Benjamin Thorpe
Edda Sæmundar Hinns Froða

The Edda Of Sæmund The Learned

From The Old Norse Or Icelandic With A Mythological Index


Trübner & Co., 60 Paternoster Row




Part I

The Mythological Poems


Introduction to the Voluspa

The Vala´s Prophecy

 The Lay of Vafthrúdnir

 The Lay of Grimnir

Hrafnagaldr Odins:
Odin’s Ravens’ Song

Vegtamskvida eða Baldrs Draumar
The Lay of Vegtam or Baldr's Dreams

The High One's Lay

Runatalsþáttr Oðins:
Odin's Rune Song

Hymiskviða: The Lay of Hymir

ThrymskviÞa eðr Hamarsheimt:
The Lay of Thrym or the Hammer recovered

 The Lay of the Dwarf Alvis

The Lay of Harbard

For Skirnis eðr Skirnismál:
The Journey or Lay of Skirnir

The Lay of Rig

Ægisdrekka, eða Lokasenna, eða Lokaglepsa
Ægir's Compotation or Loki's Altercation

The Lay of Fiölsvith

The Lay of Hyndla

The Incantation of Grôa

The Song of the Sun

A Mythological Index


För Skirnis eðr Skirnismál



The Journey of Lay of Skirnir.


Frey, son of Niörd, had one day seated himself in Hlidskjalf, and was looking over all regions, when turning his eyes to Jötunheim, 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 Skirnir; him Niörd desired to speak with Frey; when Skadi said: -

1. Rise up now, Skirnir!
go and request
our son to speak;
and inquire
with whom he so sage
may be offended.
2. Harsh words I have
from your son to fear,
if I go and speak with him,
and to inquire
with whom he so sage
may be offended.
3. Tell me now, Frey,
prince of gods!
for I desire to know,
why alone thou sittest
in the spacious hall
the livelong 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.
5. 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 Gýmir’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,
Æsir 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 brandishes itself
against the Jötuns’ 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.
Skirnir 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 Jötun
will seize us both.

Skirnir rides to Jötunheim, to Gýmir’s mansion, where fierce dogs were chained at the gate of the enclosure that was round Gýmir’s hall. He rides on to where a cowherd 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 Gýmir’s dogs?
12. Either thou art death-doomed,
or thou art a departed one.
Speech wilt thou
ever lack
with the good maid of Gýmir.
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 Gýmir 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 Æsir´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 Æsir’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 Frey
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.
22. The ring I will not accept,
burnt thou it may have been
with the young son of Odin.
I have no lack of gold
in Gýmir’s courts;
for my father’s wealth I share.
23. Seest thou this sword, young maiden!
thin, glittering-bright,
which I have here in hand?
I thy head will sever
from thy neck,
if thou speakest not favourably to me.
24. Suffer compulsion
will I never,
to please any man;
yet this I foresee,
if thou and Gýmir meet,
yet will eagerly engage in fight.
25. Seest thou this sword, young maiden!
thin, glittering-bright,
which I have here in hand?
Beneath its edge
shall the old Jötun fall:
thy sire is death-doomed.
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 mount
thou shalt early sit,
looking and turned towards Hel.
Food shall to thee more loathsome be
than is to any one
the glistening serpent among men.
28. As a prodigy thou shalt be,
when thou goest forth;
Hrinmir shall at thee gaze,
all being at thee stare;
more wide-known thou shalt become
than the watch among the gods,[1]
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 Jötuns’ 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 morn to morn:
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 Æsir’s prince;
Frey shall loathe thee,
even ere thou, wicked maid!
shalt have felt
the gods’ dire vengeance.
34. Hear ye, Jötuns!
hear ye, Hrimtursar!
sons of Suttung!
also ye, Æsir´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 possess 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. Þurs[2] I cut for thee,
and three letters more:
ergi, and oenði,
and oÞola.
So will I cut them out,
as I have cut them in,
if there need shall be.
37. 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.
38. All my errand
will I know,
ere I hence ride home.
When wilt thou converse hold
with the powerful
son of Niörd?
39. Barri the grove is named,
which we both know,
the grove of tranquil paths.
Nine nights hence,
there to Niörd’s son
Gerd will grant delight.

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

40. Tell me, Skirnir!
ere thou thy steed unsaddlest,
and a foot hence goest,
what thou hast accomplished
in Jötunheim,
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 Niörd’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.

[1] Heimdall.

[2] Þurs, &c The names of magical runes.

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