The Northern Way

Rígsmál

The Lay of Rig.

Page 1

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,
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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,
Ökkvinkalfa,
and Arinnefia,
Ysia and Ambatt,
Eikintiasna,
Tötrughypia,
and Trönubeina,
whence are sprung
the race of thralls.

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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,
Breidrbondi,
Bundinskegg,
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.

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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.

 

Index  |  för skirnis eđr skirnismál - the journey or lay of skirnir page 1>  |  rígsmál - the lay of rig page 2