The Northern Way

För Skirnis eðr Skirnismál

The Journey or Lay of Skirnir.

Page 2
Gerd
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.

Skirnir
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.

Gerd
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.

Skirnir
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,
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 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.

Gerd
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.

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

Gerd
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?

Skirnir
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.

Frey
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.