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 Hyndla.


Freyja rides with her favourite Ottar to Hyndla, a Vala, for the purpose of obtaining information respecting Ottar´s geneology, such information being required by him in a legal dispute with Angantyr. Having obtained this, Freyja further requests Hyndla to give Ottar a portion (minnisöl) that will enable him to remember all tha thas been told him. This she refuses, but is forced to comply by Freyja having encircled her cave with flames. She gives him the potion, but accompanied by a malediction, which is by Freyja turned to a blessing.



1. Wake, maid of maids!
Wake, my friend!
Hyndla! Sister!
who in the cavern dwellest.
Now there is a 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;
eleoquence 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 offer,
she to him will pray,
that to thee he may
be well disposed;
although he bears ill will
to Jötun females.
5. Now of thy wolves take one
from out the stall;
let him run
with runic rein.[1]
6. Sluggish is thy hog
the god's way to tread:
7. I will my noble
palfrey saddle.
8. False art thou, Freyja!
who tempest me:
by thy eyes thou showest it,
so fixed upon us;
while thou thy man hast
on the dead-road,[2]
the young Ottar,
Innstein's son.
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 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 contested
for the dead's gold,
Ottar the young
and Angantýr.
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 constructed;
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 Skiöldings?
Who are the Skilfings?
Who the Ödlings?
Who the Ylfings?
Who the höld-born?
Who the hers-born?
The choicest race of men
under heaven?
13. Thou, Ottar! art
of Innstein born,
but Innstein was
from Alf the Old,
Alf was from Ulf.
Ulf from Sæfari,
but Sæfari
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 Skiöldungs;
(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 Skiöldungs,
from them the Skilfings,
from them the Ödlings,
from them the Ynglings,
from them the höld-born,
from them the hers-born,
the choicest race of men
under heaven.
All that race is thine,
Ottar Heimski!
18. Hildegun
her mother was,
of Svafa born
and a sea-king.
All that race is thine,
Ottar Heimski!
Carest thou to know?
Wishest thou a longer narrative?
19. Dag wedded Thora,
mother of warriors;
of that race were born
the noble champions,
Fradmar, Gyrd,
and the Frekis both,
Am, Jösur, 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 born
was Alf.
21. Nanna was next,
Nökkvi´s daughter;
her son was
thy father's kinsman,
ancient is that kinship.
I knew both
Brodd and Hörfi.
All that race is thine,
Ottar Heimski!
22. Isolf, Asolf,
Ölmod´s sons
and Skurhild´s
Skekkil´s daugher;
thou shalt yet count
chieftains many.
All that race is thine,
Ottar Heimski!
23. Gunnar, Balk,
Grim, Ardskafi,
Jarnskiöld, Thorir,
Ulf, Ginandi,
Bui and Brami,
Barri and Reifnir,
Tind and Tyrfing,
the two Haddingis.
All that race is thine,
Ottar Heimski!
24. To toil and tumult
were the sons
of Arngrim born,
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 Hörfi,
they were in the court
of Hrolf the Old;
all descended
from Jörmunrek,
son-in-law of Sigurd.
(Listen to my story)
the dread of nations,
him who Fafnir slew.
26. He was a king,
from Völsung sprung,
and Hiördis
from Hrödung;
but Eylimi
from the Ödlings.
All that race it thine,
Ottar Heimski!
27. Gunnar and Högni,
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 Heildetönn,
born of Hrærekir
he was a son of Aud,
Aud the rich
was Ivar's daugther;
but Radbard was
Randver's father.
They were heroes
to the gods devoted.
All that race is thine,
Ottar Heimski!
29. There were eleven
Æsir 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 daugther,
from Jötuns sprung
and Aurboda;
Thiassi also
was their relation,
that haughty Jötun;
Skadi was his daughter.
31. We tell thee much,
and remember more:
I admonish thee thus much to know.
Wishest thou yet a longer narrative?
32. Haki was not the worst
of Hvedna's sons,
and Hiövard
was Hvedna´s father;
Heid and Hrossthiof were
of Hrimnir's race.
33. All the Valas are
from Vidolf;
all the soothsayers
from Vilmeidr,
all the sorcerers
from Svarthöfdi;
all the Jötuns
come from Ymir.
34. We tell thee much,
and more remember,
I admonish thee thus much to know.
Wishest thou yet a longer narrative?
35. There was one born,
in times of old,
with wondrous might endowed,
of origin divine:
nine Jötun maids
gave birth
to the gracious god,
at the world´s margin.
36. Gialp gave him birth,
Greip gave him birth,
Eistla gave him birth,
and Angeia;
Ulfrun gave him birth,
and Eyrgiafa,
Imd and Atla,
and Jarnsaxa.
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 narrative?
38. 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[3]
in his heart's affections,
had found a half-burnt
woman's heart.
Loki became guileful
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 rain 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 princes.
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 morn,
when he and Angantýr
reckon up races.
44. Go thou quickly hence,
I long to sleep;
more of my wondrous power
thou gettest not from me.
Thou runnest, 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 goes.
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 Ottar's hand,
the mead with venom mingled,
in an evil hour!
48. Thy malediction
shall be powerless;
although thou, Jötun-maid!
dost evil threaten.
He shall drink
delicious draughts.
All the gods I pray
to favour Ottar.

[1] That is, with a rein inscribed with runes.

[2] The road to Valhall

[3] The sense of this and of the following line is not apparent; they stand thus in the original: Loki of hiarta lyndi brendu, fann hann hâlfsviþinn hugstein konu, for which Grimm (Myth, Vorrede XXXVII) would read, Loki ât hiarta lundi brenda, etc. Lokius comedit cor in nemore assum, invenit semiustum mentis lapidem mulieris. I believe the difficulty is beyond help.

[Back]   Index  |  Next ]