The Northern Way


The Lay of Grimnir

Page 2

30. Glad and Gyllir,
Gler and Skeidbrimir,
Sillfrintopp and Sinir,
Gisl and Falhofnir,
Gulltopp and Lettfeti;
on these steeds the Æsir
each day ride,
when they to council go,
at Yggdrasil’s ash.

31. Three roots stand
on three ways
under Yggdrasil’s ash:
Hel under one abides,
under the second the Hrimthursar,
under the third mankind.

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

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

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 Grafvöllud,
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 bits it above,
and in its side it rots,
Nidhögg beneath tears it.

36. Hrist and Mist
the horn shall bear me
Skeggöld and Skögul,
Hlökk and Herfjötur,
Hildi and Thrudi,
Göll and Geirölul,
Randgrid and Radgrid,
and Reginleif,
these bear been to the Einherjar.

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

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

39. Sköll the wolf is named,
that the fair-faced goddess
to the ocean chases;
another Hati hight,
he is Hrodvitnir’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 Midgard 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,
whoever first shall look to the fire;
for open will the dwelling be,
to the Æsir´s sons,
when the kettles are lifted off.

43. Ivald’s sons
went in days of old
Skidbladnir to form,
of ships the best,
for the bright Frey,
Njörd´s benign son.

44. Yggdrasil’s ash is
of all trees most excellent,
and of all ships, Skidbladnir,
of the Æsir, Odin,
and of horses, Sleipnir,
Bifröst of bridges,
and of skalds, Bragi,
Habrok of hawks,
and of dogs, Garm,
(Brimir of swords.)

45. Now I my face have raised
to the gods´ triumphant sons,
at that will welcome help awake;
from all the Æsir,
that shall penetrate, to Aegir’s bench,
to Aegir’s compotation.

46. I am called Grim,
I am called Gangleri,
Herian and Hjalmberi,
Thekk and Thridi,
Thund and Ud,
Helblindi and Har,

47. Sad and Svipall,
and Sanngetall,
Herteit and Hnikar
Bileyg, Baleyg,
Bölverk, Fjölnir,
Grim and Grimnir,
Glapsvid and Fjölsvid,

48. Sidhött, Sidskegg
Sigfödr, Hnikud,
Alfödr, Valfödr,
Atrid and Farmatýr;
by one name
I never have been called,
since among men I have gone.

49. Grimnir I am called
at Geirröd´s,
and at Asmund´s Jalk
and Kialar,
when a sledge I drew;
Thror at the public meetings,
Vidur in battles,
Oski and Omi,
Jafnhar and Biflindi,
Göndlir and Harbard with the gods.

50. Svidur and Svidrir
I was at Sökkmimir´s called,
and beguiled that ancient Jötun,
when of Midvitnir´s
renowned son
I was the sole destroyer.

51. Drunken art thou, Geirröd,
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 Einherjar´s
and Odin´s favour.

52. Many things I told thee,
but thou hast few remembered:
thy friends mislead thee.
My friend’s sword
lying I see,
with blood all dripping.

53. 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.

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

        King Geirröd 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 peirced him through and killed him. Odin then vanished, and Agnar was king for a long time after.