and precious things; lank- 
sided horses, rings he dispersed, and collars cut in 

36. The nobles drove through humid wzjs, came to a 
hall, where Hersir dwelt; there they found a slender 
maiden, fair and elegant, Ema her name. 

37. They demanded her, and conveyed her home, to 
Jarl espoused her; she under the linen* went. They to- 
gether lived, and well throve, had offspring, and old age 

38. Bur was their eldest. Bam 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 brrfce, 
curved shields, cut arrows, brandished spears. 

40. But the young Kon understood rune% aefin-runes. 

>A eooiiMii »tmeUM: Ow ptoeet mrtd tm moacj. TIm nnpUal T»iL 



and aldr-runes ; he moreover knew men to preserve, edges 
to deaden, the sea to calm. 

41. He knew the voice of birds, how fires to mitigate, 
assuage and quench ; sorrows to allay. He 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. The young Kon rode through swamps and for- 
ests, hurled forth darts, and tamed birds. 

44. Then sang the crow, sitting lonely on a bough! 
"Why wilt thou, young Kon: tame the birds? rather 
shouldst thou, young Kon! on horses ride * * >* 
and armies overcome. 

45. Nor Dan nor Danp halls more costly had, nobler 
paternal seats, than ye had. They well knew how the 
keel to ride, the edge to prove, wounds to inflict. 

The rest is wanting. 


The elder edda of saemund 



CEgir, who is also named Gymir, had brewed beer for 
the iEsir, after he had got the great kettle, as has been 
already related. To the entertainment came Odin and 
his wife Frigg. 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 
Niord and his wife Skadi, Frey and Freyia, and Odin's 
son Vidar. Loki too was there, and Frey's attendants, 
Byggvir and Beyla. Many other iEsir and Alfar were 
also present. 

CEgir had two servants, Fimafeng and Eldir. Bright 
gold was there used instead of fire-light. The beer 
served itself to the guests. The place was a great sanc- 
tuary. The guests greatly praised the excellence of 
OEgir's servants. This Loki could not hear with pa- 
tience, and so slew Fimafeng; whereupon the ^sir shook 
their shields, exclaimed against Loki, chased him into the 
forest, and then returned to drink. Loki came again, 
and found Eldir standing without, whom he thus ad- 
dressed : 

1. Tell me, Eldir! ere thou thy foot settest one step 
forward, on what converse the sons of the triumphant 
gods at their potation ? 




2. Of their arms converse, and of their martial fame, 
the sons of the triumphant gods. Of the TEsiv and the 
AJfar that are here within not one has a friendly word 
for thee. 


3. I will go into (Egir's halls, to see the compotation. 
Strife and hate to the iEsir's sons I bear, and will mix 
their mead with bale. 


4. Knowest thou not that if thou goest into CEgir's 
halls to see the compotation, but contumely and clamour 
pourest forth on the kindly powers, they will wipe it all 
off on thee? 

6. Knowest thou not, Eldir, that if we two with bit* 
ter words contend, I shall be rich in answers, if thou 
sayest too much? 

Loki then went into the hall, but when those present 
saw who was come in, they all sat silent. 


6. I Lopt am come thirsty into this hall, from a long 
journey, to beseech the iEsir one draught to give me of 
the bright mead. 

7. Why gods! are ye so silent, so reserved, that ye 
cannot speak? A seat and place choose for me at your 
board, or bid me hie me hence. 


8. A seat and place will the iEsir never choose for 



thee at their board ; for well the iEsir know for whom 
they ought to hold a joyous compotation. 


9. Odin ! dost thou remember when we in early days 
blended our blood together? When to taste beer thou 
didst constantly refuse, unless to both 'twas offered ? 


10. Rise up, Vidar ! and let the wolfs sire sit at our 
coaptation; that Loki may not utter words of con- 
tumely in (Egir's hall. 

Vidar then rising, presented Loki with drink, who be- 
fore drinking thus addressed the -^sir : 

11. Hail, 7Es\v\ Hail, Asyniur! And ye, all-holy 
gods ! all, save that one As, who sits within there, Bragi, 
on yonder bench. 


12. A horse and falchion I from my stores will give 
thee, and also with a ring reward thee, if thou the 7Es\r 
wilt not requite with malice. Provoke not the gods 
against thee. 


13. Of horse and rings wilt thou ever, Bragi ! be in 
want. Of the yEsir and the Alfar, that are here present, 
in conflict thou art the most backward, and in the play 
of darts most timid. 


14. I know that were I without, as I am now within, 
the hall of CEgir, I thy head would bear in my hand, and 
so for lying punish thee. 




15. Valiant on thy seat art thou, Bragi ! but so thou 
shouldst not be, Bragi, the bench's pride ! Go and fight, 
if thou art angry ; a brave man sits not considering. 


16. I pray thee, Bragi ! let avail the bond of children, 
and of all adopted sons, and to Loki speak not in re- 
proachful words, in (Egir's hall. 


17. Be silent, Idun ! of all women I declare thee most 
fond of men, since thou thy arms, carefully washed, didst 
twine round thy brother's murderer. 


18. Loki I address not with opprobrious words, in 
(Egir's hall. Bragi I soothe, by beer excited. I desire 
not that angry ye fight. 


19. Why will ye, ^sir twain, here within, strive 
with reproachful words? Lopt perceives not that he is 
deluded, and is urged on by fate. 


20. Be silent, Gefion ! I will now just mention, how 
that fair youth thy mind corrupted, who thee a necklace 
gave, and around whom thou thy limbs didst twine? 


21. Thou art raving, Loki! and hast lost thy wits, 
in calling Gefion's anger on thee; for all men's destinies, 
I ween, she knows as thoroughly as I do. 




22l Be silent, Odin! Thou never couldst allot con- 
flicts between men : oft hast thou given to those to whom 
thou oughtest not — ^victory to cowards. 


23. Knowest thou that I 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 
bear children. Now that, methinks, betokens a base 


24. But, it is said, thou wentest with tottering steps 
in Samso, and knocked at houses as a Vala. In likeness 
of a fortune teller, thou wentest among people. Now 
that, methinks, betokens a base nature. 


25. Your doings ye should never publish among men, 
what ye, -^ir twain, did in days of yore. Ever forgot- 
ten be men's former deeds ! 


26. Be thou silent, Frigg! Thou art Fiorgyn's 
daughter, and ever hast been fond of men, since Vc and 
Vili, it is said, thou, Vidrir's wife, didst both to thy 
bosom take. 


27. Know thou that if I had, in CEgir's halls, a son 
like Baldr, out thou shouldst not go from the JEsir's 
sons: thou should'st have heen fiercely assailed. 




28. But wilt thou, Frigg! that of my wickedness I 
more recount ? I am the cause that thou seest not Baldr 
riding to the halls. 


29. Mad art thou, Loki ! in recounting thy foul mis- 
deeds. Prigg, I believe, knows all that happens, although 
she says it not. 


30. Be thou silent, Freyia! I know thee full well; 
thou art not free from vices : of the i^ir and the Alfar, 
that are herein, each has been thy paramour. 


31. False is thy tongue. Henceforth it will, I think, 
prate no good to thee. Wroth with thee are the -^ir, 
and the Asyniur. Sad shalt thou home depart. 


32. Be silent, Freyia! Thou art a sorceress, and 
with much evil blended; since against thy brother thou 
the gentle powers excited. And then, Freyia ! what didst 
thou do? 


33. It is no great wonder, if silk-clad dames get 
themselves husbands, lovers; but 'tis a wonder that a 
wretched As, that has borne children, should herein enter. 


34. Be silent, Niord! Thou wast sent eastward 



hence, a hostage from the gods. H)rmir's daughters had 
thee for an utensil, and flowed into thy mouth.* 


35. *Tis to me a solace, as I a long way hence was 
sent, a hostage from the gods, that I had a son, whom 
no one hates, and accounted is a chief among the JEjsHr. 


86. Cease now, Niord! in bounds contain thyself; I 
will no longer keep it secret : it was with thy sister thou 
hadst such a son ; hardly worse than thyself. 


87. Prey is best of all the exalted gods in the -ffisir's 
courts : no maid he makes to weep, no wife of man, and 
from bonds looses all. 


38. Be silent, Ty ! Thou couldst never settle a strife 
*twixt two ; of thy right hand also I must mention make, 
which Penrir from thee tore. 


39. I of a hand am wanting, but thou of honest fame ; 
sad is the lack of either. Nor is the wolf at ease : he in 
bonds must bide, until the gods' destruction. 


40. Be silent, Ty ; to thy wife it happened to have a 
son by me. Nor rag nor penny ever hadst thou, poor 
wretch ! for this injury. 

^The eventfl related In this strophe are probably a mere perversion, by 
the poet, of what we know of NIord's history. 




41. I the wolf see lying at the river's mouth, until 
the powers are swept away. So shalt thou be bound, if 
thou art not silent, thou framer of evil. 


42. With gold thou boughtest Gymir's daughter, and 
so gavest away thy sword: but when Muspell's sons 
through the dark forest ride, thou, unhappy, wilt not 
have wherewith to fight. 


43. Know that were I of noble race, like Ingun's 
Frey, and had so fair a dwelling, than marrow softer I 
would bray that ill-boding crow, and crush him limb by 


44. What little thing is that I see wagging its tail, 
and snapping eagerly ? At the ears of Frey thou shouldst 
ever be, and clatter under mills. 


45. Byggvir I am named, and am thought alert, by 
all gods and men ; therefore am I joyful here, that all the 
sons of Hropt drink beer together. 


46. Be silent, Byggvir! Thou couldst never dole 
out food to men, when, lying in thy truckle bed, thou 
wast not to be found, while men were fighting. 


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



Why dost thou not leave off, Ldd? But drunkenness 
so rules every man, that he knows not of his garrulity. 


48. Be silent, Heimdall ! For thee in early days was 
that hateful life decreed : with a wet back thou must ever 
be, and keep watch as guardian of the gods. 


49. Thou art merry, Loki ! Not long wilt thou frisk 
with an unbound tail; for thee, on a rock's point, with 
the entrails of thy ice-cold son, the gods will bind. 


60. Know, if on a rock's point, with the entrails of 
my ice-cold son, the gods will bind me, that first and fore- 
most I was at the slaying, when we assailed Thiassi. 


61. Know, if first and foremost thou wast at the 
slaying, when ye assailed Thiassi, that from my dwell- 
ings and fields shall to thee ever cold counsels come. 


52. Milder wast thou of speech to Laufey's son, when 
to thy bed thou didst invite me. Such matters must be 
mentioned, if we accurately must recount our vices. 

Then came Sif forth, and poured out mead for Loki 
in an icy cup, saying: 

53, Hail to thee, Loki ! and this cool cup receive, full 
of old mead : at least me alone, among the blameless iEsir 
race, leave stainless. 

He took the horn, drank, and said : 



54. So alcxie shouldst thou be, hadst thou strict and 
prudent been towards thy mate; but (Mie I know, and, I 
think, know him well, a favoured rival of Hlorridi, and 
that is the wily Loki. 


65. The fells all tremble: I think Hlorridi is from 
home journeying. He will bid be quiet him who here 
insults all gods and men. 


56. Be silent, Bqrla! Thou art Byggvir's wife, and 
with much evil mingled: never came a greater monster 
among the JEsir*s sons. Thou art a dirty strumpet. 

Thor then came in and said : 

57. Silence, thou impure being! My mighty han>- 
mer, Miollnir, shall stop thy prating. I will thy head 
from thy neck strike ; then will thy life be ended. 


58. Now the son of earth is hither come. Why dost 
thou chafe so, Thor? Thou wilt not dare do so, when 
with the wolf thou hast to fight, and he the all-powerful 
father swallows whole. 


59. Silence, thou impure being! My mighty ham- 
mer, Miollnir, shall stop thy prating. Up I will hurl 
thee to the east region, and none shall see thee after. 


60. Of thy eastern travels thou shouldest never to 
people speak, since in a glove-thumb thou, Einheri ! wast 
doubled up, and hardly thoughtest thou wast Thor. 




61. Silence, thou impure being! My mighty ham^ 
mer, Miollnir, shall stop thy prating: with this right 
hand I, Hrungnir's bane, will smite thee, so that thy 
every bone be broken. 


62. 'Tis my intention a long life to live, though with 
thy hammer thou dost threaten me. Skrymir's thongfs 
seemed to thee hard, when at the food thou couldst not 
get, when, in full health, of hunger dying. 


63. Silence, thou impure being I My mighty ham- 
mer, Miollnir, shall stop thy prating. Hrungnir's bane 
shall cast thee down to Hel, beneath the gratings of the 


64. I have said before the iEsir, I have said before 
the iEsir's sons, that which my mind suggested : but for 
thee alone will I go out ; because I know that thou wilt 

65. (Egir! thou hast brewed beer; but thou never 
shalt henceforth a compotation hold. All thy posses- 
sions, which are herein, flame shall play over, and on thy 
back shall bum thee. 

After this Loki, in the likeness of a salmon, cast him- 
self into the waterfall of Franangr, where the iEsir 
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 it up over 



Loki*s face. The venom trickled down from it. Sigyn, 
Loki's wife, sat by, and held a basin under the venom; 
and when the basin was full, carried the venom out. 
Meanwhile the venom dropped on Loki, who shrank from 
it so violently that the whole earth trembled. This 
causes what are now called earthquakes. 


1. From the outward wall he saw one ascending to 
the seat of the giant race. 


Along the humid ways haste thee back hence, here, 
wretch ! is no place for thee. 

2. What monster is it before the fore-court standing, 
and hovering round the perilous flame? Whom dost 
thou sedc? Of what art thou in quest? Or what, 
friendless being! desirest thou to know? 


3. What monster is that, before the fore-court stand- 
ing, who to the wayfarer offers not hospitality? Void 
of honest fame, prattler ! hast thou lived : but hence hie 
thee home. 


4. Fiolsvith is my name; wise I am of mind, though 
of food not prodigal. Within these courts thou shalt 
never come: so now, wretch! take thyself off. 




5. From the eye's delight few are disposed to hurry, 
where there is something pleasant to be seen. These 
wajls, methinkSy shine around golden halls. Here I 
could live contented with my lot. 


6. Tell me, youth ; of whom thou art born, or of what 
race hast sprung. 


7. Vindkald I am called, Varkald was my father 
named, his sire was Fiolkald. 

8. Tell me, Fiolsvith ! that which I will ask thee, and 
I desire to know : who here holds sway, and has power 
over these lands and costly halls ? 


9. Menglod is her name, her mother her begat with 
Svaf, Thorin's son. She here holds sway, and has 
power over these lands and costly halls. 


10. Tell me, Fiolsvith ! etc., what the grate is called, 
than which among the gods mortals never saw a greater 


11. Thrymgioll it is called, and Solblindi's three sons 
constructed it : a fetter fastens every wayfarer, who lifts 
it from its opening. 


12. Tell me, Fiolsvith! etc., what that structure is 



called, than which among the gods mortals never saw a 
greater artifice ? 


13. Gastropnir it is called, and I ccmstructed it of 
Leirbrimir's limbs. I have so supported it, that it will 
ever stand while the world lasts. 


14. Tell me, Fiolsvith! etc, what those dogs are 
called, that chase away the giantesses, and safety to the 
fields restore? 


15. Gifr the one is called, the other Geri, if thou that 
wouldst know. Eleven watches they will keep, until the 
powers perish. 


16. Tell me, Fiolsvith! etc., whether any man can 
enter while those fierce assailants sleep? 


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


18. Tell me, Fiolsvith! etc., whether there is any food 
that men can get, such that they can run in while they 


19. Two repasts lie in Vidofnir's wings, if thou that 



wouldst know: that is alone such food as men can give 
them, and run in while they eat. 


20. Tell me, FiolsvithI etc., what that tree is called 
that with its branches spreads itself over every land ? 


21. Mimameidir it is called ; but few men know from 
what roots it springs: it by that will fall which fewest 
know. Nor fire nor ircm will harm it. 


22. Tell me, Fiolsvith ! etc, to what the virtue is of 
that famed tree applied, which nor fire nor iron will 


23. Its fruit shall on the fire be laid, for labouring 
women ; out then will pass what would in remain : so is 
it a creator of mankind. 


24. Tell me, Fioisvith ! etc., what the cock is called 
that sits in that lofty tree, and all-glittering is with gold ? 


26. Vidofnir he is called; in the clear air he stands, 
in the boughs of Mima's tree: afflictions only brings, to- 
gether indissoluble, the swart bird at his lonely meal. 

26. Tell me, Fiolsvith! etc., whether there be any 
weapon, before which Vidofnir may fall to Hel's abode? 




27. Haevatein the twig is named, and Lopt plucked 
it, down by the gate of Death. In an iron chest it lies 
with Sinmoera, and is with nine strong locks secured. 


28. Tell me, Fiolsvith! etc, whether he will alive 
return, who seeks after, and will take, that rod ? 


29. He will return who seeks after, and will take, the 
rod, if he bears that which few possess to the dame of the 
glassy clay. 


30. Tell me, Fiolsvith! etc., whether there is any 
treasure, that mortals can obtain, at which the pale giant- 
ess will rejoice? 


31. The bright sickle that lies in Vidofnir's wings, 
thou in a bag shalt bear, and to Sinmoera give, before she 
will think fit to lend an arm for conflict. 


32. Tell me, Fiolsvith ! etc., what this hall is called, 
which is girt round with a curious flickering flame? 


33. Hyr it is called, and it will long tremble as on a 
lance's point. This sumptuous house shall, for ages 
hence, be but from hearsay known. 

8 99 


ZL Te3 mc, Fi olsvith ! etc, which of ibc jEar's sons 
that coGStracted, which widiin the coart I saw? 

35. Um and Iri, Ban and Ori, Var and Vegdrasil, 
Eterri 2nd Uri, Delling and AtvarA Lidskialf« Loki. 

36. Tdl mc. Fiolsvilh! etc, what that mount is 
called, on which I see a splendid maiden stand? 


37. Hyfiaberg 'tis called, and long has it a sc4ace been 
to the bowed-down and sorrowful : each woman becomes 
healthy, although a year's disease she have, if she can 
but ascend it. 


38. Tell me, Fiolsvith! etc, how those nuiids are 
called, who sit at Menglod's knees in harmony togedier? 


39. Hlif the first is called, the second is Hliftharsa, 
the third Thiodvarta, Biort and Blid, Blidr, Prid, Eir and 


40. Ten me, Fiolsvith! etc, whether they iNX)lect 
those who offer to them, if it should, be needful? 


41. Every summer in which men offer to thcni» at 
the holy place, no pestilence so great shall come to the 
sons of men, but they wnll free each from peril 




42. Tell me, Fiolsvith ! etc., whether there is any man 
that may in Menglod's soft arms sleep? 


43. There is no man who may in Menglod's soft 
arms sleep, save only Svipdag; to him the sun-bright 
maid is for wife betrothed. 


44. Set the doors open! Let the gate stand wide; 
here thou mayest Svipdag see; but yet go learn if Men- 
glod will accept my love. 


45. Hear, Menglod ! A man is hither come : go and 
behold the stranger; the dogs rejoice; the house has itself 
opened. I think it must be Svipdag. 


46. Fierce ravens shall, on the high gallows, tear out 
thy eyes, if thou art lying, that hither from afar is come 
the youth unto my halls. 

47. Whence art thou come ? Whence hast thou jour- 
neyed? How do thy kindred call thee? Of thy race 
and name I must have a token, if I was betrothed to thee. 


48. Svipdag I am named, Solbiart was my father 
named; thence the winds on the cold ways drove me. 
Urd's decree may no one gainsay, however lightly ut- 




49. Welcome thou art: my will I have obtained; 
greeting a kiss shall follow. A sight unlooked-for glad- 
dens most persons, when one the other loves. 

50. Long have I sat on my loved hill, day and night 
expecting thee. Now that is come to pass which I have 
hoped, that thou, dear youth, again to my halls art come. 


51. Longing I have undergone for thy love; and 
thou, for my aflfection. Now it is certain, that we shall 
pass our lives together. 


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- 
tained this, Freyia further requests Hyndla to give Ottar 
a potion (minnisol) that will enable him to remember all 
that has been told him. This she refuses, but is forced 
to 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. 


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



there is dark of darks ; we will both to Valhall ride, and 
to the holy fane. 

2. Let us Heriafather pray into our minds to enter, 
he gives and grants gold to the deserving. He gave to 
Hermod a helm and corslet, and from him Sigmund a 
sword received. 

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

4. She to Thor will oflfer, she to him will pray, that 
to thee he may be well disposed ; although he bears ill will 
to Jotun females. 

5. Now of thy wolves take one from out the stall; 
let him run with runic rein.^ 


6. Sluggish is thy hog the god's way to tread : 


7. I will my noble palfrey saddle. 


8. False are thou, Freyia ! who temptest me : by thy 
eyes thou showest it, so fixed upon us; while thou thy 
man hast on the dead-road,^ the young Ottar, Innstein's 

9. Dull art thou, Hyndla! methinks thou dreamest, 
since thou sayest that my man is on the dead-road with 
me ; there where my hog sparkles with its golden bristles, 
hight Hildisvini, which for me made the two skilful 

^That U, wltli a rein inacrll>ed with runea. *The road to Valhall. 



dwarfs, Dain and Nabbi. From the saddle we will talk: 
let us sit, and of princely families discourse, of those 
chieftains who from the gods descend. They have con- 
tested for the dead's gold, Ottar the young and An- 

10. A duty 'tis to act so that the young prince his 
paternal heritage may have, after his kindred. 

11. An offer-stead to me he raised, with stones con- 
structed ; now is that stone as glass become. With the 
blood of oxen he newly sprinkled it Ottar ever trusted 
in the Asyniur. 

12. Now let us reckon up the ancient families, and 
the races of exalted men. Who are the Skioldungs? 
Who are the Skilfings? Who the Odlings? Who the 
Ylfings? Who the hold-bom? Who the hers-born? 
The choicest race of men under heaven ? 


13. Thou, Ottar! art of Innstein bom, but Innstein 
was from Alf the Old, Alf was from Ulf, Ulf from 
Saefari, but Safari from Svan the Red. 

14. Thy father had a mother, for her necklaces 
famed, she, I think, was named Hledis the priestess; 
Frodi her father was, and her mother Friant: all that 
stock is reckoned among chieftains. 

15. Ali was of old of men the strongest, Halfdan 
before him, the highest of the Skioldungs; (Famed were 
the wars by those chieftains led) his deeds seemed to 
soar to the skirts of heaven. 

16. By Eimund aided, chief of men, he Sigtrygg slew 



with the cold steel. He Almveig had to wife, first of 
women. They begat and had eighteen sons. 

17. From them the Skioldungs, from them the Skil- 
fings, 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 bom and a 
sea-king. All that race is thine, Ottar Heimski ! Carest 
thou this to know? Wishest thou a longer narrative? 

19. Dag wedded Thora, mother of warriors : of that 
race were bom the noble champions, Fradmar, Gyrd, and 
the Frekis both, Am, Josur, Mar, Alf the Old. Carest 
thou this to know ? Wishest thou a longer narrative ? 

20. Ketil their friend was named, heir of Klyp; he 
was maternal grandsire of thy mother. Then was Frodi 
yet before Kari, but the eldest bom was Alf. 

21. Nanna was next, Nokkvi's daughter; her son 
was thy father's kinsman, ancient is that kinship. I 
knew both Brodd and Horfi. All that race is thine, Ottar 
Heimski ! 

22. Isolf, Asolf, Olmod's sons and Skurhild's Skek- 
kil's daughter; thou shalt yet count chieftains many. 
All that race is thine, Ottar Heimski ! 

23. Gunnar, Balk, Grim, Ardskafi, Jamskiold, Tho- 
rir, Ulf, Ginandi, Bui and Brami, Barri and Reifnir, 
Tind and Hyrfing, the two Haddingis. All that race is 
thine, Ottar Heimski! 

24. To toil and tumult were the sons of Aragrim 
bom, and of Eyfura : ferocious berserkir, calamity of 



every kind, by land and sea, like fire they carried. All 
that race is thine, Ottar Heimski ! 

25. I knew both Brodd and Horfi, they were in the 
court of Hrolf the Old; all descended from Jormunrek, 
son-in-law of Sigurd. (Listen to my story) the dread 
of nations, him who Fafnir slew. 

26. He was a king, from Volsung sprung, and Hior- 
dis from Hrodung; but Eylimi from the Odlings. All 
that race is thine, Ottar Heimski ! 

27. Gunnar and Hogni, sons of Giuki; and Gudrun 
likewise, their sister. Guttorm was not of Giuki's race, 
although he brother was of them both. All that race is 
thine, Ottar Heimski! 

28. Harald Hildetonn, born of Hraerekir Slongvan- 
baugi; he was a son of Aud, Aud the rich was Ivar's 
daughter; but Radbard was Randver's father. They 
were heroes to the gods devoted. All that race is thine, 
Ottar Heimski! 

29. There were eleven ^Esir reckoned, when Baldr 
on the pile was laid ; him Vali showed himself worthy to 
avenge, his own brother: he the slayer slew. All that 
race is thine, Ottar Heimski ! 

30. Baldr's father was son of Bur : Frey to wife 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 ad- 
monish thee thus much to know. Wishest thou yet a 
longer narrative ? 

32. Haki was not the worst of Hvedna's sons, and 



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

83. All the Valas are from Vidolf ; all the soothsay- 
ers from Vilmeidr, all the sorcerers from Svarthofdi ; all 
the Jotiuis come frcwn Ymir. 

84. We tell thee much, and more remember, I ad- 
monish thee thus much to know. Wishest thou yet a 
longer narrative? 

85. There was one bom, in times of old, with won- 
drous 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, 
Eistia gave him birth, and Angeia; Ulfrun gave him 
birth, and Eyrgiafa, Imd and Atla, and Jamsaxa. 

37. The boy was nourished with the strength of 
earth, with the ice-cold sea, and with Son's blood. We 
tell thee much, and more remember. I admonish thee 
thus much to know. Wishest thou a yet longer narra- 

88. 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. 

39. Loki, scorched up in his heart's affections, had 
found a half-burnt woman's heart. Loki became guile- 
ful from that wicked woman ; thence in the world are all 
giantesses come. 

40. Ocean towers with storms to heaven itself, flows 
o'er the land; the air is rent: thence come snows and 
rapid winds ; then it is decreed that the ram should cease. 

41. There was one born greater than all, the boy was 



nourished with the strength of earth ; he was declared a 
ruler, mightiest and richest, allied by kinship to all 

42. Then shall another come, yet mightier, although 
I dare not his name declare. Few may see further forth 
than when Odin meets the wolf. 


43. Bear thou the memory-cup to my guest, so that 
he may all the words repeat of this discourse, on the third 
mom, when he and Angantyr reckon up races. 


44. Go thou quickly hence, I long to sleep ; more of 
my wondrous power thou gettest not from me. Thou 
rimnest, my hot friend, out at nights, as among he-goats 
the she-goat goes. 

45. Thou hast run thyself mad, ever longing; many 
a one has stolen under thy girdle. Thou runnest, my hot 
friend, out at nights, as among he-goats, the she-goat 
S^^s. Freyia. 

46. Fire I strike over thee, dweller of the wood! so 
that thou goest not ever away from hence. 


47. Fire I see burning, and the earth blazing; many 
will have their lives to save. Bear thou the cup to Ot- 
tar's hand, the mead with venom mingled, in an evil 
hour ! p^^yia, 

48. Thy malediction shall be powerless; although 
thou, Jotun-maid! dost evil threaten. He shall drink 
delicious draughts. All the gods I pray to favour Ottar. 





1. Wake up, Groa! wake up, good wcnnan! at the 
gates of death I wake thee! if thou rememberest, that 
thou thy son badest to thy grave-mound to come. 


2. What now troubles my only son? With what 
affliction art thou burthened, that thou thy mother callest, 
who to dust is come, and from human homes departed? 


3. A hateful game thou, crafty woman, didst set be- 
fore me, whom my has father in his bosom cherished, 
when thou badest me go no one knows whither, Menglod 
to meet. 


4. Long is the journey, long are the ways, long are 
men's desires. If it so fall out, that thou thy will ob- 
tainest, the event must then be as it may. 


6. Sing to me songs which are good. Mother! pro- 
tect thy son. Dead on my way I fear to be. I seem too 
young in years. 


6. I will sing to thee first one that is thought most 



useful, which Rind sang to Ran ; that from thy shoulders 
thou shouldst cast what to thee seems irksome: let thy- 
self thyself direct. 

7. A second I will sing to thee, as thou hast to wan- 
der joyless on thy ways. May Urd's protection hold 
thee on every side, where thou seest turpitude. 

8. A third I will sing to thee. If the mighty rivers 
to thy life's peril fall, Horn and Rud, may they flow 
down to Hel, and for thee ever be diminished. 

9. A fourth I will sing to thee. If foes assail thee 
ready on the dangerous road, their hearts shall fail them, 
and to thee be power, and their minds to peace be turned. 

10. A fifth I will sing to thee. If bonds be cast on 
thy limbs, friendly spells I will let on thy joints be sung, 
and the lock from thy arms shall start, [and from thy 
feet the fetter]. 

11. A sixth I will sing to thee. If 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 
afford thee. 

12. A seventh I will sing to thee. If on a mountain 
high frost should assail thee, deadly cold shall not thy 
carcase injure, nor draw thy body to thy limbs. 

13. An eighth I will sing to thee. If night overtake 
thee, when out on the misty way, that the dead Christian 
woman no power may have to do thee harm. 

14. A 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 where calamity may be, and no 



harm shall obstruct thy wishes. On a stone fast in the 
earth I have stood within the door, while songs I sang to 

16. My son! bear hence thy mother's words, and ir 
thy breast let them dwell ; for happiness abundant shalt 
thou have in life, while of my words thou art mindful. 


This singular poem, the authorship of which is, in 
some manuscripts, assigned to Saemund himself, may be 
termed a Voice from the Dead, given under the form of 
a dream, in which a deceased father is supposed to ad- 
dress his son from another world. The first 7 strophes 
seem hardly connected with the following ones, which, 
as far as the 32nd consist chiefly in aphorisms with ex- 
amples, some closely resembling those in the Havamal. 
In the remaining portion is given the recital of the last 
illness of the supposed speaker, his death, and the scenes 
his soul passed through on the way to its final home. 

The composition exhibits a strange mixture of Chris- 
tianity and Heathenism, whence it would seem that the 
poet's own religion was in a transition state. Of the 
allusions to Heathenism it is, however, to be observed 
that they are chiefly to persons and actions of which there 
IS no trace in the Odinic mythology, as known to us, and 
are possibly the fruits of the poet's own imagination. 



The title of the poem is no doubt derived from the allu- 
sion to the Sun at the beginning of strophes 39 — 46. 

For an elaborate and learned commentary, with an in- 
terlinear version of "the Song of the Sun," the reader 
may consult "Les Chants de Sol," by Professor Berg- 
mann, Strasbourg & Paris, 1858. 

1. Of life and property a fierce freebooter despoiled 
mankind ; over the ways beset by him might no one living 

2. Alone he ate most frequently, no one invited he to 
his repast ; until weary, and with failing strength, a wan- 
dering 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 
him who had been so evil-minded. 

4. Meat and drink to the weary one he gave, all with 
upright heart; on God he thought, the traveller's wants 
supplied ; for he felt he was an evil-doer. 

5. Up stood the guest, he evil meditated, he had not 
been kindly treated ; his sin within him swelled, he while 
sleeping murdered his wary cautious host. 

6. The God of heaven he prayed for help, when being 
struck he woke; but he was doomed the sins of him on 
himself to take, whom sackless he had slain. 

7. Holy angels came from- heaven above, and took 
to them his soul : in a life of purity it shall ever live with 
the almighty God. 

8. Riches and health no one may command, though 
all go smoothly with him. To many that befalls which 
they least expect. No one may command his tranquil- 
lity. 112 


9. Unnar and Sxvaldi never imagined that happiness 
would fall from them, yet naked they became^ and of all 
bereft, and, like wolves, ran to the forest. 

10. The force of pleasure has many a one bew*ailed. 
Cares are often caused by women; pernicious they be- 
come, although the mighty God them pure created. 

11. United were Svafud and Skarthedin, neither 
might without the other be, until to frenzy they were 
driven for a woman : she was destined for their perdition. 

12. On account of that fair maid, neither of them 
cared for games or joyous days; no other thing could 
they in memory bear than that bright form. 

13. Sad to them were the gloomy nights, no sweet 
sleep might they enjoy : but from that anguish rose hate 
intense between the faithful friends. 

14. Hostile deeds are in most places fiercely avenged. 
To the holm they went,^ for that fair woman, and each 
one found his death. 

15. Arrogance should no one entertain : I indeed have 
seen that those who follow her, for the most part, turn 
from God. 

16. Rich were both, Radey and Vebc^, 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 alcxie to be above all people ; but their lot Almighty 
God was pleased otherwise to appoint. 

18. A life of luxury they led, in many ways, and had 

*Tliat Is, the^ enffoged in Hmgle combat; Ui« spot for aach enoovntera 
belns cmllcd a holm, coiuiitliis of a drcular space marked out by etoi 




gold for sport. Now they are requited, so that they 
must walk between frost and fire. 

19. To thy enemies trust thou never, although they 
speak thee fair: promise them good: 'tis good to have 
another's injury as a warning. 

20. So it befell Sorli the upright, when he placed 
himself in Vigolf's power; he confidently trusted him, his 
brother's murderer, but he proved false. 

21. Peace to them he granted, with heart sincere; 
they in return promised him gold, feigned themselves 
friends, while they together drank; but then came forth 
their guile. 

22. Then afterwards, on the second day, when they 
in Rygiardal rode, they with swords wounded him who 
sackless was, and let his life 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. 

24. His soul summoned hcwne the true God into his 
joy to come ; but the evil doers will, I wean, late be from 
torments called. 

26. Do 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. 

26. For a deed of ire that thou hast perpetrated, 
never atone with evil : the weeping thou shalt soothe with 
benefits : that is salutary to the soul. 

27. On God a man shall for good things call, on him 
who has mankind created. Greatly sinful is every man 
who late finds the Father. 



28. To be solicited, we opine, is with all earnestness 
for that which is lacking: of all things may be destitute 
he who for nothing asks: few heed the wants of the 

29. Late I came, though called betimes, to the su- 
preme Judge's door; thitherward I yearn; for it was 
promised me, he who craves it shall of the feast partake. 

30. Sins are the cause that sorrowing we depart from 
this world: no one stands in dread, if he does no evil: 
good it is to be blameless. 

31. Like unto wolves all those seem who have a 
faithless mind: so he will prove who has to go through 
ways strewed with gleeds. 

32. Friendly counsels, and wisely composed, seven I 
have imparted to thee : consider thou them well, and for- 
get them never : they are all useful to learn. 

33. Of that I will speak, how happy I was in the 
world, and secondly, how the sons of men reluctantly be- 
come corpses. 

34. Pleasure and pride deceive the sons of men who 
after money crave; shining riches at last become a sor- 
row : many have riches driven to madness. 

35. Steeped in joys I seemed to men ; for little did I 
see before me : our worldly sojourn has the Lord created 
in delights abounding. 

36. Bowed down I sat, long I tottered, of life was 
most desirous; but He prevailed who was all-powerful: 
onward are the ways of the doomed. 

37. The cords of Hel were tightly bound round my 
sides; I would rend them, but they were strong. *Tis 
easy free to go. ^ ^ - 

The elder edda of saemund 

38. I alone knew, how on all sides my pains in- 
creased. The maids of Hel each eve with horror bade 
me to their home. 

39. The sun I saw, true star of day, sink in its roar- 
ing home; but Hel's grated doors on the other side I 
heard heavily creaking. 

40. The sun I saw with blood-red beams beset : ( fast 
was I then from this world declining) mightier she ap- 
peared, in many ways, than she was before. 

41. The sun I saw, and it seemed to me as if I saw a 
glorious god: I bowed before her, for the last time, in 
the world of men. 

42. The sun I saw : she beamed forth so that I seemed 
nothing to know; but GioU'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 
in languor. 

44. The sun I saw seldom sadder ; I had then almost 
from the world declined: my tongue was as wood be- 
come, and all was cold without me. 

46. 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 bom, fled from my 
breast away; high it flew, settled nowhere, so that it 
might find rest. 

47. Longer than all was that one night, when stiff 
on my straw I lay; then becomes manifest the divine 
word : "Man is the same as earth." 



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

49. Of his works each has the reward : happy is he 
who does good. Of my wealth bereft, to me was des- 
tined a bed strewed with sand. 

60. Bodily desires men oftentimes seduce, of them 
has many a one too much: water of baths was of all 
things to 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 
seven nether worlds: up and down, I sought an easier 
way, where I might have the readiest paths. 

53. Of that is to be told, which I first saw, when I to 
the worlds of torment came: — scorched birds, which 
were souls, flew numerous as flies. 

54. From the west I saw Von's dragons fly, and 
Glaeval's paths obscure: their wings they shook; wide 
around me seemed the earth and heaven to burst. 

55. The sun's hart I saw from the south coming, he 
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. 

57. The wind was silent, the waters stopped their 
course ; then I heard a doleful sound : for their husbands 
false-faced women ground earth for food. 



58. Gory stones those dark women turned sorrow- 
fully; bleeding hearts hung out of their breasts, faint 
with much affliction. 

59. Many a man I saw wounded go on those gleed- 
strewed paths; their faces seemed to me all reddened 
with reeking blood. 

60. Many men I saw to earth gone down, who holy 
service might not have; heathen stars stood above their 
heads, painted witli deadly characters. 

61. I saw those men who much envy harbour at 
another's fortune; bloody runes were on their breasts 
graved painfully. 

62. I there saw men many not joyful ; they were all 
wandering wild : this he earns, who by this world's vices 
is infatuated. 

63. I saw those men who had in various ways ac- 
quired other's property: in shoals they went to Castle- 
covetous, and burthens bore of lead. 

64. I saw those men who many had of life and prop- 
erty bereft: through the breasts of those men passed 
strong venomous serpents. 

65. I 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 them- 
selves too highly ; their garments ludicrously were in fire 

67. I saw those men who had many false words of 
others uttered : Hel's ravens from their heads their eyes 
miserably tore. 

68. All the horrors thou wilt not get to know which 



Hel's inmates suffer. Pleasant* sins end in painful pen- 
alties : pains ever follow pleasure. 

69. I saw those men who had much given for God's 
laws; pure lights were above their heads brightly burn- 

70. I saw those men who from exalted mind helped 
the poor to aid : angels read holy books above their heads. 

71. I saw those men who with much fasting had 
their bodies wasted: God's angels bowed before them: 
that is the highest joy. 

72. I saw those men who had put food into their 
mothers' mouth : their couches were on the rays of heaven 
pleasantly placed. 

73. Holy virgins had cleanly washed the souls from 
sin of those men, who for a long time had themselves 

74. Lofty cars I saw towards heaven going; they 
were on the way to God : men guided them who had been 
murdered wholly without crime. 

76. Almighty Father! greatest Son! holy Spirit of 
heaven! Thee I pray, who hast us all created; free us 
all from miseries. 

76. Biugvor and Listvor sit at Herdir's doors, on 
resounding seat ; iron gore falls from- their nostrils, which 
kindles hate among >men. 

77. Odin's wife rows in earth's ship, eager after 
pleasures; her sails are reefed late, which on the ropes 
of desire are hung. 

78. Son ! I thy father and Solkatla's sons have alone 



obtained for thee that horn of hart, which from the 
grave-mound bore the wise Vigdvalin. 

79. 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 evil custom. 

81. This lay, which I have taught thee, thou shalt 
before the living sing, the Sun-Song, which will appear 
in many parts no fiction. 

82. Here we part, but again shall meet on the day of 
men's rejoicing. Oh Lord! unto the dead grant peace, 
and to the living comfort. 

83. Wondrous lore has in dream to thee been sung, 
but thou hast seen the truth : no man has been so wise 
created that has before heard the Sun-song. 




There was a king in Sweden named Nidud: he had 
two sons and a daughter, whose name was Bodvild. 
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. They- 
came to Ulfdal, and there made themselves a house, 
where there is a water called Ulfsiar. Early one morn- 
ing they found on the border of the lake three females 
sitting and spinning flax. Near them lay their swan- 
plumages: they were Valkyriur. Two of them, Hlad- 
gud-Svanhvit and Hervor-Alvit, were daughters of King 
Hlodver; the third was Olrun, a daughter of Kiar of 
VaJland. They took them home with them to their 
dwelling. Egil had Olrun, Slagfid Svanhvit, and Volund 
Alvit. They lived there seven years, when they flew 
away seeking conflicts, and did not return. Egil then 
went on snow-shoes in search of Olrun, and Slagfid in 
search of Svanhvit, but Volund remained m Ulfdal. He 
was a most skilful man, as we learn from old traditions. 
King Nidud ordered him to be seized, so as it is here 

1. Maids flew from- the south, through the murky 
wood, Alvit the young, fate to fulfil. On the lake's mar- 
gin they sat to repose, the southern damsels ; precious flax 
they spun. 



2. One of them, of maidens fairest, to his comely 
breast Egil clasped. Svanhvit was the second, she a 
swan's plumage bore ; but the third, their sister, the white 
neck clasped of Volund. 

3. 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. 

4. Prom* 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 ; 

6. 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 aw«i*«d his bright consort, if to 
him she would return. 

6. It was told to Nidud, the Niarars' lord, that Vo- 
lund alone remained in Ulfdal. In the night went men, 
in studded corslets, their shields glistened in the waning 

7. From their saddles they alighted at the house's 
gable, thence went in through the house. On the bast 
they saw the rings all drawn, seven hundred, which the 
warrior owned. 

8. And they took them off, and they put them on, all 
save one, which they bore away. Came then from the 
chase the ardent hunter, Volund, gliding* on the long 

9. To the fire he went, bear's flesh to roast. Soon 

K)ii mow-flhoeB. 



Uazed the brushwood, and tlie arid fir, the wind-dried 
wood, before Volund. 

10. On the bearskin sat, his rings counted, the Al- 
far's companion: one was missing. He thought that 
Hlodver's daughter had it, the young Alvit, and that she 
was returned. 

11. So long he sat until he slept; and he awoke of 
joy bereft: on his hands he felt heavy constraints, and 
round his feet fetters clasped. 

12. "Who are the men that on the rings' possessor 
have laid bonds ? and me have bound ?" 

13. Then cried Nidud, the Niarars' lord : "Whence 
gottest thou, Volund! Alfars' chief P our gold, in Ulf- 

14. "No gold was here in Grani's path, far I thought 
our land from the hills of Rhine. I mind me that we 
more treasures possessed, when, a whole family, we were 
at home. 

15. Hladgud and Hervor were of Hlodver born; 
known was Olrun, Kiar's daughter, she entered into the 
house, stood on the floor, her voice moderated : Now is 
he not mirthful, who from the forest comes.** 

King Nidud gave to his daughter Bckivild the ring 
which had been taken from the bast in Volund's house; 
but he himself bore the sword that had belonged to Vo- 
lund. The queen said : 

16. His teeth he shows, when the sword he sees, and 

^Tbe designation of Alfani' chief, or prince, applied to Volund, who, 
as we learn from the proee 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 Odlnlc Mythology, and was probably composed when 
that system was In Its decline and giving place to the heroic or romantio. 



Bodvild's ring he recognizes : threatening are his eyes as 
a glistening serpent's : let be severed his sinews' strength ; 
and set him then in Saevarstad 

This was done; he was hamstrung, and then set on a 
certain small island near the shore, called Saevarstad. 
He there forged for the king all kinds of jewellery work. 
No one was allowed to go to him, except the king. Vo- 
lund said: 

17. "The sword shines in Nidud's belt, which I 
whetted as I could most skilfully, and tempered, as 
seemed to me most cunningly. That bright blade for- 
ever is taken from me: never shall I see it borne into 
Volund's smithy. 

18. Now Bodvild wears my consort's red-gold rings : 
for this I have no indemnity." He sat and never slept, 
and his hammer plied ; but much more speedy vengeance 
devised on Nidud. 

19. The two young sons of Nidud ran in at the door 
to look, in Saevarstad. To the chest they came, for the 
keys asked; manifest was their grudge, when therein 
they looked. 

20. Many necklaces were there, which to those 
youths appeared of the red gold to be, and treasures. 
"Come ye two alone, to-morrow come; that gold shall 
be given to you. 

21. Tell it not to the maidens, nor to the household 
folk, nor to any one, that ye have been with me." Early 
called one the other, brother, brother: "Let us go see 
the rings." 

22. To the chest they came, for the keys asked ; mani- 



fcst was their grudge, when therein they kx>ked. Of 
those children he the heads cut off, and under the prison*s 
mixen laid their bodies. 

23. But their skulls beneath the hair he in silver set, 
and to Nidud gave; and of their eyes precious stones he 
formed, which to Xidud's wily wife he sent. 

24. 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.** 


25. "I will so repair the fractured gold, that to thy 
father it shall fairer seem, 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 perpe- 
trated.*' * 

27. "I wish," said Volund, "that on my feet I were, 
of the use of which Nidud's men have 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. 

28. Stood without Nidud's wily wife; then she went 
in through the hall ; but he on the enclosure sat down to 
rest. "Art thou awake Niarars' lord !" 

29. "Ever am I awake, joyless I He to rest, when I 
call to mind my children's death : my head is chilled, cold 

^The tranalation of this line Is founded solely on a conjectural amanda- 
tion of the text The wrong alluded to may be the hamstrlngins. 



are to me thy counsels. Now with Volund I desire to 

30. "Tell me, Volund, Alfars' chief! of my brave 
boys what is become ?" 

31. "Oaths shalt thou first to me swear, by board of 
ship, by rim of shield, by shoulder of steed, by edge of 
sword, that thou wilt not slay the wife of Volund, nor 
of my bride cause the death; although a wife I have 
whom ye know, or offspring within thy court. 

32. To the smithy go, which thou hast made, there 
wilt thou the bellows find with blood besprinkled. The 
heads I 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 I 
formed, which to Nidud's wily wife I sent. 

34. Of the teeth of the two, breast-ornaments I made, 
and to Bodvild sent. Now Bodvild goes big with child, 
the only daughter of you both." 

35. "Word didst thou never speak that more afflicted 
me, or for which I 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." 

36. Laughing Volund rose in air, but Nidud sad re- 
mained sitting. 

37. "Rise up Thakrad, my best of thralls! bid Bod- 
vild, my fair-browed daughter, in bright attire come, with 
her sire to speak. 



38. Is it, Bodvild! true what has been told to me, 
that thou and Volund in the isle together sat?" 

39. "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." 


There was a king named Hiorvard, who had four 
wives, one of whom was named Alfhild, their son was 
named Hedin; the second was named Saereid, 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 
hand of Sigrlinn for the king. He stayed throughout 
the winter with King Svafnir. 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 the jarl's son Atli 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 
Hiorvard had the most beautiful. The bird talked, and 
Atli listened to what it said. The bird said : 



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


2. With Atli, Idmund's son, sagacious bird ! wilt thou 
further speak ? „ . , 

I will if the prince will offer to me, and I may choose 
what I will from the king's court. 


3. Choose not Hiorvard nor his sons, nor the fair 
daughters of that prince, nor the wives which the king 
has. Let us together bargain ; that is the part of friends. 


4. A fane I will chose, offer-steads many, gold-homed 
cows from the chiefs land, if Sigrlinn sleep in his arms, 
and unconstrained with that prince shall live. 

This took place before Atli's journey; but after his 
return, when the king asked his tidings, he said : 

5. 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 was denied us Svafnir's daugh- 
ter with rings adorned, whom we would obtain. 

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 into the country, and took up his night-quarters by a 
river. Atli kept watch, and crossed the river, and came 



to a house, (xi which sat a great bird to guard it, but was 
asleep. Atli shot the bird dead with an arrow. In the 
house he found the king's daughter Sigrlinn, and Alof 
daughter of Pranmar, and brought them both away with 
him. The jarl Pranmar 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 : 
he had slain the king of Svavaland, and ravaged and 
burnt the country. 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 sit- 
ting on a mound he saw nine Valkyriur, one of whom 
was of most noble aspect. She said : 

6. Late wilt thou, Helgi ! rings possess, a potent war- 
rior, or Rodulsvellir, — so at mom the eagle sang — if thou 
art ever silent ; although thou, prince ! a fierce mood may- 

est show. rr , . 


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. 


8. Swords I 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. A ring is on the hilt, courage in the midst, in the 

point terror for his use who owns it: along the edge a 

blood-stained serpent lies, and on the guard the serpent 

casts its tail. 




There was a king named Eylimi ; Svava was his daugh- 
ter ; she was a Valkyria and rode through air and water. 
It was she who gave Helgi that name, and afterwards 
often protected him in battle. Helgi said : 

10. Hiorvard! thou art not a king of wholesome 
counsel, leader of people! 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 
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: 

12. Who are the chieftains in Hatafiord? With 
shields are your ships bedecked ; boldly ye bear yourselves, 
few things ye fear, I ween: tell me how your king is 


13. Helgi is his name; but thou nowhere canst to the 
chief do harm; iron forts are around the prince's fleet; 
giantesses may not assail us. 


14. How art thou named ? most powerful champion ! 


— _^^ ■■ *■ ^ •_*■ ■— " . s^ ' J * y ^ ^ ^ 4 

wbiGs I krrr tbc nis:t::5cst Tociej. He manv >KV«>en 
bad rrcm ibcr circCfrigs tikco. cntil hira Hrigi sJew. 

IS- Tb^a wast, bag! bcf:>ne the princess shipc^ ami 
lajcst before tbem in the fiord's raocth. The chieftain^s 
warriors tb^a wocidst to Ran consign, had a bar not 
crossed tbce. 


10. Xow, Adi! thou art wrong, niethinks thou art 
dreaming; thy brows thou lettest ONTf thy ewHds falU 
My mother lay before the princess ships; I Hlod\-ar\r;s 
sons drowned in the ocean. 

20. Thou wouldst neigh, Atli! if thou wert not a 
gdding. See ! Hrimgerd cocks her tail. Thy heart, me- 
thinks, Atli ! is in thy hinder part, although thy Nxwce is 


21. I think I shall the stronger pro\-e, if thou desirest 

10 131 


to try ; and I can step from the port to land. Thou shalt 
be soundly cudgeled, if I heartily begin, and let thy tail 
fall, Hrimgerd! 


22. Just come on shore, Atli ! if in thy strength thou 
trustest, and let us meet in Varinsvik. A rib-roasting 
thou shalt get, brave boy! if in my claws thou comest. 


23. I will not come before the men awake, and o'er 
the king hold watch. It would not surprise me, if frcwn 
beneath our ship some hag arose. 


24. Keep watch, Atli ! and to Hrimgerd pay the blood- 
fine for Hati's death. If one night she may sleep with 
the prince, she for the slain will be indemnified. 


25. Lodin is named he who shall thee possess, thou 
to mankind art loathsome. In Tholley dwells that Thurs, 
that dog-wise Jotun, of all rock-dwellers the worst: he 
is a fitting man for thee. 


26. Helgi 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 
so secured your fleet. She was alone the cause that I 
could not the king's men slay. 


27. Hear now, Hrimgerd ! If I may indemnify thee, 



say fully to the king: was it one being only, that saved 
the prince's ships, or went many together? 


28. Three troops of maidens ; though one maid fore- 
most 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 fruit- 
fulness to man. To me all that I saw was hateful. 


29. Look eastward now, Hrimgerd! whether Helgi 
has not stricken thee with death-bearing words. By land 
and water the king's fleet is safe, and the chief's men also. 

30. It is now day, Hrimgerd ! and Atli has thee de- 
tained to thy loss of life. A ludicrous haven-mark 'twill, 
indeed, be, 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 
engaged in warfare. 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 
Yule-eve, Hedin met a troll-wife riding on a wolf, with 
serpents for reins, who offered to attend him, but he de- 
clined her offer ; whereupon she said : "Thou shalt pay 
for this at the Bragi-cup." 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 



the Bragi-cup.^ Hedin bound himself by a vow to pos- 
sess Svava, the beloved of his brother Helgi ; but repented 
it so bitterly that he left home and wandered through wild 
paths to the southern lands, and there found his brother 
Helgi. Helgi said : 

31. Welcome art thou, Hedin! What new tidings 
canst thou give from Norway? Why art thou, prince! 
from the land driven, and alone art come to find us? 


32. Of a much greater crime I am guilty. I have 
chosen a royal daughter, thy bride, at the Bragi-cup. 


33. Accuse not thyself; true will prove words at 
drinking uttered by us both. Me a chieftain has to the 
strand summoned; within three nights I must be there. 
'Tis to me doubtful whether I return ; then may well such 
befall, if it so must be. 


34. Thou saidst, Helgi ! that Hedin well deserved of 
thee, and great gifts: It would beseem thee better thy 
sword to redden, than to grant peace to thy foes. 

Helgi so spoke, for he had a foreboding that his death 
was at hand, and that his fylgiur (attendant spirit) had 

>At guilds the Bragl-cup (Bragafull) waa drunk. It was the custom 
at the fUDeral feast of kings and Jarls, that the heir should sit on a lower 
seat, until the Bragatull was brought in, that he should then rise to re- 
ceive it. make a vow, and drink the contents of the cup (full). He was 
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 waa 
drunk Odin's cup, for victory and power to the king ; then Niord's cup, and 
Prey's, for a good year and peace ; after which it was the custom with many 
to drink a Bragafull. The peculiarity of this cup was. that it was a cup of 
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. 



accosted Hedin, when he saw the woman riding on a 
wolf. There was a king named Alf, a son of Hrodmar« 
who had appointed a place of combat with Helgi in Sigar's 
plain within three days. Then said Hdg^: 

35. On a wolf rode, at evening twilight, a woman 
who him offered to attend. She well knew, that the son 
of Sigrlinn would be slain, on Sigar's plain. 

There was a great conflict, in whidi Helgi got his 

36. Helgi sent Sigar riding, after Eylimi's only 
daughter: he bade her quickly be in readiness, if she 
would find the king alive. 


37. Helgi has me hither sent, with thee, Svava ! thy- 
self to speak. Thee, said the king, he fain would see, 
ere the noble-bom breathes forth his last. 


38. What has befallen Helgi, Hiorvard's son ? I am 
sorely by afflictions stricken. Has the sea him deluded, 
or the sword woimded ? On that man I will harm inflict. 


39. This morning fell, at Frekastein, the king who 
beneath the sun was of all the best. Alf has complete 
victory, though this time it should not have been ! 


40. Hail to thee, Svava ! Thy love thou must divide : 
this in this world, methinks, is our last meeting. They 
say the chieftain's wounds are bleeding. The sword 
came too near my heart, j^- 


41. I pray thee, Svava ! — ^weep not, my wife ! — if thou 
wilt my voice obey, that for Hedin thou a couch prepare, 
and the young prince in thy arms clasp. 


42. I had said, in our pleasant home, when for me 
Helgi rings selected, that I would not gladly, after my 
king's departure, an unknown prince clasp in my arms. 


43. Kiss me, Svava ! I will not return, Rogheim to 
behold, nor Rodulsfioll, before I have avenged Hiorvard's 
son, who was of kings under the sun the best. 

Helgi and Svava were, it is said, born again. 




1. It was in times of yore, when the eagles screamed, 
holy waters fell 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 
should the prince's life determine. They him decreed a 
prince most famed to be, and of leaders accounted best. 

3. With all their might they span the fatal threads, 
when that [he] burghs should overthrow^ in Bralund. 
They stretched out the golden cord, and beneath the mid- 
dle of the moon's mansion fixed it, 

4. East and west they hid the ends, where the prince 
had lands between ; towards the north Neri's sister cast a 
chain, which she bade last for ever. 

5. One thing disquieted the Ylfing's offspring, and 
the woman who had the child brought forth. Sitting on 
a lofty tree, on prey intent, a raven to a raven said : "I 
know something. 

6. Stands cased in mail Sigmund's son, one day old : 
now is our day come. His eyes are piercing as a war- 
rior's; the wolfs friend is he: we shall rejoice!" 

7. He to the folk appeared a noble chief to be ; among 
men 'twas said that happy times were come; went the 
king himself from the din of war, noble garlic to bring 
to the young prince ; 

8. Gave him the name of Helgi, and Hringstadir, 

^That Is, when Utey came to spin that period of hie destiny. 



Soifioll, Snaefioll, and Sigarsvellir, Hringstad, Hatun, and 
Himinvangar, a sword ornate, to Sinfiotli's brother. 

9. Then grew 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. A short time only the leader let warfare cease. 
When the prince was fifteen winters old, he caused the 
fierce Hunding to fall, who Icxig had ruled over lands and 

11. The 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. 

12. The prince would neither the blood-fine pay, nor 
for the slain indemnity would give. They might expect, 
he said, a terrific storm of grey arrows, and Odin's ire 

13. The warriors went to the trysting place of swords, 
which they had appointed at Logafioll. Broken was 
Prodi's peace between the foes: Vidrir's hounds went 
about the isle slaughter-greedy. 

14. The leader sat under the Arastein, after he had 
slain 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 : their corslets were with 
blood besprinkled, and from their spears shone beams of 

16. Forthwith inquired the chieftain bold, from the 
wolf-congress of the southern Disir, whether they would, 



with the warriors, that night go home ? — ^then was a clash 
of arms ! 

17. One from her horse, Hogni's daughter, stilled the 
crash of shields, and to the leader said: "We have, I 
ween, other objects than with princely warriors to drink 

18. My father has his daughter promised to the fierce 
son of Granmar ; but I have, Helgi ! declared Hodbrodd, 
the proud prince, like to a cat's son. 

19. That chief will come in a few days, imless thou 
him call to a hostile meeting ; or the maiden take from the 


20. Fear thou not Isung's slayer ; there shall be first a 
clash of foes, unless I am dead. 

21. 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 

23. From the strands also, and from Stafnsnes, a 
naval force went out, with gold adorned. Helgi then of 
Hiorleif asked : "Hast thou mustered the valiant people ?" 

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

25. Twelve hundred faithful men; though in Hatun 



there IS more than half of the kingf s host — ^Wc arc to war 

26. Then the steersman threw the ship's tents aside, 
that the princes' people might awake, and the noble chiefs 
the dawn might see; and the warriors hauled the sails up 
to the mast in Varinsfiord 

27. There was a dash of oars, and clash of iron, shield 
against shield resounded: the vikings rowed; roaring 
went, under the chieftains the royal fleet far from the 

28. So might be heard, when together came the tem- 
pest's sister^ and the long keels, as when rock and surge 
on each other break. 

29. Higher still bade Hdgi the deep sail be hauled. 
No port gave shelter to the crews ; when CEgir's terrific 
daughter the chieftains' vessels would o'erwhdm. 

80. But from above Sigrun intrepid, saved them and 
their fleet also; from the hand of Ran powerfully was 
wrested the royal ship at Gnipalund. 

81. At eve they halted in Unavagar; the splendid ships 
might into port have floated, but the crews, from Svarin- 
shaug, in hostile mood, espied the host. 

82. Then demanded the god-bom Gudmund : "Who 
is the chieftain that commands the fleet, and that formida- 
ble force brings to our land?' 

88. Sinfiotli said, slinging up on the yard a red-hued 
shield with golden rim ; — ^He at the strait kept watch, and 
able was to answer, and with nobles words exchange — 

34. "Tell it at eve, when you feed your pigs, and your 

<Ko1gu Syitlr. Kolfa wu one of the dauslxtfrs of GBglr aii4 Han; 
they were the warei. 



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

35. Hodbrodd will Helgi find in the fleet's midst, a 
king hard to make flee, who has oft the eagles sated, while 
thou wast at the mills, kissing the thrall-wenches. 


36. Little dost thou remember of ancient saws, when 
of the noble thou falsehoods utterest. Thou hast been 
eating wolves' dainties, and of thy brother wast the 
slayer ; wounds hast thou often sucked with cold mouth ; 
every where loathed, thou hast crawled in caverns. 


37. Thou wast a Valacrone in Varinsey, cunning as a 
fox, a spreader of lies. Thou saidst thou no man wouldst 
ever marry, no corsleted warrior, save Sinfiotli. 

38. A mischievous crone wast thou, a giantess, a 
Valkyria, insolent, monstrous, in Alfather's hall. All the 
Einheriar fought with each other, deceitful woman! for 
thy sake. Nine wolves we begat in Sagunes ; I alone was 
father of them all. 


39. Father thou wast not of Fenriswolves, older than 
all, as far as I remember ; since by Gnipalund, the Thurs- 
maidens thee emasculated upon Thorsnes. 

40. Thou wast Siggeir's stepson, at home under the 
benches layest, accustomed to the wolf's howl out In the 
forests: calamity of every kind came over thee, when 
thou didst lacerate thy brother's breast. Notorious thou 
mad'st thyself by thy atrocious works. 



41. Thou wast Grani's bride at Bravollr, hadst a 
gdden bit, ready for the course. Many a time have I 
ridden thee tired, hungry and saddled, through the fells, 
thou hag! 


42. A graceless lad thou wast thought to be, when 
Gulnir's goats thou didst milk. Another time thou wast 
a giantess's daughter, a tattered wretch. Wilt thou a 
longer chat? 


43. I rather would at Frekastein the ravens cram 
with thy carcase, than thy dogs lead to their meat, or thy 
hogs feed. May the fiend deal with thee! 


44. "Much more seemly, Sinfiotli! would it be for 
you both in battle to engage, and the eagles gladden, than 
with useless words to contend, however princes* may 
foster hate. 

45. Not good to me appear Granmar's sons, yet 'tis 
right that princes should speak the truth: they have 
shown, at Moinsheimar, that they have courage to draw 
the sword." — 

46. Rapidly they their horses made to run, Svipud 
and Svegiud, to Solheimar, over dewy dales, dark moun- 
tain-sides ; trembled the sea of mist, where the men went. 

47. The king they met at the burgh's gate, to the 
prince announced the hostile advent. Without stood 

^LlterAllT ring'hreaken, or 'ditperiMen, 



Hodbrodd with helmet decked: he the speed noticed of 
his kinsmen. "Why have ye Hniflungs such wrathful 

48. "Hither to the shore are come rapid keels, tower- 
ing masts, and long yards, shields many, and smooth- 
shaven oars, a king's noble host, joyous Ylfings. 

49. Fifteen bands are come to land ; but there are out 
at sea, before Gnipalund, seven thousand blue-black ocean- 
beasts with gold adorned; there is by far their greatest 
multitude. Now will Helgi not delay the conflict." 


60. "Let a bridled steed to the chief assembly run, but 
Sporvitnir to Sparinsheid; Melnir and Mylnir to Myrk- 
vid; let no man stay behind of those who swords can 

51. Summon to you Hog^i, and the sons of Hring, 
Atli and Yngvi, Alf the old; they will gladly engage in 
conflict. We will let the Volsungs find resistance." 

62. It was a whirlwind, when together came the fal- 
low* blades at Frekastein: ever was Helgi Hundingsbani 
foremost in the host, where men together fought : ardent 
for battle, disdaining flight ; the chieftain had a valiant 

63. Then came a maid from heaven, helmed, from 
above — ^the clash of arms increased — rfor the king's pro- 
tection. Then said Sigrun — ^well skilled to fly to the host 
of heroes from Hugin's grove — * 

54. "Unscathed shalt thou, prince! possess thy people, 

'It would appear that their swords were of bronxe. Ilusiii's groTe. 
The raven's grove, i. e., the battle-fleld, strewed with corpBos, the raven's 



pillar of Yngvi's race! and life enjoy; thou hast laid low 
the slow of flight, the chief who caused the dread war- 
rior's death. And thee, O king I 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." 


King Sigmund, son of Volsung, had to wife Borghild 
of Bralund. 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 
land was called Hundland. He was a great warrior, and 
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 
Volsungs, and Ylfings. Helgi went forth and secretly 
explored the court of King Hunding. Heming, Hund- 
ing's son, was at home. On departing Helgi met a herds- 
man, and said : 

1. "Say thou to Heming, that Helgi bears in mind 
who the mailed warrior was, whom the men laid low, 
when the grey wolf ye had within, and King Hunding 
thought it was Hamal. 



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 
slave and going to grind. They sought but did not find 
him. Then said Blind the Baleful: 

2. Sharp are the eyes of Hagal's thrall-wench ; of no 
churlish race is she who at the mill stands. The mill- 
stones are split, the receiver flies asunder. Now a hard 
fate has befallen the warrior, when a prince must barley 
grind: much more fitting to that hand is the falchion's 
hilt than a mill-handle. 

Hagal answered and said : — 

3. No wonder 'tis that the receiver rattles, when a 
royal damsel the handle turns. She hovered higher than 
the clouds, and, like the vikings, dared to fight, until Helgi 
made her captive. She is a sister of Sigar and Hogni ; 
therefore has fierce eyes the Ylfing maid. 

Helgi escaped and went on board a ship of war. He 
slew King Hunding, and was afterwards named Helgi 
Hundingsbani. He lay with his force in Brunavagar, 
and carried on "strand-hc^g"^ and ate raw flesh. There 
was a king named Hogni, whose daughter was Sigrun: 
she was a Valkyria, and rode through the air and over 
the sea. She was Svava regenerated. Sigrun rode to 
Helgi, and said : — 

4. What men cause a ship along the coasts to float ? 
where do ye warriors a home possess? what await ye in 
Brunavagar? whither desire ye to explore a way? 

^Slaughtering and carrying off the cattle on the sea-shore. 




5. Hamal causes a ship along the coasts to float ; we 
have home in Hlesey; a fair wind we await in Brunava- 
gar; eastward we desire to explore a way. 


6. Where, O prince! hast thou wakened war, or fed 
the birds of conflict's sisters?^ Why is thy corslet 
sprinkled with blood ? Why beneath the helm eat ye raw 


7. It was the Ylfings' son's last achievement, — if thou 
desirest to know — ^west of the ocean, that I took bears in 
Bragalund, and the eagles' race with our weapons sated. 
Now, maiden ! I have said what the reasons were, why at 
sea we little cooked meat ate. 


8. To a battle thou alludest. Before Helgi has King 
Hunding been doomed to fall. In conflict ye have en- 
gaged, when your kindred ye avenged, and stained with 
blood the falchion's edge. 


9. Why dost thou suppose, sagacious maiden ! that it 
was they, who their kin avenged? Many a warrior's 
bold sons there are, and hostile to our kindred. 


10. I was not far, leader of people ! eager, at many a 

^The Valkyriur. 



chieftain's end : yet crafty I account Sigmund's son, when 
in val-nmes* the slaughter he announces. 

11. A while ago I saw thee commanding the war- 
ships, when thou hadst station on the bloody prow, and 
the cold sea waves were playing. Now, prince ! thou wilt 
from me conceal it, but Hogni's daughter recognizes thee. 

Granmar was the name of a powerful prince who dwelt 
at Svarinshaug. He had many sons : one was called Hod- 
brodd, the second Gudmund, the third Starkadr. Hod- 
brodd was at the assembly of kings, and there betrothed 
himself to Signm, the daughter of Hogni. But when she 
was informed of it, 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- 
ing, where he slew Alf and Eyiolf, Hiorvard and Herv- 
ard. 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 Vol- 

12. Sigrun sought the joyous prince, Hclgi'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 wrath : I have my father's promise broken." 

^Dark words of deadly Import 

n '47 


15. Hogni's daughter spoke not at variance with her 
heart : she said that Helgi's affection she must possess. 


16. Care thou not for Hogni's wrath, nor for the evil 
mind of thy kin. Thou shalt, young maiden 1 live with 
me : of a good race thou art, as I perceive. 

Helgi then collected a large fleet and proceeded to Fre- 
kastein, and at sea experienced a perilous storm. Light- 
nings came over them, and the flashes entered the ships. 
They saw that nine Valkyriur 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 hprse, 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 : — 

"Who is the leader that 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 
lets his golden banner wave o'er his prow? No peace 
seems to me in that ship's front ; it casts a warlike glow 
around the vikings. 

Sinfiotii, Sigmund's son, answered : 

18. Here may Hodbrodd Helgi learn to know, the 
hard of flight, in the fleet's midst: he the possession holds 
of thy race ; he the fishes' heritage has to him subjected. 




19. Therefore ought we first, at Frekastein, to settle 
together, and decide our quarrels ! Hodbrodd ! 'tis time 
vengeance to take, if an inferior lot we long have borne. 


20. Rather shalt thou, Gudmund! tend goats, and 
steep mountain-tops shalt climb, have in thy hand a hazel 
staff, that will better please thee than judgments of the 

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 Sigrtm, 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. Sig- 
run, going among the slain, found Hodbrodd at the point 
of death. She said : 

23. Not will Sigrun of SefafioU, King Hodbrodd! 
sink in thy arms : thy life is departed. Oft the axe's blade 
the head approaches of Granmar's sons. 

She then met Helgi, and was overjoyed. He said : 

24. Not to thee, all-wise maiden! are all things 
granted, though, I say, in somewhat are the Noms to 
blame. This mom have fallen at Frdcastein Bragi and 
Hogni : I was their slayer. 

25. But at Styrkleifar King Starkadr, and at Hlebiorg 
the son of Hrollaug. That prince I saw of all most fierce, 
whose trunk yet fought when the head was far. 



26. On the earth lie the greater number of thy kins- 
men, to corpses turned. Thou hast not fought the battle, 
yet 'twas decreed, that thou, potent maiden ! shouldst cause 
the strife. 

Sigrun then wept. Helgi said : 

27. Sigrun ! console thyself ; a Hild thou hast been to 
us. Kings cannot conquer fate : gladly would I have them 
living who are departed, if I might clasp thee to my breast. 

Helgi obtained Sigrun, and they had sons. Helgi lived 
not to be old. 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 Fiotur- 
Itmd, and pierced him through with his spear. Helgi fell 
there, but Dag rode to the mountains and told Sigrun 
what had taken place. 

28. Loath am I, sister! sad news to tell thee; for un- 
willingly I have my sister caused to weep. This morning 
fell, in Fioturlund, the prince who was on earth the best, 
and on the necks of warriors stood. 


29. Thee shall the oaths all gnaw, which to Helgi 
thou didst swear, at the limpid Leiptr's water, and at the 
cold dank wave-washed rock. 

80. May the ship not move forward, which under thee 
should move, although the wished-for wind behind thee 
blow. May the horse not run, which under thee should 
run, although from enemies thou hast to flee ! 

31. May the sword not bite which thou drawest, un- 
less it sing round thy own head. Then would Helgi's 



death be on thee avenged, if a wolf thou wert, out in the 
woods, of all good bereft, and every joy, have no suste- 
nance, unless on corpses thou shouldst spring. 


82. Sister 1 thou ravest, and hast lost thy wits, when 
on thy brother thou callest down such miseries. Odin 
alone is cause of all the evil; for between relatives he 
brought the runes of strife. 

33. Thy brother offers thee rings of red gold, all 
Vandilsve and Vigdalir : have half the land, thy grief to 
compensate, woman ring-adorned! thou and thy sons. 


34. So happy I shall not sit at SefafioU, neither at 
mom nor night, as to feel joy in life, if o'er the people 
plays not the prince's beam of light ; if his war-steed runs 
not under the chieftain hither, to the gold bit accustomed ; 
if in the king I cannot rejoice. 

35. So had Helgi struck with fear all his foes and 
their kindred, as before the wolf the goats run frantic 
from the fell, of terror full. 

36. So himself Helgi among warriors bore, as the 
towering ash is among thorns, or as the fawn, moistened 
with dew, that more proudly stalks than all the other 
beasts, and its horns glisten against the sky. 

A mound was raised for Helgi ; but when he came to 
Valhall, Odin offered him the rule over all jointly with 
himself. Helgi said: 

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



get, and fire kindle ; shalt bind the dogs, to the horses look, 
to the swine give wash, ere to sleep thou goest. 

A female slave passing at evening by Helgi's mound, 
saw him riding towards it with many men : 

38. Is it a delusion which methinks I see, or the pow- 
ers' dissolution, that ye, dead men, ride, and your horses 
with spurs urge on, or to warriors is a home journey 
granted ? 


39. 'Tis no delusion which thou thinkst to see, nor of 
mankind the end, although thou seest us, although our 
horses we with spurs urge on, nor to warriors is a home- 
journey granted. 

The slave went home and said to Sigrim : 

40. Sigrun! go forth from* Sefafioll, if the people's 
chief thou desirest to meet. The mound is opened, Helgi 
is come, his wounds still bleed ; the prince prayed thee that 
thou wouldst still the trickling blood. 

Sigrun entered the mound to Helgi and said : 

41. Now am I as glad, at our meeting, as the voracious 
hawks of Odin, when they of slaughter know ; of warm 
prey, or, dewy-feathered, see the peep of day. 

42. I will kiss ray lifeless king, ere thou thy bloody 
corslet layest aside. Thy hair is, Helgi I tumid with 
sweat of death ; my prince is all bathed in slaughter-dew ; 
cold, clammy are the hands of Hogni's son. How shall I, 
prince ! for this make thee amends ? 




43. Thou art alone the cause/ Sigrun of SefafiollI 
that Helgi is with sorrow's dew suffused. Thou weepest, 
gold-adorned! cruel tears, sun-bright daughter of the 
south! ere to sleep thou goest; each one falls bloody on 
the prince's breast, wet, cold, and piercing, with sorrow 

44. We shall surely drink delicious draughts, though 
we have lost life and lands. No one shall a song of 
mourning sing, though on my breast he wounds behold. 
Now are women in the mound enclosed, daughters of 
kings, with us the dead. 

Sigrun prepares a bed in the mound. 

35. Here, Helgi ! have I for thee a peaceful couch pre- 
pared, for the Ylfings' son. On thy breast I will, chief- 
tain ! repose, as in my hero's lifetime I was wont. 


46. Nothing I now declare unlooked for, at Sefafioll, 
late or early, since in a corpse's arms thou sleepest, 
Hogni's fair daughter ! in a mound, and thou art living, 
daughter of kings ! 

47. Time 'tis for me to ride on the reddening ways : 
let the pale horse tread the aerial path. I towards the 

^Ttae superstition oommemorated In this strophe Is, no doubt, the 
origin of some Tery beautiful ballads In the later literature of BcandinaTla 
and Germany referring to this superstition : 

"When thou, my dear, art cheerful, 

"And easy in thy mind, 
"The coffin where I slumber 

"Is all with roses lined. 

"But oft as thou 'rt In sorrow, 

"And bow'd with grief so core, 
"Is all the while my coffin 

"Brim full of blood and gore." 



west must go over Vindhialm's bridge, ere Salgofnir 
awakens heroes. 

Helgi and his attendants rode their way, but Sigrun 
and hers proceeded to their habitation. The following 
evening Sigrun ordered her serving-maid to hold watch 
at the mound ; but at nightfall, when Sigrun came thither, 
she said : 

48. Now would be come, if he to come intended, Sig- 
mund*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. 


49. Be not so rash alone to go, daughter of heroes! 
to the house of draugs:*more powerful are, in the night- 
season, all dead warriors, than in the light of day. 

Sigrun's life was shortened by grief 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 
daughter, as it is said in the songs of Kara ; and she also 
was a Valkyria. 

^Probably house of draffs; plac^ of swine, swill, lees. 




SiGMUND Volsung's son was a king in Frankland. 
SinfiotH was the eldest of his sons, the second 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 Sin- 
fiotli 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 
Borghild presented the beer : she took a large horn full 
of poison, and offered it to Sinfiotli ; who, when he looked 
into the horn, and saw that there was poison in it, said 
to 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 out- 
wardly or inwardly; but that all his sons could endure 
poison outwardly. Borghild bore another horn to Sin- 
fiotli, and prayed him to drink, when all took place as be- 
fore. Yet a third time she offered him the horn, using 
reproachful words on his refusing to drink. He said as 
before to Sigmimd, but the latter answered: "Let it 
pass through thy lips, my son." Sinfiotli drank and in- 
stantly died. Sigmund bore him a long way in his arms, 
and came to a long and narrow firth, where there was a 
little vessel and one man in it. He offered Sigmund to 
convey him over the firth ; but when Sigmund had borne 


the corpse into the vessel, the boat was full-laden. The 
man then said that Sigmund should go before through 
the firth. He then pushed off his boat and instantly de- 

King Sigmund sojourned long in Denmark, in Borg- 
hild's kingdom, after having espoused her. He then 
went south to Frankland, to the kingdom he there pos- 
sessed. There he married Hiordis, the daughter of 
Eylimi. Sigurd was their son. King Sigmund fell in 
a battle with the sons of Hunding. Hiordis was after- 
wards married to Alf, son of King Hialprdc, with whom 
Sigurd grew up in childhood. Sigmund and his sons 
exceeded all other men in strength, and stature, and cour- 
age, and all accomplishments, though Sigurd was fore- 
most of all ; and in old traditions he is mentioned as ex- 
celling all men, and as the most renowned of warlike 




Gripir was the name of the son of Eylimi, the brother 
of Hiordis, He ruled over lands, and was of all men 
wisest and prescient of the future. Sigurd rode alone, 
and came to Gripir's dwelling. Sigurd was of a distin- 
guished figure. He found a man to address outside the 
hall, whose name was Geitir. Sigurd applied to him, and 

1. Who here inhabits, in these towers ? what nation's 
king do people name him ? 


Gripir is named the chief of men, he who rules a firm 
realm and people. 


2. Is the wise king of the land at hcMne? Will the 
chief with me come and converse? With him needs 
speech an unknown man : I desire speedily Gripir to see. 


3. The glad king will of Geitir ask, who the man is 
that demands speech of Gripir. 


Sigurd I am named, bom of Sigmund, and Hiordis 
is the chieftain's mother. 



4. Then went Geitir, Gripir to inform: "Here is a 
man without, a stranger, come; of aspect he is most dis- 
tinguished. He desires, king ! with thee to speak." 

5. Goes from the hall the lord of men, and the 
stranger prince kindly greets: "Welcome, Sigurd! bet- 
ter had it been earlier : but do thou, Geitir I take charge 
of Grani." 

6. They began to talk, and much to tell, when the 
sagacious men together met. "Tell me, if thou knowest, 
my mother's brother I how will Sigurd's life fall out ?" 


7. Thou wilt foremost be of men beneath the sun, 
exalted high above every king; liberal of gold, but of 
flight sparing, of aspect comely, and wise of words. 


8. Say thou, sage king! more than I ask, thou wise 
one, to Sigurd, if thou thinkst to see it: what will first 
happen for my advancement, when from thy dwelling I 
shall have departed? 


9. First wilt thou, prince ! avenge thy father, and for 
the wrongs of Eylimi wilt retaliate; thou wilt the cruel 
sons of Hunding boldly lay low ; thou wilt have victory. 


10. Say, noble king! kinsman mine! with all fore- 
thought, as we hold friendly converse; seest thou of 
Sigurd those bold achievements, that will highest soar 
under heaven's regions?" 



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It: : t ■* : ■ : 

1 ■■] 



HE story of Siegfried an<l> B/yffhild constitutes the greatest 
epic ill Teuton ic-Gothic,li^^p^e^^^^^si,<^i^ijlv^s^l^^(i to 
trace, but parts of the legends carry tye in^vestigaton back to 
Iranian sources. Its gr^atfe^i^'dWitepiT}W¥J'ttb\Pc\'^, Way '3^istly 
be credited to IceUndic-^ja^aoQiticVliiahuihWMIi^rtfetldgvrdf the 
Nor«e people has a prominei^t place. In both the Gothic and 
Teutonic versions, while con^t^'i^fitle variation of incident is 

noticeable, thc^ awakcniji^ ^Q(,^BryijlJH|4, fli.Tfl^^A^l^^tV ^'^^^ 
daughter of Wotan, Is represented as naving.been ^ccompJished 

by Siegfried, whoridSes'^hf^uk^y'Svkl^Qf ^^^•^^>KlWstiVf^^^ 

her and thus btxrral(|^!t43«n6TO)lei^i<UilMld^r6Bt th3glebv^'QkUflgal 

warrior fearless eimugs^to brave fire shall come to claim her for 

a bride. ' ' ^ . • 


• '. '\'ih tlion, prince! avenge tliy father, and for 

■-..^ •'! I\v)iini wilt retaliate; tlmu wilt the cruel 

. ; W. h'iirii^- iKjKlly lay low; thou wilt have victory. 


'•'. S-tv, noble kii\c:I kinsman nv>x! wilh all fore- 

' , t. as ^^e hold ti iciully coTivei-^o; si.c^t '!' >a of 

.1 \\o<o l>)!d achievements, tliat will 1 • v>l soar 

•J ' hraw*:;'- !. . IIS."'" 




11. Thou alone wilt slay that glistening serpent, which 
greedy lies on Gnitaheid ; thou shalt of both the slayer 
be, R^n and Fafnir. Gripir tells truly. 


12. Riches will abound, if I so bring conflict among 
men, as thou for certain sayest. Apply thy mind, and 
at length say what will yet my life befall. 


18. Thou wilt find Fafnir's lair, and thence wilt take 
splendid riches, with gold wilt load Grani's back. Thou 
wilt to Giuki ride, the war-famed prince. 


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


15. A 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 


16. The corslet is ript open, 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 
may tend? 


17. She to thee, powerful one I runes will teach, all 



those which men ought to know; and in every man's 
tongue to speak, and medicines for healing. May good 
await thee, king! 


18. Now that is past, the knowledge is acquired, and 
I am ready thence away to ride. Apply thy mind, and 
at length say what more will my life befall. 


19. Thou wilt find Heimir's dwellings, and the glad 
guest wilt be of that great king. Vanished is, Sigurd I 
that which I foresaw; no further mayest thou Gripir 


20. Now bring me grief the words thou speakest ; for 
thou foreseest, king! much further; thou knowest of too 
great calamity to Sigurd ; therefore thou, Gripir ! wilt not 
utter it. 


21. Of thy life the early portion lay before me clear- 
est to contemplate. I am not truly accounted sage, nor 
of the future prescient : that which I knew is gone. 


22. No man I know on the earth's surface, who 
greater prescience has than thou, Gripir! Thou mayest 
not conceal it, unhappy though it be, or if ill betide my 


23. Not with vices will thy life be sullied ; let that, 



noble prince! in thy mind be borne; for while mankind 
exists, thy name, director of the spear-storm! will be 


24. The worst seems to me, that Sigurd is compelled 
from the king to part in such uncertainty. Show me the 
way — ^all is decreed before — ^great chieftain ! if thou wilt, 
my mother's brother ! 


25. To Sigurd I will now openly tell, since the chief- 
tain me thereto compels : thou wilt surely find that I lie 
not. A certain day is for thy death decreed. 


26. I 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 
has lying before him. 


27. There is with Heimir a maiden fair of form, she 
is by men Brjmhild named, daughter of Budli; but the 
dear king Heimir nurtures the hard-souled damsel. 


28. What is it to me, although the maiden be of 
aspect fair ? nurtured with Heimir ? That thou, Gripir ! 
must fully declare; for thou foreseest my whole destiny. 


29. She will thee bereave of almost every joy, the 
fair-faced foster-child of Heimir. Thou wilt not sleep, 



nor of affairs discourse, nor men regard ; only this maiden 
thou wilt see. 


30. What remedy for Sigurd will be applied ; tell me 
that, Gripir ! if it seem good to thee. Shall I obtain the 
damsel ? with dowry purchase the lovely royal daughter ? 


81. Ye will each swear unnumbered oaths, solemnly 
binding, but few will keep. Hast thou been Giuki's guest 
one night, thou wilt have forgotten the fair ward of 


32. How is that, Gripir ! explain it to me : seest thou 
such fickleness in the king's mind, that with that maiden I 
shall my engagement break, whom with my whole heart 
I thought to love? 


38. Prince! thou wilt be snared in another's wiles, 
thou wilt pay the penalty of Grimhild's craft ; the bright- 
haired maiden, her daughter, she to thee will offer. This 
snare for the king she lays. 


84. Shall I then with 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. 


85. Thee will Grimhild wholly beguile; she will im- 
plore thee Brynhild to demand for the hand of Gunnar, 



king of Goths : the journey thou wilt forthwith promise 
to the king's mother. 


36. Evils are at hand, I can that perceive; Sigurd's 
wits will have wholly perished, if I shall demand for 
another's hand, a noble maiden whom I well love. 


37. All of you will swear mutual oaths, Gunnar, and 
Hogni, and thou the third ; and ye will forms exchange, 
when on the way ye are, Gunnar and thou : Gripir lies not. 


88. To what end is that? why shall we exchange 
forms and manners, when on the way we are? Another 
fraud will surely follow this, altogether horrible. But 
say on, Gripir ! 


39. Thou wilt have Gunnar's semblance, and his man- 
ners, thy own eloquence, and great sagacity : there thou 
wilt betroth the high-minded ward of Heimir : no one can 
that prevent. 


40. To me that seems worst, that among men I shall 
be a false traitor called, if such take place. I would not 
deception practise on a royal maid the most excellent I 


41. Thou wilt repose, leader of hosts! pure with the 
maiden, as she thy mother were; therefore exalted, lord 
of men ! while the world endures thy name will be. 

12 163 


42. The nuptials will of both be solemnized, of Sigurd 
and of Gunnar, in Giuki's halls; then will ye forms ex- 
change, when ye home return; yet to himself will have 
each his own senses. 


48. Will then Gunnar, chief among men, the noble 
woman wed ? Tell me that, Gripir ! although three nights 
by me the chieftain's bride glad of heart has slept ? The 
like has no example. 

44. How for happiness shall hereafter be this affinity ? 
Tell me that, Gripir 1 Will the alliance for Gunnar's 
solace henceforth prove, or even for mine? 


45. Thou wilt the oaths remember, and must silence 
keep, and let Gudrun enjoy a happy union. Brynhild 
nathless will herself think an ill-married woman. She 
will wiles devise to avenge herself. 


46. What atonement will that woman take, for the 
frauds* we shall have practised on her? From me the 
maiden has oaths sworn, but never kept, and but little joy. 


47. She to Gunnar will plainly declare, that thou didst 
not well the oaths observe, when the noble king, Giuki's 
heir, with his whole soul, in thee confided. 


48. What will then follow ? let me know that. Will 



that tale appear as true, or that the noble woman falsely 
accuses me, and herself also. Tell me that, Gripir! 


49. From spite towards thee, and from o'erwhelming 
grief, the powerful dame will not most wisely act. To 
the noble woman do thou no further harmi, though thou 
the royal bride with guiles hast circumvented. 


50. Will the prudent Gunnar, Guthorm, and Hogni, 
at her instigation, then proceed? Will Giuki's sons on 
their relative redden their swords? Tell me further, 
Gripir I 


51. Then will Gudrun be furious at heart, when her 
brothers shall on thy death resolve. In nothing then will 
that wise woman take delight. Such is Grimhild's work. 

52. In this thou shalt find comfort, leader of hosts I 
This fortune is allotted to the hero's life: a more re- 
nowned man on earth shall never be, under the sun's 
abode, than thou wilt be accounted. 


53. Now part we, now farewell! Fate may not be 
withstood. Now hast thou, Gripir I done as I prayed 
thee: thou wouldst have fain a happier end foretold me 
of my life's days, hadst thou been able. 




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 Hoenir, 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 
stripped off the otter's skin. That same evening they 
sought entertainment with Hreidmar, and showed their 
prize. Thereupon we laid hands on them, and imposed 
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. Whereupcm Loki said: 



1. What fish IS this, that in the river swims, and can- 
not from harm itself protect ? Redeem thy life from Hel, 
and find me the water's flame.^ 

The Pike. 

2. Andvari I am named, Oin was my 'father named ; 
many a cataract have I passed. A luckless Norn in times 
of old decreed, that in the water I should wade. 


3. Tell me, Andvari! if thou wilt enjoy life in the 
halls of men, what retribution get the sons of mortals, if 
with foul words they assail each other. 


4. Cruel retribution get the sons of mortals, who in 
Vadgelmir wade : for the false 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 : 

6. That gold which the dwarf possessed, shall to two 
brothers be cause of death, and to eight princes, of dis- 
sension. From my wealth no one shall good derive. 

The iEsir 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 
that was done, Hreidmar, stepping forward, observed a 
whisker, and required it to be covered; whereupon Odin 

*0m9C SMUT pwtphriMi tor goM. 



drew forth the ring "Andvara-naut/* ancl covered the 
hair. Loki said : 

6. There is gold for thee, and thou hast a great re- 
demption for my life. For thy son no blessing is de- 
creed ; of both it shall prove the bane. 


7. Gifts thou hast given, friendly gifts thou hast given 
not; with a kind heart thou hast not given. Of your 
lives ye should have been deprived, had I foreknown that 

8. But that is worse, what I seem to know, — sl strife 
of kinsmen for a woman. Princes yet unborn I think 
them to be, for whose hate that gold is destined. 

9. The red gold, I trust, I shall possess while I am 
living: of thy threats I entertain no fear; so take your- 
selves hence home. 

Fafnir and R^in demanded of Hreidmar their share 
of the Uood-fine for their slain brother Otr, which he 
refused, and Fafnir stabbed his father with a sword while 
sleeping. Hreidmar called out to his daughters: 

10. Lyngheid and Lofnheidl Know my life is de- 
parting. To many things need compels.^ 


Few sisters will, although they lose a father, avenge a 
brother's crime. 


11. Then bring forth a daughter, wolf-hearted fury! 

*To wit, to avenge my death on your hrotJiera, 



if by a chief thou have not a son. Get for the maid a 
spouse, in thy great need; then will her son thy wrong 

Hreidmar then died, and Fafnir took all the gold. 
Regin then requested to have his share of the patrimony, 
but met with a refusal fronn Fafnir. Regin thereupon 
sought counsel of his sister Lyngheid, how he might ob- 
tain his patrimony. She said : 

13. Thou of thy brother shalt mildly demand thy 
patrimony and a better spirit. It is not seemly, that with 
the sword thou shouldst demand thy property of Fafnir. 

The foregoing is what Regin related to Sigurd. One 
day, when he came to Regin's dwelling, he was kindly 
received, and Regin said : 

13. Hither is come the son of Sigmund to our hall, 
that man of energy : courage he has greater than I aged 
man : now of a conflict have I hope f romi the fierce wolf .^ 

14. I will nurture the bold-hearted prince: now 
Yngvi's kinsman is to us come; he will be a king under 
the sun most powerful; over all lands will his destinies 

Sigurd was thence forward constantly with Regin, who 
related to him how Fafnir lay on Gnitaheid in the likeness 
of a serpent. He had an "CEgis-helm," ^ at which all 
living beings were terror-stricken. R^in forged a sword 
for Sigurd, that was named Gram, and was so sharp that 
immersing it in the Rhine, he let a piece of wool down 
the stream, when it clove the fleece asunder as water. 

^Sigurd. 'A terrific helm or hoadpiece. 



With that sword Sigurd clove in two Regin's anvil. 
After that Regin instigated Sigurd to slay Fafnir. He 

15. Loud will laugh Hunding's sons, they who Eylimi 
of life deprived, if the prince is more 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 cliff who said : 

16. Who ride yonder, on Raevils horses, the towering 
billows, the roaring main : the sail-steeds are with sweat 
bedewed, the wave-coursers will not the wind withstand. 


17. Here am I and Sigurd in sea-trees; a fair wind 
is given us for death itself: higher than our prows the 
steep waves dash, the rolling horses plunge. Who is it 
that inquires? 


18. They called me Hnikar, when I Hugin gladdened, 
young Volsung! and battles fought. Now they mayest 
call me the ancient of the rock, Feng, or Fiolnir. — I de- 
sire a passage. 

They turn to the land, the old man goes on board, and 
the storm abates. Sigurd said: 

19. Tell me, Hnikar! since thou knowcst the omens 
both of gods and men, which omens are the best — if tQ 

ii^ht 'tis ncedful--^t the swing of ^lavea ? 



20. Good omens there are many, if men but knew 
them, at the swing of glaves, a faithful fellowship, I 
think, is the dark raven's, with the sworded warrior. 

21. The second is, if, when thou art gone out, and 
about to depart, thou seest two renown-seeking men 
standing in the fore-court. 

22. The third omen is, if wolves thou hearest howl 
under the ash-boughs, it will victory to thee announce 
over hdmed warriors, if thou seest them go before thee. 

23. No man should fight against the moon's late- 
shining sister. They hiave victory, who can see keenly 
at the play of swords, or to form the wedge-array. 

24. Most perilous it is, if with thy foot thou strikest, 
when thou to battle goest. Wily Disir stand on either 
side of thee, and wish to see thee wounded. 

25. Combed and washed let every brave man be, and 
at morning fed ; for 'tis tmcertain whither he at eve may 
ccmie. 'Tis bad to succumb to fate. 

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: 

26. Now IS the bloody eagle, with the trenchant blade, 
graven on the back of Sigmund's slayer. No son of 
king, who the earth reddens, and the raven gladdens, is 
more excellent. 

Sigurd returned home to Hialprek, when Regin insti- 
gated him to slay Fafnir. 




Sigurd and Regin went up to Gnitaheid, and there 
found Fafnir's slot, or track, along which he crawled to 
the water. 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 
pierced him to the heart. Fafnir shook himself, and beat 
with his head and tail. Sigurd leapt from the pit, and 
each looked at the other. Fafnir said : 

1. Young fellow! young fellow! by what fellow art 
thou begot? of what people are thou the son? that thou 
in Fafnir reddenst thy glittering falchion? Thy sword 
has pierced my heart. 

Sigurd concealed his name, because it was the belief in 
those times, that the words of dying persons were of 
great power, if they cursed an enemy by his name. 


2. Gofugt-dyr I am called, but I have wandered a 
motherless child; nor have I a father like the sons of 
men: alone I wander. 


3. If thou hast no father like the sons of men, by 
what wonder art thou begotten ? 


4. My race, I tell thee, is to thee unknown, and my- 



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


5. Who has incited thee ? why hast thou suffered 
thyself to be incited to take my life? youth of the spark- 
ling eyes ! Thou hadst a cruel father — ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 


6. My heart incited me^ my hands gave me aid, and 
my keen sword. Rarely a man is bold, when of mature 
age, if in childhood he was faint-hearted. 


7. I know 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, 'tis said, 
slaves ever tremble. 


8. Why Fafnir! dost thou upbraid me that I am far 
from my paternal home? I am not a captive, although 
in war I was taken : thou hast found that I am free. 


9. Thou wilt account only as angry words all I to 
thee shall say, but I will say the truth. The jingling 
gold, and the gleed-red treasure, those rings, shall be thy 


10. Treasure at command every one desires, ever till 
that one day; for at some time each mortal shall hence 
to Hel depart. 




11. The Noras' decree thou wilt hold in contempt 
as from a witless wight : In water thou shalt be drowned, 
if in wind thou rowest. All things bring peril to the 


12. Tell me, Pafhir! as thou art wise declared, and 
many things to know: who those Noras are, who help 
in need, and from babes loose the mothers. 


13. Very diversely bora I take those Noras to be: 
they have no common race. Some are of -^sir-race, 
some of Alfar-race, some are Dvalin's daughters. 


14. Tell me, Fafnir! as thou art wise declared, and 
many things to know, how that holm is called, where 
Surt and the -^sir will sword-liquor together mingle? 


15. Oskopnir it is called; there shall the gods with 
lances play ; Bilrost shall be broken, when they go forth, 
and their steeds in the river swim. 

16. An CEgis-hdm I bore among the sons of men, 
while I o'er the treasures lay ; stronger than all I thought 
myself to be; strcwiger I found not many I 


17. An QEgis-helm is no protection, where men im- 
pelled by anger fight: soon he finds, who among many 
comesi that no one is alone the boldest 



18. Venom I Uew forth, when on my father's great 
heritage I lay. 


19. Thou, glistening serpent 1 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 


20. Sigurd I I now counsel thee, do thou take my 
counsel; and hence ride home. The jingling gold, and 
the gleed-red treasure, those rings, shall be thy bane. 


21. Counsel regarding thee is taken, and I to the gold 
will ride, on the heath that lies. But lie thou, Fafnir! 
in the pangs of death, until Hel have thee! 


22. Regin betrayed me, he will thee betray, he of us 
both will be the bane. Fafnir must, I trow, let forth 
his life: thine was the greater might! 

Regin had gone away while Sigurd slew Fafnir, but 
came back as Sigurd was wiping the blood from his 
sword. He said: 

23. Hail to thee now, Sigurd ! Now hast thou vic- 
tory wcm and Fafnir slain : of all the men who tread the 
earth, thou art, I say, the bravest bom. 


24. Uncertain 'tis to know, when we all come to- 



gether, sons of victorious heroes, which is the bravest 
bom. Many a one is bold, who sword has never broken 
in another's breast. 


25. Glad are thou now, Sigurd! and in thy gain re- 
joicing, while Gram in the grass thou driest. My 
brother thou to death hast wounded, yet in some degree 
was I the cause. 


26. Thou didst me counsel, that I should ride o'er 
high fells hither. Treasure and life had still possessed 
that glistening serpent, hadst thou my 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! — but I must go to sleep — and 
Fafnir's heart hold to the fire. Of this refection I would 
fain partake, after that drink of blood. 


28. Thou wentst far off, while I in Fafnir my keen 
sword reddened. With my strength I strove against the 
serpent's might, while in the ling thou layest. 


29. Long hadst thou allowed in the ling to lie that 
Jotun old, hadst thou the sword not used that I forged 
for thee, thy keen-edged glave. 


30. Valour is better than might of sword, when foes 



embittered fight ; for a brave man I have ever seen gain 
victory with a dull sword. 

31. 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. 

Sigurd took Fafnir's heart and roasted it on a stick. 
When he thought it roasted enough, and the blood frothed 
from 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 
the eagles chattering among the branches. One eagle 

32. There sits Sigurd sprinkled with blood; Fafnir's 
heart at the fire he roasts. Wise methinks were the ring- 
dispenser, if he the glistening life-pulp ate. 

Second eagle. 

33. There lies R^n communing with himself ; he will 
beguile the youth, who in him trusts : in rage he brings 
malicious words together, the framer of evil will avenge 
his brother. 

Third eagle. 

34. By the head shorter, let him the hoary babbler 
send hence to Hel ; then can he all the gold possess alone, 
the mass that under Fafnir lay. 

Fourth eagle. 

35. He would, methinks, be prudent, if he could have 
your friendly counsel, my sisters I If he would bethink 



himself, and Hugin gladden. There I expect the wolf, 
where his ears I see. 

Pifth eagle. 

36. Not so prudent is that tree of battle, as I that 
martial leader had supposed, if he one brother lets depart, 
now he the other has of life bereft. 

Sixth eagle. 

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

Seventh eagle. 

38. By the head shorter let him make the ice-cold 
Jotun, and of his rings deprive him ; then of that treasure 
thou,^ which Fafnir owned, sole lord wilt be! 


89. Fate shall not so resistless be, that Regin shall 
my death-word bear; for the brothers both shall speedily 
go hence 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: 

40. Bind thou, Sigurd ! the red-gold rings. It is not 
kingly many things to fear. I a maid know by far the 
fairest, with gold adorned. Couldst thou but her obtain ! 

Second eagle. 

41. To Giuki lead all-verdant ways; the fates point 

*L e., Slfurd ; a translUon from ttie 8d penon to Uie 2nd. 



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

Third eagle. 

42. There stands a hall on the high Hindarfiall, with- 
out 'tis all with fire surrounded; sagacious men have it 
constructed of the resplendent radiance of the flood.^ 

Fourth eagle. 

43. On the fell I know a warrior maid to sleep, over 
her waves the linden's bane.* Ygg whilom stuck a sleep- 
thorn in the robe of the maid who would heroes choose. 

44. Thou, youth ! mayest see the helmed maiden, her 
whom Vingskomir from battle bore. May not Sigrdrif a's 
slumber break the son of warriors,* against the Noms' 

Sigurd rode along Fafnir's track to his lair, which h^ 
found open. The doors and door-posts were of iron ; of 
iron also were all the beams in the house ; but the treasure 
was buried in the earth. Sigurd found there a great 
quantity of gold, and filled two chests with it. He took 
thence the CEgis-helm, a golden corslet, the sword named 
Hrotti, and many precious things, all which he laid on 
Grani ; but the horse would not proceed until Sigurd had 
mounted on his back. 

^Anotlier peiiphrasls for gold. *A perlphraals for fire. *0f Skloldnnsi. 

13 179 



Sigurd rode up the Hindarfiall, and directed his course 
southwards towards Frankland. In the fell he saw a 
great light, as if a fire were burning, which blazed up to 
the sky. On approaching it, there stood a "skialdborg," 
and over it a banner. Sigurd went into the skialdborg, 
and saw a warrior lying within it asleep, completely 
armed. He first took the helmet off the warrior's head, 
and saw that it was a woman. Her corslet was as fast 
as if it had grown to her body. With his sword Gram 
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: 

1. What has my corslet cut? why from sleep have I 
started ? who has cast from me the fallow bands ? 


Sigmund's son has just now ript the raven's perch,^ 
with Sigurd's sword. 


2. Long have I slept, long been with sleep oppressed, 
long are mortals' sufferings! Odin is the cause that I 
have been unable to cast off torpor. 

^The original words, brafns hrsBlundlr, the raven'9 corpae-treea. So 
Orlmm understands Uie line ; because that bird bops about upon tbe armour 
as upon a tree. 



Sigurd sat down and asked her name. She then took 
a horn filled with mead, and gave him the tninnis-cup. 


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. 

4. Hail to the -^sir ! Hail to the Asyniur ! Hail to 
the bounteous earth! Words and wisdom give to us 
noble twain, and healing hands* 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, whom no divinity would 
patronize. Sigrdrifa overcame Hialmgunnar in battle; 
in revenge for which Odin pricked her with a sleep-thorn, 
and declared that henceforth she should never have vic- 
tory in battle, and should be given in marriage. "But I 
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: 


5. Beer I bear to thee, column* of battle ! with might 
mingled, and with bright glory: 'tis full of song, and 
salutary saws, of potent incantaticMis, and joyous dis- 

^The Bvperstltlon of the healing lumd is not yet extinct In Iceland. Dr. 
Maurer relates a story of a man in Reykjavik to whom it would seem to 
haye been communicated by an elfln, in a dream. Ijlterally apple-tree. 



6. Sig-runes thou must know, if victory (sigr) thou 
wilt have, and on thy sword's hilt grave them-; some on 
the chapes, some on the guard, and twice name the name 
of Ty. 

7. Ol- (beer-) runes thou must know, if thou wilt not 
that another's wife thy trust betray, if thou in her con- 
fide. On the horn must they be graven, and on the hand's 
back, and Naud* on the nail be scored. 

8. A cup must be blessed, and against peril guarded, 
and garlick in the liquor cast : then I know thou wilt never 
have mead with treachery mingled. 

9. Biarg- (help-) runes thou must know, if thou wilt 
help, 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. 

10. Brim- (sea-) runes thou must know, if thou wilt 
have secure afloat thy sailing steeds. On the prow they 
must be graven, and on the helm-blade, and with fire to 
the oar applied. No 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. 

iTbe name of a rune. 



13. Hug- (thought-) runes thou must know, if thou a 
wiser man wilt be than every other. Those interpreted, 
those graved, those devised Hropt, from the fluid, which 
had leaked from Heiddraupnir^s head, and from Hoddrop- 
nir's horn. 

14. On a rock he stood, with edged sword, a helm on 
his head he bore. Then spake Mim's head its first wise 
word, and true sayings uttered. 

15. They are, it said, 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. 

16. On 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 heal- 
ing's track. 

17. On glass 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 

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, some with 
the wise Vanir, some human beings have. 

19. Those are bok-runes,^ those are biarg-runes, and 
all ol- (beer-) runes, and precious megin- (power-) runes, 
for those who can, without confusion or corruption, turn 

^Literally bMch- (book-) runes, from being used for book writing or 
graying on thin leaves of beech (bok), whence our Ifook. Bok also signiflea 
acupictile, Yel acu^ictwm {velum, auUcum), 



them to his welfare. Use, if thou hast understood tHem, 
until the powers perish. 

20. Now thou shalt choose, since a choice is offered 
thee, keen armed warrior! my speech, or silence: think 
over it in thy mind. All evils^ have their measure. 


21. I will not flee, though thou shouldst know me 
doomed. I am not bom a craven. Thy friendly coun- 
sels all I will receive, as long as life is in me. 


22. This I 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. This I thee counsel secondly: that no oath thou 
swear, if it be not true. Cruel bonds follow broken faith : 
accursed is the faith-breaker. 

24. This I thee counsel thirdly : that in the assembly 
thou contend not with a fool; for an unwise man oft 
utters words worse than he knows of. 

25. All is vain, if thou boldest silence; then wilt thou 
seem a craven bom, or else truly accused. Doubtful is a 
servant's testimony, unless a good one thou gettest. On 
the next day let his life go forth, and so men's lies reward. 

26. This I counsel thee fourthly: if a wicked sor- 
ceress dwells by the way, to go on is better than there to 
lodge, though night may overtake thee. 

27. Of searching eyes the sons of men have need, 

'An allusion to Sigurd's unhappy end. 



when fiercely they have to fight: oft pernicious women 
by the way-side sit, who swords and valour deaden. 

28. This I thee counsel fifthly : although thou see fair 
women on the benches sitting, let not their kindred's sil- 
ver over thy sleep have power. To kiss thee entice no 

29. This I thee counsel sixthly : although among men 
pass offensive tipsy talk, never while drunken quarrel with 
men of war : wine steals the wits of many. 

30. Brawls and drink to many men have been a heart- 
felt sorrow ; to some their death, to some calamity : many 
are the griefs of men ! 

31. This I thee counsel seventhly: if thou hast dis- 
putes with a daring man, better it is for men to fight than 
to be burnt within their dwelling. 

32. This I thee counsel eighthly : that thou guard thee 
against evil, and eschew deceit. Entice no maiden, nor 
wife of man, nor to wantonness incite. 

33. This I thee counsel ninthly: that thou corpses 
bury, wherever on the earth thou findest them, whether 
from sickness they have died, or from the sea, or are from 
weapons dead. 

34. Let a mound be raised for those departed; let 
their hands and head be washed, combed, and wiped dry, 
ere in the coffin they are laid : and pray for their happy 

35. This I 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. 



36. Strifes and fierce enmities think not to be lulled, 
no more than deadly injury. Wisdom and fame in arms a 
prince not easily acquires, who shall of men be foremost. 

37. This I counsel thee eleventhly: that thou at evil 
look, what course it may take. A long life, it seems to 
me the prince may [not] enjoy; — fierce disputes will arise. 

Sigurd said : "A wiser mortal exists not, and I swear 
that I will possess thee, for thou art after my heart." She 
answered : "Thee I will have before all others, though I 
have to choose among all men." And this they confirmed 
with oaths to each other. 



[Sigurd then- rides away from Hindarfiall, and jour- 
neys on till he comes to the habitation of Heimir, who 
was married to Beckhild, Brynhild's sister. Alsvid, 
Heimir's son, who was at play when Sigurd arrived at 
the mansion, received him kindly, and requested him to 
stay with him. Sigurd consented, and remained there a 
short time. Brynhild was at that time with Heimir, and 
was weaving within a gold border the great exploits of 

iThese fragments from the Volsunga-Saga, which are inserted in some 
paper manuBcripta of the Bdda, and (»ntaining 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. 



One day, when Sigurd was come from the forest, his 
hawk flew to the window at which Brynhild sat employed 
on weaving. Sigurd ran after it, saw the. lady, and ap- 
peared struck with her handiwork and beauty. On the 
following day Sigurd went to her apartment, and Alsvid 
stood outside the door shafting arrows. Sigurd said: 
"Hail to thee, lady!" or "How fares it with thee?" She 
answered: "We are well, my kindred and friends are 
living, but it is uncertain what any one's lot may be till 
their last day." He sat down by hen Brynhild said: 
"This seat will be allowed to few, unless my father 
comes." Sigurd answered : "Now is that come to pass 
which thou didst promise me." She said : "Here shalt 
thou be welcome." She then arose, and her four maid- 
ens 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 fairer than thou was never bom." She said : "It is 
not wise to place faith in women, for they so often break 
their promise." He said : "Better days will come upon 
us, so that we may enjoy happiness." Brjmhild said: 
"It is not ordained that we shall live together, for I am a 
shield-maiden (skjaldnwer)." Sigurd said: "Then will 
our happiness be best promoted, if we live together; for 
harder to endure is the pain which herein lies than from a 
keen weapon." Brynhild said : "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 sub- 



ject ; and I 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 much 
gold, until he came to the palace of King Giuki, whose 
wife was named Grimhild. They had three sons, Gun- 
nar, Hogni, and Guthorm. Gudrun was the name of 
their daughter. King Giuki entreated Sigurd to stay 
there, and there he remained a while. All appeared low 
by the side of Sigurd. One evening the sorceress Grim- 
hild rose and presented a horn to Sigurd, saying : "J^X" 
ful for us is thy presence, and we desire that all good 
may befall thee. Take this horn and drink." He took it 
and drank, and with that drink forgot both his love and 
his vows to Brynhild. After that, Grimhild so fascinated 
him that he was induced to espouse Gudrun, and all 
pledged their faith to Sigurd, and confirmed it by oaths. 
Sigurd gave Gudrun to eat of Fafnir*s heart, and she be- 
came afterwards far more austere than before. Their 
son was named Sigmund. 

Grimhild now counselled her son Gunnar to woo Bryn- 
hild, and consulted with Sigurd, in consequence of this 
design. Brynhild had vowed to wed that man only who 
should ride over the blazing fire that was laid around her 
hall. They found the hall and the fire burning around 
. it. Gunnar rode Goti, and Hogni Holknir. Gunnar 
turns his horse towards the fire, but it shrinks back. Si- 
gurd said: "Why dost thou shrink back, Gunnar?" 



Gunnar answers: "My horse will not leap this fire," 
and prays Sigurd to lend him Grani. "He is at thy serv- 
ice," said Sigurd. Gunnar now rides again towards the 
fire, but Grani will not go over. They then dianged 
forms. Sigurd rides, having in his hand the sword Gram, 
and golden spurs on his heels. Grani runs forward to 
the fire when he feels the spur. There was now a great 
noise, as it is said : 

1. The fire 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. 

2. Sigurd Grani with his word urged, the fire was 
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 Sigurd entered. She 
asks who he is, and he calls himself Gunnar Giuki's son. 
"And thou art destined to be my wife with thy father's 
consent. I have ridden through the flickering flame 
(vafrlogi) at thy requisition." She said: "I know not 
well how I shall answer this." Sigurd stood erect on 
the floor resting on the hilt of his sword. She rose em- 
barrassed from her seat, like a swan on the waves, hav- 
ing a sword in her hand, a helmet on her head, and wear- 
ing a corslet. "Gunnar," said she, "speak not so to me, 
unless thou art the foremost of men ; and then thou must 
slay him who has sought me, if thou hast so much trust 
in thyself." Sigurd said: "Remember now thy prom- 
ise, that thou wouldst go with that man who should ride 
through the flickering flame." She acknowledged the 



truth of his words, stood up, and gave him a glad wel- 
come. 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 an- 
other 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 

Brynhild related this in confidence to her foster-father 
Heimir, and said: "A king named Gunnar has ridden 
through the flickering flame, and is come to speak with 
me; but I told him that Sigurd alone might so do, to 
whom I gave my vow at Hindarfiall, and that he only 
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 
asked why she did so? Brjnhild answered: "Why 
shall I go on along with thee in this more than in any- 
thing else ?" "I presume that my father was more potent 
than thine, and my husband has performed more valorous 



deeds, and ridden through the blazing fire. Thy husband 
was King Hialprek's thrall." Gudrun answered angrily : 
"Thou sbouldst be wiser than to venture to vilify my 
husband, as it is the talk of all that no one like to him 
in every respect has ever come into the world; nor does 
it become thee to vilify him, as he was thy former hus- 
band, and slew Fafnir, and rode through the fire, whom 
thou thoughtest w^as King Gunnar ; and he lay with thee, 
and took from thee the ring Andvaranaut, and here may- 
est thou recognize it." Brynhild then looking at the 
ring, recognized it, and turned pale as though she were 
dead. Brynhild was very taciturn that evening, and 
Gudrun asked Sigurd why Brj-nhild was so taciturn. He 
dissuaded her much from making this inquiry, and said 
that at all events it would soon be known. 

On the morrow, when sitting in their apartment, Gud- 
run said : "Be cheerful, Brynhild ! What is it that pre- 
vents thy mirth ?" Brynhild answered : "Malice drives 
thee to this; for thou hast a cruel heart." "J^dge not 
so," said Gudrun. Brjmhild continued: "Ask about 
that only which is better for thee to know ; that is more 
befitting women of high degree. It is good, too, for thee 
to be content, as all goes according to thy wishes." Gud- 
run said: "It is premature to glory in that: this fore- 
bodes something; but what instigates thee against us?" 
Br3mhild answered: "Thou shalt be requited for hav- 
ing espoused Sigurd ; for I grudge thee the possession of 
him." Gudrun said: "We knew not of your secret." 
Brjmhild answered: "We have had no secret, though 
we have sworn oaths of fidelity ; and thou knowest that I 



have been deceived, and I will avenge it." Gudrun said : 
"Thou art better married than thou deservest to be, and 
thy violence must be cooled." "Content should I be," 
said Brynhild, "didst thou not possess a more renowned 
husband than I." Gudrun answered: "Thou hast as 
renowned a husband; for it is doubtful which is the 
greater king." Brynhild said: "Sigurd overcame Faf- 
nir, and that is worth more than all Gunnar's kingdom, 
as it is 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 own daughter." Brynhild said : 
"She is the cause of all the evil which gnaws me. She 
presented to Sigurd the pernicious drink, so that he no 
more remembered me." Gudrun said: "Many an un- 
just word thou utterest, and this is a great falsehood." 
Brynhild said: "So enjoy Sigurd as thou hast not de- 
ceived me, and may it go with thee as I imagine." Gud- 
run 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 
the grief that dwells in my breast : I have also felt regard 



for thy brother. But let us talk of other things." Gud- 
run said: "Your imagination looks far forward." 

Brynhild then lay in bed, and King Gunnar came to 
talk with her, and begged her to rise and give vent to her 
sorrow; but she would not listen to him. They then 
brought Sigurd to visit her and learn whether her grief 
might not be alleviated. They called to memory their 
oaths, and how they had been deceived, and at length 
Sigurd offered to marry her and put away Gudrun ; but 
she would not hear of it. Sigurd left the apartment, but 
was so greatly affected by her sorrow that the rings of 
his corslet burst asunder from his sides, as is said in the 
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 Si- 
gurd, saying that he had deceived them both and broken 
his oath. Gimnar consulted with Hogni, and revealed to 
him this conversation. Hogni earnestly strove to dis- 
suade 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, 
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 is said : 

"The forest-fish they roasted, and the wolfs carcase 



took, while some to Guthonn dealt out gold; gave him 
Geri's^ flesh with his drink, and many other things steeped 

With this food he became so furious, that he would 
instantly perpetrate the deed. On this it is related as in 
the Sigurdarkvida, when Gunnar and Brynhild conversed 


1. It was of old that Sigurd, the young Volsung, 
Giuki sought, after his conflict, received the pledge of 
friendship from the two brothers; oaths exchanged the 
bold of deed. 

2. A maid they offered him, and treasures many, Gud- 
run, Giuki's youthful daughter. Drank and conversed, 
many days together, Sigurd the young and Giuki's sons. 

3. Until they went to woo Brynhild, apd with them 
Sigurd, the youthful Volsung, rode in company, who 
knew the way. He would have possessed her, if her pos- 
sess he might. 

4. Sigurd the southern laid a naked sword, a glitter- 
ing falchion, between them; nor the damsel did he kiss, 
nor did the Hunnish king to his arm lift her. He the 
blooming maid to Giuki's son delivered. 

5. She to herself of body was of no sin conscious, nor 

^The name of one of Odin's wolyes; bere used poeUcally for tool/ iQ 



at her deathnday, of any crime, that could be a stain, or 
thought to be: intervened therein the grisly fates. 

6. Alone she sat without, at eve of day, began aloud 
with herself to speak: "Sigurd must be mine; I must 
die, or that blooming youth clasp in my arms." 

7. "Of the words I have uttered I now repent; he is 
Gudrun's consort, and I am Gunnar's. The hateful 
Noms long suffering have decreed us." 

8. Oftentimes she wandered, filled with evil thoughts, 
o'er ice and icebergs, every eve, when he and Gudrun had 
to their couch withdrawn, and Sigurd her in the cover- 
ings wrapt, the Hunnish king his wife caressed. 

9. "Devoid I go of spouse and pleasure ; I will beguile 
myself with vengeful thoughts." 

10. By 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 ven- 
geance be the easier to appease, if the son lives?" 

13. Wroth was Gunnar, and with grief borne down ; 
in his mind revolved, sat the whole day ; he knew not well, 
nor could devise, what were most desirable for him to do, 
or were most fitting to be done, when he should find 
himself of the Volsung bereft, and in Sigurd a great loss 

U 195 


14. Much he thought, and also long, that it did not 
often happen, that from their royal state women with- 
drew. Hogni he then to counsel summoned, in whom 
he placed the fullest trust. 

15. "Of all to me Brynhild, Budli's daughter, is the 
dearest ; she is the chief of women : rather will I my life 
lay down than that fair one's treasures lose. 

16. "Wilt thou the prince for his wealth circumvent? 
good 'tis to ccMTimand the ore of Rhine, and at ease over 
riches rule, and in tranquillity happiness enjoy." 

17. This alone Hogni for answer gave : "It beseems 
us not so to do, by the sword to break sworn oaths, oaths 
sworn, and plighted faith. 

18. "We know not on earth men more fortunate, 
while we four over the people rule, and the Hun lives, 
that warlike chief ; nor on earth, a race more excellent, if 
we five sons long shall foster, and the good progeny can 

19. I know full well whence the causes spring : Bryn- 
hild's importunity is over-great. 

20. We will 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 warrior in his chamber 
hurled his brand after the fierce assassin ; to Guthorm flew 
dartlike 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 
place. j^ 


24. Sunk in sleep 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 swank 

25. So violently struck she her hands together, that 
the stout of heart rose in his bed. "Weep not, Gudrun ! 
so cruelly, my blooming bride! thy brothers live. 

26: An heir I have, alas! too young; he cannot flee 
from the hostile house; among themselves they recently 
have dark and evil counsels devised. 

27. Never henceforth, although seven thou bear, will 
such a son to the trysting with them ride. Full well I 
know how this has befallen : Brynhild the sole cause is 
of all the evil. 

28. Me the maiden loved more than any man; but 
towards Gunnar I sinned not; affinity I held sacred, and 
sworn oaths; thence forward I was called his consort's 

29. The woman gave forth sighs, and the king his 
life. So violently she struck her hands together, that the 
beakers on the wall responsive rang, and in the court the 
geese loudly screamed. 

30. Laughed then Brynhild, Budli's daughter, once 
only, from her whole soul, when in her bed she listened 
to the loud lament of Giuki's daughter. 

31. Then said Gunnar, the hawk-bearing prince: 
"Laugh not thereat, thou barbarous woman ! glad on thy 
couch, as if good awaited thee. Why hast thou lost that 
beauteous colour ? authoress of crime ! Methinks to death 
thou art doomed. 

32. Well dost thou deserve, above all women, that 



before thy eyes, we should lay Atli low, that thou shouldst 
see thy brother's blood-streaming sore, his gory wounds 
shouldst have to bind." 

33. Then said Brynhild, Budli's daughter : "No one 
provokes thee, Gunnar! complete is thy work of death. 
Little does Atli thy hatred fear; his life will outlast thine, 
and his might be ever greater. 

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

35. Nor did I desire to marry any man, before ye 
Giukungs rode to our dwelling, three on horseback, pow- 
erful kings : would that journey had never been ! 

36. Then myself I promised to the great king, who 
with gold sat on Grani's back. In eyes he did not you 
resemble, nor was 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 I let my- 
self be married, nor grant me any part of the acquired 
gold, which he to me a girl had given to possess, and to 
me a child in moneys counted. 

38. Then distracted was my mind thereon, whether I 
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 

39. Our reconciliation we let follow: to me it had 
been more pleasing the treasures to accept, the red-gold 



rings of Sigmund's son : nor did I another's gold desire ; 
him alone I loved, none other. Menskogul * had not a 
changing mind. 

40. All this will Atli hereafter find, when he shall 
hear of my funeral rites completed; for never shall the 
heavy-hearted woman with another's husband pass her 
life. Then will my wrongs be all avenged." 

41. Up rose Gunnar, prince of warriors, and round 
his consort's neck hid his hands ; all drew nigh, yet each 
one singly, through honest feeling, to dissuade her. 

42. She from her neck those about her cast; she let 
no one stay her from her long journey. 

43. He then called Hogni to consultation. "I will 
that all our folk to the hall be summoned, thine with 
mine — ^now 'tis most needful — ^to see if we can hinder 
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. Unblest she came on her mother's lap, bom 
in the world for ceaseless misery, for many a man's heart- 
felt sorrow." 

45. 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 her- 
self she pierced, with the sword's point. 

46. On the pillow she turned to the other side, and, 
wounded with the glave, on her last counsels thought. 

^Tbat is, Skogul with the necltlace ; Brynblld applies this name to her- 
self, which is a compound of men, necklace, monile, and Skogul, the name 
of a Valkyria. 



47. "Now let come those who desire gold, and aught 
less precious, to receive from me. To every one I give a 
gilded necklace,* needle-work and coverlets, splendid 

48. All were silent, thought on what to do, and all 
together answer gave : "Too many are there dead : we 
will yet live, still be hungry hall-servants, to do what 
fitting is." 

49. At length after reflection, the lady linen-clad, 
young in years, words in answer uttered : "I desire that 
none, dead to entreaty, should by force, for our sake, lose 
their life. 

50. Yet o'er your bones will bum fewer ornaments, 
Menia's good meal,* when ye go hence me to seek. 

51. Gunnar! sit down, I will tell to thee, that of life 
now hopeless is thy bright consort. Thy vessel will not 
be always afloat, thougli I shall have my life resigned. 

52. With Gudrun thou wilt be reconciled, sooner than 
thou thinkest: that wise woman has by the king sad 
memorials, after her consort's death. 

53. There is bom a maid, which her mother rears; 
brighter far than the clear day, than the sun's beam, will 
Svanhild be. 

54. Gudmn thou wilt give to an illustrious one, a 
warrior, the bane of many men : not to her wish will she 
be married ; Atli will come her to espouse, Budli's son, my 

^NecklaceB usually consisted In gold and silver chains or laces with 
ornaments attached to them ; If these resembled the sun or moon they 
were called Slgll, aunt (such were those here spoken of) ; and such was the 
necklace worn by Freyla» the bright goddess of the Vanir. ICenla's meal» 
or flour. Is gold, 


55. Much have I in memory how I was treated, when 
ye me so cruelly had deceived : robbed I was of happiness, 
while my life lasted. 

56. Thou wilt desire Oddrun to possess, but Atli will 
permit it not ; in secret ye will each other meet. She will 
love thee, as I had done, if us a better fate had been al- 

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, and cease to live ; for 
Gudrun in her vengeance him in his bed will slay, through 
bitterness of spirit, with the sword's sharp edge. 

59. More seemly would appear our sister Gudrun, had 
she in death her first consort followed, had but good coun- 
sel been to her given, or she a soul possessed resembling 
mine — 

60. Faintly I now speak — but for our sake she will 
not lose her life. She will be borne on towering billows 
to King Jonakr's paternal soil. Doubts will be in the 
resolves of Jonakr's sons. 

61. She will Svanhild send from the land, her daugh- 
ter, and Sigurd's. Her will destroy Bikki's counsel ; for 
Jormunrdc for evil lives. Then will have passed away 
all Sigurd's race, and Gudrun's tears will be the more. 

62. One prayer I have to thee yet to make, in this 
world 'twill be my last request: Let in the plain be 
raised a pile so spacious, that for us all like room may be, 
for those who shall have died with Sigurd. 

68. Bedeck the pile about with shields and hangings, 



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 
adorned, the keen-edged iron, so again be placed, as when 
we both one couch ascended, and were then called by the 
name of consorts. 

66. Then will not clang against his heel the hall's 
bright gates, with splendid ring, if my train him hence 
shall follow. Then will our procession appear not mean. 

67. For him will follow five female thralls, eight male 
slaves of gentle birth, fostered with me, and with my 
patrimony, which to his daughter Budli gave. 

68. Much I have said, 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 





1. "Why art thou, Brynhild! Budli's daughter! ab- 
sorbed in evil and murderous thoughts? What injury 
has Sigurd done thee, that thou the hero wilt of life be- 
reave ?" 


2. "Sigurd to me oaths has sworn, oaths sworn, all 
falsehoods. He at a time deceived me when he should 
have been of all oaths most observant." 


3. "Thee Brynhild has in anger instigated evil to per- 
petrate, 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 
crime, on the mighty man lay their hands. 

5. Without stood Gudrun, Giuki's daughter, and these 
words first of all uttered : "Where is now Sigurd, lord 
of warriors, seeing that my kinsmen foremost ride?" 

6. Hogni alone to her answer gave: "Asunder have 
we Sigurd hewed with our swords ; his grey steed bends 
o'er the dead chief." 

7. Then said Brynhild, Budli's daughter : "Well shall 
ye now enjoy arms and lands. Sigurd would alone over 
all have ruled, had he a little longer life retained. 



8. Unseemly it had been that he should so have ruled 
over Giuki's heritage and the Goths' people, when he five 
sons, for the fall of hosts, eager for warfare, had be- 

9. Then laughed Brynhild — ^the whole burgh re- 
sounded — once only from her whole heart: "Well shall 
ye enjoy lands and subjects, now the daring king ye have 
caused to fall." 

10. Then said Gudrun, Giuki's daughter: "Much 
thou speakest, things most atrocious: may fiends have 
Gunnar, Sigurd's murderer ! Souls malevolent vengeance 

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 was drunken, then 
did pleasant talk of all kinds pass : all sank in sleep, when 
to rest they went Gunnar alone was wakeful longer than 

13. He began his foot to move, and much with him- 
self to 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 
Skioldungs, a little ere day: "Urge me or stay me — 
the mischief is perpetrated — ^my sorrow to pour forth, or 
to suppress it." 

15. All were silent at these words; few understood 


the lady's conduct, that 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, 
king ! wast riding of joy bereft, with fetters loaded, to a 
hostile host. So will ye all, race of Niflungs ! be of power 
deprived, perjurers as ye are! 

17. Ill Gunnar! didst thou remember, when blood ye 
in your footsteps both let flow ; now hast thou him ill for 
all that requited, because he would prove himself fore- 

18. Then was it proved, when the hero had ridden to 
see me, to woo me, how the warlike chief whilom held 
sacred his oath towards the youthful prince. 

19. Laid his sword, with gold adorned, the illustrious 
king between us both: outward its edges were with fire 
wrought, but with venom drops tempered within." 

From this lay, in which the death of Sigurd is related, 
it appears that he was slain without doors, while some 
relate that he was slain sleeping in his bed : but the Ger- 
mans say he was slain out in the forest ; and it is told in 
the "Gudrunarkvida hin Foma," that Sigurd and the sons 
of Giuki had ridden to the public assembly (thing) when 
he was slain. But it is said by all, without exception, 
that they broke faith with him, and attacked him while 
lying down and unprepared. 




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 talk of birds. This is also 
sung of Gudrun : 

1. Of old it was that Gudrun prepared to die, when 
she sorrowing over Sigurd sat. No sigh she uttered, nor 
with her hands beat, nor wailed, as other women. 

2. Jarls came forward of great sagacity, from her 
sad state of mind to divert her. Gudrun could not shed a 
tear, such was her affliction; ready she was to burst. 

3. Sat there noble wives of jarls, adorned with gold, 
before Gudrun; each of them told her sorrows, the bit- 
terest she had known. 

4. Then said Giaflaug, Giuki's sister: "I know my- 
self to be on earth most joyless : of five consorts I the loss 
have suffered ; of two daughters, sisters three, and broth- 
ers eight ; I alone live." 

5. Gudrun could not shed a tear, such was her afflic- 
tion for her dead consort, and her soul's anguish for the 
king's fall. 

6. Then said Herborg, Hunaland's queen : "I a more 
cruel grief have to recount: my seven sons, in the south 
land, my spouse the eighth, in conflict fell. 


7. My father and my mother, my brothers four, on 
the sea the wind deluded ; the waves struck on the ship's 

8. Their last honours 'twas mine to pay, 'twas mine 
to see them tombed, their funeral rites to prepare was 
mine. All this I underwent in one half-year, and to me 
no one consolation offered. 

9. Then I became a captive, taken in war, at the close 
of the same half-year. Then had I to adorn, and tie the 
shoes, of the hersir's wife, each mom. 

10. From jealousy she threatened me, and with hard 
blows drove me: nowhere master found I a better, but 
mistress no where a worse.'* 

11. Gudrun could not shed a tear, such was her afflic- 
tion for her dead consort, and her soul's anguish for the 
king's fall. 

12. Then said Gullrond, Giuki's daughter: "Little 
canst thou, my fosterer, wise as thou art, with a young 
wife fittingly talk." The king's body she forbade to be 
longer hidden. 

13. She snatched the sheet from Sigurd's corse, and 
turned his cheek towards his wife's knees : "Behold thy 
loved one, lay thy mouth to his lip, as if thou wouldst 
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. 

15. Then sank down Gudrun back on her pillow, her 
head-gear was loosed, her cheeks grew red, and a flood 
of tears fell to her knees. 



16. Then wept Gudrun, Giuki's daughter, so that the 
tears spontaneously flowed, and at the same time screamed 
the geese in the court, the noble birds, which the lady 

17. Then spake Gullrond, Giuki's daughter : "Your 
loves I know were the most ardent among living beings 
upon earth : thou hadst delight nowhere, sister mine ! save 
with Sigurd." 

18. Then said Gudrun, Giuki's daughter : "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 
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 my 
affliction, and their sister's tears of anguish. 

21. So ye desolate the people's land, as ye have kept 
your sworn oaths. Gunnar! thou wilt not the gold en- 
joy; those rings will be thy bane, for the oaths thou to 
Sigurd gavest. 

22. Oft in the mansion was the greater mirth, when 
my Sigurd Grani saddled, and Brynhild they went to woo, 
that which accursed, in an evil hour !" 

23. Then said Brynhild, Budli's daughter : "May the 
hag lack spouse and children, who thee, Gudrun! has 
caused to weep, and this morning g^ven thee runes of 
speech !" * 

■Power of speech. 



24. Then said Gullrond, Giuki's daughter: "Cease, 
thou loathed of all ! from those words. The evil destiny 
of princes thou hast ever been ; thee every billow drives 
of an evil nature ; thou sore affliction of seven kings, the 
greatest bane of friendship among women!" 

25. Then said Brynhild, Budli's daughter : "Atli my 
brother, Budli's offspring, is the sole cause of all the evil ; 

26. When in the hall of the Hunnish folk, with the 
king we beheld the fire of the serpent's bed.^ Of that 
journey, I have paid the penalty, that sight I have ever 

27. She by a column stood, the wood violently clasped. 
From the eyes of Brynhild, Budli's daughter, fire gleamed 
forth ; venom she snorted, when she beheld the wounds 
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 out- 
live Sigurd. She caused her eight thralls and five female 
slaves to be killed, and then slew herself with a sword, 
as it is related in the "Sigurdarkvida in Skemma" (the 
Short Lay of Sigurd). 

^A periphrasis for gold. 




A^TER 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 hung 
with precious tapestry; so that it was said that Brynhild 
drove in a chariot on the way to Het, and passed through 
a place in which a giantess dwelt. The giantess said : 

1. "Thou shalt not pass through my stone-supported 
dwelling place. Better had it beseemed thee to work 
broidery, than to seek after another's husband. 

2. Why dost thou, vagrant woman! from Valland, 
my dwelling visit? Thou hast, golden dame! if thou 
desirest to know, gentle one! from thy hands washed 
human blood." 


3. "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." 


4. "Thou, Brynhild! Budli's daughter! wast in evil 
hour bom in the world ; thou hast been the bane of Giuki's 
children, and their happy house subverted." 


5. "From my chariot I will truly tell thee, thou wit- 



less crone! if thou desirest to know, how Giuki's heirs 
made me both lovelorn and perjured. 

6. The bold-hearted king^ caused the garbs of us 
eight sisters imder an oak to be borne. Twelve years old 
was I, if thou desirest to know, when to the youthful 
king oaths I gave. 

7. By all in Hlymdalir I was called Hild with the 
helm, by all who knew me. 

8. Then caused I next, in the Gothic realm, the old 
Hialmgunnar to Hel to journey: I gave victory to the 
youthful brother of Oda, whereat Odin became hostile 
to me. 

9. He with shidds enccMnpassed me, red and white, 
in Skatalund ; their surfaces enclosed me ; him he ordained 
my sleep to break, who in no place could be made to fear. 

10. He made around my hall, towards the south, tow- 
ering bum the destroyer of all wood : then bade that man 
only over it to ride, who me the gold should bring, that 
under Fafnir lay. 

11. On Grani rode the chief, the gold-disperser, to 
where my foster-father ruled o'er the dwellings. He 
alone seemed there to all superior, the Danish warrior, of 
the court. 

12. We slept and were content in the same bed, as if 
he had my bom brother been; neither of us might on 
the other, for eight nights, lay a hand. 

13. Reproached me Gudmn, Giuki's daughter, that I 
had slept in Sigurd's arms; then was I made aware of 

^By deprlTing them of the Bwan-pliiiiiage, for they were Valkyrlur like 
the wires of Volund and his brothers, Agnar reduced them under hla sub- 

15 211 


what I fain would not, — ^that they had deceived me, when 
a mate I took. 

14. To calamities all too lasting men and women ever 
will be while living born. We two shall now, Sigurd 
and I pass our life together. Sink thou of giant-kind !" 


GuNNAR and Hogni then took all the gold, Fafnir's 
heritage. Dissension prevailed afterwards between the 
Giukungs and Atli. He charged them with being the 
cause of Brynhild's death. By way of reconciliation, it 
was agreed that they should give him Gudrun in mar- 
riage, to whom they administered an oblivious potion, 
before she would consent to espouse Atli. Atli had two 
sons, Erp and Eitil, but Svanhild was the daughter of 
Sigurd and Gudrun. King Atli invited Gunnar and 
Hogni to his residence, and sent to them Vingi, or Kne- 
frod. Gudrun was aware of treachery, and sent them 
word in runes not to come; and to Hogni, as a token, 
she sent the ring Andvaranaut, in which she had tied 
some wolfs hair. Gunnar had sought the hand of Od- 
drun, Atli's sister, but did not obtain it. He then mar- 
ried Glaumvor, and Hogni took Kostbera to wife. Their 
sons were Solar, Snaevar, and Giuki. When the Giu- 
kungs came to Atli, Gudrun besought his sons to inter- 
cede for their lives, but they would not. The heart of 



Hogni was cut out, and Gunnar was cast into a pen of 
serpents. He struck his harp and lulled the serpents, 
but an adder stung him to the liver. 


King Th^dric was with Atli, and had there lost the 
greater number of his men. Theodric and Gudrun mu- 
tually bewailed their afflictions. She related to him and 
said : 

1. A maid above all maids I was ; my mother reared 
me bright in her bower ; my brothers I much loved, until 
me Giuki, with gold adorned, with gold adorned, to Si- 
gurd gave. 

2. Such was Sigurd above Giuki's sons, as the green 
leek is, springing from the grass, or the high-limbed hart 
above the savage beasts, or gleed-red gold above grey 

3. Until my brothers the possession grudged me of a 
consort to all superior. They could not sleep, nor on 
affairs deliberate, before they Sigurd had caused to die. 

4. Grani to the assembly ran, his tramp was to be 
heard ; but Sigurd then himself came not. All the sad- 
dle-beasts were splashed with blood, and with sweating 
faint, from the murderers. 

6. Weeping I went to talk to Grani, with humid 
cheeks, I prayed the steed to tell : then Grani shuddered, 



in the grass bowed down his head. The steed knew that 
his master was no more. 

6. Long I wandered, long was my mind distracted, 
ere of the people's guardian I inquired for my king. 

7. Gunnar hung his head, but Hogni told me of Si- 
gurd's cruel death. "Beyond the river slaughtered lies 
Guthorm's murderer, and to the wolves given. 

8. Yonder behold Sigurd, towards the south, there 
thou wilt hear the ravens croak, the eagles scream, in 
their feast exulting; the wolves howling round thy con- 

9. "Why wilt thou, Hogni I to a joyless being such 
miseries recount? May thy heart by ravens be torn and 
scattered over the wide world, rather than thou shouldst 
walk with men." 

10. Hogni answered, for once cast down, from his 
cheerful mood by intense trouble: "GudrunI thO<u 
wouldst have greater cause to weep, if the ravens should 
tear my heart" 

11. Alone I turned froni) that interview to the wolves' 
scattered leavings. No sigh I uttered, nor with my 
hands beat, nor wailed, as other women, when I heart- 
brdcen sat by Sigurd. 

12. Night seemed to me of blackest daiicness, when 
I sorrowing sat by Sigurd. Better by far it seemed to 
me had the wolves taken my life, or I had been burnt 
as a birchen tree. 

13. From the fell I journeyed five long days and 
nights, until the lofty hall of Half I recognized. Seven 



half-years I with Tliora stayed, Hakon's daughter, in 

14. She for my solace wrought in gold southern halls, 
and Danish swans. 

15. We had in pictures the game of warriors, and in 
handiworks a prince's nobles; red shields, Hunnish he- 
roes, a sworded host, a helmed host, a prince's following. 

16. Sigmund's ships from the land sailing, with 
gilded heads, and carved prows. We on our canvas 
wrought how Sigar and Siggeir both contended south- 
ward in Fyen. 

17. When Grin^ild, the Gothic woman, heard how 
greatly I was afflicted, 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? 

18. 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 
the yew bow ? 

19. 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, 
towering helms ; girded they were with falchions, brown 
were their locks. 

20. For me each one would choose precious gifts, 
precious gifts, and to my heart would speak, if for my 
many woes they might gain my confidence, and I would 
in them trust. 



21. Grimhild to me brought a potion to 'drink cold 
and bitter, that I my injuries might forget; it was min- 
gled with Urd's power, with cold sea-water, and with 
Son's blood. 

22. In that horn were characters of every kind graven 
and red-hued; nor could I comprehend them: the long 
lyng-fish^ of the Haddings' land, an uncut ear of corn : 
the wild-beasts' entrance. 

23. In that potion were many ills together, a herb 
from every wood, and the acorn, the fire-stead's dew,* en- 
trails of offerings, swine's liver seethed ; for that deadens 

24. And then I forgot, when I had taken it, all the 
king's words in the hall spc4cen. There to my feet three 
kings came, before she herself sought to speak with me. 

25. "Gudrun! I will give thee gold to possess, of all 
the riches much of thy dead father; rings of red gold, 
Hlodver's halls, all the hangings left by the fallen king. 

26. Hunnish maids, those who weave tapestry, and 
in bright gold work, so that it may delight thee. Over 
Budli's wealth thou alone shalt rule, adorned with gold, 
and given to Atli." 

27. "I will not have any man, nor Br5mhild's brother 
marry : it beseems me not with Budli's son to increase a 
race, or life enjoy." 

28. "Take care not to pay the chiefs with hate ; for 
'tis we who have been the aggressors : so shouldst thou 
act as if yet lived Sigurd and Sigmund, if sons thou 

^That la the Ions Ash of the heath, or lins, a snake or serpent ' Soot 



29. "Grimhild! I cannot in mirth indulge, nor, for 
my hero's sake, cherish a hope, since the bloodthirsty 
[wolf and] raven have together cruelly drunk my Si- 
gurd's heart's blood.'* 

30. "Him^ of all I have found to be a king of no- 
blest race, and in much most excellent: him shalt thou 
have until age lays thee low, or mateless be, if him thou 
wilt not take." 

31. "Cease to offer that cup of ills so pertinaciously, 
that race to me : he will Gunnar's destruction perpetrate, 
and will cut out Hogni's heart. I will not cease imtil 
the exulting strife-exciter's life I shall have taken." 

32. Weeping Grimhild caught the words, by which 
to her sons Gudrun foreboded evil, and to her kindred 
dire misfortunes. "Lands I will also give thee, people 
and follawers, Vinbiorg and Valbiorg, if thou wilt ac- 
cept them; for life possess them, and be happy, daugh- 

33. "Him then I will choose among the kings, and 
fnxn my relatives reluctantly receive him^ Never will 
he be to me a welcome consort, nor my tM"others' bale a 
protection to our sons." 

34. Forthwith on horseback was each warrior to be 
seen; but the Walish women were in chariots placed. 
For seven days o'er a cold land we rode ; but the second 
seven, we beat the waves ; and the third seven, we reached 
dry land. 

36. .There the gate-wards of the lofty burgh the lat- 
ticed entrance opened, ere the court we entered. 

^AUI: Orlmliild ipeaks. 



36. AtH waked me, but I seemed to be full of evil 
thoughts, for my kinsmen's death. 

37. "So me just now^ have the Noms waked, — a 
grateful interpretation I fain would have. Methought 
that thou, Gudrun I Giuki's daughter I with a treacherous 
sword didst pierce me through." 

38. "Fire it forebodes/ when one of iron dreams, 
arrogance and pleasure, a woman's anger. Against evil 
I will go bum thee, cure and medicate thee, although to 
me thou art hateful." 

39. "Seemed to me here in the garden* that young 
shoots had fallen, which I wished to let grow : torn up 
with their roots, reddened with blood, to table they were 
brought, and offered me to eat. 

40. "Seemed to me that hawks flew from my hand, 
lacking their quarry, to the house of woes ; 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 cause of joy, both of them howled : seemed to me 
their bodies became dead carcases: of the carrion I was 
compelled to eat." 

42. "There will warriors* round thy couch converse, 
and of the white-locked ones take off the head; death- 
doomed they are within a few nights, a little ere day: 
thy court will eat of them." 

43. "Lie down I would not,'^ nor sleep after, obstinate 
in my fate — ^That I will execute!" 

^AUl speakB. "Qudrun aniwen. *Atll speaka. Klvdnin anawara. 
■AtU speaka. 




Atu had a serving-woman named Hcrkia,* who had 
been his concubine. She informed Atli that she had seen 
Thiodrek and Gudrun together; whereat Atli was much 
afflicted. Then Gudrun said: 

1. What aik thee ever, Atli I Budli's son I Hast thou 
sorrow in thy heart? Why never laughest thou? To 
thy jarls it would seem more desirable^ that thou with 
men wouldst talk, and on me wouldst look. 


2. It grieves me, Gudrun! Giuki's daughter! that in 
my palace here, Herkia has said, that thou and Thiodrdc 
have under one covering slept, and wantonly been in the 
linen wrapt 


8. For all this charge I will give my oaths by the 
white sacred stone, that with me and Thiodrek nothing 
has passed, which to man and wife only belongs; 

4. Save that I embraced the prince of armies, the 
honoured king, a single time. Other were our cogita- 
tions, when sorrowful we two sat to converse. 

^HerkU, the Brka or Helche of tho Oennan tradttlon, who hero appoara 
as a Blare or ■errant, is, according to that tradition, the qneen of BUel or 
Atlt, who did not marry Kreimhilt (Oudrun) 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 eyent, and the ordeal of the 
cauldron, sufllclently show that the poem is a later composition. P. B. 
Muller (II., p. 819) ascribes it to S«mund himself. 



6. Hither came Thiodrek, with thirty warriors; now 
there lives not one of those thirty men. Surround me 
with thy brothers, and with mailed warriors; surround 
me with all thy noblest kinsmen. 

6. Send to Saxi the Southmen's prince, he can hal- 
low the boiling cauldron." 

7. Seven hundred men entered the hall, ere in the 
cauldron the queen dipt her hand. 

8. "Now Gunnar comes not, nor call I Hogni : I shall 
not see again my loved brothers : with his sword would 
Hogni such wrong avenge: now I must myself purify 
from crime." 

9. She to the bottom plunged her snow-white hand, 
and up she drew the precious stones.^ "See now, ye 
men ! I am proved guiltless in holy wise, boil the vessel 
as it may." 

10. Laughed then Atli's heart within his breast, when 
he unscathed beheld the hand of Gudrun. "Now must 
Herkia to the cauldron go, she who Gudrun had hoped 
to injure." No one has misery seen who saw not that, 
how the hand there of Herkia was burnt. They then 
the woman led to a foul slough.* So were Gudrun's 
wrongs avenged. 

^The larknastein of the original was a milk-whlta opal. This pun- 
Iflhment was known to the old Germans. 




There was a king named Heidrek, who had a daugh- 
ter named Borgny. Her lover was named Vilmund. 
She could not give birth to a child until Oddrun, Atli's 
sister, came. She had been the beloved of Gunnar, 
Giuki's son. Of this story it is here sung: 

1. I have heard tell, in ancient stories how a damsel 
came to the eastern land : no one was able, on the face 
of earth, help to afford to Heidrek's daughter. 

2. When Oddrun, Atli's sister, heard that the dam- 
sel 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, 
until she came to where a high hall stood. She the sad- 
dle snatched from the hungry steed, and in she went 
along the court, and these words first of all uttered : 

4. "What is most noteworthy in this country? or 
what most desirable in the Hunnish land?" 


5. Here lies Borgny with pains o'erwhelmed, thy 
friend, Oddrun! See if thou canst help her. 


6. What chieftain has on thee brought this dishon- 
our? Why so acute are Borgny's pains? 




7. Vilmund is named the falcon-bearer's friend: he 
the damsel wrapt in a warm coverlet five whole winters, 
so that from her father she was hidden, 

8. They, I ween, spc4ce not more than this: kindly- 
she went to sit at the damsel's knee. Vehemently sang 
Oddrim, fervently sang Oddrun songs of power over 

9. A girl and boy might then tread the mould-way, 
gentle babes, bom of Hogni's bane. Then began to 
speak the death-sick damsel, who before had no word 

10. "So may thee help the benignant genii, Frigg and 
Preyia, and other gods besides, as thou hast from me 
peril removed!" 

11. "I was not inclined to give thee help, because 
thou never wast of succour worthy : I vowed, and have 
performed what I then said — ^when the princes the heri- 
tage divided, that I would ever help afford." 


12. Mad art thou, 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 bom. 


13. I remember yet what thou one evening saidst, 
when r for Gunnar, a compotation made. Such a case, 
saidst thou, would not thenceforth hs^pen, to any maiden, 
save to me alone." 



14. Then sat down the sorrowing lady to tell her 
woes, from her great grief: 

15. "I was nurtured in the kingly hall, I was the joy 
of many in the council of men. Life I enjoyed, and my 
father's wealth, five winters only, while my father lived. 

16. These last words the noble-hearted king strove 
to utter, ere he departed hence. 

17. He bade me be endowed with, ruddy gold, and 
in the south be given to Grimhild's son. He said no 
maiden could more excellent in the world be bom, if fate 
willed it not otherwise. 

18. Br5mhild in her bower was occupied in broidery : 
she had people and lands around her. Earth slumbered, 
and the heavens above, when Fafnir's bane her burgh 
first saw. 

19. Then was conflict waged with the Walish sword, 
and the burgh taken which Brynhild owned. It was not 
long — ^which was not surprising— ere she discovered all 
those frauds. 

20. 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 

21. But I for Gunnar, rings' dispenser, love con- 
ceived, such as Brynhild should. But he Br3mhild bade 
a helmet take, said she a Valkyria should become. 

22. They forthwith offered* ruddy rings to my 
brother, and indemnity not small. He* besides offered 

xpor Birnliild'B death. ^Gunnar. 



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 re- 
ceive from Giuki's son. Still we could not our loves 
withstand, but I my head must lay upon the ring-breaker. 

24. Many things said my relations; declared they had 
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 

26.* To the men we offered red-gold rings, that they 
it might not to Atli tell; but they forthwith hastened 
home, and it quickly to Atli told. 

27. But they from Gudrun carefully concealed it, yet 
rather by half she should have known it.* 

28. A sound was heard of gold-shod hoofs, when into 
the court rode Giuki's heirs. * * ♦ Of Hog^i they 
the heart cut out, and into a serpent-pen the other cast. 

26. I had gone yet once again to Geirmund, to pre- 
pare a banquet. * * * The brave king* began the 
harp to sound ; for the prince of noble race hoped that I 
to his aid might come. 

30. I it heard from Hlesey, how of trouble there the 
harp-strings sang. 

31. r my thralls bade all be ready: I the prince's life 

^From here the narratlre appears to be rery fragmentary. *Qunnar 
while In the serpent-pen. 



would save. The vessel we let float past the forest,* 
until I saw all Atli's courts. 

32. Then came Atli's miserable mother crawling 
forth: — ^may she perish !^-she Ounnar pierced to the 
heart; so that the hero I could not save. 

33. Oftentimes I wonder, woman gold-adorned!* 
how I after can life retain ; for I seemed the formidable 
sword-dispenser as myself to love : 

84. Thou sitst and listenest, while I recount to thee 
many an evil fate, my own and theirs." Each one lives 
as he best may. Now is ended Oddrun's lament. 

>For "lund" Uf^re^t, wood), which Is the readlns of Uie MSB., the 
Copenhagen editor fayora the correction to lund (a soMful or Btrait, the 
Sound) T 'Borgnj. 




GuDRUN, Giuki's daughter, avenged her brothers, as 
is well known. She first killed Atli's sons, and after- 
wards Atli himself, and burnt the palace with all the 
household. On these events was this lay composed. 

1. Atli sent riding a messenger to Gunnar, a crafty 
man, Knef rud was his name. To Giuki's courts he came, 
and to Gunnar's hall, to the seats of state,^ and the glad 

2. There drank the courtiers wine in their Valhall — 
but the guileful ones* silence kq>t — ^the Huns' wrath 
they* feared. Then said Knef rud, with chilling voice: — 
the southern warrior on a high bench sat — 

3. ''Atli has sent me hither on his errand riding on a 
bit-griping steed, through the unknown Murkwood, to 
pray you, Gunnar ! that to his bench ye come, with helms 
of state, Atli's home to visit. 

4. "Shields ye there can choose, and smooth-shaven 
spears, gold-red helms> and of Huns a multitude, silver- 
gilt saddle-cloths, sarks gory-red, the dart's obstruction, 
and bit-griping steeds. 

5. "The plain he will also give you, the broad Gnita- 

^The epithet arlngreypr li applied both to benches and helmets (see 
Strophes 8 and 16). Its meaning Is doubtful: It has been rendered tron- 
Ifound, broM-ZKHitMl, hearth-endrcling, curved like an eagle's beak, etc 
Benches and helmets of ceremony are evidently Intended, probably orna- 
mented with brass-work or figures of eagles. But to whlcherer substantive 
applied, I take its meaning to be the same. The messengers of Atli. The 



heid, whistling javelins, and gilded prows, vast treasures, 
and Danp's towns, with that famed forest, which men 
the Murkwood call." 

6. Gunnar his head then turned, and to Hogni said : 
"What counselest thou, bold warrior? now suchlike we 
hear? Of no gold I knew on Gnita's heath, to which 
we possess not other equal. 

7. ''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 
corslets are of gold, my helm and shield the brightest, 
brought from the hall of Kiar: mine alone are better 
than all the Hunnish ones. 

8. "What thinkest thou the woman* means, by send- 
ing us a ring in a wolf's clothing wrapt? I think that 
she caution enjoins. Wolfs hair I found twined in the 
red-gold ring : wolfish is the way we on our errand ride." 

9. No sons pursuaded Gunnar, nor other kinsman, 
interpreters nor counsellors, nor those who potent were. 
Then spake Gunnar, as beseemed a king, great in his 
mead-hall, from his large soul : 

10. "Rise now up, Fiomir ! let along the benches pass 
the golden cups of heroes, from the attendants' hands. 

11. "The wolf shall rule the Niflungs' heritage, O 
bearded sages! if Gunnar perish; black-coated bears 
earth's fruit tear with their teeth, to the dogs' delight, 
if Gunnar come not back." 

la. Honoured men, weeping led the land's ruler from 

iGudnin : the had Mnt, br Atirs meMengert, a ring to her brotben, as 
a warning, In which a wolf't hair was entwined, together with a note In 
mnea, which were falalfled by VlngL 

16 227 


the Huns' court Then said Hogni's youthful heir: 
*'Go now, prudent and prosperous, whither your wishes 

13. The warriors made their bit-griping steeds over 
the mountains fly, through the unknown Murkwood. 
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 
people's hall was round with benches set, with well- 
bound bucklers, and white shields, the javelin's obstruc- 
tion. There Atli drank wine in his Valhall : his guards 
sat without, Gunnar and his men to watch, lest they there 
should come with yelling dart, to excite their prince to 

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? Go quickly from this hall! 

16. "Better hadst thou, Gunnar! in corslet ccxne, 
than with helm of state, to see the home of Atli; thou 
in the saddle wouldst have sat whole sun-bright days, 
and o'er the pallid dead let the Norns weep, the Hunnish 
shidd-maids misery suffer ; but Atli himself thou shouldst 
into the serpent-pen have cast; but now the serpent-pen 
is for you two reserved." 

17. "Sister ! 'tis now too late the Niflungs to assem- 
ble, long 'tis to seek the aid of men, of valiant heroes, 
over the rugged fells of Rhine." 



18. Then the Burgundians' friends* Gunnar seized, 
in fetters laid, and him fast bound. 

19. Hogni hewed down seven, with the keen sword, 
but the eighth he thrust into the raging fire. So should 
a valiant man defend himself from foes. 

20. Hogni had Gunnar's hands* protected. The bold 
chief they asked, if the Goths' lord would with gold his 
life redeem? 

21. "Hogni's heart in my hand shall lie, cut bloody 
from the breast of the valiant chief, the king's son, with 
a dull-edged knife." ♦ ♦ ♦ They the heart cut out 
from Hialli's breast; on a dish bleeding laid it, and it to 
Gunnar bare. 

23. Then said Gunnar, lord of men : "Here have I 
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." 

24. Hogni laughed, when to his heart they cut the 
living crest-crasher; no lament uttered he. All bleeding 
on a dish they laid it, and it to Gunnar bare. 

25. Calmly said Gunnar, the warrior Niflung : "Here 
have I the heart of the bold Hogni, unlike the heart of 
the timid Hialli ; for it little trembles, as in the dish it 
lies: it trembled less, while in his breast it lay. 

26. "So far shalt thou, Atli! be from the eyes of 
men as thou wilt from the treasures be. In my power 
alone is all the hidden Niflungs' gold, now that Hogni 
lives not. 

27. "Ever was I wavering, while we both lived ; now 

^Atli's men. That is Ounnar hlmaelt 



am I so no longer, as I alone survive. Rhine shall pos- 
sess men's baleful metal, the mighty stream^ the As- 
known Niflungs' heritage. In 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 

29. Atli the mighty, their sister's husband, rode with 
resounding steeds, with strife-thorns* surrounded. Gud- 
run perceived the heroes' peril, she from tears refrained, 
on entering the hall of tumult. 

30. "So be it with thee, Atli! as towards Gimnar 
thou hast held the oft-sworn oaths, formerly taken — ^by 
the southward verging sun, and by Sigty's hill, the se- 
cluded bed of rest, and by Ullr's ring." Yet thence the 
more did the bit-shaker* the treasure's guardian, the 
warrior chief, drag to death. 

81. The living prince then did a host of men into a 
pen cast down, which was within with serpents over- 
crawled. But Gunnar there alone a harp in wrathful 
mood with his hand struck: the strings resounded. So 
should a daring chief, a ring-dispenser, gold from men 

82. Atli turned his brass-shod* steed, his home to re- 
visit, back from the murder. Din was in the court with 
horses thronged, men's weapon-song, from the heath they 
were come. 

83. Out then went Gudrun, Atli to meet, with a 
golden cup to do her duty to the king. "Thou canst, O 

^Spears. The hone. The original word is ejrakan, a word of doubts 
ful ■isnlflcation. 



King! joyful in thy hall receive from Gudrun the arms 
of the departed." 

34. The drinking-cups of Atli groaned with wine 
heavy, when in the hall together the Huns were counted. 
Long-bearded, bold, the warriors entered. 

35. Hastened the bright-faced dame to bear their 
potions to them, the wondrous lady to the chiefs; and 
reluctantly to the pallid Atli the festal dainties offered, 
and uttered words of hate. 

36. "Thou, swards' 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 it. Hence- 
forth thou wilt not to thy knees call Erp and Eitil, joy- 
ous with beer the two : 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. The children 
of the Huns wept, all wept save Gudrun, who never wept, 
or for her bear-fierce brothers, or her dear sons, young, 
simple, whom she had borne to Atli. 

89. Gold scattered the swan-fair dame; with ruddy 
rings the household gifted. Pate she let ripen, but the 
bright gold flow. The woman spared not the treasure- 

40. Atli incautious had himself drunk weary ; weapon 
he had none, nor was 'gainst Gudrun guarded. Oft had 
their sport been better, when they lovingly embraced each 

Other before the noJ^les, 



41. With the sword's point slie gave the bed of blood 
to drink with death-bent hand, and the dogs loosed, out 
at the hall-door drove them^ and the lady wakened the 
household with burning brand. That vengeance she for 
her brothers took. 

42. To fire she then gave all that were therein, and 
from her brothers' murder were from the dark den* re- 
turned. The old structures fell, the treasure-houses 
smoked, the Budlungs' dwelling. Burnt too were the 
shield-maids within, their lives cut short; in the raging 
fire they sank. 

43. Of this 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 death- 
doom borne, before she died. 

Yet more clearly is this told in "Atlamalum inum 
Grcenlenzkum" (the Greenland lay of Atli). 

^The Mipent-pen. 




1. Of those misdeeds men have heard tell, when war- 
riors of old a compact made, which by pledges they con- 
firmed, a secret consultation held : terrible it was to them 
after, and to Giuki's sons likewise, who were betrayed. 

2. The warriors' fate ripened, they were death- 
doomed: ill advised was Atli, though he possessed sa- 
gacity : he felled a mighty column, strove hardly against 
himself; with speed he messengers despatched, that his 
wife's brothers should come quickly. 

3. Wise was the house-dame, prudently she thought ; 
the words in order she had heard, that in secret they 
had said : the sage lady was at a loss : fain would she help 
them; they* o'er the sea must sail, but she herself could 
not go. 

4. Runes she graved, Vingi them falsified, before he 
gave them from him; of ill he was the bearer. Then 
departed Atli's messengers, through the branched firth, 
for where the bold warriors dwelt 

5. They with beer were cheered, and fires they kin- 
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 

^The menensera. 



was also Glaumvor, Gunnar's consort, the prudent dame 
her duty forgot not, she to the guests' need attended. 

7. Hogni they hcxne invited, if he would be pleased 
to go. Treachery was manifest, had they but reflected! 
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 
interpret; she the letters read by the bright fire; — ^her 
tongue she had to guard between both her gums — so per- 
verted were they, it was difficult to understand them. 

10. To their bed they went, she and Hogni. The 
gentle lady dreamed, and concealed it not, to the prince 
wisely said it as soon as she awoke. 

11. "From home thou art going, Hogni! give ear to 
counsel; few are fully prudent: go another time. 

12. I 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 
so wise a woman so confusedly should grave ; for it is so 
set down as if it intimated death to you both, if you 
should straightway come. Either she has left out a let- 
ter, or others are the cause."* 

13. "They are," said Hogni, "all suspicious; I have 
no knowledge of them, nor will I into it inquire, unless 

^It would teem that the ortglnal rnnet, as grayed by Oudrun, had not 
been ao completely erased as to leave no traces of them ; but that they were 
still sufficiently legible to fOftblo Kostbera to ascertitia Uif r^^l purport ol 
tX» 90«mm^ici^Uon, 


we have to make requital. The king will gift us with 
gleed-red gold. I never fear, though we may hear of 

14. "Tottering ye will go, if thitherward ye tend. 
No kind entertainment there will ye at this time find. 
Hogni ! I have dreamed, I will not conceal it : in an evil 
hour ye will go, or so at least I fear. 

15. "Methought thy coverlet was with fire consumed ; 
that the towering flame rushed through my dwelling." 


16. "Here lie linen cloths, which thou hadst little 
noticed : these will quickly burn where thou the coverlet 


17. "Methought a bear came in, and broke down the 
columns; and so his talons shook, that we were terror- 
stricken ; by his mouth held many of us, so that we were 
helpless: there, too, was a din far from little." 


18. "A tempest there will be furious and sudden : the 
white bear thou sawest will be a storm from the east." 


19. "Methought an eagle flew herein, all through the 
house: that will largely concern us. He sprinkled all 
with blood : from his threats I thought it to be the *ham'* 
of Atli." 

^Hua (bMor, f«m, luuBlngte) a foardiaa «a«fl, ia ittwtait iplrtti 




20. "We often slaughter largely, and then red we 
see: often are oxen meant, when we of eagles dream. 
Sound is the heart of Atli, dream thou as thou mayest" 
With this they ended : all speeches have an end. 

21. The high-bom awoke, there the like befell: 
Glaumvor had perceived that her dreams were ill-boding, 
adverse to Gunnar's going to and fro. 

22. "Methought a gallows was for thee erected,^ thou 
wentest to be hanged, that serpents ate thee, that I inter'd 
thee living, that the Powers' dissolution came — Divine 
thou what that portends. 

23. "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." 


24. "Where dogs run they are wont to bark: oft 
bodes the bay of dogs the flight of javelins." 


25. "Methought a river ran herein, through the whole 
house, that it roared violently, rushed o'er the benches, 
brake the feet of you brothers twain ; nothing the water 
spared: something will that portend! 

26. "Methought dead women in the night came 
hither; not ill-clad were they: they would choose thee, 
forthwith invited thee to their seats. I ween thy Disir 
have forsaken thee." 

^Here a gallows In our sense of Uie word, but usuallj a stake on a 
scaffold, to which the condemned to a death of torture was bound hand 
and foot. 




27. "Too late it is to speak, it is now so resolved; 
from the journey we shall not shrink, as it is decreed to 
go: very probable it seems that our lives will be short." 

28. When colours were discernible, those on journey 
bent all rose up: the others fain would stay them. The 
five journeyed together, of "hus-carls" there were present 
twice that number — it was ill devised — Snsevar and So- 
lar, they were Hogni's sons ; Orkning he was named, who 
them accompanied, a gentle shield-bearer was he, the 
brother of Hogni's wife. 

29. They went fair-appointed, until the firth them 
parted: ever would their wives have stayed them, they 
would not be stayed. 

30. Glaumvor then spake, Gunnar's consort, Vingi 
she addressed, as to her seemed fitting: "I know not 
whether ye will requite us as we would : with treachery 
came the guest, if aught of ill betide." 

31. Then Vingi swore, little spared he himself: 
"May him the Jotuns have, if towards you he lies! the 
gallows hold him, if aught against peace he meditates !" 

32. Bera took up the word, she of gentle soul : "Sail 
ye prosperous, and may success attend you : may it be as 
I pray, and if nothing hinder!" 

33. Hogni answered — he to his kin meant well — 
"Be of good cheer, ye prudent! whatever may befall. 
Many say the same, though with great difference; for 
many little care how they depart from home." 

34. On each other then they looked before they 
parted : then, I ween, their fates were severed, and their 
ways divided. 237 


35. Vigorously they rowed, their bark was well nigh 
riven; backward bending the waves they beat, ardently 
plied: their oar-bands were broken, the rowlocks shat- 
tered. They made not the vessel fast before they quit- 
ted it^ 

86. A little after — ^I will the end relate — they saw 
the mansion stand that Budli had possessed. Loud 
creaked the latticed gates, when Hogni knocked. 

87. Then said Vingi, what he had better not, "Go 
far from the house, 'tis perilous to enter; I quickly en- 
ticed you to perdition ; ye shall forthwith be slain. With 
fair words I prayed your coming, though guile was un- 
der them. But just hide here, while a gallows I pre- 

88. Hogni answered — ^little thought he of yielding, 
or of aught fearful that was to be proved : — ^*'Think not 
to frighten us : try that seldom. If one word thou addest, 
thou wilt thy harm prolong." 

89. They rushed on Vingi, and struck him dead, 
laid on their axes, while life within him throbbed. 

40. Atli his men assembled, in their bymies they is- 
sued forth, went prepared so that a fence was between 
them. Words they bandied, all with rage boiling : "Al- 
ready had we resolved to take your lives away." 


41. "It looks but ill, if ye before have counselled: 
e'en now ye are unprepared, and we one have felled, 
smitten to death : one of your host was he." 

*8o CTMt WM tli«ir biMt. to luO. 




42. Furious they became, when those words they 
heard ; their fingers they stretched forth, and their bow- 
strings seized; sharply shot, and with shields themselves 

43. In then came the tale of what without was pass- 
ing; loud before the hall they a thrall heard speak. 

44. Then incensed was Gudrun, when the sad news 
she heard: adorned with necklaces, she tore them all 
asunder; so hurled the silver, that the rings in shivers 

45. Then she went out, not gently moved the doors ; 
went forth void of fear, and the comers hailed, turned 
to the Niflungs: that was her last greeting, truth at- 
tended it; more words she said: 

46. "I sought by symbols to prevent your leaving 
home, — fate may no one resist — and yet must you come 
hither." Wisely she asked : might they not be appeased ? 
No one consented, all answered no. 

47. Saw then the high-bom lady that a hard game 
they played; a deadly deed she meditated, and her robe 
dashed aside, a naked falchion seized, and her kinsmen's 
lives defended: skilful she was in warfare, where her 
hand she applied. 

48. Giuki's daughter caused two warriors to fall; 
Atli's brother she struck down, — ^he must henceforth be 
borne — so she the conflict managed, that she his foot 
struck off. 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. 



So 'tis said the Niflungs, while yet they lived, with swords 
maintained the fight, corslets rent, helmets hewed, as 
their hearts prompted. 

50. At morning most they fought, until mid-day had 
passed; all early morn, and the forenocwi, ere the fight 
was ended, the field flowed with blood, until eighteen 
had fallen: Bera's two sons, and her brother, had them 

51. Then the fierce Atli spoke, wroth though he was : 
" 'Tis ill to look around ; this is long of you. We were 
thirty warlike thanes, eleven survive: the chasm is too 
great. We were five brothers, when Budli died; now 
has Hel the half, two lie slain. 

52. "A great affinity I obtained, that I cannot deny, 
pernicious woman ! of which I have no benefit : peace we 
have seldom, had, since thou among us camest. Of kins- 
men ye have bereft me, of riches often wronged. To 
Hel my sister ye have sent ; that is to me most bitter." 


53. "This thou callest to mind, Atli! but thou so 
first didst act: my mother thou didst take, and for her 
treasures murder; my gifted niece with hunger thou didst 
cause to perish. Laughable to me it seems, when thou 
sorrows dost recount. The gods are to be thanked, that 
it goes ill with thee." 


54. Jarls! I exhort 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 
that in her lot she joys not ! 



55. Take ye Hogni, and with a knife hack him : cut 
out his heart : this ye shall do. Gunnar the fierce of soul 
to a gallows fasten; do the work thoroughly, lure up 
the serpents. 


56. Do as thou listest, glad I will await it; stout I 
shall prove myself : I have ere now things much harder 
proved. Ye had a hindrance while unscathed we were: 
now are we so wounded that our fate thou mayest com- 

57. Bdti spake, — he was Atli's steward — ^Take we 
Hialli, but Hogni let us save. Let us do half the work ; 
he is death-worthy. As long as he lives a slug he will 
ever be. 

58. Terrified was the kettle-watcher, the place no 
longer hdd him: he could be a whiner, he clomb into 
every noc^ : their conflict was his bane, as he the penalty 
must pay ; and the day sad, when he must from the swine 
die, from all good things, 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. 
Joyful indeed was Hialli, could he but save his life. 

60. Hogni all this observed — few so act, as for a 
slave to intercede, that he may escape — ^''Less 'tis, I say, 
for me to play this game myself. Why shall 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 to 



delay. Then laughed Hogni ; heard the sons of day how 
he could hold out: torment he well endured! 

62. A harp Gunnar took, with his foot-branches 
touched it. He could so strike it, that women wept, and 
the men sobbed, who best could hear it. He the noble 
queen counselled: the rafters burst asunder. 

63. There died the noble, as the dawn of day ; at the 
last they caused their deeds to live. 

64. Atli thought himself great: over them both he 
strode, to the sagacious woman told the evil, and bitterly 
reproached her. "It is now morning, Gudrun ! thy loved 
ones thou hast lost ; partly thou art the cause that it has 
so befallen." 


65. Joyful art thou, Atli ! slaughter to announce : re- 
pentance shall await thee, when thou hast all proved. 
That heritage shall be left thee — that I can tell thee — 
that ill shall never from thee go, unless I also die. 


66. That I can prevent; another course I see, easier 
by half : the good we oft reject. With slaves I will con- 
sole thee, with things most precious, with snow-white 
silver, as thou thyself mayest desire. 


67. Of that there is no hope ; I will all reject ; atone- 
ment I have spumed for smaller injuries. Hard I was 
ever thought, now will that be aggravated. I every 
grudge concealed, while Hogni lived. 

68. We were both nurtured in one house; many a 



play we played, and in the wood grew up; Grimhild us 
adorned with gold and necklaces ; for my brothers' death 
never wilt thou indemnify me, nor ever do what shall to 
me seem good. 

69. Mens' too great power women's lot oppresses ; (mi 
the knee the hand sinks, if the arms wither; the tree in- 
clines, if its root-fibres are severed. Now, Atli! thou 
mayest alone over all here command. 

70. 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 

71. A banquet she would prepare, her brothers' fu- 
neral feast; the same would Atli also for his own do. 

72. With this they ended ; the banquet was prepared ; 
the feasting was too luxurious. The woman great of 
heart was stem, 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 
to do. 

74. "Ask no questions, both I intend to kill; long 
have I desired to cut short your da3rs." 

75. "Slay as thou wilt thy children, no one hinders 
it ; thy rage will have short peace, if thou destroyest us 
in our blooming years, thou desperate woman !" It fell 
out accordingly : she cut the throats of both. 

'She played a double game. 

17 243 


76. Atli oft inquired whither his boys were gone to 
play, as he nowhere saw them? 


77. Over I am resolved to go, and to Atli tell it. 
Grimhild's daughter will not conceal it from thee. Lit- 
tle glad, Atli ! wilt thou be, when all thou leamest ; great 
woe didst thou raise up, when thou my brother slewest. 

78. Very seldom have I slept since they fell. Bit- 
terly I threatened thee : now I have reminded thee. "It 
is now morning," saidst thou: I yet it well remember; 
and it now is eve, when thou the like shalt learn. 

79. Thou thy sons hast lost, as thou least shouldest; 
know that their skulls thou hast had for beer-cups ; thy 
drink I prepared, I their red blood have shed. 

80. I their hearts took, and on a spit staked them, 
then to thee gave them. I said they were of calves, — it 
was IcMig of thee alo;ie — ^thou didst leave none, voraci- 
ously didst devour, well didst ply thy teeth. 

81. Thy children's fate thou knowest, few a worse 
awaits. I have my part performed, though in it glory 


82. Cruel wast thou, GudrunI who couldst so act, 
with thy children's blood my drink to mingle. Thou 
hast destroyed thy offspring, as thou least shouldest ; and 
to myself thou leavest a short interval from ill. 


83. I could still desire thyself to slay; rardy too ill 
it fares with such a prince. Thou hast already perpe- 



trated crimes 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 
death-feast thou hast prepared. 


84. On the pile thou shalt be burnt, but first be stoned ; 
then wilt thou have earned what thou hast ever sought. 


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 hostile 
thoughts, bandied words of hate : each was ill at ease. 

87. Hate waxed in a Hniflung, a great deed he medi- 
tated; to Gudrun he declared that he was Atli's deadly 

88. Into her mind came Hogni's treatment; happy 
she him accounted, if he vengeance wreaked. Then was 
Atli slain, within a little space; Hogni's son him slew, 
and Gudrun herself. 

89. The bold king spake, roused up from sleep; 
quickly he felt the wounds, said he no binding needed. 
"Tell me most truly who has slain Budli's son. I am 
hardly treated : of life I have no hope." 


90. I, Grimhild's daughter, will not from thee hide, 
that I am the cause that thy life passes away ; but partly 
Hogni's son, that thy wounds make thee faint. 


91. To the slaughter thou hast rushed, although it ill 



beseemed thee; 'tis bad to circumvent a friend, who well 
confided in thee. Besought I went from home, to woo 
thee, Gudrun! 

92. A widow thou was left, fierce thou wast ac- 
counted, which was no falsehood, as we have proved. 
Hither home thou camest, us a host of men attended; 
all was splendid on our journey. 

93. Pomp of all kinds was there, of illustrious men, 
beeves in abundance: largely we enjoyed them. Of all 
things there was plenty partaken of by many. 

94. A marriage gift to my bride I gave, treasures 
for her acceptance, thralls thrice ten, seven fair female 
slaves: in such things was honour; silver there was yet 

95. All seemed to thee as it were naught, while the 
lands untouched lay, which Budli had left me. So didst 
thou undermine, dist allow me nothing to receive. Thou 
didst my mother let often sit weeping: with heart con- 
tent I found not one of my household after. 


96. Now, Atli ! thou liest, though of that I little reck. 
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 we were three, we thought 
ourselves invincible: from the land we departed, we fol- 
lowed Sigfurd. We roved about, each steered a ship; 
seeking luck we went, till to the east we came. 

98. The chief king we slew, there a land obtained, 



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the "hersar" yielded to us; that manifested fear. We 
from the forest freed him whom we wished harmless, 
raised him to prosperity who nothing had possessed. 

99. The Hun king^ died, then suddenly my fortune 
changed : great was the young wife's grief, the widow's 
lot was hers. A torment to me it seemed to ccwne living 
to the house of Atli. A hero had possessed me : sad was 
that loss! 

100. Thou didst never from a contest come, as we 
had heard, where thou didst gain thy cause, or others 
overcome ; ever wouldst thou give way, and never stand, 
lettest all pass oS quietly, as ill beseemed a king. 


101. Gudrun! now thou liest. Little will be bettered 
the lot of either : we have all suffered. Now act thou, 
Gudrun! of thy goodness, and for our honour, when I 
forth am borne. 


102. I a ship will buy, and a painted cist;* will the 
winding-sheet well wax, to enwrap thy corse ; will think 
of every requisite, as if we had each other loved. 

103. Atli was now a corpse, lament from his kin 
arose: the illustrious woman did all she had promised. 
The wise woman would go to destroy herself; her days 
were lengthened: she died another time. 

104. Happy is every one hereafter who shall give 
birth to such a daughter famed for deeds, as Giuki begat : 

^Sigurd. The ancient usage of laying the body In a ship and sending 
It adrift, seems inconsistent with the later custom of depositing it in a cist 
or coffin. 



ever will live, in every land, their oft-told tale, wherever 
people shall give ear. 


Having slain Atli, Gudrun went to the sea-shore. 
She went out into the sea, and would destroy herself, but 
could not sink. She was borne across the firth to the 
land of King Jonakr, who niarried her. Their sons were 
Sorli, Erp, and Hamdir. There was reared up Svan- 
hild, the daughter of Sigurd. She was given in mar- 
riage to Jormunrek the Powerful. With him lived 
Bikki, who counselled Randver, the king's son, to take 
her. Bikki told that to the king, who caused Randver to 
be hanged, and Svanhild trodden under horses' feet. 
When Gudrun heard of this she said to her sons : — 

1. Then heard I tell of quarrels dire, hard sayings 
uttered from great affliction, when her sons the fierce- 
hearted Gudrun, in deadly words, to slaughter instigated. 

2. "Why sit ye here? why sleep life away? why does 
it pain you not joyous words to speak, now Jormunrek 
your sister young in years has with horses trodden, white 
and black, in the public way, with grey and way-wont ^ 
Gothic steeds? 

3. Ye are not like to Gunnar and the others, nor of 
soul so valiant as Hogni was. Her ye should seek to 



avenge, if ye had the courage of my brothers, or the fierce 
spirit of the Hunnish kings." 

4. Then said Hamdir, the great of heart: "Little 
didst thou care Hogni's deed to praise, when Sigurd he 
from sleep awaked. Thy blue-white bed-clothes were 
red with thy husband's gore, with death-blood covered. 

5. "For thy brothers thou didst o'er-hasty vengeance 
take, dire and bitter, when thou thy sons didst murder. 
We young ones^ could on Jormunrek, acting all together, 
have avenged our sister. 

6. "Bring forth the arms of the Hunnish kings : thou 
hast us stimulated to a sword-mote." 

7. Laughing Gudrun to the storehouse turned, the 
kings' crested helms from the coffers drew, their ample 
corslets, and to her sons them bore. The young heroes 
loaded their horses' shoulders. 

8. Then said Hamdir, the great of heart : "So will 
no more come his mother to see, the warrior felled in the 
Gothic land, so that thou the funeral-beer after us all 
may drink, after Svanhild and thy sons." 

9. Weeping Gudrun, Giuki's daughter, sorrowing 
went, to sit in the fore-court, and to recount, with tear- 
worn chedcs, sad of soul, her calamities, in many ways. 

10. "Three fires I have known, three hearths I 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 wounds I might not complain; 

^ThemMlTes and the two sons of AtlL 



yet they even more seemed to afflict me, when those chief- 
tains to Atli gave me. 

12. "My bright boys I called to speak with me; for 
my injuries I could not get revenge, ere I had severed 
the Hniflungs' heads. 

13. "To the sea-shore I went, against the Noms I 
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. 

14. "To the nuptial couch I went — as I thought bet- 
ter for me, — for the third time, with a mighty king. I 
brought forth offspring, guardians of the heritage, guar- 
dians of the heritage, Jonakr's sons. 

16. "But around Svanhild bond-maidens sat; of all 
my children her I loved the best. Svanhild was, in my 
hall, as was the sun-beam, fair to behold. 

16. "I with gold adorned her, and with fine raiment, 
before I gave her to the Gothic people. That is to me 
the hardest of all my woes, that Svanhild's beauteous 
locks should in the mire be trodden under horses' feet. 

17. "But that was yet more painful, when my Sigurd 
they ingloriously slew in his bed; though of all most 
cruel, when of Gunnar the glistening serpents to the 
vitals crawled; but the most agonizing, which to my 
heart flew, when the brave king's heart they while quick 
cut out. 

18. "Many griefs I call to memory, many ills I call 
to memory. Guide, Sigurd! thy black steed, thy swift 
courser, hither let it run. Here sits no son's wife, no 
daughter, who to Gudrun precious things may give. 



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. 

20. "Raise, ye Jarls! an oaken pile; let it under 
heaven the highest be. May it bum a breast full of 
woes! the fire round my heart its sorrows melt!" 

21. May all men's lot be bettered, all women's sor- 
row lessened, to whom this tale of woes shall be re- 


1. In that court^ arose woeful deeds, at the Alfar's 
doleful lament;* at early morn, men's afflictions, troubles 
of various kinds ; sorrows were quickened. 

2. It 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 
black, on the public way, with grey and way-wont Gothic 

4. "Thenceforth all is sad to you, kings of people! 
Ye alone survive, 

^8«e Str. 10» and Ohr. 9, and, Lnnlng, Oloasar. *"The Alfar's Lament" 
U 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. 



5. "Branches of my race. Lonely I am become, as 
the asp-tree in the forest, of kindred bereft, as the fir of 
branches ; of joy deprived, as is the tree of foliage, when 
the branch-spoiler comes in the warm day." 

6. Then spake Hamdir, the great of soul, "Little, 
Gudrun! didst thou care Hogni's deed to praise, when 
Sigurd they from sleep awaked On the bed thou satst, 
and the murderers laughed. 

7. "Thy bed-clothes, blue and white, woven by cun- 
ning hands, swam in thy husband's gore. When Sigurd 
perished, o'er the dead thou satst, caredst not for mirth — 
so Gunnar willed it. 

8. "Atli thou wouldst afflict by Erp's murder, and by 
Eitil's life's destruction: that proved for thyself the 
worse : therefore should every one so against others use, 
for life's destruction, a sharp-biting sword, that he harm 
not himself." 

9. Then said Sorli — ^he had a prudent mind — "I with 
my mother will not speeches exchange: though words to 
each of you to me seem wanting. What, Gudrun ! dost 
thou desire, which for tears thou canst not utter? 

10. "For thy brothers weep, and thy dear sons, thy 
nearest kin, drawn to the strife: for us both shalt thou, 
Gudrun! also have to weep, who here sit fated on our 
steeds, far away to die." 

11. Frcxn the court they went, for conflict ready. 
The young men journeyed over humid fells, on Hunnish 
steeds, murder to avenge. 

12. Then said Erp, all at once — ^the noble youth was 
joking on his horse's back — "111 'tis to a timid man to 



point out the ways." They said the bastard^ was over 

13. On their way they had found the wily jester. 
"How will the swarthy dwarf afford us aid?" 

14. He of another mother answered : so he said aid 
he would to his kin afford, as one foot to the other* [or, 
grown to the body, one hand the other]. 

15. "What can a foot to a foot give; or, g^own to 
the body, one hand the other ?" 

16. From the sheath they drew the iron blade, the 
falchion's edges, for Hel's delight. They their strength 
diminished by a third part, they their young kinsman 
caused to earth to sink. 

17. Their mantles then they shook, their weapons 
grasped ; the high-bom were clad in sumptuous raiment. 

18. Forward lay the ways, a woeful path they found, 
and their sister's son wounded on a gibbet, wind-cold 
outlaw-trees,' 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 

21. Then laughed Jormunrek, with his hand stroked 

^In this and the four followins 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. >Lit. wolf-trees; a fugitlTe crim- 
inal being called vargr wolf. 



his beard, asked not for his corslet ; with wine he strug- 
gled, shook his dark locks, on his white shield looked, 
and in his hand swung the golden cup. 

S2. '"Happy should I seem, if I could see Hamdir 
and Sorli within my hall. I would them then with bow- 
strings bind, the good sons of Giuki on the gallows 

23. Then said Hrodrglod, on the high steps stand- 
ing; "Prince" said she to her son — for that was threat- 
ened which ought not to happen — ^"shall two men alone 
bind or slay ten hundred Goths in this lofty burgh?" 

34. Tumult was in the mansion, the beer-cups flew 
in shivers, men lay in blood from the Goths' breasts flow- 

25. Then said Hamdir, the great of heart: "Jor- 
munrek! thou didst desire our coming, brothers of one 
mother, into thy burgh :^ now seest thou thy feet, seest 
thy hands Jormunrek! cast into the glowing fire." 

26. Then roared forth a godlike' mail-clad warrior, 
as a bear roars : "On the men hurl stones, since spears 
bite not, nor edge of sword, nor point, the sons of Jo- 

27. Then said Hamdir, the great of 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 
sense: that man lacks much who wisdom lacks. 

29. "Off would the head now be, had but Erp 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 
haye cut oft hla head. "Odin, aa in the battle of Braralla. 



our brother bold in fight, whom on the way we slew, that 
warrior brave — me the Disir instigated — ^that man sa- 
cred to us, whom we resolved to slay. 

30. "I ween not that ours should be the wolves* ex- 
ample, that with ourselves we should contend, like the 
Noms' dogs, that voracious are in the desert nurtured." 

31. "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 to- 
morrow we shall die. No one lives till eve against the 
Noms* decree." 

32. There fell Sorli, at the mansion's front ; but Ham- 
dir sank at the house's back. 

This is called the Old Lay of Hamdir. 




cefjon's ploughing.^ 

1. King Gylfi ruled over the land which is now 
called Svithiod (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 
woman was, however, of the race of the -<5)sir, and was 
called Gef jon. 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 Gef jon fixed the land, and called it Sae- 
lund. 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 
exactly with the headlands of Sealund. As Skald Bragi 
the Old saith :— 

"Gcfjon drew from Gylfi, 
Rich in stored up treasure, 

^Thls chapter Is probably the Interpolation of an early copyist, for it 
hai eTldently no connection with the following one, and is not found in the 
Upsal MS. of the Prose Bdda, which is supposed to be the oldest extant. 
Gef jon's ploughing is obTiously a mythic way of accounting for some con- 
yulslons of nature, perhaps the conTulsion that produced the Sound, and 
thus effected a Junction between the Baltic and the Northern Ocean. 



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." 


2. King Gylfi was renowned for his wisdom and skill 
in magic. He beheld with astonishment that what- 
ever the -SJsir willed took place ; and was at a loss whether 
to attribute their success to the superiority of their natural 
abilities, or to a power imparted to them by the mighty 
gods whom they worshipped. To be satisfied in this par- 
ticular, 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 
to foresee his design, prepared to receive him with various 
illusions. On entering the city Gylfi saw a very lofty 
mansion, the roof of which, as far as his eye could reach, 
was covered with golden shields. Thiodolf of 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 



it belonged to their king, and added, "But I will lead thee 
to him, and thou shalt thyself ask him his name/' So 
saying he entered the hall, and as Gylfi followed the door 
banged to behind him. He there saw many stately rooms 
crowded with people, some playing, some drinking, and 
others fighting 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, st. i.) : — 

"Scan every gate For hard to say 'tis 

Ere thou go on, Where foes are sitting 

With greatest caution; In this fair mansion." 

He afterwards beheld three thrones raised one above 
another, with a man sitting on each of them. Upon 
his asking what the names of these lords might be, his 
guide answered: "He who sitteth on the lowest throne 
is a king; his name is Har (the High or Lofty One) ; the 
second is Jafnhar (t. e, equal to the High) ; but he who 
sitteth on the highest throne is called Thridi (the 
Third)." Har, perceiving the stranger, asked him what 
his errand was, adding that he should be welcome to eat 
and drink without cost, as were all those who remained 
in Hava Hall. Gangler said he desired first to ascertain 
whether there was any person present renowned for his 

"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 sits one who will 
be able to answer them." 



3. Gangler thus began his discourse: — "'Who is the 
first, or eldest of the gods ?" 

"In our language," replied Har, "he is called Alfadir 
(All-Father, or the Father of all) ; 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 govemeth 
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 whire did this god remain before he made 
heaven and earth?" demanded Gangler. 

"He was then," replied Har, "with the Hrimthursar."^ 


4. "But with what did he begin, or what was the be- 
ginning of things ?" demanded Gangler. 

"Hear," replied Har, "what is said in the Voluspa." 

^Rlrne Giants, or Giants of the Froit 

18 259 


« < » 

Twas time's first dawn, Nor heaven above. 

When nought yet was, Nought save a void 

Nor sand nor sea, And yawning gulf. 

Nor cooling wave; But verdure none.' 

» ft 

Earth was not there, 

"Many ages before the earth was made," added Jafn- 
har, "was Niflheim formed, in the middle of which 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. It 
is a world too luminous and glowing to be entered by 
those who are not indigenous there.* He who sitteth on 
its borders (or the land's-end) to guard it is named Sur- 
tur. In his hand he beareth a flaming falchion, and at the 
end of the world shall issue forth to combat, and shall 
vanquish all the gods, and consume the universe with fire." 


6. "Tell me," said Gangler, "what was the state of 
things ere the races mingled, and nations came into 

"When the rivers that are called Elivagar had flowed 
far from their sources," replied Har, "the venom which 
they rolled along hardened, as does dross that runs from 
a furnace, and became ice. When the rivers flowed no 
longer, and the ice stood still, the vapour arising from the 
venom gathered over it, and froze to rime, and in this 

^Literall7» "It is light and hot. Insomuch bo that It Is flaming and bum- 
lng» and It Is Impervious to those who are outlandish (foreign), and not 
indigenous there" (or who have no home or heritage therein). 



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 were 
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 quick- 
ened 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 Frost- 
giants (Hrimthursar), as it is said in the Voluspa, 
*From Vidolf ccMne all witches; from Vilmeith all wiz- 
ards ; 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 
that quickened into a giant. From him spring all our 
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 

"We are far from believing him to have been a god," 



replied Har, "for he was wicked as are all of his race, 
whom we call Frost-giants. And it is said that, when 
Ymir slept, he fell into a sweat, and from the pit of his 
left arm was born a man and a woman, and one of his 
feet engendered with the other a son, from whom descend 
the Frost-giants, and we therefore call Ymir the old 


6. "Where dwelt Ymir, and on what did he live?" 
asked Gangler. 

"Immediately after the gelid vapours had been resolved 
into drops," replied Kar, "there 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. 

'The cow," answered Har, "supported herself by lick- 
ing the stones that were covered with salt and hoar frost. 
The first day that she licked these stones there sprang 
from them, towards evening, the hairs of a man, the sec- 
ond 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 Bolthom. 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." 






7. "Was there," asked Gangler, "any kind of equality 
or any degree of good understanding between these two 

"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. He is called by the giants Ber- 
gelmir. He escaped by going on board his bark, and with 
him went his wife, and from them are descended the 

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 Gin- 
nungagap, 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 comer of each of the four quarters. These dwarfs 
are called East, West, North, and South. They after- 



wards toc^ the wandering sparks and red hot flakes that 
had been cast out 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 it is recorded in 
ancient lore that from this time were marked out the 
days, and nights, and seasons." 

"Such are the events that took place ere the earth 
obtained the form it now beareth." 

"Truly g^eat 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 
for a dwelling to the race of giants. But within, round 
about the earth, they (the sons of Bor) raised a bulwark 
against turbulent giants, employing for this structure 
Ymir's eyebrows. To this bulwark they gave the name 
of Midgard*. They afterwards tossed Ymir's brains into 
the air, and they became the clouds, for thus we find it 

"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 gods built Midgard for the sons of 
men, whilst from his brains the lowering clouds were 

^More properly speaking, to the earth which It encircled. 



9. "To make heaven and earth, to fix the sun and the 
moon in the firmament, and mark out the days and sea- 
sons, were, indeed, important labours," said Gangler ; "but 
whence came the men who at present dwell in the 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. 
The first (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 
woman, Embla. From these two descend the whole hu- 
man race whose assigned dwelling was within Midgard. 
Then the sons of Bor built in the middle of the universe 
the city called Asgard, 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 com- 
prehends whatever he contemplates. His wife is Frigga, 
the daughter of Fjorgyn, and they and their offspring 
form the race that we call -^sir, 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 
their existence. Earth is his daughter and his wife, and 



with her he had his first-born son, Asa-Thor, who is en- 
dowed with strength and valour, and therefore quelleth 
he everything that hath life." 


10. "A 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- 
plexion. 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 
2Es\T race, and their son was Day, (Dagr) a child light 
and beauteous like his father. Then took All-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, each in twelve 
hours' time, round the world. Night rides first on her 
horse called Hrimfaxi, that every mom, as he ends his 
course, bedews the earth with the foam that falls from his 
bit. The horse made use of by Day is named Skinfaxi, 
frcMn whose mane is shed light over the earth and the 


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 gleeful 
that he called the male, Mani (moon), and the female, 
Sol (sun), who espoused the man named Glenur. But 


the gods being incensed at Mundilfari's presumption, took 
his children and placed them in the heavens, 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, 
according to some ancient traditions, a refrigerant sub- 
stance called isarnkul} Mani was set to guide the moon 
in his course, 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 Saegr, on the pole Simul. Vidfinn was the 
father of these children, who always follow Mani (the 
moon), as we may easily observe even from the earth." 


12. "But the sun," said Gangler, "speeds at such a 
rate as if she feared that some one was pursuing her for 
her destruction." 

"And well she may," replied Har, "for he that seeks 
her is 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 day overtake and devour her; the other, 

^A ferreoiu or glacial refrigeration. 




called Hati, the son of Hrodvitnir, runs before her, and 
as eagerly pursues the moon that will one day be caught 
by him." 

Whence come these wolves?" asked Gangler. 

'A hag," replied Har, "dwells in a wood, to the east- 
ward of Midgard, called Jarnvid, (the Iron Wood,) 
which IS the abode of a race of witches called Jarnvid jur. 
This old hag is the mother of many gigantic sons, who 
arc all of them shaped like wolves, two of whom are the 
wolves thou askest about. 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, 
and stain the heavens and the earth with blood. Then 
shall the sun grow dim, and the winds howl tumultuously 
to and fro." 


13. "I must now ask," said Gangler, "which is the 
path leading from earth to heaven?" 

"That is a senseless question," replied Har, with a 
smile of derision. "Hast thou not been told that the gods 
made a bridge from earth to heaven, and called it Bi- 
f rost ? Thou must surely have seen it ; but, perhaps, thou 
callest it the rainbow. It is of three hues, and is con- 
structed with more art than any other work. But, strong 
though it be, it will be broken to pieces when the sons 
of Muspell, after having traversed great rivers, shall 
ride over it." 

"Methinks," said Gangler, "the gods could not have 



been in earnest to erect a bridge so liable to be broken 
down, since it is in their power to make whatever they 

"The gods," replied Har, "are not to be blamed on 
that account; Bifrost is of itself a very good bridge, but 
there is nothing in nature that can hope to make resistance 
when the sons of Muspell sally forth to the great combat." 


14. "What did All-father do after Asgard was 
made?" demanded Gangler. 

"In the beginning," answered Har, "he appointed 
rulers, 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 
in the centre of the divine abode. Their first work was 
to erect a court or hall wherein are twelve seats for them- 
selves, besides the throne which is occupied by All-father. 
This hall is the largest and most magnificent in the uni- 
verse, being resplendent on all sides, both within and with- 
out, with the finest gold. Its name is Gladsheim. They 
also erected another hall for the sanctuary of the god- 
desses. It is a very fair structure, and called by men 
Vingolf. Lastly they built a smithy, and furnished it 
with hammers, tongs, and anvils, and with these made 
all the other requisite instruments, with which they 
worked in metal, stone and wood, and composed so large 
a quantity of the metal called gold that they made all 
their moveables of it. Hence that age was named the 
Golden Age. This was the age that lasted until the 



arrival of the women out of Jotunheim, who corrupted 


15. "Then the gods, seating themselves upon their 
thrones, distributed justice, and bethought them how the 
dwarfs had been bred in the mould of the earth, just as 
worms are in a dead body. It was, in fact, in Ymir's 
flesh that the dwarfs were engendered, and began to 
move and live. At first they were only maggots, but 
by the will of the gods they at length partook both of 
human shape and understanding, although they always 
dwell in rocks and caverns. 

"Modsognir and Durin are the principal ones. As it 
is said in the Voluspa — 

<i ( 

Then went the rulers there, Modsognir, chief 

All gods most holy, Of the dwarfish race. 

To their seats aloft. And Durin too 

And counsel together took, Were then created. 

Who should of dwarfs And like to men 

The race then fashion, Dwarfs In the earth 

From the livid bones Were formed in numbers 

And blood of the giant As Durin ordered/ " 



16. "Where," asked Gangler, "is the chief or holiest 
seat of the gods?" 

"It is under the ash Yggdrasill," replied Har, "where 
the gods assemble every day in council." 

"What is there remarkable in regard to that place?" 
said Gangler. 



"That ash," answered Jafnhar, "is the greatest and 
best of all trees. Its branches spread over the whole 
world, and even reach above heaven. It has three roots 
very wide asunder. One of them extends to the ^Esir, 
another to the Frost-giants in that very place where was 
formerly Ginnungagap, and the third stands over Nifel- 
heim, and under this root, which is constantly gnawed 
by Nidhogg, is Hvergelmir. But under the root that 
stretches out towards the Frost-giants there is Mimir's 
well, in which wisdom and wit lie hidden. The owner 
of this well is called Mimir. He is full of wisdom, be- 
cause he drinks the waters of the well from the horn 
GjoU every morning. One day All-father came and 
begged a draught of this water, which he obtained, but 
was obliged to leave one of his eyes as a pledge for it. 

"The third root of the ash is in heaven, and under it 
is the holy Urdar-fount. 'Tis here that the gods sit in 
judgment. Every day they ride up hither on horseback 
over Bifrost, which is called the iEsir Bridge. These 
are the names of the horses of the iEsir. Sleipnir is the 
best of them; he has eight legs, and belongs to Odin. 
The others are Gladr, Gyllir, Glaer, Skeidbrimir, Silfrin- 
toppr, Synir, Gils, Falhofnir, Gulltoppr, and Lettfeti. 
Baldur's horse was burnt with his master's body. As 
for Thor, he goes on foot, and is obliged every day to 
wade the rivers called Kormt and CErmt, and two others 
called Kerlaung. 

"Through these shall Thor wade every day, as he 
fares to the doomstead under Yggdrasill's ash, else the 



2Es\r Bridge would be in flames, and boiling hot would 
become the holy waters." ^ 

"But tell me," said Gangler, "does fire bum over 

"That," replied Har, "which thou seest red in the 
bow, is burning fire; for the Frost-giants and the Moun- 
tain-giants 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 
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, when a 
man is born, there is a Norn to determine his fate. Some 
are known to be of heavenly origin, but others belong 
to the races of the elves 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 
JEsir, some to the Elves, and some are Dvalin's 

"But if these Norns dispense the destinies of men," 
said Gangler, "they are, methinks, very unequal in their 
distribution; for 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, 
are good themselves, and dispense good destinies. But 

H. e. If Thor droye oyer Bifrost with his thunder chariot. 
H. e. Present, Past, and Future. 



those men to whom misfortunes happen ought to ascribe 
them to the evil Norns." 

17. "What more wonders hast thou to tell me," said 
Gangler, "concerning the ash?" 

"What I have further to say respecting it," replied 
Har, "is, that there is an eagle perched upon its branches 
who knows many things : between his eyes sits the hawk 
called Vedurfolnir. The squirrel named Ratatosk runs 
up and down the ash, and seeks to cause strife between 
the eagle and Nidhogg. Four harts run across the 
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 Noms who dwell by the Urdar- 
fount 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 may not rot and wither 
away. This water is so holy that everything placed in 
the spring becomes as white as the film within an egg- 
shell. As it is said in the Voluspa — 

*i I 

An Ash know I standing, Thence come the dewdrops 

Named Yggdrasill, That fall in the dales; 

A stately tree sprinkled Ever blooming, it stands 

With water the purest; O'er the Urdar-fountain.' " 

"The dew that falls thence on the earth men call 
honey-dew, and it is the food of the bees. Two fowls 
are fed in the Urdar-f ount ; they are called swans, and 
from them are descended all the birds of this species." 



18. "Thou tellest mc many wonderful things of 
heaven/' said Gangler, "but what other homesteads are 
to be seen there?" 

**Therc arc 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 still more in their actions than in their 
appearance. The Elves of Light are fairer than the sun, 
but the Elves of Darkness blacker than pitch. There is 
also a mansion called Breidablik, which is not inferior 
to any other in beauty; and another named Glitnir, the 
wall, cc^umns 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 south- 
em edge of )ieaven 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 ever- 
lasting ages.'' 

"But what will preserve this abode when Surtur's fire 
consumes heaven and earth?" asked Gangler. 

"We are told," replied Har, "that towards the south 



there is another heaven above this called Andlang, and 
again above this a third heaven called Vidblain. In this 
last, we think Gimli must be seated, but we deem that 
the Elves of Light abide in it now." 


19. "Tell me," said Gangler, "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 a giant called Hraesvelgur, clad with eagles' plumes. 
When he spreads out his wings for flight, the winds arise 
from under them." 

20. "Tell me further," said Gangler, "why the sum- 
mer should be hot, 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 
rather forgive thee for once asking a foolish question 
than suffer thee to remain any longer in ignorance of 
what ought to have been known to thee. The father of 
Summer is called Svasuth, who is such a gentle and 
delicate being that what is mild is from him called 
sweet. The father of 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 

19 275 


21. "I must now ask thee," said Gangler, "who are 
the gods that men are bound to believe in?' 

"There are twelve gods," replied Har, "to whom di- 
vine honours oii^ht to be rendered." 

"Nor are the goddesses," added Jafnhar, "less divine 
and mighty." 

"The first and eldest of the ^Esir," continued Thridi, 
"is Odin. He governs all things, and, although the other 
deities are powerful, they all serve and obey him as chil- 
dren do their father. Frigga is his wife. 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, Frigfga alone 
knoweth the destinies of all, though she telleth them 
Odin is named Alfadir (All-father), because he is 
the father of all the gods, and also Valfadir (Choosing 
Father), because he chooses for his sons all of those 
who fall in combat. 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 great many names, indeed!" exclaimed Gangler; 
surely that man must be very wise who knows them all 
distinctly, and can tell on what occasions they were 


never r 



"It requires, no doubt," replied Har, "a good memory 
to recollect readily all these names, but I will tell thee in 
a few words what principally contributed to confer them 
upon him. It was the great variety of languages; for 
the various nations were obliged to translate his name 
into their respective tongues, in order that they might 
supplicate and worship him. Some of his names, how- 
ever, have been owing to adventures that happened to 
him on his journeys, and which are related in old stories. 
Nor canst thou ever pass for a wise man if thou are not 
able to give an account of these wonderful adventures." 


22. "I now ask thee," said Gangler, "what are the 
names of the other gods. What are their functions, and 
what have they brought to pass?" 

"The mightiest of them." replied Har, "is Thor. He 
is called 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 
forty halls. It is the largest house ever built." 

"Thor has a car drawn by two goats called Tann- 
gniost and Tanngrisnir. From his driving about in this 
car he is called Auku-Thor (Charioteer-Thor). He like- 
wise possesses three very precious things. The first is 
a mallet called Mjolnir, which both the Frost and Moun- 
tain Giants know to their cost when they see it hurled 
against them in the air; and no wonder, for it has split 
many a skull of their fathers and kindred. The second 
rare thing he possesses is called the belt of strength or 



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 
handle of his mallet. There is no one so wise as to be 
able to relate all Thor's marvellous exploits, yet I could 
tell thee so many myself that hours would be whiled away 
ere all that I know had been recounted." 


23. "I would rather," said Gangler, "hear something 
about the other ^JEsir." 

"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 daz- 
zling IS he in form and features, that rays of light seem 
to issue from him; and thou mayst have some idea of 
the beauty of his hair, when I tell thee that the whitest 
of all plants is called Baldur's brow. Baldur is the 
mildest, the wisest, and the most eloquent of all the 
jJEsir, yet such is his nature that the judgment he has 
pronounced can never be altered. He dwells in the 
heavenly mansion called Breidablik, in which nothing 
unclean can enter." 


24. "The third god," continued Har, "is Njord, 
who dwells in the heavenly region called Noatun. He 
rules over the winds, and checks the fury of the sea and 
of fire, and is therefore invoked by sea-farers and fisher- 



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 iEsir, for he was 
born and bred in Vanaheim. But the Vanir gave him as 
hostage to the 2Es\r, receiving from them in his stead 
Hoenir. By this means was peace re-established between 
the 2Es\v 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 
is situated among rocky mountains, in the region called 
Thrymheim, but Njord loved to reside near the sea. 
They at last agreed that they should pass together nine 
nights in Thrymheim, and then three in Noatun. One 
day, when Njord came back from the mountains to 
Noatun, he thus sang — 

ti t 

Of mountains I'm weary, But the howl of the wolf 

Not long was I there, Methought sounded ill 

Not more than nine nights; To the song of the swan-bird.' 

"To which Skadi sang in reply — 

"*Nc'er can I sleep 
In my couch on the strand, 
For the screams of the sea-fowl. 
The mew as he comes 
Every morn from the main 
Is sure to awake me.' 

"Skadi then returned to the rocky mountains, and 
abode in Thrymheim. There, fastening on her snow- 
skates and taking her bow, she passes her time in the 
chase of savage beasts, and is called the Ondur goddess, 
or Ondurdis. As it is said — 



•* 'Thrymhcim'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.' '' 


25. "Njord had afterwards, at his residence at Noa- 
tun, two children, a son named Frey, and a daughter 
called Freyja, both of them beauteous and mighty. Frey 
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 god- 
desses; her abode in heaven is called Folkvang. To 
whatever field 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 called Every day of the slain, 

Where Freyja hath right She chooseth the half. 

To dispose of the hall seats And half leaves to Odin.' 

"Her mansion, called Scssrumnir, is large and mag- 
nificent; thence she sallies forth in a car drawn by two 
cats. 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 
well to invoke her." 




26. "All the gods appear to me," said Gangler, **to 
have great power, and I am not at all surprised that ye 
are able to perform so many great achievements, since 
ye are so well acquainted with the attributes and func- 
tions of each god, 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 dis- 
penses 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 
valiant as Tyr. A man noted for his wisdom is also 
said to be Vise as Tyr.* Let me give thee a proof of his 
intrepidity. When the ^Esir were trying to persuade 
the wdf, Fenrir, to let himself be bound up with the 
chain, Gleipnir, he, fearing that they would never after- 
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." 


27. "There is another god," continued Har, "named 
Bragi, who is celebrated for his wisdom, and more 



especially for his eloquence and correct forms of speech. 
He is not only eminently skilled in poetry, but the art 
itself is called from his name Bragr, which epithet is also 
applied to denote a distinguished poet or poetess. His 
wife is 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 
until Ragnarok." 

"Methinks," interrupted Gangler, "the gods have com- 
mitted 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 I shall have 
occasion to tell thee when thou hast heard the names of 
the other deities. 

28. "One of them is Heimdall, called also the White 
God. He is the son of nine virgins, who were sisters, 
and is a very sacred and powerful deity. He also bears 
the appellation of the Gold-toothed, on account of his 
teeth being of pure gold, and also that of Hallinskithi. 
His horse is called Gulltopp, and he dwells in Himin- 
bjorg at the end of Bifrost. He is the warder of the 
gods, and is therefore placed on the borders of heaven, 
to prevent the giants from forcing their way over the 
bridge. He requires less sleep than a bird, and sees by 
night, as well as 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, 



which IS heard throughout the universe. His sword is 
called Hofud (Head). 

29. "Among the TEsir*' continued Har, "we also 
reckon 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.^ 

30. "Another god is Vidar, sumamed the Silent, who 
wears very thick shoes. He is almost as strong as Thor 
himself, and the gods place great reliance on him in all 
critical conjunctures. 

31. "Vali, another god, is the son of Odin and Rinda, 
he is bold in war, and an excellent archer. 

32. "Another is called Ullur, 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, and possesses every quality of a 
warrior, wherefore it is befitting to invoke him in single 

33. "The name of another god is Forseti, who is the 
son of Baldur and Nanna, the daughter of Nef. He 
possesses the heavenly mansion called Glitnir, and all dis- 
putants at law who bring their cases before him go away 
perfectly reconciled. 

"His tribunal is the best that is to be found among gods 
or men. 

^Namely, his haying killed Baldur. 



34. "There is another deity," continued Har, "reck- 
oned in the number of the -^sir, whom some call the 
caluminator of the gods, the contriver of all fraud and 
mischief, and the disgrace of gods and men. His name 
is Loki or Loptur. He is the son of the giant Farbauti. 
His mother is Laufey or Nal; his brothers are Byleist 
and Helblindi. Loki is handsome and well made, but of 
a very fickle mood, and most evil disposition. He sur- 
passes all beings in those arts called Cunning and Per- 
fidy. Many a time has he exposed the gods to very 
great perils, and often extricated them again by his 
artifices. His wife is called Siguna, and their son Nari. 

35. "Loki," continued Har, "has likewise had three 
children by Angurbodi, a giantess of Jotunheim. The 
first is the wolf Fenrir ; the second Jormungand, the Mid- 
gard serpent; the third Hela (Death). The gods were 
not long ignorant that these monsters continued to be 
bred up in Jotunheim, and, having had recourse to divin- 
ation, 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 
the gods to bring them to him. When they came he 
threw the serpent into that deep ocean by which the earth 
is engirdled. But the monster has grown to such an enor- 
mous size that, holding his tail in his mouth, he encircles 
the whole earth. Hela he cast into Nifelheim, and gave 
her power over nine worlds (regions), into which she 



distributes those who are sent to her, that is to say, all 
who die through sickness or old age. Here she possesses 
a habitation protected by exceedingly high walls and 
strongly barred gates. Her hall is called Elvidnir; Hun- 
ger is her table; Starvation, her knife; Delay, her man; 
Slowness, her maid; Precipice, her threshold; Care, her 
bed; and Burning Anguish forms the hangings of her 
apartments. The one half of her body is livid, the other 
half the colour of human flesh. She may therefore easily 
be recognized ; the more so, as she has a dreadfully stem 
and grim countenance. 

"The wolf Fenrir was bred up among the gods; but 
Tyr alone had the daring to go and feed him. Neverthe- 
less, 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 deter- 
mined to make a very strong iron fetter for him, which 
they called Laeding. 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 exer- 
tion, burst the chain and set himself at liberty. The gods, 
having seen this, made another fetter, half as strong 
again as the former, which they called Dromi, and pre- 
vailed on the wolf to put it on, assuring him that, by 
breaking this, he would give an undeniable proof of his 

"The wolf saw well enough that it would not be so 
easy to break this fetter, but finding at the same time that 
his strengfth had increased since he broke Lading, and 



thinking that he could never become famous without 
running some risk, voluntarily submitted to be chained. 
When the gods told him that they had finished their 
task, Fenrir shook himself violently, stretched his limbs, 
rolled on the ground, and at last burst his chains, which 
• flew in pieces all around him. He then freed himself 
from Dromi, which gave rise to the proverb, 'to get loose 
out of Laeding, or to dash out of Dromi,' when an3rthing 
is to be accomplished by strong efforts. 

"After this, the gods despaired of ever being able to 
bind the wolf ; wherefore All-father sent Skirnir, the mes- 
senger of Frey, into the country of the Dark Elves 
(Svartalfaheim) to engage certain dwarfs to make the 
fetter called Gleipnir. It was fashioned out of six things ; 
to wit, the noise made by the footfall of a cat ; the beards 
of women ; 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 may- 
est easily convince thyself that we have not been telling 
thee lies. 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 
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," replied Har, "that the fetter 
was as smooth and soft as a silken string, and yet, as 



thou wilt presently hear, of very great strength. When 
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 
called Lyngvi, in the 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 some- 
what stronger than its thinness would warrant a person 
in supposing it to be. They took it themselves, one after 
another, in their hands, and after attempting in vain to 
break it, said, 'Thou alone, Fenrir, art able to accom- 
plish such a feat.' 

" 'Methinks,' replied the wolf, *that I shall acquire no 
fame in breaking such a slender cord ; but if any artifice 
has been employed in making it, slender though it seems, 
it shall never come on my feet.' 

"The gods assured him that he would easily break a 
limber silken cord, since he had already burst asunder 
iron fetters of the most solid construction. 'But if thou 
shouldst not succeed in breaking it,' they added, 'thou 
wilt show that thou art too weak to cause the gods any 
fear, and we will not hesitate to set thee at liberty without 

" 'I fear me much,' replied he wolf, 'that if ye once 
bind me so fast that I shall be unable to free myself by 
my own efforts, ye will be in no haste to unloose me. 
Loath am I, therefore, to have this cord wound round 
me; but in order that ye may not doubt my courage, I 
will consent, provided one of you put his hand into my 
mouth as a pledge that ye intend me no deceit' 



"The gods wistfully looked at each other, and found 
that they had only the choice of two evils, until Tyr 
stepped forward and intrepidly put his right hand be- 
tween the monster's jaws. Hereupon the gods, having 
tied up the wolf, he forcibly stretched himself as he had 
formerly done, and used all his might to disengage himr 
self, but the more efforts he made the tighter became 
the cord, until all the gods, except Tyr, who lost his 
hand, burst into laughter at the sight. 

"When the gods saw that the wolf was effectually 
bound, they took the chain called Gelgja, which was fixed 
to the fetter, and drew it through the middle of a large 
rock named Gjoll, which they sank very deep into the 
earth; afterwards, to make it still more 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 tre- 
mendous jaws endeavoured to bite them. The gods see- 
ing this, thrust a sword into his mouth, which pierced 
his under-jaw to the hilt, so that the point touched the 
palate. He then began to howl horribly, and since that 
time the foam flows continually from his mouth in such 
abundance that it forms the river called Von. There will 
he remain until Ragnarok." 

"Verily," said Gangler, "ap evil progeny is that of 
Loki, yet most mighty and powerful ; but since the gods 
have so much to fear from the wolf, why did they not 
slay him?" 

"The gods have so much respect for the sanctity of 
their peace-steads," replied Har, "that they would not 



Stain them with the blood of the wolf, although prophecy 
had intimated to them that he must one day become the 
bane of Odin." 


36. "Tell me now," said Gangler, "which are the 
goddesses ?" 

"The first," replied Har, "is Frigga, who has a mag- 
nificent mansion called Fensalir. The second is Saga, 
who dwells at Sokkvabekk, a very large and stately 
abode. The third is Eir, the best of all in the healing 
art. The fourth, named Gef jon, is a maid, and all those 
who die maids 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 
secrets of that goddess. Freyja is ranked next to 
Frigga : she is wedded to a person called Odur. and their 
daughter, named Hnossa, is so very handsome that what- 
ever is beautiful and precious is called by her name 
(hnosir). But Odur left his wife in order to travel into 
very remote countries. Since that time Freyja contin- 
ually weeps, and her tears are drops of pure gold. She 
has a great variety of names, for having gone over 
many 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. The seventh goddess is Sjofna, 
who delights in turning men's hearts and thoughts to 



love; hence a wooer is called, 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 
can remove every obstacle that may prevent the union of 
lovers sincerely attached to each other. Hence her name 
is applied to denote love, and whatever is beloved by 
men. Vora, the ninth goddess, listens to the 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 from her. Syn, the tenth, 
keeps the door in the hall, and shuts it against those who 
ought not to enter. She presides at trials when any thing 
is to be denied on oath, whence the proverb, 'Syn (ne- 
gation) is set against it,* when ought is denied. Hlina, 
the eleventh, has the care of those whom Frigga intends 
to deliver frcMn peril. Snotra, the twelfth, is wise and 
courteous, and men and women who possess these quali- 
ties have her name applied to them. Gna, the thirteenth, 
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, 

•"What flieth there? 
What gocth there? 
In the air aloft what glideth?' 

"She answered, 



tt i 

I fly not though I go, 
And glide through the air 
On Hofvarpnir, 
Whose sire's Hamskerpir, 
And dam Gardrofa/ 

"Sol and Bii 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- 
desses, whose duty it is to serve in Valhalla ; to bear in 
the drink and take care of the drinking-horns and what- 
ever belongs to the table. They are named in Grimnis- 
mal, and are called Valkyrjor. 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 
of the Noms, 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." 


38. "There was a man," continued Har, "named Gy- 
mir, who had for wife Aurboda, of the race of the 
Mountain-giants. Their daughter is Gerda, who is the 
most beautiful of all women. 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 
enter, 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 

20 291 


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 ; but Njord, at last, 
sent for Skimir, the messenger of Frey, and charged him 
to demand of his master why he thus refused to speak to 
any one. Skimir promised 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 he could not possess her he should not live much 
longer, and that this was what rendered him so melan- 
choly. *Go, therefore,' he added, *and ask her hand for 
me, and bring her here whether her father be willing or 
not, 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- 
cellent quality that it 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 Skimir set out on his joumey and obtained the maid- 
en's promise, that within nine nights she would come to 
a place called Barey, and there wed Frey. Skimir hav- 
ing reported the success of his message, Frey exclaimed. 

« f 

Long is one night. 

Long are two nights. 

But how shall I hold out three? 

Shorter hath seemed 

A month to me oft 

Than of this longing-time the half.' 



"Frey having thus given away nis sword, found him- 
self without arms when he fought with Beli, and hence 
it 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 en- 
countered Beli, and methinks must have mightily re- 
pented 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." 


39. "If it be as thou hast told me," said Gangler, 
"that all men who have fallen in fight since the beginning 
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 sayest is quite true," replied Har, "the 
crowd there is indeed great, but great though it be, it will 
still increase, 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 Saehrimnir will more than 
suffice for their sustenance. For although this boar is 
sodden every morning he becomes whole again every 
night. But there are few, methinks, who are wise enough 
to give thee, in this respect, a satisfactory answer to thy 



question. The ccx>k is called Andhrimnir, and the kettle 
Eldhrimnir. As it is said, — 'Andhrimnir cooks in Eld- 
hrimnir, Saehrimnir/ 'Tis the best of flesh, though fe\v 
know how much is required for the Einherjar.*' 

"But has Odin," said Gangler, "the same food as the 

"Odin,' replied Har, *gives the meat that is set before 
him to two wolves, called Geri and Freki, for he him- 
self stands in no need of food. Wine is for him both 
meat and drink. 

"Two ravens sit on Odin's shoulders and whisper in 
his ear the tidings and events they have heard and wit- 
nessed. They are called Hugin and Munin.^ He sends 
them out at dawn of day to fly over the whole world, 
and they return at eve towards meal time. Hence it 
is that Odin knows so many things, and is called the 
Raven's God. As it is said, — 

" 'Hugin and Munin I fear me for Hugin, 

Each dawn take their flight Lest he come not back. 
Earth's fields over. But much more for Munin.' " 

40. "What have the heroes to drink," said Gangler, 
"in suflScient quantity to correspond to their plentiful 
supply of meat : do they only drink water ?" 

"A very silly question is that," replied Har; "dost 
thou imagine that All-Father would invite kings and 
jarls and other great men and give them nothing to drink 
but water! In that case, methinks, many of those who 
had endured the greatest hardships, and received deadly 
wounds in order to obtain access to Valhalla, would find 

iMind or Thoucbt, and Memory. 



that they had paid too great a price for their water drink, 
and would indeed have reason to complain were they 
there to meet with no better entertainment. But thou 
wilt see that the case is quite otherwise. For the she- 
goat, named Heidrun, stands above Valhalla, and feeds 
on the leaves of a very famous tree called Laerath, and 
from her teats flows mead in such great abundance that 
every day a stoop, large enough to hold more than would 
suffice for all the heroes, is filled with it." 

"Verily," said Gangler, "a mighty useful goat is this, 
and methinks the tree she feeds on must have very 
singular virtues." 

"Still more wonderful," replied Har, "is what is told 
of the stag Eikthymir. This stag also stands over Val- 
halla 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 celes- 
tial abodes." 

41. "Wondrous things are these which thou tellest 
me of," said Gangler, "and Valhalla must needs be an 
immense building, but methinks there must often be a 
great press at the door among such a number of people 
constantly thronging in and out ?" 

"Why dost thou not ask," replied Har, "how many 
doors there are, and what are their dimensions; then 
wouldst thou be able to judge whether there is any diffi- 
culty in going in and out. Know, then, that there is no 
lack of either seats or doors. As it is said in Grimnis- 
mal: — 



'* 'Five hundred doors 
And forty more 
Methinks are in Valhalla. 
Eight hundred heroes through each door 
Shall issue forth 
Against the wolf to combat/ '' 

42. "A mighty band of men must be in Valhalla/' 
said Gangler, "and methinks Odin must be a great chief- 
tain to command such a numerous host. But how do 
the heroes pass their time when they are not drinking?" 

"Every day," replied Har, "as soon as they have 
dressed themselves they ride out into the court (or field), 
and there fight until they cut each other to pieces. This 
is their pastime, but when meal-time approaches they re- 
mount their steeds and return to drink in Valhalla. As 
it is said: — 

" 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/ 

"Thou hast thus reason to say that Odin is great and 
mighty, for there are many proofs of this. As it is said 
in the very words of the -/Esir: — 

M (I 

The ash Yggdrasill Bifrost of bridges, 

Is the first of trees, Bragi of bards. 

As Skidbladnir of ships, Habrok of hawks, 

Odin of -^sir. And Garm of hounds is.' 
Sleipnir of steeds, 


43. "Thou mad'st mention," said Gangler, "of the 
horse Sleipnir. To whom does he belong, and what is 
there to say respecting him?" 



"Thou seemest to know nothing either aoout Sleipnir 
or his origin," replied Har, "but thou wilt no doubt find 
lyhat thou wilt hear worthy of thy notice. Once on a 
time when the gods were constructing their abodes, and 
had already finished Midgard and Valhalla, a certain 
artificer came and 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 Frost- 
giants, and the giants of the mountains, even although 
they should have penetrated within Midgard. But he 
demanded for his reward the goddess Frcyja, together 
with the sun and moon. After long deliberation the 
JEsir 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, was granted to him. He accordingly 
set to work on the first day of winter, and during the 
night let his horse draw stone for the building. The 
enormous size of the stones struck the iEsir with aston- 
ishment, and they saw clearly that the horse did one 
half more of the toilsome work than his master. Their 
bargain, however, had been concluded in the presence 
of witnesses, and confirmed by solemn oaths, for without 
these precautions a giant would not have thought himself 
safe among the i^sir, especially when Thor returned 



from an expedition he had then undertaken towards the 
east against evil demons. 

"As the winter drew to a close the building was far 
advanced, and tlie bulwarks were sufficiently high and 
massive to render this residence impregnable. In short, 
when it wanted but three days to summer the only part 
that remained to be finished was the gateway. Then 
sat the gods on their seats of justice and entered into 
consultation, inquiring of one another who among them 
could have advised to give Freyja away to Jotunheim, or 
to plunge the heavens in darkness by permitting the pant 
to carry away the sun and moon. 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 to a cruel death if he did not 
contrive some way or other to prevent the artificer from 
completing his task and obtaining the stipulated recom- 
pense. They immediately proceeded to lay hands on 
Loki, who, in his fright, promised upon oath that let 
it cost him what it would, he would so manage matters 
that the man 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 
run after his horse, and thus between one and the other 
the whole night was lost, so that at dawn the work had 
not made the usual progress. The man seing that he 
bad no other means of completing his task, resumed 



his own gigantic stature, and the gods now clearly per- 
ceived that it was in reality a Mountain-giant who had 
come amongst them. No longer regarding their oaths, 
they, therefore, called on Thor, who immediately ran 
to their assistance, and lifting up his mallet Mjolnir paid 
the workman his wages, not with the sun and moon, 
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. This is the horse Sleipnir, 
which excels all horses ever possessed by gods or men." 


44. "What hast thou to say," demanded Gangler, "of 
Skidbladnir, which thou toldst me was the best of ships ? 
Is there 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- 
far is of larger size. 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 iEsir with their 
weapons and war stores find room on board her. As soon 
as the sails are set a favourable breeze arises and carries 
her to her place of destination, and she is made of so 
many pieces, and with so much skill, that when she is 
not wanted for a voyage Frey may fold her together like 
a piece of cloth, and put her in his pocket." 

"A good ship truly, is Skidbladnir," said Gangler, 



"and many cunning contrivances and spells must, no 
doubt, have been used in her construction." 

thor's adventures on his journey to the land of 

the giants. 

45. "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, 
"an J 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 
bound to believe that nothing can resist his power." 

"It would, therefore, appear," said Gangler, "that I 
have asked of you things that none of you are able to tell 
me 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 beg^n to 
deceive thee with false stories." 

"Here then will I stand," said Gangler, "and listen to 
what ye have to say, but if ye cannot answer my ques- 
tion satisfactorily I shall look upon you as vanquished." 

Then spake Thridi and said, "We can easily conceive 
that thou art desirous of knowing these tidings, but it 
behooves thee to guard a becoming silence respecting 
them. The story I have to relate is this: — 

46. "One day the God Thor set out in his car drawn 



by two he-goats, and accompanied by Loki, on a journey. 
Night coming on, they put up at a peasant's cottage, 
where Thor killed his goats, and after flaying them, put 
them in the kettle. When the flesh was sodden, he sat 
down with his fellow-traveller to supper, and invited the 
peasant and his family to partake of his repast. The 
peasant's son 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 
Thjalfi broke one of the shank bones with his knife to 
come to the marrow. Thor having passed the night 
in the cottage, rose at the dawn of day, and when he 
was dressed took his mallet Mjolnir, 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 
may readily be imagined how frightened the peasant was 
when he saw Thor knit his brows, and grasp the handle 
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 fear, desisted from his wrath, and be- 
came more placable, and finally contented himself by re- 
quiring the peasant's children, Thjalfi and Roska, who 
became his bond-servants, and have followed him ever 




'Leaving his goats with the peasant, Thor pro- 
ceeded eastward on the road to Jotunheim, until he came 
to the shores of a vast and deep sea, which having passed 
over he penetrated into a strange country along with his 
companions, Loki, Thjalfi, and Roska. They had not 
gone far before they saw before them an immense forest, 
through which they wandered all day. Thjalfi was of 
all men the swiftest of foot. He bore Thor's wallet, 
but the forest was a bad place for finding anything 
eatable to stow in it. When it 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 
which shook the whole 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 
they entered, but while the others, trembling with fear, 
crept into the furthest corner of this retreat, Thor re- 
mained at the doorway with his mallet in his hand, pre- 
pared to defend himself, whatever might happen. A 
terrible groaning was heard during the night, and at dawn 
of day, Thor went out and observed lying near him a man 
of enormous bulk, who slept and snored pretty loudly. 
Thor could now account for the noise they had heard 
over night, and girding on his Belt of Prowess, increased 
that divine strength which he now stood in need of. The 
giant awakening, rose up, and it is said that for once 
in his life Thor was afraid to make use of his mallet, 


and contented himself by simply asking the giant his 

" 'My name is Skrymir, said the other, 'but I need 
not ask thy name, for I know thou art the God Thor. 
But what hast thou done with my glove?' And stretch- 
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 morn- 
ing repast, though in another place, Skrymir proposed 
that they should lay their provisions together, which 
Thor also assented to. The giant then put all the meat 
into one wallet, which he slung on his back and went 
before them, taking tremendous strides, the whole day, 
and at dusk sought out for them a place where they might 
pass the night under a large oak tree. Skrymir then told 
them that he would lie down to sleep. 'But take ye the 
wallet,' he added, 'and prepare your supper.' 

"Skryniir 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 
than it was before. Seeing that his labour was in vain, 
Thor became wroth, and grasping his mallet with both 
hands while he advanced a step forward, launched it at 
the giant's head. Skrymir, awakening, merely asked 
whether a leaf had not fallen on his head, and whether 



they had supped and were ready to go to sieep. Thor 
answered that they were just going to sleep, and so say- 
ing, 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 fall on my head ? 
How fares it 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 
settle all matters between them. A little before day- 
break he perceived that Skrymir was again fast asleep, 
and again grasping his mallet, dashed it with such vio- 
lence 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? Me- 
thought 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 



make too much of yourselves, for the followers of 
Utgard-Loki will not brook the boasting of such manni- 
kins 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 
northward to those rocks which you may see in the dis- 

"Hereupon, he threw his wallet over his shoulders and 
turned away from them into the forest, and I 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 city standing in the 
middle of a plain. It was so lofty that they were obliged 
to 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 larg^e 
palace before them with the door wide open, they went 
in and found a number of men of prodigious stature sit- 
ting on benches in the hall. Going further, they came 
before the king, Utgard-Loki, whom they saluted with 
great respect. Their salutations were however returned 
by a contemptuous look from the king, w^ho, after re- 
garding them for some time, said with a scornful smile — 

" 'It is tedious to ask for tidings of a long journey, 
yet if I 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. 



But what are the feats that thou and thy fellows deem 
yourselves skilled in, for no one is permitted to remain 
here who does not, in some feat or other, excel all other 

" 'The feat I know,' replied Loki, 'is to eat quicker 
than any one else, and in this I am ready to give a proof 
against any one here who may choose to compete w^ith 

" 'That will indeed be a feat,' said Utgard-Loki, 'if 
thou performest what thou promisest, and it shall be 
tried forthwith.' 

"He then ordered one of his men, who was sitting at 
the further end of the bench, and whose name was Logi,^ 
to come forward and try his skill with Loki. A trough 
filled with flesh 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 
they met in the middle of the trough. 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- 

"Utgard-Loki then asked what feat the young man 
who accompanied Thor could perform. Thjalfi answered 
that he 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. He 
then arose and went with all who were present to a plain 

H, e. DeTOuring flame. 



where there was a good ground for running on, and call- 
ing a young man named Hugi/ bade him run a match 
with Thjalfi. In the first course Hugi so much out- 
stripped his competitor that he turned back and met him 
not far from the starting-place. 

" 'Thou must ply thy legs better, Thjalfi,' said Utgard- 
Loki, 'if thou wilt win the match, though I must needs 
say that there never came a man here swifter of foot 
than thou art/ 

"In the second course, Thjalfi was a full bow-shot from 
the goal when Hugi arrived at it. 

" 'Most bravely dost thou run, Thjalfi,' said Utgard- 
Loki, 'though thou wilt not, methinks, win the match. 
But the third course must decide.' 

"They accordingly ran a third time, but Hugi had al- 
ready 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. 

60. "Utgard-Loki then asked Thor 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 estab- 
lished usage. The cupbearer having presented it to Thor, 
Utgard-Loki said — 

^Whoever is a good drinker will empty that horn at 

a r 

H. e. Spirit or tbought. 
21 307 


a single draught, though some men make two of it, but 
the most puny drinker of all can do it at three/ 

"Thor looked at the horn, which seemed of no extra- 
ordinary size, though somewhat long; however, as he 
was very thirsty, he set it to his lips, and without drawing 
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 
nothing much to boast of ; and I 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, 
although the horn could now be carried without spilling. 

" *How now, Thor,* said Utgard-Loki ; *thou must not 
spare thyself more in performing a feat than befits thy 
skill ; but if thou meanest to drain the horn at the third 
draught thou must pull deeply; and I must needs say 
that thou wilt not be called so mighty a man here as thou 
art among the iEsir, if thou showest no greater prowess 
in other feats than, methinks, will be shown in this/ 

"Thor, full 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 at- 
tempt, but gave back the horn to the cupbearer. 



51. " 'I now see plainly/ said Utgard-Loki, 'that thou 
are not quite so stout as we thought thee, but wilt thou 
try any other feat, though, methinks, thou art not likely 
to bear any prize away with thee hence/ 

" 'I will try another feat,' replied Thor, *and I am sure 
such draughts as I have been drinking would not have 
been reckoned small among the 2Es\r ; but what new trial 
hast thou to propose?' 

" *We have a very trifling game here,' answered Ut- 
gard-Loki, 'in which we exercise none but children. It 
consists in merely lifting my cat from the ground, nor 
should r have dared to mention such a feat to Asa-Thor 
if I had not already observed that thou art by no means 
what we took thee for/ 

"As he finished speaking, a large grey cat sprung on 
the hall floor. Thor advancing put his hand under the 
cat's belly, and did his utmost to raise him from the 
floor, but the cat bending his back had, notwithstanding 
all 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 it would ; the cat is large, but Thor is little 
in comparison to our men.' 

" 'Little as ye call me,' answered Thor, 'let me see who 
amongst you will come hither now I am in wrath, and 
wrestle with me.' 

" 'I see no one here,' safd Utgfard-Loki, looking at the 
men sitting on the benches, 'who would not think it be- 
neath him to wrestle with thee; let somebody, however, 
call hither that old crone, my nurse Elli,* and let Thor 

>i e. Eld or Old Age. 


wrestle with her if he will. She ha,s thrown to the 
ground many a man not less strong and mighty than this 
Thor is.' 

53. "A toothless old woman then entered the hall, 
and was told by Utgard-Loki to take hold of Thor. The 
tale is shortly told. 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 
finally brought down upon one knee. Utgard-Lcrfci then 
told them to desist, adding that Thor had now no occa- 
sion to ask any one else in the hall to wrestle with him, 
and it was also getting late. He therefore showed Thor 
and his companions to their seats, and they passed the 
night there in good cheer. 

64. "The next morning, at break of day, Thor and 
his companions dressed themselves and prepared for their 
departure. Utgard-Loki then came and ordered a table 
to be set for them, on which there was no lack either of 
victuals or drink. After the repast Utgard-Lc^i led them 
to the gate of the city, and, 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 
him that he could not deny but that he had brought great 
shame on himself. *And what grieves me most,' he 
added, *is that ye will call me a man of little worth.' 

66. " *Nay,' said Utgard-Loki, *it behooves me to tell 
thee the truth now thou are out of the city which so long- 
as I live, and have my way, thou shalt never re-enter. 
And by my troth, had I known beforehand that thou had^t 
so much strength in thee, and wouldst have brought me 



SO near to a great mishap, I would not have suffered 
thee to enter this time. Know then that I have all along 
deceived thee by my illusions ; first, in the forest, where 
I arrived before thee, and there thou wert not able to 
untie the wallet, because I had bound it with iron wire^ 
in such a manner that thou couldst not discover how the 
knot ought to be loosened. After this, thou gavest me 
three blows with thy mallet; the 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 be- 
fore him, but Logi was, in reality, nothing else than ar- 
dent fire, and therefore consumed not only the meat but 
the trough which held it. Hugi, with whom Thjalfi con- 
tended in running, was Thought, and it was impossible 
for Thjalfi to keep pace with that When thou, in thy 
turn, didst try to 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, 
but when thou c(Mnest 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 
a feat no less wonderful by lifting up the cat, and to 
tell thee the truth, when we saw that one of his paws 
was off the floor, we were all of us terror-stricken, for 



what thou tookest for a cat was in reality the great Mid- 
gard serpent that encompassed the whole earth, and he 
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 aston- 
ishing 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, let me tell thee that it will be 
better for both of us if thou never come near me again, 
for shouldst thou do so, I shall 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 now acknowledge that 
no one can tell thee truer tidings than those thou hast 
heard respecting this journey of Thor to Jotunheim." 


66. "I find by your account," said Gangler, "that 
Utgard-Loki possesses great might in himself, though he 
has recourse to spells and illusions; but his power may 
be seen by his followers, being in every respect so skillful 
and dexterous. But tell me, did Thor ever avenge this 
affront?" ^j^ 


"It is not unknown," replied Har, "though nobody has 
talked of it, that Thor was determined to make amends 
for the journey just spoken of, and he had not been long 
at home ere he set out again so hastily that he had neither 
his car nor his goats, nor any followers with him. He 
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 
day, when he perceived that Hymir was making his boat 
ready for fishing, he arose and dressed himself, and 
begged the giant would let him row out to sea with him. 
Hymir answered, that a puny stripling like he was could 
be of no great use to him. 'Besides,' he added, *thou wilt 
catch thy death of cold if I go so far out and remain 
so long as I am accustomed to do.' Thor said, that for 
all that, 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 wrath, and asked Hymir what he meant to 
bait with. Hymir told him to look out for a bait 
himself. Thor instantly 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 was driven forward. He 


» J 


then observed that they were come to the place where 
he was w(Mit 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 Notwithstand- 
ing this, Thar 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 fishing- 
line, extremely strong, furnished with an equally strong 
hodc, on which he fixed the bull's head, and cast his line 
into the sea. The bait soon reached the bottom, and it 
may be truly said that Thar 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 hoc^ 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 
that bear against the oars. But his wrath now waxed 
high, and assuming all his divine power, he pulled so 
hard at the line that his feet forced their way through 
the boat 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, spquted out floods of venom upon him. It is 
said that when the giant Hymir beheld the serpent, he 
turned pale and trembled with fright and seeing, more- 



over, that the water was entering his boat on all sides, 
he took out his knife, just as Thar raised his mallet aloft, 
and cut the line, on which the serpent sunk again under 
the water. Thor, however, launched his mallet at him, 
and there are some who say that it struck off the mon- 
ster's head at the bottcwn 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." 


57. "Verily," said Gangler, "it was a famous exploit 
which Thor performed on that journey, but did any other 
such events take place among the iEsir?" 

"Ay," replied Har, " I can tell 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 assem- 
bled -^sir, who resolved to conjure all tilings 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 -S^sir, at their meet- 
ings, to get Baldur to stand up and serve them as a 
mark, some hurling darts at him, some stones, while 



Others 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 of 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 god- 
dess, when she saw the pretended wcwnan, inquired of 
her if she knew what the TEsir were doing at their meet- 
ings. She replied, that they were throwing darts and 
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 
that 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, re- 
suming his natural shape, cut off the mistletoe, and re- 
paired 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 

" 'Because I am blind,' answered Hodur, 'and see not 
where Baldur is, and have, moreover, nothing to throw 

" 'Come then,' said Loki, 'do like the rest, and show 



honour to Baldur by throwing this twig at him, and I 
will direct thy arm. toward the place where he stands.' 

58. "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, either among gods or men, a more 
atrocious deed than this! When Baldur fell the ^Esir 
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 
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 rpore sensi- 
ble than the others of the loss they had suffered, for he 
foresaw what a detriment Baldur's death would be to 
the i^sir. When the gods came to themselves, Frigga 
asked who among them wished to gain all her love and 
good will; 'For this,' said she, 'shall he have who will 
ride to Hel and try to find Baldur, and offer Hela a 
ransom if she will let him return to Asgard ;' whereupon 
Hermod, surnamed the Nimble, the son of Odin, offered 
to undertake the journey. Odin's horse Sleipnir was then 
led forth, on which Hermod mounted, and galloped away 
on his mission. 

59. "The -^sir then took the dead body and bore it 
to the seashore, where stood Baldur's ship Hringhorn, 
which passed for the largest in the world. But when 
they wanted to launch it in order to make Baldur's funeral 




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 
twisted serpents for a bridle. As soon as she alig^hted, 
Odin ordered four Berserkir to hold her steed fast, who 
were, however, obliged to throw the animal on the gfround 
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 
rollers, and the earth shook all around. Thor, enraged 
at the sight, grasped his mallet, and but for the inter- 
ference of the iEsir would have broken the woman's 
skull. Baldur's body was then borne to the funeral pile 
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 
her husband's. Thor then stood up and hallowed the pile 
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 
people at Baldur's obsequies. First came Odin, accom- 
panied by Frigga, the Valkyrjor and his ravens; then 
Frey in his car drawn by a boar named Gullinbursti or 
Slidrugtanni ; Heimdall rode his horse called GuUtopp, 
and Freyja drove in her chariot drawn by cats. There 
I were also a great many Frost-giants and gfiants of the 

mountains present. Odin laid on the pile the gold ring 
called Draupnir, which afterwards acquired the property 
of producing every ninth night eight rings of equal 
weight. Baldur's horse was led to the pile fully capari- 



soned, and consumed in the same flames on the body of 
his master. 

60. "Meanwhile, Hermod was proceeding on his mis- 
sion. 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 Gj oil'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 it. Hermod then rode on to the palace, 
where he found his brother Baldur occupying the most 
distinguished seat in the hall, and passed the night in his 
company. The next morning he besought Hela (Death) 
to let Baldur ride home with him, assuring her that 
nothing but lamentations were to be heard among the 
gods. Hela answered that it should now be tried whether 
Baldur was so beloved as he was said to be. 



it <1 

If therefore/ she added, 'all things m the world, 
both living and lifeless, weep for him, then shall he 
return to the -^sir, but if 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- 
sock and other gifts, and to Fulla a gold finger-ring. 
Hermod then rode back to Asgard, and gave an account 
of all he had heard and witnessed. 

"The gods upon this dispatched messengers through- 
out the world, to beg everything 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 
and metals, just as thou 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 
than Loki himself who never ceased to work evil among 
the ^sir." 


61. "Evil are the deeds of Loki truly," said Gangler ; 
"first of all in his having caused Baldur to be slain, and 
then preventing him from being delivered out of Hel. 
But was he not punished for these crimes?" 



"Ay," rq>lied Har, "and in such a manner that he will 
long repent having committed them. When he per- 
ceived 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 em- 
ployed himself in divining and circumventing whatever 
stratagems the iEsir might have recourse to in order to 
catch him. One day, as he sat in his dwelling, he took 
flax and 3rarn, and worked them into meshes in the man- 
ner that nets have since been made by fishermen. Odin, 
however, had descried his retreat out of Hlidskjalf, and 
Loki becoming aware that the gods were approaching, 
threw his net into the fire, and ran to conceal himself 
in the river. When the gods entered the house, Kvasir, 
who was 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. Where- 
upon 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 him- 
self. Thor held one end of the net, and all the other 
gods laid hold of the other end, thus jointly drawing 
it along the stream. Notwithstanding all their precau- 
tions the net passed over Loki, who had crept between 
two stones, and the gods only perceived that some living 
thing had touched the meshes. They therefore cast their 



net a second time, hanging so great a weight to it that 
it everywhere raked the bed of the river. But Loki, per- 
ceiving 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 to- 
wards the sea. Loki then perceived that he had only two 
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 held him fast by the tail, and this is the reason 
why salmons have had their tails ever since so fine and 

"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 like- 
ness he tore his brother to pieces and devoured him. The 
gods then made cords of his intestines, with which they 
bound Loki on the points of the rocks, one cord passing 
under his shoulders, another under his loins, and a third 
under his hams, and afterwards transformed these cords 
into thongs of iron. Skadi then suspended a serpent over 
him in such a manner that the venom should fall on 
his face, drop by drop. But Siguna, his wife, stands by 
him and receives the drops as they fall in a cup, which 
she empties as often as it is filled. But while she is 



doing this, venom falls 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." 


63. "I have not heard before of Ragnarok," said 
Gangler ; "what hast thou to tell me about it ?" 

"There are many very notable circumstances concern- 
ing it," replied Har, "which I can inform thee of. In the 
first place will come the winter, called Fimbul-winter, 
during which snow will fall from the four comers of the 
world; the frosts will be very severe, the wind piercing, 
the weather tempestuous, and the sun impart no glsidness. 
Three such .winters shall pass away without being tem- 
pered by a single summer. Three other similar winters 
follow, during which war and discord will spread over 
the whole globe. Brethren for the sake of mere gain 
shall kill each other, and no one shall spare either his 
parents or his children. 

64. "Then shall happen such things as may truly be 
accounted great prodigies. The wolf shall devour the 
sun, and a severe loss will that be for mankind. The 
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 all hands and fet- 
ters be shivered in pieces. Fenrir then breaks loose, and 

22 323 


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 is con- 
structed of the nails of dead men. For which reason 
great care should be taken to die with pared nails, for 
he who dies with his nails unpared, supplies materials 
for the building of this vessel, which both gods and men 
wish may be finished as late as possible. But in this 
flood shall Naglfar float, and the giant Hrym be its 

"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 it. Fire flashes from his eyes 
and nostrils. The Midgard serpent, placing himself by 
the side of the wolf, vomits forth floods of poison which 
overwhelm the air and the waters. Amidst this devasta- 
tion heaven is cleft in twain, and the sons of Muspell 
ride through the breach. Surtur rides first, and both 
before and behind him flames burning fire. His sword 
outshines the sun itself. Bifrost, as they ride over it, 
breaks to pieces. Then they direct their course to the 
battlefield called Vigrid. Thither also repair the wolf 
Fenrir and the Midgard serpent, and also Loki, with all 
the followers of Hel, and Hrym with 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 side. 

65. "Meanwhile Heimdall stands up, and with all his 
force sounds the Gjallar-horn to arouse the gods, who 


A, _. 


assemble without delay. Odin then rides to Mimir's 
well and consults Mimir how he and his warriors ought 
to enter into action. The ash Yggdrasill begins to shake, 
nor is there anything in heaven or earth exempt from 
fear at that terrible hour. The iEsir and all the heroes 
of Valhalla arm themselves and speed forth to the field, 
led on by Odin, with his golden helm and resplendent 
cuirass, and his spear called Gungnir. Odin places him- 
self against the wolf Fenrir; Thor stands by his side, 
but can render him no assistance, having himself to 
combat with the Midgard serpent. Frey encounters Sur- 
tur, and terrible blows are exchanged ere Frey falls; 
and he owes his defeat to his not having that trusty sword 
he gave to Skirnir. 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 ad- 
vances, 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 oflF to 
form the toes and heels of shoes, and it is on this account 
that those who would render a service to the -S^sir 
should take care to throw such shreds away. Loki and 
Heimdall fight, and mutually kill each other. 



"After this, Surtur darts fire and flame over the earth, 
and the whole universe is consumed." 


66. "What will remain," said Gangler, "after heaven 
and earth and the whole universe shall be consumed, and 
after all the gods, and the heroes of Valhalla, and all man- 
kind 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 
good, others bad. The best place of all to be in will be 
Gimli, in heaven, and all who delight in quaffing good 
drink will find a great store in the hall called Brimir, 
which is also in heaven in the region Okolni. There is 
also a fair hall of ruddy gold called Sindri, which stands 
on the mountains of Nida, (Nidafjoll). In those halls 
righteous and well-minded men shall abide. In Nastrond 
there is 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 serpents' 
heads are turned towards the inside of the hall, and 
continually vomit forth floods of venom, in which wade 
all those who commit murder, or who forswear them- 


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 



earth most lovely and verdant, with pleasant fields where 
the grain shall grow unsown. Vidar and Vali shall 
survive; neither the flood nor Surtur's fire shall harm 
them. They shall dwell on the plain of Ida, where As- 
gard formerly stood. Thither shall come the sons of 
Thor, Modi and Magni, bringing with them their father's 
mallet Mjolnir. Baldur and Hodur shall also repair 
thither 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 
shall they find in the grass those golden tablets (orbs) 
which the ^sir once possessed. As it is said, — 

" There dwell Vidar and Vali 
In the gods' holy seats, 
When slaked Surtur's fire is 
But Modi and Magni 
Will Mjolnir possess, 
And strife put an end to/ 

"Thou must know, moreover, that during the confla- 
gration caused by Surtur's fire, a woman named Lif 
(Life), and a man named Lifthrasir, lie concealed in 
Hodmimir's forest. They shall feed on morning dew, 
and their descendants shall soon spread over the whole 

"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 not who can answer thee, 



for I never heard tell of any one who could relate what 
will happen in the other ages of the world. Make, there- 
fore, the best use thou canst of what has been imparted 
to thee." 

Upon this Gangler heard a terrible noise all around 
him : he looked everywhere, but could see neither palace 
nor city, nor anything save a vast plain. He therefore 
set out on his return to his own kingdom, where he re- 
lated all that he had seen and heard, and ever since that 
time these tidings have been handed down by oral tra- 

jEGir's journey to asgard. 

68. iEgir, 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, 
Thor, Njord, Frey, Tyr, Heimdall, Bragi, Vidar, Vali, 
Ullur, Hcenir and Forseti, together with the Asynjor, — 
Frigga, Freyja, Gef jon, Iduna, Gerda, Siguna, Fulla and 
Nanna, seated themselves on their lofty doom seats, in 
a hall around which were ranged swords of such sur- 
passing brilliancy that no other light was requisite. They 
continued long at table, drinking mead of a very superior 
quality. While they were emptying their capacious 
drinking horns, -<Egir, who sat next to Bragi, requested 
him to relate something concerning the ^Esir. Bragi 
instantly complied with his request, by informing him 
of what had happened to Iduna. 




69. "Once," he said, "when Odin, Loki, and Hoenir 
went on a journey, they came to a valley where a herd 
of oxen were grazing, and being sadly in want of pro- 
visions did not scruple to kill one for their supper. Vain, 
however, were their efforts to boil the flesh ; they found 
It, every time they took off the lid of the kettle, as raw 
as when hrst put in. 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 
willing to let me have my share of the flesh,' said the 
eagle, 'it shall soon be boiled ;' and on their assenting to 
this proposal, it flew down and snatched up a leg and 
two shoulders of the ox — b. proceeding which so incensed 
Loki, that he laid hold of a large stock, and made it fall 
pretty heavily on the eagle's back. It was, however, not 
an eagle that Loki struck, but the renowned giant 
Thjassi, clad in his eagle plumage. Loki soon found this 
out to his cost, for while one end of the stock stuck fast 
to the eagle's back, he was unable to let go his hold of 
the other end, and was consequently trailed by the eagle- 
clad gfiant 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 re- 
leased 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 effect this object, and went 
back in a piteous plight to his companions. 




70. "On his return to Asgard, Loki told Iduna that, 
in a forest at a short distance 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 
them. Iduna, deceived by his words, took her apples, 
and went with him into the forest, but they had no sooner 
entered it 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 wrin- 
kled and grey; old age was creeping fast upon them, 
when they discovered that Loki had been, as usual, the 
contriver of all the mischief that had befallen them. 
They therefore threatened him with condign punishment 
if he did not instantly hit upon some expedient for bring- 
ing back Iduna and her apples to Asgard. Loki having 
borrowed from Freyja her falcon-plumage, flew to Jotun- 
heim, and finding that Thjassi was out at sea fishing, lost 
no time in changfing Iduna into a sparrow and flying 
off with her; but when Thjassi returned and became 
aware of what had happened, he donned his eagle-plum- 
age, 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 flight, the fire caught his plumage, 

and he thu§ i%\\ into the power of th« ^jir, who slew 



";Bltt.rfIeV ni ^.hf-n nAi "ii. JT.-.l 

K V. £ni|iu(i »ril (s;.'i .ireain gnr.i, ,jir:.,it ,r,l3 
11: i' ■• 1 ■ nib bslTrtqaaei* 3T5V' ■A))&ii n'l iH .1; 

in-Mvi '■■■-I ri ;lHt8niw V' --^sn'f 'rii ^i" ^nsfaij^jn ..n, . 

(boa ,iI^i>A 5^^wp jiuDi.t :■! ^trt jiiM.inHIi l>i,-to{n9 t^iiiKi^iiJ w/j 
t::;^'i(Wi.. -" — -.-tst. f.jjj nisBr, •■)■«> -.jIUBd -Ti^ift ;^llllltsa ni 


him within the portals of the celestial residence. When 
these tidings came to Thjassi's daughter, Skadi, she put 
on her armour and went to Asgard, fully determined to 
avenge her father's death ; but the ^Esir 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 Msir were to make her laugh, 
a feat which she flattered herself it would be impossible 
for any one to accomplish. Her choice of a husband was 
to be determined by a mere inspection of the feet of the 
gods, it being stipulated that the feet should be the only 
part of their persons visible until she had made known 
her determination. In inspecting the row of feet placed 
before her, Skadi took a fancy to a pair which she flat- 
tered herself, frcMn 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 man- 
aged 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 
stars in the firmament.^ 


I 71. ^gir having expressed a wish to know how 
poetry originated, Bragi informed him that the ^Esir 
and Vanir having met to put an end to the war which had 

^Finn Magnusen'fi explanation of this niTth Ib. that Iduna — the ever- 
renovating Spring — being in the possession of Thjassi — the desolating win- 
ter — 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, dlstolTea ia 

tbf «Ql«r vjn to<lic«toa tj th« tlrM llchted on tho ifftUi o( Aifar^. 



long been carried on between them, a treaty of peace was 
agreed to and ratified 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 
formed out of this spittle a being to whom they gave the 
name of Kvasir, and whom they endowed with such a 
high d^jee of intelligence that no one could ask him a 
question that he was unable to answer. Kvasir then tra- 
versed the whole world to teach men wisdom, but was 
at length treacherously 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 
JEsir inquired what had become of Kvasir, the dwarfs 
told them that he had been suffocated with his own wis- 
dom, not being able to find any one who by proposing 
to him a sufficient number of learned questions might 
relieve him of its superabundance. Not long after this 
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, Sut- 
tung's mead, the dwarfs ransom, etc. 



72. -<Egir then asked how the gods obtained posses- 
sion of so valuable a beverage, on which Bragi informed 
him that Odin being fully determined to acquire 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, who 
told him that he was sadly 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 
him. The terms agreed on, Odin worked for Baugfi the 
whole summer, but Suttung was deaf to his brother's 
entreaties, and would not part with a drc^ of the pre- 
cious liquor, which was carefully preserved in a cavern 
under his daughter's custody. Into this cavern Odin was 
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 induc- 



ing her to let him take a draught out of each of the 
three jars, called Odhroerir, Bodn, and Son, in which 
the mead was kept. But wishing to make the most of 
his advantage, he pulled so deep that not a drop was left 
in the vessels. Transforming himself into an eagle, he 
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, which Odin filled 
by discharging through his beak the wonder-working 
liquor he had drunken. He was however, so near being 
caught by Suttung, that some of the liquor escaped him 
by an impurer vent, and as no care was taken of this it 
fell to the share of the poetasters. But the liquor dis- 
charged in the jars was kept for the gods, and for those 
men who have sufficient wit to make a right use of it. 
Hence poetry is also called Odin's booty, Odin's gift, the 
beverage of the gods, &c., &c. 



.SSOIR or CEOIR. horror, terror. 

^SIR. sing. AS; Qod, Gods. ASTNJA, ASTNJOR; Goddess, 

AI, from a, a river. 

ALFADIR, or ALFODUR, All-Father, or the Father of All. 

ALFR, Blf. 

ALSVIDR, All-scorching. 

ALTHJOFR, lit All-thief, an accomplished rascal. 

ALVISS, All-wise. 

AMSVARTNIR, grief, black, gloomy, swart 

ANDHRIMNIR, soul, spirit, breath: from hrim, congealed vapour, 

ANDLANGR, from aund, spirit, breath; and langr, long. 

ANDVARI, prob. from aund, spirit; cautious, timid. 

ANGURBODI, Anguish-boding, announcing or presaging calamity. 

ARVAKR, awakening early; ar, the dawn, Aurora. 

ABOARD, prop. ASGARDR, lit God's-ward, or the abode of the 

ASKR, an ash-tree. 

AUDHUMLA, void, vacuity, darkness, tenebrosity. 

AUDR, rich, wealthy. 

AURBODA, prop. AURBODA, snow, rain, storm; to announce 
whence; a messenger; hence an ambassador. 

AUSTRI, Bast, Oriental. 

BALDUR, prop. BALDR or BALLDR, fire, flame, bold. 

BALETGR, Bale-eyed, i. e. endowed with a clear, piercing vision. 

BARESY, the Frondiferous-isle; an island. 

BAULVERKR, BMl-worker; producing evil, calamity. 

BAUMBURR, prob. cog. with bumbr, belly, cavity. 

BELI, prob. from belja, to bellow. 

BERGEiLMIR, Mountain-old, i. e. the old man of the mountain. 

BIFLINDI, the Inconstant: from bif, motion; and lyndi, disposi- 
tion, mind. ' 

BIFROST, BIF-RAUST, the Tremulous-bridge of the Aerial- 
bridge, signifying also aerial: a certain space, a mile, a rest 

BIL, a moment an interval, an interstice. 

BILEHTGR, endowed with 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 
to the tempest 



BIVAURR, BIVORR, or BIFUR, the Tremulous. 

BODN, originally signified an offer-table or altar; an oblation; 
also one of the Jars In which the dwarfs' poetical beverage 
was kent. 

BOLTHORN, lit. Calamitous or Evll-thom. 

BOR, prop. BORR, and BUR, prop. BURR or BURI, meanB horn, 
to bear; whence also the Old O, barn, and the Scotch, haim, a 

BRAGI, the name of the Gk>d of Poetry; from bra^a, to glisten, 
to shine, or from bragga, to adorn; ph. cog. with G. pracht, 

BREIDABLIK: lit. Broad-blink — wide-glancing, expanded splen- 
dour, to blink. 

BRIMIR, prob. from brlml, flame. 

BRISINGR, may prob. mean flaming. 

BYLEISTR, a dwelling, a town; to destroy, to break to pieces. 

BYROIR, prob. from v. byrgja, to conceal; E. to bury, whence bar- 
row, a tumulus. 

DAINN, prob. the Soporlferous; from da, a swoon, or complete 

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 entens into the 
composition of several female names, as Thordls, Freydis, 
Vegdis, Ac. 

DOLGTHRASIR: a dolgr, a warrior; contentious, obstinate, per- 
sisting, from the v. thrasa, to litigate, to quarrel. 

DRAUPNIR, from the v.drupa,to droop, or the v. drjupa, to drip. 

DROMI, strongly binding. 

DUNEYRR, a hollow sound, from the v. dynja, to sound, to resound. 

DURATHROR. The first sylb. may 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 

DURINN, prob. from dur, a light sleep, to fall asleep; whence 
prob. the E, to doze, and ph. also dusk. 

DVALINN, from dvali, sleep. 

BIKINSKJALDI, furnished with an oaken shield, scarlet oak. 

EIKTHYRNIR. Eik is the ilex or scarlet oak; thymir, a thorn; 
metaphorically for a stag's antlers. 

EINHERJAR, a hero; select, chosen heroes. 

EIR, to befriend, to tranquilize. 

ELDHRIMNIR: eldr, elementary fire: hrlm, congealed vapour, 
rime, also soot; hence (a kettle) sooty from fire. 

BLIVAGAR, stormy waves; a storm; the sea; an estuary; water; 

ELXiI, old age. 

ELVIDNIR, ph. from el, a storm; and vidr, wide. 



EMBLA. The etsnnologles of the name of the first woman given 
by the B, B, are merely conjectural. Grimm says the word 
embla» emla» signifies a busy woman, from amr, ambr, ami, 
ambl, assiduous labour; the same relation as Meshla and Me- 
shlane, the ancient Persian names of the first man and woman, 
who were also formed from trees. 

FALHOFNIR, a nail, a lamina, hoof. 

FARMAOUD, the God of Carriers and Sea-farers. 

FENRIR, FBNRIS-ULFR, may mean dweller In an abyss, or the 
monster wolf. 

FENSALIR, lit. Fen-saloon, from fen, a fen, but which It would 
appear may also be made to slg. the watery deep, or the sea; 
and salr, a hall, mansion, saloon. See Valhalla. 

FIMBULw From fimbulfambl comes the E, provincialism, to 
fimble-f amble; and the D. famle, to stammer, to hesitate In 

FIMBUL THUL . Thulr means an orator or reciter, to speechify. 

FIMBULVETTR: vetr, winter; 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. 

FJORGTN. Grimm, we think, has satisfactorily shown that 
fjorg Is the G. berg, a mountain. 

FOLKVANGR, lit the folk's field, or habitation. 

FORSBTI, lit. the Fore-seated, i. e. the Judge. 

FRANANGURS-FORS, prob. from frann, glittering, and ongr, 

FREKI, G. frech, f reward: the word has also the slg. of voracious. 

FRETR and FRETJA. The name of the deity who was the sym- 
bol of the sun — ^to mean Semlnator, the Fructlfier, Freyja — ^the 
s3rmbollcal representation of the moon — means the Semlnated, 
the Fructified; the original slg. Is that of glad. Joyful, Impart- 
ing 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. 

FRO STI, the E. frosty. 

FULXiA, abundance; from fullr, full. 

FUNDINN, found; from v. finna, to find. 

GANDALFR. Alfr, an elf, prob. slg. a wolf, a serpent. 

GANGLfER, the tired wanderer; to debilitate, to tire. 

GANGRAD, prop. GANGRADR, Indicates a person directing his 

GARDROFA, Fence-breaker; to break, to break through. 

GARMR, voracious; to gorge; gourmand. 

GAUTR, ph. may slg. a keeper, to keep. 




OEFJON, the earth; also separation, dlsruptloxL 

GEFN, from the y. gef a, to give. 

GEIROLUL, lit Spear-alimentrix: from the y. ala, to aliment, to 

GEIRRAUDR» lit. spear-red; hence King Spear-rubifier. 

OEIRVIMUL, a river rushing or vibrating like a spear or Javelin. 

GEIiOJA, from galgi, a gallows. 

GERDA, prop. GERDUR. to gird. Both gerd and gard are com- 
mon terminations of female names, as Hildigard, Irminigard, 
Thorgerda. Ac. 

GERI. Oeri 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 gimstelnn; 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 

GJOLL, prob. from gjallr, sonorous, fulgid. 

GLADR, glad; from v. gledja, to gladden. 

GLADSHEIMR: lit Glad's-home; the abode of gladness or bliss. 

QiLJESR, from glser, clear, pellucid; cog. with E. glare. 

GLEIPNIR, the Devouring; from the v. gleipa, to devour. 

GLITNIR, the Glittering; from the v. glitra; to glitter, and to 

GIiOINN, the Glowing; from v. gloa, to glow. 

GOD. The Old V. lang. has two words for God, viz. Ck>d and Gud; 
and it would appear that the n. god was used for an idol, and 
the m. gud. for a Gk)d. Both words are, however, frequently 
applied to denote a celestial deity. The Scandinavian Pontiff- 
chief tains were called Gk)dar (in the sing. Gk)di). 

GOMUL, prob. from gamall, old. 

GRABAKR, Gray-back. 

GRAFJOLLIJDR, Gray-skin; the skin of an animal. 

GRAFVITNIR, from the v. grafa, to dig, to delve; cog. with E, 
grave: and the v. vita, to know; to wit, wist, wot 

GRIMAR, and GRIMNIR, a helmet, or any kind of a covering; 
used poetically for night, the sun being then veiled or covered. 

GULLINBURSTI, Gtolden-bristles. 

GtJLLTOPPR, Gk)lden-mane; crest, the top of anything, hence 

GUNNTHRA. The first sylb. of this word is from gunnr, war, a 
combat; to Increase, to enlarge; thra sig. grief, calamity; and 
thro, a cavity, a fosse. From gunnr is derived the V. gunn- 
fani, a war-banner. 

GTLLIR, from gull, gold. 



HABROK. The E. E. render this word by Altipea, from har, high; 
and brok, lit. breeches, brogues, but which they assume may 
also sig. a bird's leg. 

HAUjINSKITHI, 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. 

HAPTAQUD, ph. from haupt, a nexus, a tie, a band. 

HAR, prop. HARR, may mean either high or hairy. As a desig- 
nation of Odin it has undoubtedly the former signification. As 
the name of a dwarf, the latter sig. would be more appropriate. 

HARBARDR, Hairy-beard. 

HEIDRUN, serene, etherial; a heath. 

HEIMDALLR: helmr, 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; bllndi, from blundr, 

HEPTI, prob. means impeding, constraining; to seize, to take by 
force, to adhere to. 

HERFJOTUR, lit. 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 Mod- 

HERTEITR, gay amongst warriors, a Jovial soldier; glad. Joyful. 

HILDUR (Hilda), war, a combat. Hence we find It in a number 
of Teutonic prop, names both m. and f., as Hllderlc, Chllderlc, 
Hildegrim (the Helm of War), Brynhildr (Brunhilda), Clo- 
thild (Clothilda), &c. 

HIMINBJORG, the Heavenly-Mountains, the Comprehending, the 

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, tiie support on which a person leans, i. e. 
a tutelary deity. 

HLJODALFR, the Genius or Elf of Sound. 

HLODTN, the name of Frlgga, as the symbol of the earth; protec- 
tress of the hearth — of the household. The Romans also wor- 
shipped a goddess of the earth and of fire under the common 
name of Fornax, dea fomacalls. Grimm mentions a stone found 
at Cleves with the remarkable inscription — deae hludanae sac- 
BVM c. TiBEBivs vEsvs, 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 

23 339 






HLOKK, or HLAUKK, to exalt, to clang, to cry like an eagle. 

HNIKARR, or NIKARR, victor, a conqueror; to move, to agitate; 
to thrust forward, to take by violence; to repel, to impede. O. 
m. Nix, fern. 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 cor- 
ruption of these appellations of the Teutonic divinity. 

HNOSSA, a ball of yam, a clew of thread, a knot. 

HODUR, prop. HODR. Grimm thinks that the original significar 
tlon may have been war, combat. 

HOFVARPNIR, a horse that plies well its hoofs, a good goer. 

HRiSSSVELOUR, lit. Raw-swallower, i. e. swallowing raw flesh 
like an eagle. 

HRAFNAGUD, the Ravens' god; hrafn; G. rabe; E, raven. 

HRIMFAXI: hrim, rime, or hoar frost; fax, a crest, a mane. The 
E. prop, name Fairfax, means fair-haired. 

HRIMTHURSAR, the Rim or Frost Giants: thurs, a giant. 

HRINGHORN, lit. a ringed or annulated horn. 

HRIST, from v. hrista, to shake, to agitate. 

HRYM, HRYMUR, prob. from hrim, rime — hoar frost. 

HUGI, and HUGINN, from hugr, spirit, breath, thought, mind, 

HVBRGEiLMIR, the roaring cauldron; a spring of hot water. 

HYRROKIN, lit Smoky-flre; utter darkness, also smoke. 

IDAVOLLR: vollr, 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 

JAFNHAR. The Equally High; lit. even so high. 

JARNVIDR, Iron-wood. 

JORD, JORTH, the earth. 

JORMUNGANDR. Gandr sig. serpent, and more prop, wolf: 
jormun is a word of uncertain origin, but appears In all the 
anc. Teutonic lang. to have expressed the idea of great, maxi- 
mus, universal. The reader will find much curious information 
on tills subject in Grimm's admirable work. 

JOTUNHEIMR, lit. Giants'-home, the region of the Giants. 

KERLAUG: ker, any kind of vessel, cup, bowl, ftc; 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, Ughtfoot: light 

LIFTHRASIR, vital energy, longevity, life; enduring a long time. 

LITUR, colour, complexion, form, the face. 



LODURR, LODR, LOTHR, from the ob. N, lod, fire. 

LOFNA» prop. LOFN, appears allegorically to denote perennial 

and unchangeable love. 
LOOI, Flame; a log of wood burnt or to be burnt 
LOKI, to shut; whence the E. to lock, to finish. 
LOPTUR, the Aerial, the Sublime; the air; whence the B. lofty 

and aloft, also 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, 

MANI, the moon. 
MARDOLL, Sea-nymph; mere, the sea; whence our word mere, 

as Windermere, Buttermere, &c: doll, a nymph; poetically a 

MEGINGJARDIR, the Girdle of Might, the Belt of Prowess. 
MIDGARD, middleweard, the middleward; see Asgard. Mid- 
dling, mean. 
MIMIR, 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. 

mala, to grind; E. mill, and prob. with L, malleus, a mallet 
MODGUDUR, a valiant female warrior, animosa hellona: courage; 

mind; E. mood; gracefulness, delectation. 
MODSOGNIR, lit sucking in courage or vigour. 
MOINN, dwelling on a moor. 

MUNINN, mind; memory, recollection; O. minne, love. 
MUSPEILLHE)IMR, Muspell's region or home; used in the sense 

of elemental or empsrreal fire. 
NAGLFAR, a nail from nagl, a human nail; according to the 

Prose E<dda, "constructed of the nails of dead men"; a sea- 
faring man. 
NAL. O, nadel; A. 8. naedl; E. a needle. 

NANNA. Grimm derives this word from the v. nenna, to dare. 
NAR, a corpse. 

NASTROND, a corpse; The Strand of the Dead. 
NAUDUR, necessity; need. 
NAUT, ph. from the v. njota, to make use of. 
NIDAFJOLL, a rock, a mountain. 
NIDHOGG, a phrase used to idicate the new and the waning 

NIDI, from nidr, downwards. 

NIFLHEIBHl, lit Nebulous-home — ^the shadowy region of death. 
NIFUIEL, from nifl and hel. Bee the latter word. 
NIFLUNGAR, the mythic-heroic ghosts of the shadowy realms of 

NIPINGR, handsome; to contract, to curve. 



NJORD, prop. NJORDR, humid; 8k. nar, nir, water; a wave; and 

Neriman, an aquatic man. 
NOTT; Z). nat; M, G, naht; G, nacht; A, 8. niht; E. night 
NTI, these dwarfs were symbolical of the new and the waning 

, 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 

the personification of poetry. 
ODHRCERIR, Mind-exciting; the name of a vessel or kettle. 
OFNIR, 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. 
OROELMIR, Primordial Giant; also to roar, to howl, to clang, to 

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- 
meating Pouch? 
REGIN, is often used in the sense of vast, immense; the vast 

REGINLEIF, dear to the gods, see Regin. 
RIGR, Rajah, a king. 

RINDA, prop. RINDUR, sig. symbolically, the crust of the earth. 
ROSKA, quick, lively, active. 
SADR, SATHR, Just true, in sooth, verily. 
- S^GR, 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, saga- 
cious, to foretell. 
SANNGETTAULi, inquiring after; guessing at truth. 
SESSRUMNIR, lit. Seat-roomy, i. e. having room for plenty of 


■ \ 

\ I 342 


SID, declining, hanging, tending downward. 

SIDHOTTR, lit. Hanging-hat or hood. 

SIDSKEGGR, lit Hanging-beard; E. shag and shaggy. 

SIF, 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 GuUtoppr. 
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 

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 the 

same meaning. 
SKOGUL, prob. from v. skaga, to Jut out; whence skagi, a pro- 
SKOLL, to stick to, to adhere, to strike, to smite. 
SLEIPNIR. E. slippery. 
SLIDRUGTANNI, cruel, fierce, savage. 
SNOTRA, to blow the nose; a person, even a goddess, being much 

more tidy when the nostrils are thoroughly emunctated. 
SOKKVABEKKR, lit Sinking-brook; to sink; an estuary, a 

shore, a brook. 
SON, sound, song, sonus, cantus, 
SURTUR, obscure, invisible; and invisible, unintelligible! ! 

Surtur, according to PMn Magnusen, the invisible, unintelligible 

being 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. 
SVTDR and SVIDRIR, from v. svida, to scorch; or wise, powerful. 
SVIPALL, to hasten, to vibrate; to wave, to hover; also with E. 

V. to sweep. 
SYLGR, a draught or deglutition; to swallow; to swill; to guzzle, 

to feast 





SYN, signifying equity; syn. defence, excuse, negation, impedi- 
ment, which has been personified into a judicial goddess. 

SYNIR, having a fine appearance. 

TANNONIOSTR, Gnash ing-teeth; to bruise, crack, grind, gnash. 

THEKKR, to know; E. to think. The adj. thekkr means alBO 

THODNUMA, men, people, nations. 

THOR, contraction of Thenar, a word indicating a Ood 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 vehe- 

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 after- 
wards used in the sense of witch, sorceress. 

THRUDVANGR, the Abode or Region or Fortitude. 

THRYM. F. Mag. says the word is undoubtedly derived from 
thruma, thunder. 

THUNDR, can be derived from thund, a breastplate, a coat of 

THYN, to thunder, to make a thundering noise, as a rapid cur- 
rent 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 Ck>nstrainer. 

VAKR, VAKUR, alert, lively, vigilant. 

VALASKJALF, choice, election. 

VALFADIR, or VALFODUR, lit the Choosing Father. 
t VALHALLA, prop, VALHOLL, lit the Hall of the Chosen: may 

f also have originally indicated a temple. 

I VALKYRJOR, 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. Bee that word, and Dis. 

VANIR, beautiful; with the L. venustus and Venus, and ph. with 
I the E. wench, 

VASADR, from vas, moisture, a word cog. with the E, wet and 

VE. Was used in the m. sing, to express a particular god; that in 
the pi. it would be vear, gods, idols; a temple. 




VEDURFOLNIR might be rendered Storm-stilling; causing se- 

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). 

VIDFINNR, wide, vast 

VIDOLFR, or VIDALPR. lit. Sylvan Elf. 

VIDRIR, Moderator of the weather; to still the weather. 

VIORID, 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 Bvalr, cold, glacial. 

VINOOLF, lit the Abode of Friends; golf means lit a floor. 

VOLUNDR. The word denotes a skilful artificer, in which sense 
it is still used by the Icelanders; he is a famous workman — a 
Wayland — in iron; and they very appropriately term a laby- 
rinth a Wayland-house. 

VOLUSPA, a sybil or prophetess. 

YOODRASILL, 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. 

TCrOR., 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. 


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