The Northern Way


The Lay of Hymir.

Page 1

1. Once the celestial gods
had been taking fish,
and were in compotation,
ere they the truth discovered.
Rods they shook,
and blood inspected,
when they found at Ægir´s
a lack of kettles.

2. Sat the rock-dweller
glad as a child,
much like the son
of Miskorblindi.
In his eyes looked
Ygg´s son steadfastly.
“Thou to the Æsir shalt
oft a compotation give.”

3. Caused trouble to the Jötun
th’ unwelcomed-worded As:
he forthwith meditated
vengeance on the gods.
Sif’s husband he besought
a kettle him to bring.
“in which I beer
for all of you may brew.”

4. The illustrious gods
found that impossible,
nor could the exalted powers
it accomplish,
till from trueheartedness,
Tý to Hlorridi
much friendly counsel gave.

5. “There dwell eastward
of Elivagar
the all-wise Hýmir,
at heaven’s end.
My sire, fierce of mood,
a kettle owns,
a capacious caldron,
a rast in depth.”

6. “Knowest thou whether we
can get the liquor-boiler?”

Yes, friend! if we
stratagem employ.”
Rapidly they drove
forward that day
from Asgard,
till to the giant’s home they came.

7. Thor stalled his goats,
splendid of horn,
then turned him to the hall
that Hýmir owned.
The son his granddam found
to him most loathful;
heads she had
nine hundred.

8. But another came
all-golden forth,
fair-browed, bearing
the beer-cup to her son:

9. “Ye Jötuns’ kindred!
I will you both,
ye daring pair,
under the kettles place.
My husband is
niggard toward guests,
to ill-humour prone.”

10. But the monster,
the fierce-souled Hýmir,
late returned
home from the chase.
He the hall entered,
the icebergs resounded,
as the churl approached;
the thicket on his cheeks was frozen.

11. “Hail to thee, Hýmir!
be of good cheer:
now they son is come
to thy hall,
whom we expected
from his long journey;
him accompanies
our famed adversary,
the friend of man,
who Veor hight.

12. See where they sit
under the hall’s gable,
as if to shun thee:
the pillar stands before them.”
In shivers flew the pillar
at the Jötun’s glance;
the beam was first
broken in two.

13. Eight kettles fell,
but only one of them,
a hard-hammered cauldron,
whole from the column.
The two came forth,
but the old Jötun
with eyes surveyed
his adversary.

14. Augured to him
his mind no good,
when he saw
the giantess’s sorrow
on the floor coming.
Then were three
oxen taken,
and the Jötun bade
them forthwith be boiled.

15. Each one they made
by the head shorter,
and to the fire
afterwards bore them.
Sif’s consort ate,
ere to sleep he went,
completely, he alone,
two of Hýmir’s beeves.

16. Seemed to the hoary
friend of Hrúgnir
Hlorridi’s refection
full well large:
“We three to-morrow night
shall be compelled
on what we catch
to live.”

17. Veor said he would
on the sea row,
if the bold Jötun him
would with baits supply:
“To the herd betake thee,
(if thou in thy courage trustest,
crusher of the rock-dwellers!)
for baits to seek.

18. I expect
that thou wilt
bait from an ox
easily obtain.”
The guest in haste
to the forest went,
where stood an all-black
ox before him.

19. The Thursar’s bane
wrung from an ox
the high fastness
of his two horns.
“To me thy work seems
worse by far,
ruler of keels!
than if thou hadst sat quiet.”

20. The lord of goats
the apes’ kinsman besought
the horse of plank
farther out to move;
but the Jötun
declared his slight desire
farther to row.


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