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XXVII. "Heimdallr is the name of one: he is called the White God. He is great and holy; nine maids, all sisters, bore him for a son. He is also called Hallinskidi' and Gullintanni;2 his teeth were of gold, and his horse is called Gold-top. He dwells in the place called Himinbjorg,3 hard by Bifrost: he is the warder of the gods, and sits there by heaven's end to guard the bridge from the Hill-Giants. He needs less sleep than a bird; he sees equally well night and day a hundred leagues from him, and hears how grass grows on the earth or wool on sheep, and everything that has a louder sound. He has that trumpet which is called Gjallar-Horn, and its blast is heard throughout all worlds. Heimdallr's sword is called Head. It is said further:
Himinbjorg 't is called, where Heimdallr, they say,
Aye has his housing;
Gladly good mead.
And furthermore, he himself says in Helmdalar-galdr:
I am of nine mothers the offspring,
XXVIII. "One of the iEsir is named Hodr: he is blind. He is of sufficient strength, but the gods would desire that no occasion should rise of naming this god, for the work of his hands shall long be held in memory among gods and men.
XXIX. "Vidarr is the name of one, the silent god. He has a thick shoe. He is nearly as strong as Thor; in him the gods have great trust in all struggles.
1 Ram (Cl.-Vig.). * GoWen-teeth. 3 Heaven-fells.
XXX. "One is called Ali or Vali, son of Odin and Rindr: he is daring in fights, and a most fortunate marksman.
XXXI. "One is called Ullr, son of Sif, step-son of Thor; he is so excellent a bowman, and so swift on snowshoes, that none may contend with him. He is also fair of aspect and has the accomplishments of a warrior; it is well to call on him in single-combats.
XXXII. "Forseti is the name of the son of Baldr and Nanna daughter of Nep: he has that hall in heaven which is called Glitnir. All that come to him with such quarrels as arise out of law-suits, all these return thence reconciled. That is the best seat of judgment among gods and men; thus it is said here:
A hall is called Glitnir, with gold 't is pillared,
There Forseti bides the full day through,
XXXIII. "Also numbered among the JEsir is he whom some call the mischief-monger of the iEsir, and the first father of falsehoods, and blemish of all gods and men: he is named Loki or Loptr, son of Farbauti the giant; his mother was Laufey or Nal; his brothers are Byleistr and Helblindi. Loki is beautiful and comely to look upon, evil in spirit, very fickle in habit. He surpassed other men in that wisdom which is called * sleight,' and had artifices for
all occasions; he would ever bring the iEsir into great hardships, and then get them out with crafty counsel. His wife was called Sigyn, their son Nari or Narfi.
XXXIV. "Yet more children had Loki. Angrboda was the name of a certain giantess in Jotunheim, with whom Loki gat three children: one was Fenris-Wolf, the second Jormungandr—that is the Midgard Serpent,—the third is Hel. But when the gods learned that this kindred was nourished in Jotunheim, and when the gods perceived by prophecy that from this kindred great misfortune should befall them; and since it seemed to all that there was great prospect of ill—(first from the mother's blood, and yet worse from the father's)—then Allfather sent gods thither to take the children and bring them to him. When they came to him, straightway he cast the serpent into the deep sea, where he lies about all the land; and this serpent grew so greatly that he lies in the midst of the ocean encompassing all the land, and bites upon his own tail. Hel he cast into Niflheim, and gave to her power over nine worlds, to apportion all abodes among those that were sent to her: that is, men dead of sickness or of old age. She has great possessions there; her walls are exceeding high and her gates great. Her hall is called Sleet-Cold; her dish, Hunger; Famine is her knife; Idler, her thrall; Sloven, her maidservant; Pit of Stumbling, her threshold, by which one enters; Disease, her bed; Gleaming Bale, her bed-hangings. She is half blue-black and half flesh-color (by which she is easily recognized), and very lowering and fierce.
The Wolf the iEsir brought up at home, and Tyr alone dared go to him to give him meat. But when the gods saw how much he grew every day, and when all prophecies declared that he was fated to be their destruction, then the iEsir seized upon this way of escape: they made a very strong fetter, which they called Laedingr, and brought it before the Wolf, bidding him try his strength against the fetter. The Wolf thought that no overwhelming odds, and let them do with him as they would. The first time the Wolf lashed out against it, the fetter broke; so he was loosed out of Laedingr. After this, the iEsir made a second fetter, stronger by half, which they called Dromi, and bade the Wolf try that fetter, saying he would become very famous for strength, if such huge workmanship should not suffice to hold him. But the Wolf thought that this fetter was very strong; he considered also that strength had increased in him since the time he broke Laedingr: it came into his mind, that he must expose himself to danger, if he would become famous. So he let the fetter be laid upon him. Now when the iEsir declared themselves ready, the Wolf shook himself, dashed the fetter against the earth and struggled fiercely with it, spurned against it, and broke the fetter, so that the fragments flew far. So he dashed himself out of Dromi. Since then it passes as a proverb,'to loose out of Laedingr,' or' to dash out of Dromi,' when anything is exceeding hard.
"After that the iEsir feared that they should never be able to get the Wolf bound. Then Allfather sent him who is called Skirnir,Freyr's messenger, down into the region of the Black Elves, to certain dwarves, and caused to be made the fetter named Gleipnir. It was made of six things: the noise a cat makes in foot-fall, the beard of a woman, the roots of a rock, the sinews of a bear, the breath of a fish, and the spittle of a bird. And though thou understand not these matters already, yet now thou mayest speedily find certain proof herein, that no lie is told thee: thou must have seen that a woman has no beard, and no sound comes from the leap of a cat, and there are no roots under a rock; and by my troth, all that I have told thee is equally true, though there be some things which thou canst not put to the test."
Then said Gangleri: "This certainly I can perceive to be true: these things which thou hast taken for proof, I can see; but how was the fetter fashioned?" Harry answered: "That I am well able to tell thee. The fetter was soft and smooth as a silken ribbon, but as sure and strong as thou shalt now hear. Then, when the fetter was brought to the Jes'it, they thanked the messenger well for his errand. Then the JEsir went out upon the lake called Amsvartnir, to the island called Lyngvi, and summoning the Wolf with them, they showed him the silken ribbon and bade him burst it, saying that it was somewhat stouter than appeared from its thickness. And each passed it to the others, and tested it with the strength of their hands and it did not snap; yet they said the Wolf could break it. Then the Wolf answered: 'Touching this matter of the ribbon, it seems to me that I shall get no glory of it, though I snap asunder so slender a band; but if it be made with cunning and wiles, then, though it seem little, that band shall never come upon my feet.' Then the iEsir answered that he could easily snap apart a slight silken band, he who had before broken great fetters of iron,—' but if thou shalt not be able to burst this band, then thou wilt not be able to frighten the gods; and then we shall unloose thee.' The Wolf said: 'If ye bind me so that I shall not get free again, then ye will act in such a way that it will be late ere I receive help from you; I am unwilling that this band