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





The Lay of Rig.


In ancient Sagas it is related that one of the Æsir 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 dwelling came.
The door stood ajar,
he went in,
fire was on the floor.
There man and wife sat there,
hoary-haired, by the hearth,
Ai and Edda,
in old guise clad.
3. Rig would counsel
give to them both,
and himself seated
in the middle seat,
having on either side
the domestic 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 more 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 departed
on the mid-way.
Nine months then
passed away.
7. Edda a child brought forth:
they with water sprinkled
its swarthy skin,
and named it Thræl.
8. It grew up,
and well it throve;
of its hands
the skin was shriveled,
the knuckles knotty,
*                *
and 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 day.
10. Then to the dwelling came
a woman walking,
scarred were her foot-soles,
her arms sunburnt,
her nose compressed,
her name was Thý.
11. In the middle seat
herself she placed;
by her sat
the house’s son.
They spoke and whispered,
prepared a bed,
Thræl and Thý,
and days of care.
12. Children they begat,
and lived content:
Their names, I think, were
Hrimr and Fjósnir,
Klur and Kleggi,
Kefsir, Fulnir,
Drumb, Digraldi,
Drött and Hösvir,
Lút and Leggialdi.
Fences they erected,
fields manured,
tended swine,
kept goats,
dug turf.
13. The daughters were
Drumba and Kumba,
and Arinnefia,
Ysia and Ambatt,
and Trönubeina,
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;
he 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 twinkled.
19. It grew up,
and well throve;
learned to tame oxen,
make a plough,
houses build,
and barns construct,
make carts,
and the plough drive.
20. Then they home conveyed
a lass with pendant keys,
and goatskin kirtle;
married her to Karl.
Snör was her name,
under a veil she sat.
The couple dwelt together,
rings exchanged,
spread couches,
and a household formed.
21. Children they begat,
and lived content.
Hal and Dreng, these were named,
Held, Thegn, Smith,
Bui and Boddi,
Brattskegg and Segg.
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 snow.
27. Rig would counsel
give to them both,
and himself seated
on the middle seat,
having on either side
the domestic pair.
28. Then took Modir
a figured cloth
of white linen,
and the table decked.
She then took
thin cakes
of 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,
javelins to hurl,
spears to brandish,
horses to ride,
dogs to let slip,
swords to draw,
swimming to practice.
33. Thither from the forest came
Rig walking,
Rig walking:
runes he taught 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 shook,
made his horse curvet,
and his falchion drew,
strife began to raise,
the field to redden,
carnage to make;
and conquer lands.
35. Then he ruled alone
over eight vills,
riches distributed,
gave to all
treasures and precious things;
lank-sided horses,
rings he dispersed,
and collars cut in pieces.[1]
36. The nobles drove
through humid ways,
came to a hall,
where Hersir dwelt;
there they found
a slender maiden,
fair and elegant,
Erna her name.
37. They demanded her,
and conveyed her home,
to Jarl espoused her;
she under the linen[2] went.
They together lived,
and well throve,
had offspring,
and old age enjoyed.
38. Bur was the eldest,
Barn the second,
Jod and Adal,
Arfi, Mög,
Nid and Nidjung.
They learned games;
Son and Svein
swam and at tables played.
One was named Kund,
Kon was the youngest.
39. There grew up
Jarl’s progeny;
horses they broke,
curved shields,
cut arrows,
brandished spears.
40. But the young Kon
understood runes,
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 practiced,
and superior proved;
then acquired
Rig to be called,
and skilled in runes.
43. The young Kon rode
through swamps and forests,
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,
then ye had.
They well knew how
the keel to ride,
the edge to prove,
wounds to inflict.
The rest is wanting.

[1] A common practice: the pieces served as money.

[2] The nuptial veil.

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